DDA, village open bids for potential Railroad Square project

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The Kalkaska Village Council and the village’s Downtown Development Authority might have received some good news, when local officials last week opened bids for the proposed development of the 300 Block of Cedar Street, which has been renamed Railroad Square.

Officials opened the bids for the Railroad Square project on Wednesday, Oct. 23, and, according to Village Manager Scott Yost and Village President Harley Wales, were pleasantly surprised by the totals quoted.

“The bids were well within budget, which is great news,” Yost said.

“The bids made us very happy,” added Wales.

The makeover of the 300 Block of Cedar Street has long been a goal of village and the DDA, which purchased the property that used to be the home of the former Erb Lumber facility and the local chamber of commerce office.

According to proposals to renovate the area, officials previously proposed making the area into a type of community square, including a clock tower and information kiosk, where the village and other entities could host festivals and events, such as outdoor movies and concerts.

Officials have stated that such as effort, if approved, could take up to two years to complete. However, Yost said the bids were so encouraging that the project might be able to compress it into just one year.

And, that would start next spring.

“That includes completely removing and repaving Maple Street for two blocks, also,” he said. “It would be transformational for the downtown district and, actually, the entire community.”

Wales said he expects to village council to vote and officials award the project to the winning bidder at its next regular monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 4.

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