Winter looms for marketplace work

ESCANABA — The Escanaba Downtown Development Authority marketplace is starting to prepare for winter, with construction still in full swing before colder temperatures arrive. However, the contractor continues to seek extra compensation for delays that occurred early in the project, the DDA was informed during its regular meeting Thursday.

Industrial Maintenance Services Inc. of Escanaba, is constructing the community gathering place on the 1500 block of Ludington Street. The cost of the 8,100-square-foot pavilion to date is $1,022,457.

Andy Lapointe, contractor with IMS, updated the board Thursday on the progress of the project and what needs to be done before winter arrives.

“If the weather stays like it is, we’re going to keep busting away on this thing all the way into December until we can’t work anymore,” said Lapointe.

Lapointe said work that needs to be done before winter arrives includes trim work, plumbing, mechanical and electrical. When spring comes, all site work such as landscaping, paving and fencing will be finished along with painting, drywall and flooring, he added.

Although Lapointe noted things appear on track, he said the board will still have to pay the construction company an extra $40,000 due to some early delays with the project including site issues and a delay in receiving a building permit.

In September, the board declined to pay $40,000 previously requested by IMS to pay for more time the company anticipated it needed to complete the project.

In October, the board unanimously approved to pay IMS an additional $3,981 for unforeseen necessities that arose during excavation of the site, including removal of unexpected concrete debris and drainage issues.

On Thursday, City Manager and DDA board member Jim O’Toole questioned how the DDA would pay for IMS’s request for an additional $40,000 since the DDA does not have the funds.

Escanaba DDA Director Ed Legault suggested the board look into using some of the overages they will receive from the Ludington Street paving projects. He explained the DDA had budgeted $160,000 for the road projects and only spent $66,000. He also mentioned he was looking into other grants to help offset the marketplace overage cost.

After the meeting, Lapointe showed some DDA board members around the marketplace worksite to view the progress made on the project.