By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON RIVER - Genesee Street in downtown Iron River could be getting an upgrade later this year.
During their monthly meeting, members of the Iron River City Council approved a consent agreement for a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Downtown Infrastructure Grant (DIG) worth $559,000.
Iron River City Manager Perry Franzoi said that the city has to complete an environmental review and hold a public hearing before the grant award becomes official.
If the city does receive the grant, it will be able to make some needed improvements on Genesee Street from M-189 to River Avenue.
Franzoi said that the primary focus would be fixing the main water lines and service lines to individual businesses. There is currently a problem with the lines freezing, causing businesses to run their water during the winter, he added.
Other improvements would include: repaving the street; new sidewalks, curbs, and gutters; decorative LED street lights; and decorative planters.
According to Franzoi, the tentative start date for construction on the project is Aug. 15.
He said that work would continue through fall, then resume in spring 2014.
The city plans to contribute $230,000 in matching funds to the project.
In a separate project, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be reconstructing M-189 from Genesee Street to Hiawatha Road starting in May.
Franzoi said that the project will be similar to the U.S. 2 reconstruction in Iron River last summer. The city will be working in conjunction with MDOT's project to upgrade water and sewer lines on M-189.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.