FAIRPLAIN TOWNSHIP — Carlsen Road bridge will go under construction next year to improve its conditions.
Mark Christensen, superintendent of the Road Commission for Montcalm County, said the allowed weight limit for the bridge had gone down over the year.
Currently, the bridge has a posted weight limit of 13 tons. With the new construction of the bridge, it will no longer have a weight limit.
Christensen said the road commission was able to receive federal funds to help pay for the construction.
“The total cost of the project is estimated at about $600,000,” he said adding the actual cost usually comes back less than the estimated amount.
Fairplain Township will be responsible for paying about $57,000, which includes 5 percent of the construction cost plus other costs.
This amount will change if bids come in lower than expected, Christensen said. The township will not be billed until the construction is complete.
Christensen expects that bids for the project will go out in December or January with construction beginning about a year from now.
The road commission grabbed the chance at the federal funds for Fairplain Township, Christensen said, because it could have been a long time before the funds were offered again, maybe even resulting in the township paying for the total cost if the bridge became worse shortly down the road.
“We will keep working hard to grab more federal money and other sources,” Christensen said.
He noted the project might be a lot of money, but the bridge is estimated to last a lifetime.
“That’s quite a bridge,” said Fairplain Township Supervisor Tom Sova.
During Monday night’s regular scheduled meeting, the township board did include this project into its budget during the budget hearing.
After the board discussed the budget, both Sova and Fairplain Township Treasurer Sharon Swindell agreed the Fairplain Township budget for 2012-2013 comes out to be $247,618.
A new change to the budget is a pay raise for the township’s Assessor Brent Bozley.
The board approved to raise his pay from $10 per parcel to $12 per parcel.
Bozley noted he has 386 more to reassess out of 1,054.
“He works well with the community,” said Trustee Tom Hanson.
Swindell added Bozley works well the township as well.
“He has gone above and beyond,” Sova said of Bozley.