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In Dragline’s Bucket

There was plenty of smoke and noise out of Washington, D.C., this week regarding our nation’s surface transportation program. Whether it’s going to go anywhere remains to be seem. Yet it was interesting to learn of the frustration U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx feels, along with legislation being introduced that attempts to save the federal Highway Trust Fund. We need a well funded, multi-year effort, but once again the clock is ticking. If nothing is done by May we could be facing yet another program crisis. With crisis on our mind, we turn to the sales tax package to improve transportation funding placed by the Michigan legislature on the May ballot. It’s important voters be convinced its worth their support. Unfortunately it appears the package was put together in haste and contains a number of flaws. One has just risen to the surface. A collection of architecture and interior design firms has formed what it calls a “network” for servicing clients in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. We’re having a problem with how the network is describing itself, using such stale terms as “best-in-class,” which not only strikes us as out of date (so 1980s) but fatuous.  Go To Dragline

MEDC Promotes $90 Million In Construction Projects

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of two business expansion projects and one community revitalization project that will generate more than $90.1 million in new capital investment.  Full Story

Charlevoix County OKs St. Mary’s Cement Expansion

At its Wednesday public hearing and meeting the Charlevoix County Board of Commission decided to approve a $130 million expansion of the St. Mary’s Cement Inc. production plant. The vote was 5-1. Full Story

Ann Arbor Schools OK School Bond For May Ballot

This week the Ann Arbor Public School Board of Education approved ballot language asking voters to keep its debt millage at the same rate for 10 years to raise $31-33 million for school equipment and improvements. Full Story

February 5th Hearing Slated For Ann Arbor Apartments

Schaefer Development, Farmington Hills, will be conducting a February 5th public meeting for a 318 unit apartment complex it would like to build on Maple Road near Pauline Road in Ann Arbor.  Full Story

AIA Names Andrew Dunlap Young Architect Of The Year


An architect from a Michigan based architecture and engineering firm has been named as one of 14 winners of the American Institute of Architects Young Architects Of The Year Awards for 2015. The national honor is going to Andrew Dunlap, AIA, of SmithGroupJJR, Detroit. He was picked out for his work with the AIA Detroit’s Building Enclosure Council, his work in the classroom encouraging architecture students, and his encouragement of participating in AIA functions and activities. He is a principal at SmithGroupJJR and an exterior enclosure consultant, having spent almost 13 years with the firm. Full Story

Niles OKs Effort To Repurpose Former YMCA Property

This week the city of Niles approved a memorandum of understanding with a developer seeking to transform the site where a YMCA building once stood into property for a medium to high density housing project.  Full Story

Monroe Delays Its Proposed Public Safety Building

Though originally considered for the May 5th ballot, a bond proposal for financing a new, $7.5 million public safety building for the city of Monroe is now expected to appear at a later election.  Full Story

Okemos Schools Sketches Out Renovation Program

The board of education for Okemos Public Schools is mulling over a plan to spend about $5 million from its sinking fund tio repair and renovate some of its buildings.  Full Story

Ann Arbor Racquet Club Planning Several Upgrades

Plans have been filed with the city of Ann Arbor for proposed improvements to the Ann Arbor Racquet Club.  Full Story

Boyne City To Finance Municipal Complex With Bond

City officials this week requested language to be prepared for a bond proposal to be placed on the May 5th ballot to provide $7 million for constructing a new ciuty hall and an emergency services building.  Full Story

Recreational Vehicle Maker To Come To White Pigeon

Plans for building three buildings for the manufacturing of recreational vehicles, at the rate of one per year, has been announced for the village of White Pigeon in St. Joseph County by Forest River Manufacturing LLC.  Full Story

Triangle Outlines Construction Activities For 2015

Triangle Associates, Grand Rapids, was recently awarded contracts valued at more than $75 million in total project costs. It’s providing design/build, construction management and general contracting services. Full Story

Traverse City Receives Cost Estimates For Fishing Pier

Preliminary designs for the proposed new fishing pier in downtown Traverse City shave been received by the city along with a project estimate of $8.7 million. Full Story

Lake Michigan College Plans New Technology Center

Bidding may get underway soon for a new technology center to be constructed at a site on the Napier Avenue campus of Lake Michigan College.  Full Story

Saline Schools Looking At Possible Bond Proposal

A November bond proposal for school improvements is said to be under consideration by the board of education for Saline Public Schools. Full Story

AutoZone Site Plans Filed For Ann Arbor’s West Stadium Blvd.

Ann Arbor this week received site plans and applications for an AutoZone retail outlet for a lot located at 2151 West Stadium Boulevard.  Full Story