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In Dragline’s Bucket

We’ve only two items for Dragline and they involve unfortunate turns of the government screw. The first has to do with our state’s policies governing electrical utilities. Are you aware that next year Michigan’s electricity reserve will drop below  the minimum recommended level? Without the juice you can’t produce; insufficient electricity will harm our state’s industrial base. Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is issuing instruction to its staff to implement its “Next Generation Compliance” policy. Cutting through the bureaucratese, it involves an expanded use of intelligent technology to monitor environmental compliance. Which makes sense. Where it doesn’t make sense is the NGC’s encouragement of citizens to take up some of the agency’s monitoring responsibilities. Who are those people just outside our construction site holding their iPhones in the air? Why, it’s members of the neighborhood environment protection watch!  Go To Dragline

School Bond Elections Around Michigan Top $264 Million

Voters on February 24th approved six school bond proposals under the Michigan School Loan Bond program totaling over $192 million. Also approved were three outside of the program totaling $92.5 million.  Full Story

Operating Engineers Local 324 Officer Pleads Guilty

A former financial secretary of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, has entered a guilty plea to the charge of helping to conceal extortion by another union official.  Full Story

Marquette Projects Gain Michigan Strategic Fund Help

On Tuesday the Michigan Strategic Fund approved two community revitalization projects in Marquette, including a new hospital that will be constructed in the heart of downtown. The projects will generate a total capital investment of at least $190 million.  Full Story

Detroit IRS Building Slated For Major Rehabilitation

This week the General Services Administration launched a solicitation for a lead design architect and engineer for modernization of the IRS Detroit Computing Center building located at 985 Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit. Full Story

Marquette Orphans Home Eyed For Conversion

In Marquette, a Farmington Hills based developer, Home Renewal Systems, is said to be in negotiations for the purchase of the vacant Holy Family Orphanage for conversion into 55 apartment units. Full Story

Nate Preston Joins Skillman As A Project Engineer

The Skillman Corporation has announced that Nate Preston has joined its team at its Kalamazoo office. Most recently a member of the Turner Construction Company and Birchwood Construction Company, Preston will assume the position of project engineer at Skillman. He is a graduate of Ferris State University and he holds a master of science in design/build from Auburn University. While studying at Auburn he spent nine months serving as a graduate teaching assistant. After years of work in Arizona and California, he is happy to return to Michigan. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the region in which I grew up,” said Preston. He is a graduate of East Lansing High School.  Full Story

Port Huron’s Historic Citadel Building To Be Revived

Next week Dave and Georgina Witt, along with Stephen Witt, expect to close on the sale of the historic Citadel Building in Port Huron. They’ve already disclosed major improvements to the structure at a meeting of the St. Clair County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.  Full Story

Barbat Plans More Downtown Detroit Residential Space

This week Barbat Holdings LLC, West Bloomfield, closed on the sale of the former Gabriel Richard Building and announced plans to invest $6.5 million in renovations.  Full Story

Grand Rapids Starts Discussion On School Bond

Plans by Grand Rapids Public Schools to mount a $175 million bond proposal on the November 5th ballot are moving forward. This week they were unveiled to parents attending the district’s School Choice Expo.  Full Story

Decisions Needed For Reuse Of Plymouth Post Office

Plans for the repurposing of the former downtown Plymouth Post Office are to be examined at a March 5th meeting of the city commission. Apparently the project hinges on the availability of parking.  Full Story

Triangle Associates Adds Six, Promotes One

Triangle Associates, Grand Rapids, recently appointed  Gary Gozmanian as senior project manager; Mike Nichols, Mike Snow and Donald (Skip) Baker as construction superintendents; Kyle Harrison  as estimator; and Kim Mudrak as project administrator.  Rick Van Til was also promoted to marketing and client relations manager.  Full Story

Mancelona Pushes Plan Dealing With Water Contamination

To help deal with a troubling groundwater contamination issue, the Antrim County Board of Commissioners has agreed to provide $250,000 toward a nearly $1.3 million effort to provide safe water supplies to the residents of Mancelona.  Full Story

Michigan Strategic Fund Assists $82 Million In Investments

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of six business expansions and one community revitalization project in Michigan that are expected to generate more than $82 million in investments.  Full Story

MCC Names Architect To Design Downtown Campus

This week Muskegon Community College announced its selection of an architect for converting the former Muskegon Chronicle building for conversion into its downtown Muskegon campus. Full Story

Park District Development Still Alive In East Lansing

Meeting this week, the East Lansing city council reviewed a change in plans for the Park District Project by its developer, Park District Development Group LLC, but took no action. Full Story

Senior Apartments Considered For Lexington School

The vacant Lexington Elementary School in Grand Rapids is under consideration by a Northbrook, Illinois, developer as a senior citizen housing development. Full Story