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In Dragline’s Bucket

As most people from nearly every political persuasion will agree, our federal system of taxes is ripe for reform. Loopholes are constantly being drilled into it. Advantages are provided for obscure purposes. It keeps getting “adjusted” to boost the economy but the boost never seems to come. Now there’s a push to reauthorize a series of “extenders,” most of which expired at the end of 2013. We point out there’s good reason to do this but, we advise, only if Congress gets serious about drafting serious tax reform. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx thinks our lame duck Congress needs to act immediately to adopt a long term federal transportation program. We agree, especially if the Michigan legislature completes its work to do the same for our state. This week a Grand Rapids based structural steel supplier agreed to a multi-million dollar out of court settlement of a problem that happened on a performance center project in Indiana. At one point work had to be shut down for three months while structural integrity studies were conducted. Can beet juice be used to deice pavements and bridge decks? Apparently it can, according to a Washington State University researcher, but it’s also important to carefully control road salt applications and consider using special concrete mixes discouraging the bonding of ice.  Go To Dragline


Ten February Michigan School Bonds Top $250 Million

Three more school bond projects for the February 24, 2015 ballot have now been scheduled by the Michigan Department of Treasury, bringing the total value of the current ten to just over $250 million.  Full Story


Emmet County Issues RFI For Deep Sky Observatory

The Emmet County Board of Commissioners has issued a request for information for pre-construction and general contracting services for a proposed  $7 million observatory at its Headlands International Dark Sky Park.  Full Story


Mixed Use Project To Rise Near State Capitol Building

On Wednesday Ferguson Development, Lansing, disclosed plans for a $12 million mixed use development on a nearly vacant block a short walk from Lansing’s state capitol building complex.  Full Story


Masonry Institute Schedules December 4th Annual Meeting

The 2014 annual meeting of the Masonry Institute of Michigan will be held on December 4th and feature a presentation entitled, “The Practical Design Of Temporary Masonry Bracing.”  Full Story


Apartment Complex Project Planned For Wyoming Site

This week a rezoning application was approved by the city of Wyoming Planning Commission for a 192 unit apartment complex proposed by American Kendall Properties Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana.  Full Story


TMP-Raatz

Misty Raatz Signs Up With TMP Architecture

TMP Architecture Inc., Bloomfield Hills, has announced that Misty Raatz has joined the firm’s architectural group. She will serve as a project manager with a focus in the K-12 market. Raatz’s most recent position was with Fanning Howey Associates Inc. as market leader, project executive, and project manager with responsibilities for managing teams for K-12 projects in Michigan. She was also charged with maintaining and developing business strategies during her seven years with the firm. Full Story


Clinton Township Gets OK To Install Two Sewer Lines

This week the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced its preliminary decision that an environmental impact statement will not be needed for approximately $5.3 million in gravity relief sewer installations in Macomb County’s Clinton Township,  Full Story


AIA Detects A Slippage In Architectural Billings

On Wednesday the American Institute of Architects reported a modest drop in its Architecture Billings Index for October, although it still reflected market growth.  Full Story


Zeeland Public Schools To Seek $53.5 Million In Bonds

This week the board of education for Zeeland Public Schools voted to place a school bond proposals totaling $53.5 million for voter approval on the February 24th ballot.  Full Story


Dreizinga-Potter

Driesenga & Associates Welcomes Sherman Potter

Sherman Potter, PE, has joined Driesenga & Associates as Project Manager in the firm’s civil engineering department in its Kalamazoo office. Potter graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. He has over 30 years of experience working and managing commercial site development and municipal infrastructure projects throughout the Midwest and overseas. Potter is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan and North Dakota.  Full Story


Sparrow Health System Mentions Planning For Two Projects

While sparse on details this week Sparrow Health System disclosed intentions for constructing a cancer center across East Michigan Avenue where its hospital building stands. Full Story


Five Potential CMs Considered For Township Hall

A list of five construction manager candidates is currently being reviewed by Addison Township officials for the proposed new township hall.  Full Story


Moving On Main Files Design With Ann Arbor Planners

Plans were submitted with the city of Ann Arbor for design review for the 319-323 North Main Street (“Moving On Main”) project, which is to be a three story mixed use building proposed by Peter Woolf of Moving On Main LLC. Full Story


Fieldstone A&E Brings Five Professionals To Its Team

Fieldstone Architecture & Engineering, Auburn Hills, has announced the  appointments of Allan Djordjevic as Senior Designer II, Bill Leiser as Senior Architect II, Sherice Snead as Senior Marketing Coordinator, Renata Pfeifer as Senior CAD Technician, and Garett Tunison as CAD Systems Manager.  Full Story


Mixed Use Development Reviewed By Pittsfield Planners

At last night’s meeting of the Pittsfield Township Planning Commission a rezoning request was filed and site plan submitted for Blue Huron Hills, a mixed use development of primarily residential units with a modest amount of commercial and retail space. Full Story


Alpena OKs Brownfield Plan For New Holiday Inn Express

This week the Alpena Municipal Council voted 5-0 in favor of 15 year brownfield tax incremental financing and a 10 year tax abatement plan to support the construction of a Holiday Inn Express Hotel.  Full Story