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In Dragline’s Bucket

If you thought Governor Rick Snyder’s re-election would bolster his power and influence in Lansing, enabling him to get important legislation enacted, it’s already time to think again. His push for another $1.2 billion annually for our state’s highways, roads, and bridges is still stalled with time running out. It’s almost as if there are now three parties in our state capital — Democrats, Snyder-Republicans, and the right wing fringe. Proposals to reform multi-employer pensions made it through Congress last week, being tie-barred to the omnibus bill that kept Washington, D.C., open. They’re based on the employer-labor “Solutions Not Bailouts” proposals hammered out over the last three years and discussed many times in this column. In a nutshell, they give the trustees in pensions that are in severe condition the flexibility they need to make adjustments to weather economic storms, rather than collapse into bankruptcy. Not everyone likes them, however, including the president of the laborers’ union. Have you thrown out any candles lately? The ones reserved for storms? The growing age of numerous coal fired plants and tougher air pollution regulations now being promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is going to force Michigan utilities to make closures. This could be okay if replacement capacity was already under construction but not enough of it is. There’s only so much space for more wind turbine farms and solar power is still too expensive to be much more than a demonstration. Thus, the question for Michigan may all too soon become: Where’s the juice? Go To Dragline


 U-M Regents To Consider Four Construction Projects

At its meeting on Thursday, December 18th, the University of Michigan Board of Regents will be considering four construction projects worth a total of approximately $41.5 million.  Full Story


Capital List Spells Out University & College Plans

Earlier this month Michigan’s Joint Capital Outlay Committee approved 29 new planning authorizations for 12 universities and 17 community colleges, involving proposed new buildings totaling $841.7 million, with a state share of $370.4 million.  Full Story


Grand Rapids Press Building To Bite The Dust Next Spring

Last week trustees for Michigan State University set a $3 million budget for the demolition of the former Grand Rapids Press Building to make room for a new biomedical research building on the outskirts of downtown Grand Rapids.  Full Story


CAM Offers More CAMTEC Classes To Start The New Year

The Construction Association of Michigan has announced a number of classes to its CAMTEC schedule for January 2015.  Full Story


Sturgis Prepares For New Senior Community Center

Plans are under development for a spring groundbreaking for a $2.6 million senior community center in Sturgis. Full Story


Hotel Development Considered Near Briarwood Mall

A public meeting is to be conducted January 8th to introduce a plan to build a new hotel and a free standing retail building on the site of the former King Engineering Building at 3201 South State Street in Ann Arbor.  Full Story


Littmann To Explain His Forecasts To DACA Members

At its Wednesday, January 8th meeting the Detroit Area Construction Association will be featuring David L. Littmann as its featured speaker.  Full Story


Muskegon Chronicle Building To Be Repurposed For College

Last week Muskegon Community College closed on the sale of the former Muskegon Chronicle building to serve as a downtown Muskegon campus.  Full Story


Royal Oak Considers Redeveloping Municipal Buildings

At its meeting last night the Royal Oak City Commission was schedule to consider a resolution allowing a developer to spent 90 days studying the commercial development possibilities of City Hall and the police department building adjourning it.  Full Story


New Hospital Slated For Lenawee County

Late last week, Toledo, Ohio, based PreMedica revealed plan to build a new hospital in Lenawee County with a groundbreaking tentatively slated for early 2016.  Full Story


Ann Arbor Planners To Look At Nixon Farm Projects

At tonight’s meeting  of the Ann Arbor Planning Commission two projects involving the Nixon Farm development on Nixon Road by Dhu Varren Road will be presented at a public hearing.  Full Story


Delta College To Rebuild Major Parking Lot

A $2.6 million budget for the reconstruction of a major parking lot was approved last week by the Delta College Board of Trustees.  Full Story


Reborn Buildings Spring Up For Port Huron

Though the Port Huron Real Estate Company LLC has shifted its plans to build a City Flats hotel in a vacant building that formerly served Michigan National Bank, last week it also announced new plans for the redevelopment of the former Sperry’s department store.  Full Story


Grand Rapids Party Store Slated For A Second Life

In January the Grand Rapids City Commission is expected to hold public hearings on a plan to grant an obsolete property tax benefit to enable the $2 million historic renovation and expansion of the former D&G Party Store. Full Story


Outpatient Building Planned For Livingston County

The St. John Providence Health System has disclosed plans to construct a $17 million outpatient medical building on a 14.5 acre property in Livingston County.  Full Story