The Oscoda Township Board of Trustees voted on Monday to utilize ROWE Professional Services Company – the township’s in-house engineering firm – for another upcoming project. Among other tasks, the company will be helping the township explore the possibilities of a consolidated municipal services center. Pictured here during the discussions are Trustees Jim Baier, left, and William Palmer.

OSCODA – The concept of a consolidated municipal services center at Furtaw Field was discussed by the Oscoda Township Board of Trustees, among other business, during their Monday meeting.

The talks centered on future options regarding several township properties, those being the Oscoda Township Hall/police station/fire station, Oscoda Community Center, Aune Medical Center, Robert J. Parks Library, the Department of Public Works garage/associated out buildings, Oscoda-AuSable Senior Center and the Old Orchard Park Campground office/garage/out buildings complex.

Three different entities showed interest in working on the project, with the township having received proposals from Redstone Architects Inc., Bloomfield Hills; William A. Kibbe & Associates, Inc., Saginaw; and ROWE Professional Services Company, Flint.

“I would like to engage the township board to discuss these proposals as well as determine appropriate next steps for this process,” Superintendent Dave Schaeffer stated. “As the township board is aware, these topics have been discussed at great length during the Township Board Strategic Work Sessions.”

He noted that, based on the discussion, trustees could consider establishing another work session, obtaining more clarification on the proposals or moving forward on the effort with one of the companies.

Officials voted 6-1 to utilize the services of ROWE, which offered a quote of $53,080. However, they have elected to not engage in the facility needs assessment portion, bringing the total to $40,480.

Opposed to the motion was Clerk John Nordeen, who said he was most impressed with the offer from Redstone, as far as what the township is looking to do with this effort.

He was also the one to note that a needs assessment may not be necessary, since trustees have already agreed to sell several of the above mentioned buildings.

Nordeen asked why the township would spend money on such an assessment, for a building they don’t plan to keep, to which Trustee William Palmer agreed.

In his report to the board, Schaeffer stated that the proposals detail three primary tasks; one being to perform a condition assessment of all of the township’s buildings.

The other tasks consider conducting a needs assessment/programming of a consolidated municipal services center, and providing floor plan/design services/renderings of a consolidated municipal services center.

“It is our understanding that the township will utilize this information in strategic planning and budgeting for future improvements to their facilities,” stated Rick Freeman, senior project manager and principal/vice president of ROWE Professional Services Company.

For phases one through three – a facility condition assessment, space needs assessment and conceptual plans, renderings and cost – ROWE offered a fee of $53,080. The cost for a potential final phase, including floor plans, design and bidding documents, is to be determined.

Once trustees have decided on the direction in which they wish to proceed, Freeman said ROWE will work with the township on the possible next phase, including developing a design budget, design schedule and construction schedule.

Freeman noted that ROWE plans to complete these services under their existing, as-needed engineering contract with the township.

For this assignment, he stated that the company will be teaming with WTA Architects of Saginaw, which ROWE has worked closely with on a variety of projects throughout the years.

As noted in the proposal, Oscoda Township has numerous old and aging buildings, many of which are underutilized and in need of repair or renovation. The township is seeking assistance in determining the best course of action regarding these facilities, including renovation needs and the potential for consolidation or relocation of facilities and services.

Providing more background on the proposed project was Eric Mannor, vice president of William A. Kibbe & Associates, Inc.

The estimated fee proposed by the firm was $87,500 to complete the condition assessment and a written report on the above mentioned structures.

As for the schematic design of the consolidated municipal services center, the company presented an approximate fee of $20,000.

“The township currently has several community services buildings spread throughout the area and are looking to consolidate these buildings into one central location,” Mannor stated.

“It is understood that the new center will be located in the current Furtaw Field off of US-23,” he continued. “It is anticipated that the community services building would be a two story building that would house a community center, library, senior center and police and fire department bays on the first floor with the second floor housing offices and conference rooms including the clerk, treasurer, water department, township administration and board meeting room.”

The proposal from Redstone Architects outlines four buildings to be included in the assessment for both physical and functional obsolescence. These facilities are the township hall and police department; the fire station, which is part of the township hall complex; the library; and Aune Medical Center.

President Daniel Redstone noted that, based on the approved needs assessments, the company would then develop a Conceptual Civic Center Campus Plan for Furtaw Field which will bring together many, if not all, of the township’s offices and citizen-based activities.

The total estimated fee for the work is $110,981. Of the cost, Redstone Architects offered to provide such services as a facility condition assessment, needs assessment/programming, Furtaw Field conceptual block site plan and floor diagrams, and a concept rendering of Furtaw Field.

The board, however, ultimately selected ROWE, with Palmer commenting that the township has a good rapport and working history with the company.

In separate matters, trustees also acted on the following:

• Appointed Schaeffer as the township’s primary board member for the Huron Shores Regional Utility Authority, and Supervisor Aaron Weed as the alternate.

• Approved paying $6,500 to John Henry Excavating of East Tawas, for an emergency repair which was made to the sanitary sewer force main on the south side of the River Road bridge last month.

• Authorized a $9,796 payment to the Strike Team Investigative Narcotics Group (STING), for narcotics law enforcement services during fiscal year 2018-2019.

Schaeffer pointed out that the board approved the same amount to be paid to STING during this time last year.

• Held a public hearing – during which no comments were received – on relinquishing jurisdiction of parcel No. 063-009-300-001-00, which measures approximately 40 acres and is located off of Loud Drive. Trustees also adopted a resolution related to same.

Schaeffer has explained that the hearing is part of the statutory obligation to follow the road relinquishment procedures, and that the property at hand will be turned back over to the state.

• Appointed Mimi McDonald to the alternate spot on the township planning commission, in a term which will expire on Dec. 31, 2023. She stated in her letter of interest that she has lived in Oscoda year-round for 16 years, and would like to have some influence as to the direction the township is going.

• Approved a request from the Oscoda Rotary Club and Oscoda Lions Club to utilize the area surrounding the Oscoda Beach Park bath house, for the annual Fourth of July Community Picnic and Celebration.