Parking ramp repair cost increase covered

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The cost of repairing the municipal parking ramp on the east end of Mill Street is proving to be more than originally expected.

The City Council Wednesday voted to spend up to $30,000 from the capital projects contingency fund to cover the additional costs of concrete repair to the more than 50 year old ramp.

Director Public Works Cathy Austin explained that Concrete Masonry and Restoration of Milwaukee, low bidder on the project at $179,288.61, began work on the ramp at the end of the July.

“As they progressed in the concrete patch work they notified me regarding the patch size areas and that some areas are becoming full depth repairs versus partial depth repairs,” Austin wrote in a memo to the council.

As a result, she explained, the square footage of concrete needed for the work increased, with CMR anticipating an additional $45,000 to $50,000 cost.

Austin presented two alternatives:

· Complete the project, including sealing and re-striping of the parking lot, with additional funding from the contingency fund.

· Do as much of the work as possible with the funds budgeted this year, then budget additional funds for 2018 to complete sealing and restriping of the lot.

The project had originally been budgeted for $200,000 and, since CMR’s bid came in just over $20,000 below that, Austin said the contingency fund would only be needed to cover $25,000 to $30,000 of the increased cost.

“It would be nice to come in and be done with it this year, rather than coming back in next year again,” Austin commented. It would mean less disruption for building tenants and customers who utilize the ramp to get the work all completed in one year, she added.

“If we have to put it out for bid next year, who knows how much more it would be,” Alderman Charles Hansen noted.

In answer to a question from Alderman Jim Sedlacek, Austin said that Kapur and Associates, the city’s consulting engineer, had done a structural analysis of the ramp in the past two years.

“There were no major concerns,” Austin said of the study. CRM will add rebar where needed as they repair the structure, she added.

Work will also include completing the concrete barrier on the southwest corner of the lot. That is where the ramp down to the Stayer Park area was removed as part of the renovation project of the riverfront area.

Plymouth Police Officer Justin Daniels presented the annual report on the department’s K-9 unit.

Police Chief Jeffrey Tauscheck, before turning the presentation over to Daniels, noted that in October it will be three years that the K-9 program has been in existence.

Daniels, who is the department’s handler for police dog Zoey, reported on the last year’s activities.

He and Zoey were deployed 53 times in nine-and-a-half months (Daniels was on FMLA leave for two-and-a-half months), he said.

“That puts us on pace for about 70 (deployments) a year,” Daniels said. By comparison, he added, the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit is deployed about 100 times a year.

All but five of Zoey’s deployments were for drug searches, Daniels said. As a result, a total of 27 suspects were arrested and $9,950 worth of drugs seized, along with $5,400 in cash.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Daniels said of working with Zoey. “We’ve been successful, but it’s a lot of work.”

He and the dog train a minimum of 16 hours a month and usually more. In the training, Zoey had a 99 percent reliability in finding drugs and other substances.

“The chief gives us the full support we need and we appreciate all the support from the community,” Daniels commented.

The program is funded outside the police department’s regular budget, which means all costs must be raised through donations and other support.

In answer to a question from Sedlacek, Daniels estimated that probably 95 percent of the arrests involving Zoey would not have been made without the K-9 unit.

The dog is able to sniff and identify drugs in many instances where officers are not able to obtain a search warrant to find them in a timely manner.

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