Utica to award retail plaza contract June 18

Village awaits modified bids on Market on Mill

An updated schematic of the Market on MIll, Utica's forthcoming outdoor retail plaza. Bids go out soon. Mayor David Stewart said Thursday, May 9, 2024, that the village hopes to break ground after Memorial Day.

Utica will host a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to award a contract for the Market on Mill, the proposed outdoor retail plaza.

On Thursday, Village Attorney Kevin Heitz said he sent modified plans out to interested contractors and gave them a deadline of 10 a.m. Tuesday to submit bids. The Utica Village Board meets a few hours later to pick a winner and, soon after, break ground.

Last month, Utica received two bids, one from D Construction at almost $2.9 million, and one from Illinois Valley Excavating at almost $2.2 million. Those figures came in 65% over estimate and 26% over estimate, respectively.

Rather than start from scratch, Heitz carved a few minor jobs out of the project – village staff will do some work – and asked contractors to reconsider a few line items that Heitz felt were too costly.

“Hopefully, we’ll get the cost of the project down to a point where we can afford it,” he said.

The village obtained a $1.25 million grant and committed another $250,000 to the project. Heitz crunched a final engineer’s estimate of $1,744,019, based in part on the sharp increase in the cost of construction materials.

The Market on Mill was inspired by outdoor plazas in Batavia and Muskegon, Michigan. Utica will begin with 12 portable retail stalls, with space for another six, and the shops will face inward toward a green space.

In other matters, the board:

  • renewed a waste removal contract with Republic Services of Ottawa for five years ending June 31, 2029.
  • approved a street closure for the July 26 corn roast by Bruce & Ollie’s and Country Kids Produce.
  • agreed to seek a Community Development Block Grant for housing rehabilitation.
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