Saugatuck City Officials Revise Contract Proposal By Edgewater Resources For Kazoo Harbor Plan
Citing the need for “increased financial safeguards,” the Saugatuck City Council has revised the contract proposed by Edgewater Resources regarding improvement plans for the Kalamazoo Harbor and has submitted it to its counterpart -the Douglas City Council - for its review and input.
Saugatuck city officials briefly discussed the $75,000 proposal at Monday’s council meeting, reporting they were ready to move forward if Douglas city leaders accepted and approved the revisions.
Edgewater, which the Kalamazoo Lake Harbor Authority selected among a number of engineering firms to create a long-term plan, initially presented the proposed contract to the cities more than six months ago.
Saugatuck council members from the get-go were hesitant in releasing any funds. They said they needed further information on certain aspects of the Edgewater proposal and were not satisfied with the arrangement of events.
Until that changed, they said, they would not approve the project or fund it.
“The proposed (alternate) methodology would involve each step in the project being completed in order before moving on to the next step and payments would be released incrementally after each step is completed.
“The council believes taking each step incrementally would offer the community increased financial safeguards,” according to a December 29 letter by Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier to Douglas officials.
The letter was accompanied by another one, not yet sent and addressed to the engineering firm by Saugatuck officials.
That letter clearly identifies the various Saugatuck-proposed steps in chronological order and what percentages of the project budget would be allocated for each step.
“The City of Saugatuck will not send the attached letter to Edgewater Resources until comment, and hopefully agreement, occurs between Saugatuck and Douglas on the steps moving forward,” states the letter to Douglas.
Saugatuck’s November 17 letter to Edgewater had already identified those steps, but in less detail. Douglas is expected to review those revisions at its Monday, January 19 meeting.
The $75,000 proposal, a cost that would be spilt between the cities of Saugatuck and Douglas, is the first part of a multi-phase project to improve the harbor.
It is a first step in what both Saugatuck and Douglas officials hope will lead to the ultimate goal of a concrete plan and action for a long-term solution.
As for Saugatuck Township, it has limited participation (no voting rights) on the harbor authority due to its decision not to be a full partner in the project at this time.
Representatives there have raised questions about how much the harbor authority would help their constituents, and have hesitated to commit any funding of any kind so far.