Jan. 12, 1931

The contract for construction on M-55 west of Cadillac has not been let, A.L. Burridge said today. The bid of Maurer Brothers has been approved by the state administrative board but as this is a federal aid road it had then to be sent to Washington for action. This is expected in a few days. As soon as the letting is completed it will be announced through this paper, Mr. Burridge stated. Max Clark, project engineer, and a party of three men have been moved into the district highway office here from West Branch.

Jan. 12, 1971

A step toward constructing a sewage system in Lake City was taken Friday night when the three-member Missaukee County Drain Commission and Rex Remington, chairman of the Missaukee County Board of Commissioners, approved resolutions to undertake a study for the project. The Drain Commission and the Board chairman had been given the responsibility of acquiring information of sewage disposal and treatment facilities proposed for Caldwell, Lake, Reeder and Forest townships. A resolution to hire an engineer to begin the study was passed after a public hearing where Chester Pierce, a Detroit attorney who specializes in community developmental legal assistance, explained the project and answered questions. Pierce said it would take at least a year to complete plans, and a year-and-a-half to finish the project if the plans are adopted. It would be impossible to make an estimate of the cost of the project at this time, Peirce said. He added it would be impossible to build if state and federal aid is not available. Forty-five percent of the proposed project would be financed through local bonds, Peirce said, with 50% paid for with state funds and 5% with federal funds. He added that check would be made with the Economic Development Association and the Farmers Home Administration to see if additional financing is available. Pierce explained that property owners would only be assessed if they benefit from the disposal system. Except for a $200 connecting fee, the cost assessment after bonding will be billed to property owners over a 30-year period in the form of a service charge added to the usage bill, he said. If the proposed plan is feasible, sewage facilities would first be made available to areas which the study shows are in greatest need of sewage treatment and where it is most financially feasible, Pierce said. Pierce said the main concern and reason for the proposed plan is pollution of Lake Missaukee. However, he said pollution is not caused mainly by cottages around the lake but by the natural drainage from the school and other areas. Asked by Tom O'Connell whether a person would have to have the sewer connected if it goes by his property, Pierce answered he would if the sewer line comes within about 200 feet of the property owner's home. Charles Anderson asked if it would have to be built according to federal specifications because of federal aid received. Pierce replied that if the proposed project were undertaken, it would be built according to state specifications.

Jan. 12, 1996

Construction of the U.S. 131 Cadillac freeway bypass isn't likely to start until the state legislature approves an increase in the state gas tax or comes up with some unexpected source of revenue, observers say. But much activity continues that will speed construction of the Cadillac bypass and the rest of the U.S. 131 freeway once the money is found. Planning and design work are continuing on parts of the freeway route, purchase of the properties in the bypass right-of-way is proceeding and the federal government has even released some funds that should help pay for its construction. Officials of the Michigan Department of Transportation said contracts for some pre-construction work were awarded before a shift in funding took the Cadillac bypass off the 1996 construction schedule. After legislative talks on a state gas tax increase stalled last year, Gov. John Engler announced that all state highway funds were needed to repair existing roads and bridges and none was left for new projects like the bypass. Other funds were later redirected to certain improvement projects where construction had already started. "There haven't been any dramatic breakthroughs since then, and there won't be any until the governor and legislators get together on a state gas tax increase," said Dick Goldfogle, chairman emeritus of the U.S. 131 Area Development Association. A contracted company is still working on appraisals of property in the path of the Cadillac bypass and offers are still being made, said Craig Delaney, district real estate agent with the Cadillac MDOT office. "We're trying to make offers on all the parcels with houses on them," Delaney said. "It depends when we run out of money." 

Cadillac News