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Road work contracts awarded for old Jeep site, river terminal


Dredging of the Maumee River for the Ironville Dock in East Toledo began in November. The former Gulf Oil refinery along Front Street is being redeveloped as a bulk-materials terminal.

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Contracts for road improvements at both the former Jeep factory in central Toledo and the former Gulf Oil refinery in East Toledo were awarded Thursday by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board of directors as part of ongoing redevelopment plans for both sites.

A $1,199,557.38 bid from Miller Brothers Construction Inc., of Archbold won the port authority contract to build a road and install utilities from Central Avenue up into the former Jeep property, from which the agency has removed pollutants and old building foundations and debris during the last two years and now plans to revive as the Overland Industrial Park.

Meanwhile, Anderzack-Pitzen Construction Inc., of Metamora, received a $2,612,078.70 contract to build both an entrance roadway and additional railroad tracks at the former refinery, now being redeveloped as Ironville Dock, a bulk-materials terminal on the Maumee River.

The port authority board also awarded a $1,050,630.26 contract for conveyor-system equipment at Ironville to Glenn & Wright Inc., of Birmingham, Ala., and amended a previous engineering contract with DGL Consulting Engineers to add $120,000 for engineering work related to the dock project, which is expected to be ready for operation by year’s end.

The refinery site “has sat empty for years, but now look what we’re doing,” port Chairman William Carroll said after the votes. “It was an ugly piece of property.”

Because other contracts for Ironville Dock’s development have come in under budget, port staff recommended — and port directors approved — including five “alternate” tasks in the Anderzack-Pitzen contract that will extend Ironville’s paved entrance road farther onto the property and add paved “laydown” space for cargo.

Still to be awarded, said Matt Sapara, the port authority’s chief operating officer, are contracts for erecting the conveyor system bought from the Alabama firm and for building a warehouse on the property. The warehouse could range in size between 100,000 and 400,000 square feet, depending on what Midwest Terminals of Toledo, the port authority’s stevedore, determines its need to be, he said.

Ironville Dock occupies 71 acres of the former Gulf property’s 181 acres, with the remaining 110 acres separated from the Maumee by Front Street. Port officials hope the “dry side” will be developed by private businesses lured to the site by the bulk terminal’s proximity, Mr. Sapara said, and “we’re talking to several different users.”

The Miller Brothers’ bid for the road and utility work at Overland Industrial Park was the second-lowest of seven bids the port authority received, but a $9,400 lower offer from Salenbien Trucking, of Dundee, Mich., was disqualified because the company did not fill out bidding forms related to its use of minority-owned or women-owned subcontractors, Mr. Sapara said.

A stated port authority goal is to have 14 percent participation in agency contracts by such federally recognized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs. Mr. Sapara said the disqualification has been explained to Salenbien, which has done port authority work in the past and, had it filed proper paperwork, would have won this contract.

“We’re not happy about it either — it cost us $10,000,” Mr. Sapara said.

The refinery and Jeep site redevelopments are among the projects port officials cite as examples of their use of revenue raised through the agency’s 0.4-mill property levy in Lucas County, which will be up for a five-year renewal Nov. 5 after port directors Thursday approved placing a renewal question on the general-election ballot.

The levy now costs the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $6.60 a year in taxes and raises about $2.1 million for the agency.

In other business, the port directors approved a new three-year labor contract with American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 8, Local 2351, which represents maintenance workers at Toledo Express Airport. Thomas Winston, the port’s finance director, said the contract reduces from six to two the number of job classifications in that work force, which in recent years has been reduced from 13 workers to five as passenger traffic at the airport dwindled.

Two employees in the higher classification are now paid $29.13 per hour, while the lower group receives $28.58 per hour. Mr. Winston said the contract provides no raise, but includes a $1,200 signing bonus for each worker.

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