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City of Hillsdale pre­pares to plant 35 to 40 new trees.

The City of Hillsdale will begin its spring con­struction within the next few weeks. The Hillsdale Department of Public Ser­vices has already begun some of its general spring cleaning duties, and will begin its new project recon­structing Hallett Street, from Reading Avenue to the west city limits, next month.

According to City Foreman Jason Blake, the State of Michigan requires that the city rank all its roads using a paser scale from one to 10. Hallett Street ranks as a one, since the road has pot­holes and sand can be seen under­neath the layer of asphalt.

“Any­thing that’s on a scale from four and below needs a total recon­struct,” Blake said, which includes com­pletely redoing the subbase of the road and updating the side­walks.

The city will hire out a con­tractor to pul­verise the asphalt and then lay new asphalt.

Director of Public Ser­vices Jacob Hammel said the city also pri­or­i­tized this road for the spring since the road is con­sidered as a “major col­lector.” This means the road is used for heavy traffic, and is a “pretty high traveled entrance and exit to the city,” he said.

Since the road met this qual­i­fi­cation, the city qual­ified for a grant of $100,000 from the Michigan Department of Agri­culture and Rural Devel­opment, which will offset the approx­i­mated $400,000 recon­struction cost.

City Manager David Mackie said Hallet Road is important to those who use the road fre­quently.

“We have Three Meadows Sub­di­vision, Will Car­leton Academy, and a medical building out there,” he said. “In addition, many county res­i­dents use the road to come into town for work. Most drivers that use Hallett have com­plained about the con­dition of the road for years.”

The department antic­i­pates fin­ishing the road around the Fourth of July, Hammel said.

The Department of Public Ser­vices will also focus on fin­ishing up their big street projects that were not com­pleted last year. This includes Garden, Mead, and Vine Street and Rippon Avenue.

“The crews have been out there working almost every day since the weather has started to improve,” Hammel said.

In regards to repairing the roads after winter, Hammel said this spring is much like pre­vious ones.

“Like every spring, we ini­tially have to battle the damage from winter and the frost coming out of the ground,” he said.

According to Hammel, the department has already put cold patches on the worst of the roads; however, these can last from two hours to a couple of weeks. Once the asphalt plants open up mid-April, they will be able to replace them with hot patches, which can last up to several months or even years.

“We try to hit the worst of the worst because cold patch doesn’t last. It has very little life,” he said.

City Forester Gary Sta­chowicz is respon­sible for planting the new trees in the city for the spring. At this stage of the process, Sta­chowicz is lining up his tree planting program.

“You probably noticed a bunch of orange stakes around the city. Those are where trees are going to get planted back,” he said. “I have about 35 to 40 trees that I’ll be planting.”

Sta­chowicz pre­dicts that all the trees will be planted by the end of April, many of which will be around Hillsdale College grounds.  

Some of the general spring duties include cleaning the parks, turning the city water back on, cleaning up winter damage and putting in cold patches on the roads, ensuring public bath­rooms are func­tional, putting docks into place, and brush col­lection.