THOROUGHLY ENJOYING THE OWOSSO SKATE PARK on Thursday morning, July 18 were Dale Hall and his two children, Ava and Alexander, all from Owosso. The family was utilizing the park early, hoping to avoid the oncoming heat. Eight-year-old Ava was amazing on her skates, while six-year-old Alexander was happy with his skooter. It was their first visit to the new park.
During the Owosso City Council meeting on Monday, July 15, Mike Espich of Owosso Parks & Rec shared that a grand opening event is planned for 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The regular meeting of the Owosso City Council was held on Monday, July 15 and despite an unpredictable storm hitting the northwest quadrant of Owosso and knocking down trees and power lines, all council members were able to make the majority of the meeting. Downtown Owosso and the outlying areas to the south and east still had power that evening. Some roads remained closed off, though Owosso DPW was quickly on hand to remove trees and debris and by fairly early on Tuesday morning, the majority of the damage had been eliminated.
Sue Gray, a resident located at the dead end of Nafus Street, attended the Monday evening meeting. She had visited city hall in mid-April related to an issue of people turning around in the vicinity of her property due to the lack of a dead end sign. Gray shared that her grass has been damaged and a telephone pole was backed into, so she requested a sign to be erected on the street. Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne informed Gray that he would discuss the problem with the city engineer and that he would also check it out himself.
Owosso Parks and Rec Chair Mike Espich also approached the council to share his enthusiasm on witnessing the Owosso Skate Park being used. Espich shared that he has driven by often to check out the noise and has been pleased that he has not witnessed noise being an issue. He requested Kevin Lenkert, Public Safety Director, to let him know of any ensuing noise problems.
Espich also shared that a grand opening and ribbon cutting event is being planned for the skate park on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. and that the Owosso Masons have volunteered to paint the old pool building. In the process of the commentary, Espich also talked about the need for the parks and rec commissioners to have a better understanding of the budget to allow them to prioritize their millage dollars spending. Henne stated that he is setting up a meeting to discuss the budget.
Council member Janae Fear wanted to note she was impressed with the quick response time of Owosso DPW in relation to the abrupt storm earlier that day.
Only two items of business were discussed during the meeting. The first item involved an MML Wage Study connected to the ongoing professional agreement. That item was tabled until later. The second item was on how to best utilize the upcoming 5th-Monday meeting. Council decided to focus primarily on the city tax abatement process. Council member Fear also mentioned that she would like to readdress city goals that had been established during the council retreat in January.
The consent agenda saw the approval to amend the professional service agreement with OHM Advisors in regards to the proposed Vandekarr Road Wellfield in the amount of $91,000. In 2017, the N. Hintz Road Wellfield had failed after almost 50 years. However, that wellfield “has excellent water quality and room for a second production well,” according to a memorandum provided by Glenn Chinavare, director of public services/utilities. In short, the city owns the property bordering Vandekarr Road and is moving toward developing a new wellfield on that property. A grant application has been applied for that will cover 50 percent of engineering/design costs.
A second approved consent agenda item, also amending a professional service agreement with OHM Advisors, is to replace the “aged filter backwash pumping system and 16-inch high service piping in the amount not to exceed $143,400.” This amendment is connected to the water treatment plant. Chinavare stated in a second memorandum that “these two projects are the most urgent needs at the water treatment plant.”