by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

   Owosso City Council looked at two special presentations offered during the Monday, Dec. 7 virtual meeting. The first presentation was of the annual audit produced by Gabridge & Company CPA. Neil Hammerbacher of Gabridge offered the presentation via Zoom, sharing the city had received a “clean opinion.” A clean opinion or unqualified opinion from an auditor report represents a professional opinion presuming the audit is free from misstatements – a desired description for municipalities.

   The second presentation of the evening was on the proposed master plan. CIB Planning Vice President Justin Sprague offered the presentation to council members. The city’s master plan has not been updated in eight years. Council members voted unanimously toward distributing the proposed plan to all necessary, local government agencies to gather reviews over the next couple months – prior to adoption.

   Owosso Planning Commission has been working on the new master plan for roughly two years and is hopeful the plan might be approved late next spring.

   A city’s master plan offers long-range community planning and development within a set time frame – and represents a standard of goals for a city to work toward without any one element being absolute. In short, a master plan is a conceptual guide toward growth.

   In discussing the proposed master plan, available as a draft at www.ci.owosso.mi.us in the packet for the Monday, Dec. 7 meeting, one element that led to some discussion was the suggestion of narrowing M-21 in Westown down to four lanes. The concept would create a center turn lane and potentially allow Westown to be a more walkable neighborhood. Mayor Chris Eveleth was quick to share he believed the M-21 narrowing was unlikely to happen because the street is managed by the Michigan Department of Transportation. It does not fall under the parameters of the city.

   The proposed master plan addresses a vast number of categories including future land use, economic development, strategies for downtown, zoning recommendations and more.

Owosso Looks at Audit and Master Plan Presentations was last modified: December 15th, 2020 by Karen Elford