FORMER COUNCIL MEMBER BURTON FOX expressed his heavy heart to council members during the Monday meeting over the death of Rick Schneider of Corunna. Schneider had been active with the Shiawassee Firefighter’s Memorial Committee, currently chaired by Ross Stanley. Fox had initially started the memorial effort – honoring three firefighters and showcasing a 1921 LaFrance fire truck. Schneider, who had most recently worked organizing the pig roast at the Shiawassee Conservation Association in July, had been well respected and liked. He passed away on Monday, Aug. 5. He had worked with the Owosso Fire Dept. and the Corunna/Caledonia Fire Dept. for many years.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The Owosso City Council moved for a non-union wage study during the Monday, Aug. 5 meeting. The study involves an agreement with the Michigan Municipal League to conduct a wage/classification study of 28-plus city of Owosso employees at a cost of $30,240. The idea is the study will provide new job descriptions, position evaluations and an up-to-date market study for pay/benefit comparisons – allowing city manager Nathan Henne and council members access to data that is currently not in place or is outdated.
Council member Jerry Haber stated a concern regarding the timing of the wage study because of ongoing negotiations with the city’s unionized employees. Henne shared that he thinks the timing is acceptable since it is not known how long the union negotiations will take.
Council members Janae Fear and Lori Bailey voted against the wage study, which was one of two items of business for the Monday evening meeting. A discussion involving the two Owosso Historical Commission (OHC) employees, currently also city of Owosso employees, had caused concerns, since they were not part of the plans for the wage study. OHC is currently working toward becoming a nonprofit and will likely be independent of the city, eventually. All council members seemed in agreement that the OHC employees are hard-working and dedicated individuals.
Henne submitted his project status report for the Monday meeting, too. Included were updates for seven lots in an abandoned right-of-way along the railroad line running near Chestnut Street, but that property is actually owned by the Huron & Eastern Railroad and is taking some time to transfer ownership to the city. The city is interested in the property regarding access to the CIS trail route. Also in Henne’s report, are details about the continuation of the marijuana moratorium. LARA released emergency rules on July 3 and the Owosso Planning Commission is now organizing a public input session in August. The city will have press releases.
The majority of Henne’s project status report included updates on the ongoing 2019 Street Program. On an up note, council members were pleased that 6,250 of approximately 6,300 water meters have now been installed – replacing obsolete and broken water meters with the new, radio-controlled reading system.
Council voted to move into closed session on the second item of business.
The next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 19.