JEFF APSEY (D) introduced himself to the Owosso City Council during the Tuesday, Sept. 4 meeting. Apsey is currently running for road commissioner.
The next regular city council meeting is planned for Monday, Sept. 17 and will include a public hearing on downtown parking fines.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The regular meeting of the Owosso City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 4, following the Labor Day holiday, including citizen commentary by Tom Manke, of Owosso Township, questioning downtown fines related to parking and suggesting the need to have the DDA represented at meetings, and also vocalizing how some area business owners have contacted him over unfair ticketing in certain ordinance violations affiliated with the city building department/zoning. Manke shared with council his concern that Owosso Hit and Pitch, which opened in fall 2017 on the corner of Main and Ball streets and was recently “brought before the zoning board of appeals” because of LED window lighting, is not fair in the least because the ordinance limits the use of gas lighting, not LED lighting. Manke expressed his belief that the city should pay for the lawyer hired by Owosso Hit and Pitch in defense of the window lighting.* “It’s unbelievable that he (the inspector) gave a ticket stating that these lights were in violation, when LED lights are not in violation,” Manke said, also elaborating that the LED window lights are not a form of signage. The lights in question actually just outline the peripheral edge of the large windows on the south and west sides of the business.
Jeff Apsey (D), of Caledonia Twp., currently running for Shiawassee County Road Commissioner in November, also attended the Tuesday evening meeting, introducing himself to city council and explaining his long-time experience in working with the road commission for 24 years. “I know what it’s like to work first, second and third shift at the road commission. I did all three of them,” he shared. “I’d love to be the advocate for the people here in Shiawassee County.”
Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne detailed the current project status report, highlighting that 16 of the 22 city-owned Osburn Lakes lots have been sold since Shannon Howansky signed on as realtor, discussing the finalization of the skate park construction renderings, and offering updates on the 2018 street repair/reconstruction program. Henne remains hopeful the skate park will be completed this year if construction begins in October.
The consent agenda included establishing a public hearing on downtown parking fines for Monday, Sept. 17, a public hearing on the same date about a special assessment for Williams Street from Shiawassee Street to Washington Avenue for rehabilitation, and permission for Baker College to have a 5K run/walk event. The only item of business involved waiving the “reversionary clause” for Lot 60 of Osburn Lakes so the property may be purchased as an adjoining lot/yard.
Other topics discussed during the meeting included residential lead and galvanized waterlines and how residents with this potential problem are being identified so the city can best utilize the related grant. Henne said that residents of old homes were welcome to call the city.
Mike Cline, of Owosso, also questioned council on what is to become of the old, city-owned skate park equipment on the east side of the city, and Henne admitted the subject had not been broached yet.
*Note: a variance request for 114 W. Main St., Owosso (Owosso Hit and Pitch) was presented to the Owosso Zoning Board of Appeals in June. Minutes from this meeting can be found at www.ci.owosso.mi.us.