by Elizabeth Wehman, editor

The postponed holiday Owosso City Council meeting of Tuesday, Sept. 6, began with a special presentation by local Girl Scouts about installing and maintaining “Little Free Libraries” boxes in two local parks. Council unanimously approved their project idea. A comment was also made by Mayor Ben Frederick regarding the partnership with Corunna and Owosso as well as Friends of the River in regards to the “Bridge Walk” event held over Labor Day, “I want to applaud the partnership with all three entities in making the Labor Day Walk a success. Many volunteers helped along the trail. They found garbage bags and pitched right in.”

Public hearings were also held on the properties at 300 W. Main and 344 W. Main Street to approve the applications for Plant Rehabilitation as well as Obsolete Property Rehabilitation at both establishments. Both projects were approved.

ArtWalk event was given permission to use the Main Street Plaza on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for their event. Also approved was the free food distribution for the United Methodist Care Network for Sept. 17 from 8 a.m. to noon to use a portion of the southwest corner of the Comstock parking lot for the event. A Sanitary Sewer Cleaning Contract was authorized with Safeway Transport, Inc., for additional heavy cleaning services in the amount of $30,000 with further payments made up to the contracted amount upon satisfactory completion of the work.

City Manager Don Crawford informed council of several ongoing or upcoming projects for the city and their tentative completion dates. Cleanup at the Qdoba tentative site at Main and Gould streets should be completed by Sept. 15. Current sidewalk repair and replacement for damaged sidewalks and curbs throughout the city is scheduled to be

completed on Sept. 15. Wayfinding signs are also being installed throughout the city to highlight key locations to points of interest. MDOT has approved installation, with businesses agreeing to purchase the signs and poles for six of the 12 signs. Crawford also commented about the spray painted signs on many streets throughout the city and assured council they are there to help find sanitary line locations.

The city also has 14 paintings in need of restoration to preserve their value. After discussion regarding insurance issues, council approved to send the paintings to Lis Art Conservation and Restoration Services, LLC to restore the paintings for an estimate of $34,500 with monies coming out of fund balance/contingencies account.

Council also approved, as part of the consent agenda, to authorize a preferred service provider contract for no-preference towing services to Richard Maurer doing business as Dick’s Auto Service and Reeves Wheel Alignment, Inc., equally sharing the preferred wrecker service contract for the city for the period from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019.

The Police Department tows less than ten vehicles each month.

Items of business included the approval of an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificate for 1007 S. Washington Street. An Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption from Crowe Properties, LLC, to be obtained via the I-69 International Trade Corridor. Crowe Properties, LLC., purchased the property wanting a tax abatement and couldn’t acquire it. The city will be working congruent with the I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation to help cquire the abatement.

Council also approved the special assessments for Phase 1 and Phase 2 street reconstruction. Streets include Oliver from Washington Street to Oak Street which is Phase 1 of the project. Phase 2 includes Oliver Street from Oak Street to Gould Street.

The greatest discussion of the evening included plans to develop ways of educating residents regarding the street bond proposal for the Nov. 8 ballot. Council agreed they want to inform the public without using government monies to do so. Council member Burton Fox agreed to gather a group of six to ten people to get out and inform the public regarding the plan. “It’s not going to be an easy bond to promote. I’m gonna work hard to get it passed,” Fox said and then added, “It will be more money to fix a car wheel, caused by the bad roads, than to pay for the street repairs on resident’s property taxes.”

SEVERAL PROJECTS APPROVED AT OWOSSO CITY COUNCIL was last modified: September 12th, 2016 by Karen Elford