by Elizabeth Wehman, editor
LJ KNIGHT was sworn into service, for the Owosso Fire Department, at the city of Owosso’s Council meeting on Monday, March 6 by Mayor Chris Eveleth. Knight joins the fire department ranks as a 2011 graduate of Ovid-Elsie High School and a 2013 honors graduate of the Lansing Community College Fire Science and Paramedic program.
Knight also worked for Mercy Ambulance, Clinton Area Fire & Rescue and LSW Ambulance services. Pinning his badge on, at the swearing-in ceremony, was his girlfriend, Paige Wallace. (Independent Photo/Elizabeth Wehman)
The meeting of the Owosso City Council began with a swearing-in ceremony for two new Owosso Fire Departments officers. Scott Fletcher and LJ Knight joined the department at the ceremony at the beginning of the Monday, March 6 meeting.
Two hot topics at the meeting including setting a date for a public hearing regarding the grant application for the proposed skate park. City Manager Don Crawford claimed the skate park could be a great risk to the city. When asked by Park and Rec Commission organizers what posed a possible risk for city funds, Crawford commented he wanted to know if the project was funded and feasible and also if there wasn’t a better way to refine the plan.
Not only did Crawford have questions for organizers, but city council members were concerned regarding a new local vendor. They asked the organizers if this new vendor could put their proposed building plans for the skate park in writing. A grant application needed to be filed by Park and Rec committee by April 1 is putting a push to get everything in order quickly. Park and Rec Commission member Randy Woodworth said, “We have the right pieces of the puzzle. Is there enough faith in our process to raise the additional $25,000 needed for the project?” He also added, “I hate to kick this down the road for yet another year.”
The commission is waiting for commitment from the city before accepting money from other possible backers of the project. Even though the grant gives the committee until October to raise the needed funds, commitment forms need to be submitted with the April 1 application. Both Park and Rec committee members Woodworth and Mike Espich said that they would be able to raise the additional funds needed for the project. The public hearing was set by city council for Monday, March 20 after the discussion.
Crawford also presented to the council a future issue that would need to be addressed for requests now coming into the city manager’s office. Those requests are from companies wanting utilize the utility poles for upcoming WiFi equipment needs. Crawford’s presentation was to inform council on the different types of units that will most likely to be used on the proposed 120 foot tall poles. For example, some units are placed on the top of poles, other units could be used such as microwave dishes. The city needs to make these decisions so ordinances can be established and fees accessed. Crawford used the city of Dallas as an example of what could be brought before council for proposed issues.
Council member Burton Fox pulled a franchise agreement renewal item off the consent agenda and added it to the items of business to discuss whether to consider resolution setting franchise fees and renewing the Uniform Video Service local franchise agreement with Charter Communications. After discussion, council agreed to renew the agreement.
Additional information brought before council included the brush collection to begin on March 29. The grates covering catch basins throughout the city are being cleared of debris to prevent standing water in the streets. An Osborne Lake lot has been sold and construction of a new dwelling is being considered. The 2017-18 budget preparation is underway, with the initial presentation scheduled for April 3.
The next city council meeting will be Monday, March 20.