by Elizabeth Wehman, editor

Citizen comments were voiced at the Owosso City Council meeting on Monday, July 18 regarding the recent rezoning of property at 970 S. Park St. from R-1, Single Family Residential District to B-4, General Business District that was approved at the Tuesday, July 5 meeting. Many of those owning residential property near the site were frustrated over how city council made the changes.

Previously, the rezoning had gone before the planning commission and one resident added his concerns that council didn’t follow their suggestions. “Why have a planning commission if you won’t follow their suggestions,” asked a Saginaw St. resident? Business owner Troy Crowe also stood during the comment session and said, “I’m not here to stir up trouble. My business is growing, which is usually a good thing.” Crowe is required by council to follow specific conditions that within six months he will either commence construction of a pole building at the back of the property or construct privacy fencing and plantings to block business and traffic view from Park properties. After their comments Crowe and the property owners spoke outside council chambers regarding the issue.

The following Mayoral Boards and Commissions were appointed including Building Authority Commission/Donald Crawford until June of 2019, Building Board of Appeals/Kent Telesz until June of 2019, Parks & Recreation Commission/Jeff Selbig until June of 2018, Planning Commission/Tom Cook until June of 2019, and SATA Board of Directors/Jonathan Tomayo until Oct. of 2019.

Various streets were approved to be closed for the upcoming Cantu 5K Walk/Run on Sunday, Aug. 28 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Bidding was waived for the 2016 Sidewalk Replacement Program and a bid was approved by Seifert Construction, LLC in the amount of $47,569 which added an additional amount to the 2015 Sidewalk Replacement Program contract upon completion of the work.

Council also authorized a purchase agreement with Graymont Western Lime Inc., for the purchase of bulk lime for the filtration plant utilizing the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s joint purchasing consortium Mid-Michigan Drinking Water Consoritium Bulk Chemical Contract. Payment was authorized based on unit prices for actual quantities required for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

Several vendors were paid including the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership for the 2016/2017 annual investment of $31,426 and also the professional services to William C. Brown for June 6 through July 11 at the cost of $12,506.74 both coming from the General Fund.

Major discussion for the evening included the Street Program Presentation/Bond Proposal regarding putting a bond proposal on the Nov. 2016 ballot. Council member Burton Fox and Lori Bailey urged council members to not wait any longer to fix the roads. Bailey added, “Prices continue to rise. Materials and labor increases more, which is a disservice to the public. Get it going as soon as possible.” Fox said, “We need to do something – we’re here to do that.” Fox then moved, with the second from Bailey to approve ten million dollars over 25 years to be put on the Nov. ballot.

Other council members discussed the need to wait and research it more.

Council member Robert Teich, Jr., added, “I have problems with the 25 year option. How will streets look in 25 years? We need to prove to the public that funds will be used as we say it is to be used. I’m against the 25 years.”

Discussion went back to Fox who decided to withdraw his motion, together with Bailey. The proposal was tabled by a unanimous vote by all council members to research the matter and look at how to possibly pay as they go type proposal. Elaine Greenway added, “Let’s take a shorter time to get it all paid off quicker. We did marketing and PR bad last time, let’s get it in the newspapers, educate the people on what we want.” The issue was tabled until the next meeting which will be held on Monday, Aug. 1.

Questions were also asked by Fox regarding the Gould St. project in which Crawford assured him that things were taken out of the budget that were once in and now the project will inevitably cost the city less money with no special assessment needed.

Mayor Ben Frederick added he enjoyed seeing people downtown this weekend due to Pokémon craze and he applauded the businesses and for their quick actions to use marketing it to their benefit.

Owosso City Council Tables Possible Millage Vote was last modified: July 20th, 2016 by Karen Elford