Local government ROUNDUP

Recent actions by local governments in Northeast Michigan.

∫ The Alpena County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee approved the purchase of a $42,047 pickup truck from Thunder Bay Chrysler Jeep Dodge. The pickup was purchased using grant funds from Operation Stone Garden, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that provides funding to law enforcement agencies located in border states.

The board also heard from Alpena County Treasurer Kim Ludlow, who said that, as of April 30, the county’s revenue was $1,965,467 and expenditures were $3,510,778. Ludlow said the numbers are “real close” to where they were last year. The county has spent 21.39% of its budgeted revenues, compared to 21.85% of its budgeted revenues this time last year, and has spent 35.31% of its budgeted expenditures, compared to 34.13% of its budgeted revenues this time last year.

“I don’t see any big red flags at this time,” Ludlow told the committee.

Ludlow said the county had an additional expense of $100,000 that was moved into the county’s Child Care Fund, which it didn’t have last year. Financial Officer Janelle Mott explained a billing error with the state means that the county is expecting to receive an $80,000 bill within the next six to eight weeks.

∫ The Harrisville City Council agreed bids are needed to find out what it would cost to replace the roof in the building where the District Health Department No. 2 offices are located.

Mayor Jeffrey Gehring said the outside roof “is in a terrible state of disrepair” and shingles from the roof occasionally fall into his garden. Gehring said he would like to go inside the building to see if there is any damage there, including any water damage.

“At least, if we get a comprehensive bid at this point, we can make some type of determination down the road whether to go forward or if we want to see what we can do and push it back,” he said.

Initial estimates from Hartman Roofing and Maintenance show the roof could cost $20,000 or more.

Treasurer Tom Keerl said officials knew the building was going to need a new roof because it was one of the reasons the Veterans of Foreign Wars moved out of the building. He said money to replace the roof would have to come out of savings.

The city continues to move forward with renovation of the city playground. The renovations are funded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s Recreation Passport Grant. The city named the Petosky-based firm OHM Advisors as its “prime professional.”

Clerk Barbara Pierce said the DNR requires an engineering company to be in place and that the city previously worked with the firm on its water and sewer and street grants.

“Basically, what the prime professionals does is that they secure all of the permits and regulatory approvals to help complete the project,” she said.

Pierce said the city received two bids for the project in January and needs to check with the DNR to see if any additional bids are needed.

∫ The Rogers City City Council agreed to make another 60-foot opening to Northshore Park in front of the Driftwood Motel, as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee. The city had previously created a 60-foot opening to the park in front of Up North 23, but Mayor Scott McLennan said officials wanted to wait to see how that opening was received.

“We have had just nothing but compliments on having that opened up,” he said. “Folks coming along the bike trail are stopping there. They’re utilizing the benches that are there. They’re actually going swimming there, the beach is being utilized, and it’s good for that business.”

McLennan said the park has 1,200 feet of lake frontage, as well as a bike trail. He anticipates that opening would be completed early this summer.

The council agreed to help a couple of developers who want to have an inn, and possibly a couple of townhouses, just to the north of the Rogers City Marina. McLennan said the developers need to have some “in-kind support” from the city to be eligible for state funding.

“We had already planned on putting in some work on the water main down there, as well as some street work, and that would qualify for the in-kind donation from the city,” he said. “It will help them get some funding, and make the project a reality.”

McLennan said he would send the developers a letter of support they could share with the state so their project could move forward.