Local government ROUNDUP

Recent actions by local governments in Northeast Michigan:

∫ Newly selected Drain Commissioner Robert Macomber was introduced recently to the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners by County Clerk Ann Marie Main. Main said Macomber would fill the rest of the term for former drain commissioner Mary Ann Heidemann, who resigned after accepting a job at the Presque Isle County Advance.

Macomber said his background is in surveying and civil engineering, but he’s always worked around water, drains, and wetlands.

“I’m looking forward to see how I can apply those talents here in Presque Isle County, working with you all,” he said.

Also in Presque Isle County, Commissioner Carl Altman will serve another year as the board’s vice chairman, the board decided during its Jan. 2 organizational meeting. The chairman is selected every other year. Lee Gapsczynski will remain the board’s chairman.

The board also decided in December it would not raise their per-diem mileage rate to reflect the state rate of 58 cents per mile. The board voted unanimously to keep its rate at 50 cents per mile for the calendar year

County Treasurer Bridget LaLonde told commissioners in December she would dip into the treasurer’s administrative fund for a remodel of her office. LaLonde said she wants to keep the remodel at or below $15,000 and work will begin mid-January.

“I have built the fund up for the last five to six years, and there’s enough there that we can redo some of the electrical, so we don’t have a tangled web of wires under our desks, anymore, and put some more outlets in,” LaLonde said. “We’re going to re-do the floor and then we’re going to reuse the desks, but we’re going to cut them apart and reposition them so they’re not facing the wall. They’re going to face the public.”

LaLonde said there will also be more storage space available, as her office has moved items in storage over to a vault at Chemical Bank.

∫ The Rogers City City Council approved nine parades to be held in the city this year, which will allow city officials to apply for permits. Parades are scheduled for the Little League, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Nautical Festival (two parades), Rogers City High School, Halloween, and Christmas.

City Manager Joe Hefele said in his manager’s report the organizations holding the parades still have to provide the city with written requests that include the parade’s date, time, route, and other details.

Hefele added that any new parade requests would need to come before the council for approval.

∫ The Rogers City Downtown Development Authority on Wednesday directed city staff to come back with conceptual plans for the redevelopment of a parking lot at the corner of North Erie Street and East Fourth Street, although no formal vote was taken. Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan said the parking lot there is “crumbling” and “needs to be repaired.”

McLennan said the proposed redevelopment would include two fast-charge electric car charging stations and possibly informational kiosks, along with new signage, lighting, and landscaping.

The city anticipates using money from Consumers Energy and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Redevelopment Ready Community Program to complete the project, estimated to cost $199,074.

McLennan said utilizing those funds would allow the city to make some “pretty major renovations” at “little to no cost” to the city.

The DDA will also meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a workshop to discuss the implementation of its economic development and community marketing plans. Joe Borgstrom, from the East Lansing-based firm Place and Main, was hired to develop those plans, which will help the city become a certified Redevelopment Ready Community, opening it up to state aid.

∫ Harrisville conducted the first reading of a zoning amendment that would change a portion of its animal ordinance. The amendment would reduce the number of chickens residents are able to keep in the city from six to four. Roosters are not allowed under the new ordinance.

Aldermen also agreed to spend $7,000 from the city’s water and sewer fund to pay for an inspection and cleaning of the city’s water tower. Mayor Jeff Gehring said McGuire Iron will conduct the inspection and clean the outside of the water tower, which is required every five years.