By Barb Pert Templeton
Members of the Marine City Commission took care of a number of items at their regular meeting on Sept. 21, 2023. The meeting lasted just over two hours prior to a closed session of the commission.
Public meeting on master plan set
A community outreach drop-in open house that encourages residents, visitors, students and business folks to stop in at the city offices is planned on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 4 to 8 p.m.
“This will be an opportunity for people to give their opinions on the community master plan and the recreation plan,” City Manager Scott Adkins said. The meeting is being coordinated through the city’s planning and consulting firm. Adkins said people can come in at their leisure to give their opinion, tables will be set up with information so it will be a very informal setting. Topics will include housing, parking or parks and people can share their input in an informal setting.
City Clerk addresses Facebook rumors
Marine City Clerk Jason Bell took a few moments at a recent commission meeting to clear up some things he’s heard about or seen on social media. “Online, there are some inaccuracies floating around and I’d like to reiterate that I have many years of experience in procedures with (Freedom of Information) FOI law,” Bell said. “It’s been said that the attorney is the FOIA coordinator and has denied FOIAs and it’s not true, I am the FOIA coordinator …and the law is followed on all FOIA requests.” He also said he does not collect two paychecks although he’s continuing to serve in two roles as the city clerk and still handling office manager duties with the police department. He said his salary, one salary only, is $68,000 annually.
FEMA Test Alert on Oct. 4
Marine City Manager Scott Adkins said just as a sort of public service announcement he wanted to let everyone know that on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 2:20 p.m. there will be a national emergency alert in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). They will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
“This will impact anyone with a cell phone or anybody that has a television or radio,” Adkins said. “So, if your phone starts going crazy on Oct. 4 at 2:20 p.m. it is the national emergency management alert test.”
Hilferink calls for new city attorney
During his commissioner privilege portion of a Sept. 21 meeting Commissioner Michael Hilferink stated, “I don’t think it’s any secret to most that I feel like we should be looking at a new city attorney.” He went on to claim that last Nov. and Dec. “a majority of this board was wanting a new attorney” and he said that “majority” included Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Hendrick and Commissioners Rita Roehrig and William Klaassen. Hilferink went on to state “the biggest reasons for this is that we’ve got to have a city attorney that knows our own charter; the flip flopping of opinions from month to month; and these crazy bills going from $2,000 a month to $8,000 a month… it’s just not good.” He concluded that he has a lot of concerns related to this topic.
City wins major water grant
Marine City has been awarded a Water Infrastructure Grant through the State of Michigan’s Safe Drinking Water Program –the city was one of the higher scored communities across the state, according to City Manager Scott Adkins. The city’s project is valued at $26 million and has been given the nod for a $13 million grant and $13 million low interest loan for the balance. Adkins said the city’s engineering firm will meet with the city administration soon to go over details. After that and then there will be a presentation at an upcoming commission meeting to provide the commission and the public with more details including how to fund the additional $13 million for the project. Adkins said only 16 communities got the funding out of hundreds of applicants. This provides quality drinking water assurances so lead and copper and old lines infrastructure that we can do improvements and basically safe guard things, Adkin said.
Commissioner Jacob Bryson said he’s excited about the grant award stating, “This grant we’ve received from the state for drinking water is huge. This is such a jump start to updating and repairing all of our infrastructure….this is just amazing.”