Monday, December 5 was the last City Council meeting for 2016. Council decided in a previous meeting to cancel the final meeting of the year due to the busy holiday season.
Mike DeVore presided over the meeting, his first as Mayor and Greg Canfield, who won the open council seat in November, was sworn in by City Clerk Sue Ullery. There was light attendance at the meeting, which lasted 25 minutes before going into closed session to discuss City Manager Mike Burns’ evaluation.
An audit presentation was given by Vredeveld Haefner for the city and Lowell Light & Power. Both entities are in a good fiscal position heading into 2017. Council also approved a proposal not to exceed $69,000 from Prein & Newhof for design engineering on Broadway Street project which includes infrastructure improvements. This is part of the 3.5 million dollar bond for waste-water treatment plant and sewer upgrades which were approved in mid-August.
Finally, Council approved the ability for city employees to participate in the Michigan Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS). Those participating will be able to set up a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. This is a voluntary, tax-deferred program available to aid in retirement. There is no cost to the city and minimal time needed by staff to work on payroll when an employee signs up.
During council board reports upcoming dates for the LCTV Endowment Fund were mentioned. Applications from non-profit organizations for grants should be submitted to the City Clerk by 5pm on February 10. The LCTV Board will meet March 1, 7, and 13 (if needed) to review applications. A recommendation will be made to City Council on which projects should receive funding at their March 20th meeting. The fund has approximately $120,000 to distribute in 2017. An application for a grant can be found here on the city’s website.
City Manager Mike Burns informed members of council that a 15% increase in the city’s phone bill is scheduled for January. He’s hoping the voice over IP system which was approved at the council’s last meeting can be put in place as soon as possible to begin savings. Burns also mentioned he will be bringing information to council in January regarding the use of food trucks by businesses within city limits and reviewing the ordinance which allows hunting within city limits to include crossbows.
Those interested in viewing last night’s meeting can go here to the city’s YouTube channel. City Council will have their next meeting on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.