A simple agenda lead to a relatively short meeting this week for City Council. Two people spoke during citizen comments, three agenda items were covered, and the public was updated on various city boards.
Ross Pope of Advanced Water & Energy Solutions (AWES) spoke about his work at the biodigester facility. He invited members of council to come and tour the facility. An audit of the facility is nearly complete. It will take another 3-4 weeks for it to be final as Pope waits for responses from manufacturers regarding equipment installed at the biodigester location. Pope also mentioned the primary problem with the facility in the past was the pretreatment area due to lack of experience and knowledge from the previous company in charge of the site. Design flaws were also cited for past failures.
In his City Manager report Mike Burns said since May 23 the city and Litehouse have been working together and the company which made a presentation earlier in the meeting has not been a part of these discussions. He invited anyone with questions to contact members of City Council or himself.
Perry Beachum also spoke reminding people of the start of Pink Arrow Pride. The group will again sponsor the Kid Zone during the Riverwalk Festival. He also spoke of a $30 donation to Pink Arrow by three girls who raised money through lemonade sales commenting how great and giving the community is. The 10th annual Pink Arrow Game will take place on September 8 this year.
Quick Agenda Items Keep Meeting Short
Two resolutions were passed unanimously during the 35 minute meeting. The first was for budget amendments for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The second resolution renewed the Cable Franchising Fee with Comcast for another 10 years. A primary provider is designated and a portion of gross payments will be made to the city. Under this contract the city will receive 5% of these payments.
Councilmembers also approved working with Power Plan for property and liability insurance. The coverage will not exceed $108,623.
Council Board Updates and Comments
Councilmember Hodges gave an update on the Arbor Board and Lowell Area Fire Authority. Councilmember Teelander provided information from the Lowell Light & Power and Planning Commission meetings.
Councilmember Hodges enjoyed his time in Wayland last week as the second part of Mayor Exchange. He had two words to emphasize after his time there – “splash pad”. Councilmembers Phillips and Teelander also thanked Wayland for hosting Lowell representatives.
Councilmember Canfield reminded people of the summer concerts along the Riverwalk which have started. He also mentioned the Grand Opening event at Big Boiler Brewing which will also raise funds for LowellArts. Tickets are still available for the June 24th event.
Mayor Mike DeVore congratulated Linda Hamp for her 40 years of service working at Springrove Variety. He also provided Lowell’s First Look with some incriminating evidence from his visit to Wayland. It appears he enjoyed testing out some playground equipment.
City Manager Report
In addition to commenting on the biodigester, City Manager Mike Burns provided an update on Police Chief Bukala. Bukala was charged with five misdemeanor counts of using the Law Enforcement Information System inappropriately. A personnel investigation will be performed and if any disciplinary action is needed it should take place in 2-3 weeks. Burns believes Bukala will be arraigned sometime this week.
Burns also commented on his experience in Wayland as part of Mayor Exchange. It was his first such event in his years in government and he enjoyed being able to meet with another community.
The council’s trip to Fenton has been postponed after the death of one of the city’s staff member. A preliminary food truck ordinance will be brought to City Council at the second meeting in July.
The next City Council meeting will take place in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall on Wednesday, July 5 at 7pm due to the Fourth of July holiday. Meeting minutes and agendas can be found on the city’s website. And meetings can be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel. Or check in with Lowell’s First Look after each meeting for a recap of what happened.