Former Mayor and current Council Member Ken Bush brought this into City Hall - a treasured garage sale find. Coopersville in 1930 was much smaller, but growing, as evidenced by the new residential "subdivisions" (colored sections on the map) that were becoming popular. Ken shared with us that US 16, which we know as Randall Street, was the main thoroughfare to get to Muskegon before they built the the Interstate. Thanks Ken and those who found it!
The weather has been brutally cold lately but Spring is ever so close. May the hope of Spring and summer warm your days!
Dedicated Sewer Main Project
The final easement to lay pipe on the south side of I-96 on property owned by Ottawa County Landfill is essentially complete. The process was much more time consuming and complicated than I could have imagined. I have never been involved in an easement of such detail as this one. Regardless, the contractors should not be delayed when they are ready to lay pipe on the south of the highway.
As was mentioned in the last memo, please block out the evening of March 26 for Celebrate Coopersville at West Michigan Plumbers, Fitters, Service Trades Union Hall beginning at 6:00 P.M. For those that have not attended in the past, this evening of celebration honors volunteers and raises funds for the NorthEast Ottawa (NEO) Forum, which provides counseling services, education, support and resources to youth and their families in order to reduce substance abuse, violence, juvenile delinquency, and other risky behaviors. The NEO Forum is a great collaboration between the School, Sheriff Department, and City.
The Coopersville Area Chamber of Commerce is once again hosting the Community Expo. Executive Director Rose Zainea-Wieten says “This is your opportunity to share with the community the Who, What, Where and When of your business! I have heard many times what does that business do? Where do they ship to? How many employees do they have? What is their product? Where can we get it? What are their hours? What is on their menu? Do they run specials?...”
In the past, the city has participated by having a laptop with relevant information about the city with elected and appointed officials available to answer questions and shake hands. Monday I will ask under City Manager Comments if the council is interested in participating again.
On March 3, 2015, Keri Rogers (City Treasurer) and I will once again be interviewed, or should I say questioned, on the financial health of the City of Coopersville. Fitch usually has done their homework, which is extensive, on the economic activity of the city and county, the projected five-year revenue and expenditures of the city, management, and other relevant issues that ultimately determine the city’s bond rating. The past number of years has been more favorable for the city than past years. Keri and I will do our best and when the results come in we will report their findings.
Yesterday, our friends at MLive published an article which discussed the award by Council of Industrial Tax Facilities (IFT) abatements to Continental Dairy Facilities. A common question we hear is "Aren't tax abatements taking money from the City?"
The answer is no, not really. IFT abatements were created to help bring new businesses and keep existing businesses in Michigan. The primary advantage of IFT abatements is to use it as an economic development tool, but specifically in Coopersville, to build jobs and grow companies. To be clear, IFTs are granted for specific real property (buildings including new, additions and remodels, and land modifications, but not land itself) and personal property (equipment) for a limited number of years. The businesses who are granted IFTs are still required to pay something on their property taxes. For example, a company can apply for an expansion of their manufacturing floor, which may mean real property - a building addition - and personal property - new production machines. They will continue to pay taxes on their existing plant and machinery, property, and water & sewer.
The article states that last year, Continental Dairy Facilities and fairlife paid for 23% of the City's operating budget, even with the abatements in place, which is comprised of city taxes and property taxes. Over the next few years, those numbers will go up with the fairlife expansion which is currently taking place and the expansion for which Continental Dairy is planning.
The article states:
"Continental Dairy and fairlife ... have invested upwards of $375 million in the two businesses in the last five years, according to Ken Rizzio, of Lakeshore Advantage.
The City has undertaken some radical water and sewer infrastructure improvements in order to keep up with the needs of Continental Dairy, fairlife, and other growing businesses. Has it cost the city some money? Yes - but we also had help from grants. But have there been massive advantages to the residents and smaller businesses? Yes - and will for years to come as Coopersville grows.
Think about IFTs this way: We're giving companies a head start in the race to grow and expand. The more they grow, the more they create jobs and invest back in our community. We are letting them win because in the end, we all win.
Now that the Super Bowl and the NFL season is over, basketball will begin to rule (unless of course the ice and the puck is your game). Personally, March Madness marks the faint hope of Spring’s arrival, plus college hoops are always a blast of entertainment.
Phase I Water Project – Second River Crossing
There may be some good news on the funding portion of this project, however I don’t have all the details as of yet. What I do know: if we can tap into this new source of funding, the city’s financial obligation will be significantly reduced. It will not go away but it will be reduced.
Dedicated Sewer Main Project
As was stated in the last council packet, work continues along 64th Avenue on the dedicated sewer main and COW water main. As of now, the project is proceeding according to the timeline. There is a change however in the bidding process for the lift-station: it has changed to the end of next week. Nothing serious, there are just a few delays in a couple of sub-designs, such as the electrical design. As always, contact me if you have any questions concerning this issue or any other issue of interest.
The remaining easement to place the dedicated sewer main on the south side of the I-96 on Ottawa County Landfill property is wrapping up this week, I hope. This easement is complicated and I will review some of what is being discussed Monday night under City Manager comments.
Just a friendly reminder to block out March 26 for Celebrate Coopersville at West Michigan Plumbers, Fitters, Service Trades Union Hall beginning at 6:00 P.M. For those that have not attended in the past, this evening of celebration honors volunteers and raises funds for the NorthEast Ottawa (NEO) Forum, which provides counseling services, education, support and resources to youth and their families in order to reduce substance abuse, violence, juvenile delinquency, and other risky behaviors. The NEO Forum is a great collaboration between the School, Sheriff Department, and City. Click here for details, to purchase tickets, or sponsor a table.
Technology Site Assessment
The use of technology for the City of Coopersville has dramatically increased over the years. So too has our reliance on technology to provide more service to our customers to performing routine maintenance to infrastructure. Because of this, the staff has sought out quotes and proposals to assess what we currently have in terms of technology and how it’s designed and integrated. Part of this proposal is provide recommendations on how best to expand in a manner that is both economical and in a manner that provides the best use of technology for what we do here at the city. I will briefly discuss this Monday night as we will have more detailed discussions during the budget process for 2015-2016.
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