Monday night’s agenda has a Public Hearing – CDBG Closeout for Dedicated Forcemain project. Ken Rizzio of Lakeshore Advantage will be in attendance, I believe. We have a Scheduled Guest Matt Fenske, Ottawa County Commissioner, to share the Ottawa County State of the County 2016 presentation. The weather forecast appears to predict warmer temperatures that hopefully resembles summer. Enjoy your weekend and be safe.
WWTP Project Phase II
Friday morning, May 13, there was a meeting at city hall that included representatives from the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the MDEQ, the MEDC, Lakeshore Advantage, fairlife, CDF, Arlan Meekhof’s Office, two council members and three staff members. The meeting was overall a positive use of time in that all parties expressed an understanding of the waste water issues that fairlife, CDF, and Coopersville were challenged with and the possible remedies that exist. But as with most issues such as these, access to financial resources are the only true means to viable resolutions.
More information will be coming as we meet with OMM, and the WWTP staff today to review a possible permanent upgrade to the plant rather than an interim upgrade as was originally planned. There was general agreement at Friday’s meeting that an $850,000 interim upgrade, which would be required to be “turned off” once a permanent solution was found, was probably not the best option fiscally either short-term or long-term.
I have already met with Mark Eisenbarth, Muskegon County Administrator, on a possible partnership between Coopersville and Muskegon as instructed. We didn’t discuss specifics but rather more general items of interest and what needs to transpire before a formal agreement can be signed. Currently there is an interest for Muskegon, Coopersville, and CDF to meet before Memorial Day. As always, I will keep you updated as more progress is made.
Water Project Phase I
The waste water issue has consumed a great deal of time and energy as of late, but at least we have real momentum in resolving the varied challenges. My next goal is to bring to council in the next few weeks a viable option to finance the significant water project that has been in the planning stages for months.
I have spoken recently about the possibility of splitting the Water Project – Phase I into smaller, less costly projects and addressing each one over a series of years. That may still be the final option taken, but my intent is to find a financial model that encompasses the entire scope of Phase I. Every component of Phase I is required and if there is a means to accomplish 100% of the project, it would be in the best interest of all parties concerned both short and long-term.
Prein&Newhof continues the process of designing the upgrade to the 60th Avenue Booster station.
Strategic Planning – A Reminder
Two weeks ago the below text was included in your packets. These words still remain as a reminder of future tasks we as a group will ultimately embrace. Some areas you may what to begin thinking about, but certainly not limited to, are:
- Economic development
- Future recreation facilities
- Utilization of Deer Creek watershed that runs through the city
- Future of utility expansion
- Issues of aesthetics for new construction, parks, and gateways into the city
- Regional planning
- Long-term vision for sidewalk maintenance and new construction
- Bike trails
- Road Maintenance and Reconstruction Policy
- Public safety
The arrival of our Assistant City Manager Jonathan Seyferth has allowed more attention and time to revise the City’s Master Plan (Comprehensive Plan). I would like to begin exercises in strategic planning from the City Council as to how we want to control the city’s future. Yes, the Planning Commission does extensive work and drafts the Master Plan, and will perform professionally in that task. But the City Council must take action on the approval/disapproval of that plan. According to the ICMA (International City/County Management Association) and Gerald L. Gordon PHD, strategic planning is:
“…a means of understanding change, forecasting change, and setting a course of action to manage the expected implications of change. Even in the most negative situations in the life of a community, strategic planning is a positive means of moving forward.”
City Council must begin a conversation of where you want the community to grow and what our future will look like in the next five, ten, and twenty-five years. More information will come to you in the next few months.