Monday night, DPW Foreman Bryan Buist will also have the new vacuum/sweeper truck at City Hall for all of us to look, touch, and to gaze at, so come early if at all possible. We also have a special guest on the agenda in which we will make a brief presentation to honor the longevity of one of our own employees. We have a couple of contracts to review and hopefully take action on to begin our new trek into upgrading our IT environment.
The forecast looks to be sunny and warm so take advantage as winter is officially only 139 days away as of this writing; so the countdown begins. Relax and be safe out there, wherever “there” is for you. See you Monday night and one last time, we have a workshop to begin the discussion on goal setting for council members which will eventually morph into goal setting for the appointed officials.
The WWTP continues to operate satisfactory with a bit of “outstanding” as the crew does an excellent job of managing the various components of the varied systems. The diffusers are now in the country of the United States, so we’ve been told. Why is this noteworthy? The new diffusers once installed in the aeration pond #1 will allow our blower motors to operate more efficiently and at a reduced percentage of capacity, meaning less power usage. It will also assist the plant to process heavier loads if that becomes an issue. The current diffusers have been in operation since the plant was upgraded in 2012 and are nearing the end of their usefulness.
Water Project Phase I
I stated in the last memo that we would have something for council in terms of information on bonding in two more weeks. That self-imposed deadline will not be met for a variety of reasons but it is my desire to have a formal proposal to council before Labor Day. The Utility Advisory Committee is meeting next week, August 10, and this is one of the items we will review. As always, I urge everyone on council to contact me if have questions or would like to provide comments regarding this project.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
As was stated recently, the city is requesting a new permit that will allow us a couple of options to upgrade the existing WWTP. The second draft is complete with a few comments from staff and sent back to the MDEQ where they will, by state statute, make the document available to the public until early to mid-September. Again and with sincerity, I want to compliment the MDEQ for their timeliness and cooperative spirit in assisting the City of Coopersville in this latest phase of upgrading the WWTP. As always, I will keep you informed of future progress.
Strategic Planning – A Reminder
For the last few months, 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:
b.Future recreation facilities
c.Utilization of Deer Creek watershed that runs through the city
d.Future of utility expansion
e.Issues of aesthetics for new construction, parks, and gateways into the city
g.Long-term vision for sidewalk maintenance and new construction
i.Road Maintenance and Reconstruction Policy
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.