WWTP Project Phase II
This week Jonathan Seyferth (ACM), John Barthels (WWTP), David Kuipers (OMM), and I met with the MDEQ (Lansing & Grand Rapids offices), Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at the State of Michigan building in Grand Rapids. The purpose of the meeting was to resolve remaining issues and answer questions regarding the permit the City of Coopersville is requesting for the upgrade to the WWTP to 2.5 MGD (million gallons a day). The MDEQ has communicated they will prioritize this permit application and will make some accommodations to the city such as having the permit cover three separate projects at the WWTP, which is great news. The current timeline is to have the draft permit (for review by the city) by the end of June and the final permit early September. As always, we will keep council updated as new information becomes available.
Today, June 9th, Jonathan and I are meeting with Mark Eisenbarth, who is the Muskegon County Administrator, along with CDF and fairlife representatives on the proposed pipeline to the Muskegon WWTP. My understanding of the meeting is to begin the process for this project to commence. Obviously, there are a number of issues to be resolved before a formal agreement is signed but every project has a first step. Please contact me if you have questions or if you have any concerns that I need to address sooner than later.
Water Project Phase I
This week Keri Rogers (Treasurer), Jonathan Seyferth, and I met with our bond attorney to discuss possible bonding options and to seek information on a financial advisor. Brief review: I am seeking information on bonding costs to construct the entire Water Project – Phase I at roughly $10.2 million. This a starting point and if the numbers are not attractive or workable for the city we can reduce the initial scope of the Water Project to the core essentials and work at a new baseline.
Prein&Newhof continues the process of designing the upgrade to the 60th Avenue Booster station. As always, please contact me if you have questions or would like to provide comments.
Downtown Pocket Park
Jan Richardson and I met with the landscape architect this week to review the initial engineering drawings and answer a few detail questions that still remain. Although this is a DDA project, the construction phase will begin in August and I’m sure many of you on council will receive phone calls and be asked questions regarding the specifics of the project. Like any project, such as the West Randall road reconstruction last year, there will be a few inconveniences. Obviously myself and others associated with the Pocket Park will try and minimize those inconveniences, but there will be inconveniences. I will keep council updated as we move closer to removing asphalt.
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.