City to consider MDEQ grant, Paris Climate Agreement support

MANISTEE —  Manistee City Council will consider moving forward with a Pilot Drinking Water Infrastructure Grant at $1 million, through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), on Monday at its regular council meeting.

The meeting has been set for 7 p.m. on Monday, due to scheduling conflicts.

Recently, the city was notified that it has been selected to apply for the grant, which if awarded, would be used to inventory the city’s water service lines, update the Water Asset Management Program and replace existing galvanized service lines.

The State of Michigan is preparing new regulations and requirements for water services lines. With that, the MDEQ’s PILOT grant program offers communities with a successful history or who use Revolving Loans to apply, further meeting these requirements.

In a letter to the city from Eric Oswald, director of the state’s Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division, stated on Feb. 12: “You were selected, in part, based on an expectation of your ability to properly execute the funding.”

The city must apply by March 30, to be considered for the grant.

A description of the project is required within the proposal application; project scope; estimated cost; and a commitment to a schedule executing funds no later than May 2018.

“Utilizing this grant will be a useful tool for the city to plan out the implementation of the new requirements, as well as replacing a substantial amount of existing galvanized leads,” stated Jeff Mikula, director of the Manistee Department of Public Works, on March 12.

On Monday, city council could approve the application/proposal to submit to the MDEQ.

Also during the meeting, a recently founded group called “We the People Action Network of Northwestern Michigan, Manistee” has requested that council consider a resolution to support the Paris Climate Agreement.

On Monday, council could take action on a resolution to support the agreement, and agree to create a Climate Action Plan.

In a letter to council, the Action Network wrote: “We urge you to take action to adopt this resolution, putting the City of Manistee on record, along with hundreds of other cities and corporations, in support of the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Action Network includes many local businesses and groups, such as CBS Solar, of Copemish; Contractors Building Supply, Inc., of Copemish; Crystal Mountain Resort, Jim Maclnnes, CEO; Jackpine Business Center, of Manistee; Manistee County Democrats; Manistee Peace Group; and Spirit of the Woods Conservation Club, of Manistee County.

“The group’s proposal would encourage the City Council to develop and implement an action plan to address the risks the community faces from climate change, and that will contribute to the long-term goal of reducing the city’s carbon footprint,” Miriam Epskamp, who is a part of the We the People Action Network, stated in a press release.

“The City of Manistee has recognized for many years the importance of conservation and sustainability to its ongoing success,” she continued. “Language in support of energy efficiency and ‘green’ decision making is already a part of the City of Manistee’s strategic plan.”

The group will present its mission statement during the meeting on Monday.

“This is not a Republican issue. It is not a Democratic issue. It is a human issue,” said We the People Action Network member, Linda Albee. “Protecting the environment that we choose to live in, one that is a major source of economic activity for our community is simply the right thing to do.”

City council will also consider the sale of city-owned property for two separate bids on Monday.

A bid at $2,020 was received from Lani Rozga for parcel 51-764-711-01, which is Maxwelltown lot one on Block 11, on the southwest corner of Manistee and 15th streets. Another bid was received for a parcel on Monroe Street at $107,000 from Dawn Thomas; the city would retain oil and gas rights to the property.

The following items will also be considered by council on Monday:

• An Ordinance Amendment for Peace Disturbances, regarding noise violations within the city;

• Cedar Street between Second and Third streets, and 14th Street between Manistee and Vine streets are closed to traffic during winter for sledding. Owners of property request that fencing is put up to keep sleds from entering private property. The city could close the “right-of-way” to sledding, due to liability issues;

• A policy providing standards on mobile food vendors within the city, establishing fees for permits annually at $250;

• An Ordinance Amendment for Mobile Food Vendors, which is needed to eliminate any conflicts; and

• Applications to boards and commissions for the Historic District Commission from Richard Albee, Catherine Zaring and Aaron Bennett; and Zoning Board of Appeals from Dennis R. Johnson and Duane Jones.

A report will be given by Clinton McKinven-Copus on the Housing Commission on Monday, as well. A work session is scheduled for April 10 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, on the 2018-19 budget and capital improvement plan.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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