Council to consider sewer project loan, MAPS pool agreement

MANISTEE — Manistee City Council has a full agenda planned for its regular meeting slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

Several new business items are going to be put to a vote by council members, starting with a loan application for a long-term project that will complete a Wet Weather Corrective Action Program (WWCAP).

In the past 30 years, Manistee has invested nearly $40 million to eliminate raw sewage discharges to the Manistee River. It recently closed 18 combined sewer overflows. However, the city still faces infiltration and inflow problems.

Spicer Group, engineer of record for the City of Manistee, plans to eliminate illegal water in the city’s sewage system, and to convey, treat and store excess inflow and infiltration at the plant. The proposed WWCAP has two phases. Phase one includes sewer and pipe rehabilitation; and phase two includes a conveyance, storage construction and treatment process.

The Michigan Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) mandated the completion of this project. According to the city, construction must finish by October 2020.

A loan has been secured for phase one of the project, however, funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) must be secured for phase two. Council could take action to approve a loan application for no more than $18 million.

“Phase two includes new sewer conveyance, land acquisition, sewer rehabilitation, and construction of storage and new headworks to the wastewater treatment plant,” stated Jeff Mikula, Department of Public Works director, in a memo to council. “City council approved the funding application in June of 2018, however USDA-RD requires current approval.”

Another agenda item up for discussion on Tuesday includes an intergovernmental community pool agreement with the Manistee Area Public Schools (MAPS). An agreement with the MAPS Paine Aquatic Center expired on Aug. 12.

The drafted agreement is, for the most part, identical to the original agreement made on Feb. 13, 2008. This agreement is for five years and will automatically renew for an additional five years, unless otherwise amended and signed by both parties.

The city’s annual contribution will remain the same at $40,000.

Four agenda items are also up for council’s vote. Old business items include an ordinance allowing golf carts on city streets; two recreational marijuana and medical marijuana ordinance amendments; and an ordinance amendment to the state construction code.

On Aug. 7, council members introduced Ordinance 19-19, which would add “Chapter 460” to the City of Manistee Codified Ordinances. Golf carts would need to be registered with the City of Manistee Police Department. In addition, use of golf carts is subject to restrictions established within the ordinance.

Before unanimously approving the first reading on Aug. 7, council voted to amend the ordinance, adding a section “that the operator and/or owner of a golf cart … obtain liability insurance protecting against damage associated with the use of a golf cart and that the owner or operator must show proof of liability as required with section 460.02 when registering with the city.”

The ordinance could be adopted on Tuesday.

Also during the meeting on Aug. 7, two ordinance amendments pertaining to medical and recreational marijuana were introduced. Council could adopt both of these ordinance amendments on Tuesday.

The first ordinance amends “Chapter 866” to authorize an unlimited number of provisioning center permits. The number of parcels available in the marijuana sales overlay district is a limiting factor in how many permits could be requested. The amendment also limits the duration of a provisional permit to one year.

“This will make it easier on Planning and Zoning when it comes to deciding who gets these licenses,” said council member Mick Szymanski on Aug. 7.

Manistee’s current medical marijuana facilities ordinance permits up to three provisioning centers.

A second ordinance amendment proposes the authorization of an unlimited number of marijuana retailer licenses and microbusinesses. The number of parcels available in the marijuana sales overlay district for these businesses is also a limiting factor in how many licenses could be requested. The proposed amendment limits the duration of a provisional license to one year, as well.

Manistee’s recreational marijuana ordinance currently authorizes up to three marijuana retailers.

The following agenda items are also up for council’s consideration on Tuesday:

• A renewal of a license agreement with the City of Manistee and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to shoot off fireworks from the south breakwater located in the harbor at First Street Beach;

• The purchase of a 2020 Ford Explorer from Gorno Ford in the amount of $29,647;

• A request from the Harbor Commission to purchase 12 large and eight small “no wake” signs at a cost not to exceed $1,600. The City of Manistee has received several complaints of boaters violating the No Wake Zone in the Manistee Harbor.

A work session is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 10, featuring a discussion on refuse collection options and a Project Rising Tide update.

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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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