TO:                  Village Council

FROM:             Debbie Powell, Village Manager

DATE:             May 18, 2018

RE:                  Manager’s Report May 2018

It finally feels like Spring in the Village and there sure is a lot of activity. The trees and flowers have come alive and Village staff has been bustling about and working together on the many Strategic Planning Projects.  I would like to provide you with an update.

  1. Grocery Store – I continue to keep in contact with Jim Zyrowski of Ben’s Supermarket encouraging him to submit his plans to the Planning Commission for review. I have been informed he will complete his plans for the supermarket in Cass City in May. I offered to call a “Special” Planning Commission meeting to expedite the approval process in order to allow for him to start reconstruction and rehabilitation of the former Erla’s building.
  2. Economic Development – Staff is actively working with the business community, DDA/EDC, and Tuscola County EDC to promote growth and development in the Village. I have been seeking property specifications from owners in order to better market the vacant Main Street locations that are available. The DDA will be marketing the Antique Mall for sale or rent also.
  3. Blight – A Blight Committee has been formed and we are currently working on a draft Blight Ordinance. The Police Department has been doing an excellent job of working with our Building Inspector to cite their worst blighted properties and have been experiencing positive responses and many improvements. The Chamber and Village are collaborating to improve the visual appeal of the vacant storefronts by using staging.
  4. Grit Master System – The Village Council has approved the vendor and contractors for this capital investment at our Waste Water Treatment Plant. Staff has been working on the financing package. We expect to install the Grit Master System and complete this project in the Fall.
  5. Streets – We are in the process of bidding out the Northwood Circle street project for construction to be completed by October 1. The MDOT grant funded crack seal project for Seeger Street is also planned for this summer. Additionally, pending the progression of the Ben’s Supermarket and Frankenmuth Credit Union projects, we now plan to install a new water main under Church Street and reconstruct and reconfigure Church Street for these new businesses.
  6. Basketball Courts – The Cass City Municipal Park will reconstruct the basketball courts this summer. The recommended quote will appear on this council agenda for approval. We are hopeful the work may be able to be completed prior to the Freedom Festival in July.
  7. Master Plan – The Village approved a contract with McKenna to prepare our Master Plan. The Kick-Off meeting was held May 3rd, and our next meeting is scheduled in June. We plan to prepare a questionnaire seeking public input from the community on what they would like Cass City to look like in the next 5 years. We plan to hold an open house at the Municipal Building Saturday morning, July 7th, during the Freedom Festival to engage the community in providing their comments and feedback for our master plan. The timeframe for McKenna is aggressive with a completion date prior to yearend.

As you can see, there has been a lot of progression in our Strategic Planning Goals in addition to the daily operations and activities of the Village.   I have been busy working with the seasonal Parks and Recreation staff and setting up the programs and offerings for the summer, and making sure the facilities are ready for the community to enjoy. This month I have been working with our auditors and treasurer on supporting documentation required to complete our 2017 audit. We will have the auditors present the audit at our June 25th meeting.   I have met with the chamber and community stakeholders to prepare a grant application for the First Impressions Tourism Assessment for the Village also. I am very happy to be able to report the hard work and team effort of the village employees that has moved forward the above mentioned goals and projects. May we all enjoy a wonderful spring and summer in the Village.