December 15, 2017

Greetings Village President and Council Members,

In today’s Manager’s Report, I would like to detail some of my meetings and activities during the past month.

November 28th, I met with the Chamber of Commerce.  One of the items of interest from their meeting concerns the downtown storefronts and staging them so they look more attractive and inviting.  There will be more information forthcoming in January 2018.

I met with Mike Gombas of Michigan Townships Risk Management. The purpose of his meeting was to make recommendations to decrease liability for the village by following best practices and policies; training staff, and reviewing maintenance and operations. He inspected our municipal park and noted areas for attention and repair. They include: repair of the cracked plastic in the playscape near the day camp building; replacing two structural support posts for the wooden playground structure; and filling in the area underneath of the merry-go-round to prevent a child from rolling under it. Our Parks Department will take care of these matters as weather permits.

Met with Michigan Works concerning the vacant DPW Operator / Maintenance Worker position. This position has been vacant for most of 2017 and is required to adequately staff the department for snow plowing and other work.  If the proposed new hire qualifies through the Mi Works Program, the village may receive reimbursement for up to 50% of the wages for up to 90 days as a training reimbursement.  The position will be open for application through December 28, 2017.  After January 2, 2018, we will hold interviews with the intent to hire an employee before January 31, 2018. 

The Tuscola Area Airport Authority meeting was held on December 7th.  The annual audit was presented to those in attendance and approved by the Authority.  Other items on the agenda included:  budget, Century Link Easement, Kappen Hangar Concession and water issue, and the Cass City FOIA request made by Jason Bitzer on behalf of the Village for information pertaining to our liability if the village is no longer part of the Authority.   A ten-day extension, allowable by law, has been requested.   Other matters included plans for the December 9th Santa Fly In Event, which was well attended and received by the community as shown on our Facebook page for the Village.

I attended the December 8th Thumb Nuts meeting with colleagues in the Michigan Thumb area.  Chris Hackbarth, Michigan Municipal League (MML) Director of State & Federal Affairs gave a presentation.  MML continues to champion municipal finance reform, which involves more funding from the State of Michigan for local government.  MML is partnering with C.S. Mott Foundation in the “SaveMICity” initiative to gain legislation and support to reinstate revenue sharing, programs, and funds that have been taken away from local government.  We discussed Personal Property Tax replacement revenue and how to budget during the transition.

MML commented on what to expect in 2018 for the State of Michigan. It will be a very interesting year!

  • Politics and Elections:
    • On the ballot will be Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State
    • 110 Members of House of Representatives
    • 38 Members of Senate
  • Ballot Questions:
    • Marijuana
    • Part Time Legislature
    • Prevailing Wage
    • Redistricting

I attended the Tuscola County Rural Task Force Meeting on December 13th, with Scott Western of Townley Engineering.  The village had submitted two project requests for road surfacing and paving for South Seeger Street and North Seeger Street in 2017.  The Rural Task Force funds projects in the order they are received and with the funds available.  The only exception is should a project scheduled not be ready, then another project would be considered.  As such, we were looking at potential funding after 2023 as so many other projects were received prior to ours.  However, another project was not ready, and the South Seeger Street Project was able to be scheduled for 2020.  Therefore, the application and design should start in the summer of 2019, and be submitted to MDOT no later than August 1, 2019 to get funds obligated for construction in 2020.  North Seeger Street remains on the list for future funding also, but is not scheduled at this time.

In addition, I made a motion to have Doerr Road and Division Street added to the National Functional Classification map (NFC) so that they will be eligible for additional Task Force Funding through another additional source. The motion was approved and will be presented at the Regional Meeting for approval.  Townley Engineering will be attending to represent the interests of the village. 

In closing, I would like to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!  I look forward to the opportunities the New Year will bring for the Village of Cass City.

Debbie Powell,

Village Manager