July 2019 Manager's Report
TO: Village Council
FROM: Debbie Powell, Village Manager
DATE: July 26, 2019
RE: Manager’s Report
There has been much activity at the Municipal Building and Park, listed below is a brief update.
Pool Grand Opening
With much excitement and anticipation, the Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of the Helen Stevens Memorial Pool occurred on Wednesday, July 3. The event also recognized the generous donations, volunteers, businesses, elected officials, staff and others who made the pool renovation possible. I am happy to report the pool is being enjoyed by many, especially as the temperatures heat up.
Swimming lessons are underway and will continue until mid-August. There are water aerobics classes Monday and Wednesday at 7:00 am too. Staff is working on holding a scuba diving class in August also.
Staff will be working with our pool contractor B&B Pools and Spa to transition the pool chemicals. The village uses a salt disinfectant system for the pool. However, the pool had to be opened using chlorine. The new white marcite finish had to cure for 30 days with chlorine, as salt would have discolored the new finish. With the assistance of the B&B Pools Chemical Technician, we will transfer the pool back to the salt disinfectant process.
Manager’s Report 2
July 26, 2019
Municipal Building Renovation
The Municipal Building has undergone some recent renovations. In 1995 the village offices moved into the building and invested $30,000 to configure the space and furnish it. After almost 25 years, the building is in need of much repair and maintenance. We have previously discussed the multi-phase project with materials and design by SPACE Anew, Midland, a company that “Up cycles” existing modular furniture when possible and uses the Mi State Purchasing program for the best prices. The first phase was 8 months in the planning. The painting, carpeting and new furniture was done and installed the week of July 13-19, 2019. There are still a few chairs and design elements that are back ordered, but the majority of the project is complete.
After multiple citizen complaints of the building smelling like mold and mildew, the next task will be to replace the carpet mats and clean the floor tiles, especially in the vestibule area. Also, on this agenda will be the request to approve replacing four windows in the municipal building that leak or have a bad seal at a cost of $5,700.
Special Events Permit Application
The Village and the beautiful municipal park are host to many summer events, tournaments, and activities. In the past, the process to use the park, services, and staff for setup has been very informal, oftentimes just verbally or with a brief note or e-mail. This created many problems. The event coordinator struggled with no formal process or contact person, law enforcement was not kept informed of the events or what was/was not allowed, staff was not always aware of what was expected from them, there was no accountability, coverage for damage or liability, and reimbursement of expenses. The Village has implemented a Special Event Application/Permit process which started with the annual Freedom Festival and has been used with much success for our summer baseball and softball tournaments. The permit clearly outlines the expectations for the Event Coordinator and Village staff. It also gives the Police Department a tool for enforcement as needed.
Manager’s Report 3
July 26, 2019
FIT Grant Project Update
The Community Leadership Team has been busy working on their project of signage for the village amenities. Signs will give directions to recreation locations and the hospital. Many signs will appear on M-81 and must have MDOT approval. The project is estimated to cost $4____ and the village will be reimbursed $2,000 from the Thumb I-69 FIT grant. The deadline is September to correspond with the State’s fiscal year.
The project will not be able to replace or add as many signs as the team would have liked to do because of cost, but we have looked at other alternatives. One of those include mounting signage for the Police Department on the Municipal Building as opposed to a post.
Save my City. The Village of Cass City has lost a total of $1,416,366 in revenue sharing since 2002. There are two forms of state revenue sharing - statutory and constitutional - discretionary and regulated by the state constitution. Statutory revenue to local governments has been cut annually and to such a degree that “essential” services i.e. public safety is now impacted in most communities. Michigan Municipal League has organized an effort to fix Michigan’s broken system for funding municipalities. A Cass City Report is included in your packet. To learn more, go to www.savemicity.org.
Walking Trail Eagle Scout Project
I would like to let you know about planned improvements to the Village walking trail by Eagle Scout Peyton Bock. Peyton submitted a proposal to the Boy Scouts proposing an Eagle Scout project that would put bench’s and distance markers on our Walking Trail that starts at the Mark Building on Hospital Drive, crosses M-81, and ends at the Cass River. This project is scheduled to be completed this summer. I am very excited that the Walking Trail have seating and directional markings for distance to the River as the FIT reviewers stated that we have the beautiful Cass River on our website, but how do you get to the River. This is a start for the village to promote the Cass River, a picturesque and beautiful community asset.
Manager’s Report 4
July 26, 2019
MME Conference Update
July 24-25, 2019, I attended the Michigan Municipal Executive Conference in Alpena, MI. There were many informative sessions. MORE to be added.
Freedom Festival Volunteers
July is the time we all come together to celebrate the annual Freedom Festival in Cass City. The event requires a great deal of planning, time, and talent. We are so fortunate to have many volunteers and financial support of the community. Such events and all the fine details required to make it happen can be a job in itself. It has been a job well done! Appreciation, gratitude and thanks to the many who made the Freedom Festival possible!