TO:                  Village Council

FROM:           Debbie Powell, Village Manager

DATE:            March 26, 2018

RE:                 Manager’s Report March 2018

There has been a lot of activity at the Municipal Building in March and it has been a very busy month. Here are some of the projects and activities of the past month.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

As part of our Economic Development goal, I asked MEDC to come to Cass City to meet with businesses in our Industrial Park.   It’s been many years since a representative has come and updated the businesses on training, grants, and programs MEDC offers.  Corey Utley, MEDC Business Manager, and I met with local business owners on March 12 and plan to meet with other businesses on April 9.  Business retention is an important aspect of growing our community and economic development; however, after April’s MEDC visit we will be focusing on new business development and growth in the Downtown Corridor.  

Michigan Municipal League Capitol Conference

The MML Capitol Conference was held March 20-21, 2018 in Lansing Michigan.

I attended a session with the State Treasurer concerning our Personal Property Tax and payments from the Local Community Stabilization Authority. In 2017 the Village had budgeted $60,000 and received $133,394.75.  Opening the envelope and seeing the check was a very nice surprise.  However, it is clear that we do not have the ability to calculate and effectively budget this state revenue which could lead to a future shortfall.  The State Treasurer’s Office explained the legislation and its accompanying requirements and deadlines preclude advance notice of the anticipated revenue (such as revenue sharing updates).  The calculation is done by the State incorporating a “state-wide” comparison component.  The information is then sent to the County Equalization Department

Manager’s Report March 2018

Page 2

and a check is issued immediately with no ability to provide advance notice of the payment due to the time constrictions in the law. We received our check on November 27, 2017, after the budget was prepared for 2018.  I was told the legislature was given a presentation on the unmanageability of the process and it is generally agreed that the newly elected legislature will have to revise the legislation and process.  This means that until further notice the tax revenue we lose due to the elimination of personal property tax is truly not a quantifiable number for staff to budget. 

I attended a session on the proposed legislation by Governor Rick Synder called the Lead Copper Rule. This legislation has not passed the House and Senate. MML will be working with our legislators and lobbying on our behalf concerning the unfunded mandates proposed in this legislation.  Currently, the lines from the local government’s tap-in for water and sewer to the house are the responsibility of the homeowner.   The proposed legislation would have all municipal lead service lines replaced at the expense of the village AND all lead service lines to the house also.  This would be an unfair burden on the Village and tax payers.  We will follow this legislation closely in the future. 

There was a legislative breakfast held on March 21st and I had an opportunity to meet with Representative Ned Canfield.  I received updates on proposed State legislation and gave him an update on the status of Ben’s Supermarket in Cass City.  Representative Canfield was pleased to hear of the planned grand opening in 2018.

Municipal Building Leaky Roof

It is with regret that I must inform you we have a leaking roof at the Municipal Building, as evidenced by the brown spots on ceiling tiles. The Municipal Building has a flat roof that will need repair.  As more information and repair estimate(s) are available, I will keep you informed.   

Parks & Recreation

The calendar says it’s Spring even though there is still snow on the ground. Staff has been working on parks maintenance issues for the past several months.  I have been working on staffing for the Parks and Rec Program and am pleased to welcome back Scott Cuthrell and Erika Martin.  We have made plans to make your summer recreation programs better than ever. 

The Parks and Rec Committee have been very busy discussing and prioritizing projects, repairs, and maintenance. I know the visitors to the Cass City Park and Helen Stevens Memorial Pool will be pleased with the work that has been and will be done. 

Manager’s Report March 2018

Page 3

I attended the Elkland Township Budget Meeting on March 12, 2018 with Trustee Robert Piaskowski. We explained to the Township Board the costly repairs and maintenance required for the pool and the pool building after years of neglect.  The Helen Stevens Memorial Pool was donated to the Village of Cass City; however, there was never an endowment for the repair and maintenance of the pool and adjacent building.   The repairs are extensive, expensive, and too much for the Village to bear alone for the regional community to use.  We asked for a donation to help with the upcoming costs for the pool.  The Elkland Township Board generously voted to donate $5,000 this year and for 5 years total towards the repair and maintenance of the Cass City Park and Helen Stevens Memorial Pool.  Their donation is greatly appreciated and to be commended.  We hope other adjacent and surrounding communities will be receptive to donating to the cause as we attend their respective meetings in the future. 

Again, Thank You Very Much Elkland Township!