Wakefield city council discusses SAW Grant
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield City Council heard presentations Monday from three engineering firms on a grant proposal resolving flooding and sewage issues. The city had solicited proposals from seven firms.
Representatives from Agriculture, Engineering, Consulting, Operations and Maintenance; GEI Consultants; and Coleman Engineering presented proposals to work with the city on a stormwater, asset management and wastewater, or SAW, grant.
After some discussion, the council selected GEI Consultants to assist with the grant. City manager John Siira said, “Every community I’ve talked to is submitting a SAW Grant.”
Jeff Bal of GEI said one third of the grant funding pool in Michigan is reserved for communities who will be borrowing funds for grant matching. Bal said that Wakefield will qualify as a disadvantaged community, negating grant match requirements.
Bal told the council that the first step in the process is to prepare an asset management plan for the first round of grant allocations, with construction beginning the next year. GEI is not charging the city to prepare the grant application, as Bal said, “it’s the simplest grant to apply for.” GEI is working with 13 communities, including Wakefield, on SAW grant planning.
Council members noted the completion of the railroad grade cleanup by Scott Favero, although he was not present to confirm his donation of $400 to the city.
The council approved Gordon and Rita Oman as campground park hosts in 2014 on a three to two vote, despite concerns raised by council member Joseph DelFavero regarding both Omans being absent from the campground during the day due to outside employment. “How can you handle campers problems when you’re not there?” he asked.
This will be the Oman’s eighth year as campground hosts.
The city also adopted new rules for the 2014 season.
A proposed traffic control order was unanimously adopted, changing the speed limit on old U.S. 2 from the intersection with Sunday Lake Street to the west, to 35 miles per hour; and the speed limit on East Pierce Street from the intersection with Karling Road to the east, also to 35 miles per hour. This order is effective Dec. 2.
The council members also agreed to hold a public hearing to receive public comments on Andrew Fetters’ request to build a new home on Olson Avenue.
The council also agreed to amend the current ordinance on animals, allowing residents to have mini-pigs and mini-goats as special pets. A first reading is scheduled for Oct. 28 and a second reading and public hearing will be held on Nov. 11.
The council members approved calling for bids for 1,000 yards of gravel for the city.
The council denied a request for clearing up scrap metal on Tank Hill, electing instead to direct city workers to do the work.
Wakefield-Marenisco High School juniors Cassy Laessig, Molly Pikka and Maria Berquist were appointed to serve as the new student representatives for the Planning Commision.
The city manager’s report examined the completion of the first phase, Accountability and Transparency, of the required Economic Vitality Incentive Program. The next phase, a Consolidation of Services Plan to increase cooperation, collaboration and consolidation of services, along with a certification, is due to the Treasury by Jan 1, 2014. By submitting documentation for the first phase, the city will receive $26,476.
Siira also updated the council on the spillway gate project. There are only a few items left to be constructed — a safety platform with a guardrail and a gate for the deteriorated floor.
Mayor Richard Bolen said he attended the firefighters’ open house and was “blown away” by their updated equipment and system. “It’s really something to be proud of,” he said. City Clerk and Fire Department volunteer Jennifer Jacobson said that 199 children and adults visited the fire hall during the day of the event.
The next city council meeting will be Monday, Oct 28.