By Benjamin Gohs
Boyne City Manager Michael Cain gave the Boyne City Commission his bi-monthly report during the commission’s regular Tuesday Dec. 10 meeting.
Cain’s topics included a reminder of the Boyne City Veterans Park pavilion planning process—begun last week—trail town and a petition to pave some city streets.
“The volunteers for the Trail Town project have held two meetings since we last met,” Cain said. Trail Town is working with the city to develop a master plan for various Boyne area trails, which could include bike paths, walking trails, snowmobile trails and skiing trails.
“The dog park planning subcommittee is back also actively at work on possible park locations in the area,” Cain said.
According to Cain, the Leadership Charlevoix County class of 2014 intends to adopt the proposed dog park as its project to support in the next year.
“Eveline Township has contacted us about expanding our areas of fire and ambulance coverage for them,” Cain said. “Basically expanding it west from the Whiting Park to the Ironton Ferry.”
Cain said Eveline officials are planning to meet to discuss their options and then bring their ideas to the city for discussion.
The Boyne City Main Street Program has secured a directional billboard just north of Waters.
Boyne City has been monitoring its city street lights and directional lights for billing accuracy and found that it has been overcharged by Consumers Energy.
“Consumers Energy is finalizing correcting our bills going back … in some cases, up to three years, and going back and refunding,” Cain said.
Boyne City is expected to receive a $35,000 refund and a decrease in its electrical bills of $1,000 per year. That figure does include some interest charges.
The wet weather that helped raise local lake levels has also caused drainage issues on Wilson, Division, Michigan and Hull streets.
“While our storm sewer system is in better shape and covers more of the city than ever … it is not in good shape all over town,” Cain said.
The city intends to create more ditches to better handle stormwater. In certain areas, curbs will be raised in order to direct stormwater properly.
At least 97 people have signed petitions urging Boyne City officials to OK the paving of East Court and North Lake streets. Estimates on the projects $165,700 for North Lake Street, and $886,300 for Court Street. The total estimated project cost would be $1,052,000.
The Boyne City Commission will consider the petitions at their next meeting in January.
New fire truck
Though not part of the city manager’s report, the city also voted unanimously to buy a new fire truck at a cost of $313, 358. Boyne City Fire Chief Dennis Amesbury said this new fire truck pumper will go out on every fire run to which his firefighters respond.
The city had received three bids from the following companies, in the following amounts:
HME Incorporated – $346,521
US Tanker Fire Apparatus – $332,879
Toyne Inc. – $313,358
East/Ray streets reconstruction engineering
A proposal to hire C2AE to create the engineering designs on work that will be completed if the city secures a Downtown Improvement Grant to reconstruct the block of South East Street between Main and Ray streets, the two blocks of Ray Street which included putting utilities underground along those segments and also those in the alley south of the 100 block of Water Street.
According to a Dec. 5 memo from Cain to the Boyne City Commission, the initial submittal to the Michigan Strategic Fund has invited the city to take the next step and complete part two of their application process. The $85,600 estimated in engineering costs is part of a 30 percent required match the city must make in order to secure the grant dollars.
“In addition they have provided us … (authorization) to proceed with incurring engineering and administrative costs associated with this project, at our own risk that the project may still not be approved,” Cain stated.
“Given that a requirement of this project will be that it is completed by about this time next year it is critical that survey and design work begin as soon as possible.”
The entire project cost is estimated to be $833,600—$583,519 of which could be funded by the 70 percent DIG grant if it is awarded.
Commissioners voted unanimously to go forward with the engineering work.
Cain said the relationship between Boyne City Housing Commission staff and city staff were very close and sometimes confusing.
“What we’re looking to clarify here is that basically that the housing commission employees are the housing commission employees, they’re separate and distinct from the staff,” Cain said. “We’ll still continue to work closely together but for financial responsibility standpoint they are housing commission employees. HUD wants to see it that way. It will eliminate some confusion on our books. We’ll still be able to, if the housing commission and the city agree to it, process their payroll.”
He added, “This is basically just formalizing and separating a little bit further.”
Cain said a lot of this came to a head when the city was reviewing its health insurance plans in light of changes in the insurance laws.
“There should be no cost or implications negative to the city,” Cain said.
Cain will still be responsible for appointing members to the Boyne City Housing Commission Board of Trustees.
The Boyne City Commission voted unanimously to approve the changes.