Boyne City buisiness; Fluoride, DPW, Sommerset, flooding, and more

boyne city commission web bannerBenjamin Gohs

News Editor

The Boyne City Commission met on Tuesday Nov. 25 to discuss issues ranging from a marina safety grant and the future of city facilities to its annual joint board and commission meeting.

Following are the matters discussed and any votes or directions the commission took on the respective agenda items.

Soil borings

Consideration to approve the contract with Soils and Materials Engineers for soil boring at the North Boyne DPW building site for $5,400. This is the first step toward the creation of a new DPW facility as part of the city’s future facilities improvements. The other bids received for the job included Northwest Design Group at $5,482, and Soils and Structures company at $5,910.

Unanimously approved

Marina safety grant application

Consideration to approve a resolution to authorize city staff to apply for a $5,000 grant to the Michigan Township Participating Plan Risk Reduction Grant program for the installation of marina safety electrical improvements.

One of the items that would be installed is a marina guard safety beacon that has a light which, if it detects a stray current the beacon would alert marina customers and staff so they know what to do if there is an electrical issue.

Also installed would be some new boxes that protect electrical connections.

Unanimously approved

Emergency services grant

Consideration to authorize the city manager to apply for a $23,244 grant from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians for a power stretcher and supplies for Boyne City’s EMS. This would replace a manual stretcher the emergency services personnel currently use.

Unanimously approved

Health savings accounts

Consideration to approve funding Health Savings Accounts for eligible employees participating in the city’s Priority Health HSA plan for 2015 at the $1,500 and $3,000 levels.

Boyne City Manager Michael Cain said the city had its lowest health insurance cost increase ever at five percent, with this year’s increase in costs to be an all-time low of one percent.

The city contributes money to the health savings accounts to help offset the amount of money employees must pay for their healthcare.

“I’m recommending that we maintain our current levels that we’ve had for the last two years of $1,500 for individuals or $3,000 for a family or a couple,” said Cain.

Boyne City Commissioner Derek Gaylord said he felt it was appropriate to continue the contribution amount.

The rest of the commission agreed, with Boyne City Commissioner Laura Sansom saying she was amazed at the one percent increase.

Unanimously approved

Joint Board & Commission meeting

Consideration to approve the annual joint board and commission meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 2 at the Boyne City Hall auditorium.

Unanimously approved

2015 Boyne City

Commission meeting schedule

Consideration to approve the 2015 Boyne City Commission meeting schedule as presented with all meetings held at the Boyne City Hall, 319 North Lake St.

Meetings occur on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., and the fourth Tuesday of each month at noon. There is never a second meeting held in December due to holiday conflicts.

Unanimously approved

Boyne City Manager’s report

Boyne City Manager Michael Cain also gave his regular report of city business to the commission, the highlights of which are below.

Trail easement

“We have received the executed easement from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that was needed to build the first phase of the Boyne City to Charlevoix non-motorized trail,” said Cain. “That document has been shared with the county team responsible for undertaking the project so hopefully work can resume in the spring.”

Grants

“We have been informed that we were not successful in our effort to get a grant to help with the conversion of our city street lights to (another type of light),” said Cain.

However, the city was successful in obtaining a $1,000 grant from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation for the city’s new dog park.

Division Street drainage

The city has been working on plans to help reduce the amount of flooding some residents near Division Street are experiencing, possibly due to drainage issues in the area.

“Plans for the increased Division Street drainage are progressing,” said Cain. “Based on the unearthing of the pipe, we are slightly modifying the route of the easement to be able to get a maximum increase depth of three-foot, two-inches below the current drainage without digging into the street.”

If the city did dig into the street, the city could lower the pipe another 10 inches to a total increased depth of four feet.

“But, that would cost an additional ($5,000) and probably not be able to be done until spring because of the need to tear up the road,” Cain said.

Lower Lake Street

“The revised plans for lower Lake Street storm drain outfall have been submitted to the MDEQ and the Army Corps of Engineers, and we hope to see a finalized permit before too long,” said Cain.

Sommerset Pointe

The ongoing discussions between Boyne City and Sommerset Pointe regarding the possibility of the development hooking into the city’s sanitary sewer service has culminated in Sommerset making a formal proposal to the city.

“At this point (Sommerset) is seeking to connect to sanitary sewer system only but would like to have the option to connect to the city’s water system at some point in the future,” Cain said.

Key items in the revised document includes reducing the annual city contribution to the city above the normal usage charges from $100,000, which covers both the water and the sewer, to $50,000 for the sewer; changing the paying agents from Sommerset Pointe to the individual property owners; including additional property south of Lakeshore Drive owned by Sommerset Pointe to be served as well; and establishing a bond that would be available for up to five years to cover unforeseen problems to the system.

“The document is quite lengthy and will be reviewed in depth and hope to bring it or a revised version of it to the city commission for consideration in the near future,” said Cain.

City facilities

Plans for the city facilities continue to move forward. Cain spoke with the city’s bond attorney, who told him that while it would be legal for the city to obtain a loan for the full amount of the facilities upgrades using its cash on-hand as collateral, the attorney advised against it due to a lack of a dedicated repayment source.

“He also indicated that lending institutions would probably not look favorably on such an agreement when they were providing money for that,” said Cain.

Fluoride in the water

“The supplemental fluoridation of the city’s water system resumed last Wednesday the 19th (November) using the same procedures we have used in the past,” said Cain. “The levels are being brought up slowly but have not yet reached the state’s recommended level of 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.”