Boyne City Commission highlights: new cop, HUD, One Water Marina, cable TV changes, city facilities update & more

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By Benjamin Gohs

News Editor

Boyne City Manager Michael Cain gave his report on city activities to the Boyne City Commission during its Tuesday Feb. 11 regular meeting.

Following are the highlights of his report and other miscellaneous items of interest that were addressed by the board.

Water freeze advisory

Cain told commissioners the city had recently begun alerting its water customers about the possibility of freezing pipes due to the harsh winter.

According to the notice, all customers of the Boyne City Water system are asked to immediately begin running a pencil width trickle of cold water from one of their a faucet to help prevent water lines from freezing. Frost in the area has been reported to be over six feet below ground. Clear sunny days and warmer weather will probably lead to the frost being driven even further down in the weeks ahead. While most water mains are not at risk of freezing, service leads to individual customers are more vulnerable.

Customer accounts will be adjusted to offset the additional water used during this period based on previous usage history. The City will announce through the media and on its websites when this temporary measure can be ended. If you have questions on this matter call (231) 582-6597 or 582-0335.

Insurance claim

“We received a check from our insurance company for damage that was incurred to our water/wastewater four-by-four,” Cain said. “The check was in the amount of $4,995.84, which is their estimate to complete the work and there was no deductible charged to us.”

Food trucks

Boyne City officials want to know how you feel about food trucks. Two meetings have been scheduled to offer information and take public comment on the issue because, as of yet, the city has not policy regarding this type of business. Meetings are planned for 6 p.m. on Tuesday Feb. 25, and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday March 6. Both meetings are to be held at the Boyne District Library community room, located at 201 East Main St. in Boyne City. Pictured on New Year’s Eve 2013, at the Happy’s Taco truck in Boyne Falls, is David Heick as he waits for his food order.

Vietnam Memorial

City officials are working to encourage the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial to visit Boyne City this summer, Friday July 18 and Saturday July 19.

B.C. Police officer search

During Cain’s report, he introduced Boyne City Police Chief Jeffrey Gaither, who updated the Boyne City Commission on the search for a new police officer.

“After an extensive hiring process that included the open application process and 74 applicants, we narrowed it down to a field of five for interviews,” Gaither said… “We’re at that point now where I can tell you that the new officer we are going to hire is Kyle Smith.”
He added, “Kyle is a resident of Charlevoix County so he is local. He comes highly recommended from St. Ignace Police Department where he has been working … actually full-time hours in a part-time capacity for the last two years. He has some coast guard experience with law enforcement background.”

Smith was expected to begin working in Boyne City on Tuesday Feb. 18.

NTSB kudos

Boyne City officials received correspondence from Senior Air Safety Investigator Pam Sullivan of the National Transportation Safety Board on Jan. 13, regarding the Jan. 6 plane crash that killed two downstate men.

“I want to express my appreciation to you and your staff for the outstanding cooperation and assistance that I received during the safety board’s investigation into the aircraft accident that occurred on Jan. 6, 2014, in Boyne, Michigan, infolving N1046L,” Sullivan stated in her letter. “The logistics of our jobs can, at times, be very challenging. However, the assistance you and your staff provided made it so much easier. I appreciate the coordination you did with the sheriff’s department [sic] to get the wreckage moved and placed in a hangar where we were able to work on it.”

No box, no cable

Charter communications has announced—see page 5 of the Wednesday Feb. 12 Boyne City Gazette—that it is changing its current analog signals to digital. This means that, if you currently receive cable television on a TV without a convertor box, you will no longer get the cable signal as early as March 11. More than 75 new HD channels will be added to the line-up and some channels will be moved to new channel designations after the switch. Homes currently subscribing to Charter will get up to two converter boxes at no additional cost for an unspecified period of time. Call (888) 438-2427 for more information.

According to Charter, by changing the signal for basic cable channels, bandwidth will be spared and used to increase internet speeds and other advanced services.

Housing Commish house in order

The Boyne City Housing Commission has completed the requirements of its Recovery Agreement and Action Plan of March 2012.

“HUD expects the Boyne City Housing Commission to sustain its recovery and continue to improve its performance,” stated Willie C.H. Garrett, Director of the Office of Public Housing for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Please be aware that HUD may seek to enter into a new Recovery Agreement and Action Plan should the agency fail to sustain its recovery or is at risk of receiving a new substandard or troubled designation.”

Geek the Library Week

Boyne City Mayor Ron Grunch—at the request of the Boyne District Library—proclaimed Feb. 16 through Feb. 24, 2014 as “Geek the Library Week.”

“Geek the Library is a nationwide campaign to build public awareness about the value of libraries using ‘geek’ as a verb and stating that ‘Whatever you geek, the public library supports you,’” Grunch read from the Library’s provided proclamation. “Boyne District Library is using the Geek the Library campaign to highlight the library’s vital role in our community.”

Grunch further stated, “I … call upon the people in the Boyne District Library service area to observe this week, visit the library in person or online, and celebrate all that our public library offers individuals and this community.”

The resolution was unanimously approved.

City facilities planning update

Boyne City Manager Michael Cain sent the Boyne City Commission a Feb. 11 memo detailing the progress of the search for an architectural firm willing and able to help the city determine its future needs for space for several city offices, including EMS, the fire department, city hall, the department of public works and safe storage for the police department.

“Since our last meeting, our department heads have met and reviewed the seven proposals we received on Jan. 17 for this project,” Cain stated. “We each individually ranked them and then we combined that to develop a group ranking. Items discussed included public participation, hours dedicated to the project, the proposed project timelines and previous similar projects.”
He further stated, “Subsequent to that, we publicly opened the cost portions of those bids. The bids range from a low of $21,750 to a high of $91,645.”

According to Cain’s memo, following the interviews, city staff will again meet to discuss the steps necessary and prepare a recommendation expected to be delivered to the city commission during its Feb. 25 meeting.

One Water Marina

Boyne City Harbor Master Barb Brooks recommended the Boyne City Commission renew its agreement with Catt Development for the 2014 boating season to utilize some of the One Water Marina boat slips.

According to a Feb. 6 memo from Brooks to Boyne City Manager Michael Cain, 2013 was the busiest season since One Water Marina opened in 2010, with transient and shopper dock boating traffic nearly doubling from prior years.

“I believe the word is out that Boyne City has additional dockage and can accommodate larger vessels and we continue to have the potential to bring in even more boaters, both seasonal and transient and more spending dollars into the downtown and to the city’s marina budget,” stated Brooks, who said marina staff, boaters and the end-of-season financial statement prove an increase in boat traffic. “The marina staff was able to creatively manage the city marina, boat launch and the One Water Marina without any of the facilities being overlooked.”

Benefits of the partnership, as stated in Brooks’ memo, are as follows:

• Overall net profit of $22,447.04 with the city’s portion of that equaling $13,468.22 in revenue

• City was able to accommodate more seasonal and transient boaters

• Provided additional day dockage/shopper dockage to numerous boaters of all sizes as the city’s shopper dock has a very limited capacity

• Brought additional people downtown to local businesses

• Assisted Boyne Thunder by allowing them to increase its number of participants

• Exposure to One Water Street development

• Allowed the city to rehire all of its seasonal employees and created an additional seasonal job