BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
A daycare ordinance hearing, museum bids and a developer’s new properties topped the Boyne City Commission’s most recent meeting highlights.
Commissioners convened their regular bimonthly meeting on Tuesday Feb. 28.
Boyne City Manager Michael Cain gave his report on business of interest to the commissioners. He opened with news of Boyne City Developer Glen Catt’s latest property acquisition.
“Boyne City took another major step forward when Glen Catt purchased the buildings at 116 and 118 South Lake St., which had housed the Sportsman Bar and Little Lena’s restaurant,” Cain said.
According to Cain, the two-story building was built in the early 1900s and one of its early occupants was the Princess Theater.
“Although I have heard many stories about the thriving businesses that were there not that long ago, both of those buildings have struggled in recent years and they show it,” Cain said.
“We have seen time and again what Glen Catt, working with the Boyne community, has been able to do for our community.”
He added, “The results have been amazing: Café Sante, My Community Dental Clinic, Alpine Choclat Haus, Kidd & Leavy Real Estate, seven waterfront cottages, 7 Monks Tap Room, Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Clinic, and Bliss Salon, which is scheduled to open on Front Street this spring—and, apparently, he’s not done yet.”
Cain said Catt’s investments into the Boyne community are a major part of Boyne City’s continuing renaissance.
“While it is often said that past performance is not a guarantee of future success, I think Glen Catt is one of those exceptions,” Cain said.
Catt then briefly addressed the commission, saying the purchase came up fairly quickly over the last couple weeks.
“It really just happened within about less than 10 days, so no plans, no ideas,” Catt said. “We’ll hopefully vet that out over the next six months, get some input from the community and kind of move forward.”
He added, “I just don’t know right now. It’s kind of on the back burner.”
The sale was handled by Jeff Wellman, President of RE/MAX Resort Properties
Catt said he hopes to have the Sportsman building ready by summer of 2018.
Cain also commented on the small fire which occurred in the dust collector at Boyne City High School in a shop class on Monday Feb. 27. The Boyne City Fire Department quickly took control of the fire and were gone in just over an hour that afternoon and no one was injured.
“Yesterday, the Northern Michigan fire bullet (referring to recent fires in several Charlevoix businesses) hit Boyne City at the Boyne City High School; fortunately, with very minimal negative results,” Cain said. “Our fire department was able to respond with enough personnel and equipment to quickly address the situation.”
He added, “I have talked to our school superintendent, who had high praise for all of our emergency responders, and I would like to echo those sentiments.”
Free clinic grant
Cain, on behalf of Boyne City, presented Rex Judkins of the Boyne Free Clinic with a $10,000 check which came from a grant through the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
Boyne City was one of 56 organizations awarded a total of $884,873.
A certificate of recognition was presented for Boyne City Water/Sewer Department employee Gary Dunlap’s 38 years of service to the city.
Dunlap officially retires next month. Dunlap was not in attendance so the certificate was received on his behalf by a coworker.
Michele Hewitt was recognized for 30 years of work for the City of Boyne City.
“It is so appropriate that this person, who has been so diligent about protecting and sharing Boyne City’s history, is becoming a key part of it,” Cain said.
Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer read from the certificate of appreciation presented to her.
“Your honest, integrity, and professionalism have contributed greatly to the success of the City of Boyne City and the services it provides its citizens,” he said.
Sara Christensen of the NLEA, who was the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administrator for the South Lake St. redevelopment project, briefed the Boyne City Commission on the closeout process prior to a public hearing on the matter.
The purpose of the hearing, which is standard for these types of projects, was to review the project and officially end it as is required when using federal funds.
The project utilized $500,000 in CDBG funds with a private match of $2,130,841.
The project involved the reconstruction/removal of two buildings which are now home to retail space occupied by 7 Monks Tap Room, and a salon expected later this year.
No action was necessary by the commission on the matter. Minutes from the public hearing, which saw no public comments, will be included in the grant closeout documentation.
A proposed amendment to Boyne’s group daycare rules underwent its second reading.
“This proposal lessens the restrictions for establishing a group daycare which is, by definition, a family home that offers daycare to children—more than seven or up to twelve kids,” said Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson. “The planning commission, in reviewing this, looked at the size requirements, the approval requirements, and decided that those could be eliminated or reduced to some extent.”
The amendment would reduce the 20,000-square-foot lot requirement to a more reasonable size.
It was also determined that it would be better to make group daycare a use by right as opposed to requiring public hearings and zoning approval.
During the public hearing portion, there were no comments from citizens on the matter.
The reading was unanimously approved.
Main Street Master Level
Boyne City Main Street Program is looking to enter an agreement with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to implement the MEDC Main Street Program in the community.
The recommendation states: “The city commission approve the Michigan Main Street Program community requirements and expectations agreement—master level, between Boyne City Main Street and the MEDC for the purpose of setting forth the MEDC/MMS Program requirements and expectations for the community’s local program.”
This move was necessary because the Main Street Program moved from MSHDA to the MEDC.
One item of note was that, if the city ever leaves the Main Street Program, it must reimburse the MEDC for the cost of all third party services provided by the MEDC to Boyne City from the date the agreement is signed.
The recommendation was unanimously approved.
According to Michele Hewitt’s Feb. 24 memo to the commission, bids were opened on Monday Feb. 6 regarding the city’s museum planning and design services.
“Five bids were received and … prices ranged from an apparent low of $32,800 to an apparent high of $70,725,” she stated…. “Since that time, the bids have been reviewed by the subcommittee that has been working on this matter, and video interviews held with two of the group’s preferred bidders. Based on the proposals received and the interviews held, the group selected one firm to pursue further discussions with.”
The recommendation was to hire Project Arts and Ideas of Dearborn to complete a modified first phase at a cost not to exceed $16,400 to the historical commission. The historical commission was expected to meet and make a recommendation on the matter later to the city commission.
“The project was not anticipated or budgeted for as part of the city facilities project,” Hewitt stated. “Other than a small amount of potential savings from not doing some of the proposed work in the museum space, no money has been set aside for this work. The group is exploring fundraising opportunities to help offset these costs.”
The $16,400 bid was unanimously approved.