Boyne City Commissioners met most recently to discuss a number of city business items including prohibiting marijuana facilities despite overwhelming support in favor of allowing such businesses by voters in November; the commission also heard the city manager’s report, approved the North Lake Street resurfacing project, and set its 2019 meeting calendar.
Following are the highlights from the Tuesday Dec. 11 regular Boyne City Commission meeting.
Moment of Silence
At the beginning of the meeting, Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer asked for a moment of silence in memory of Oral Sutliff who recently died. Sutliff was a member of many community service organizations, along with many city boards. Neidhamer said Sutliff will be greatly missed.
City Manager Report
• Boyne City Manager Michael Cain updated commissioners on the latest city business.
• Seven new customers have hooked into the West Michigan Woodland Water main.
• Work has been taking place over the last couple of days on what the city hopes to be the final repairs to water production well #2 on the South side of the city.
• Boyne City is working with the MDEQ and the new owner of the REH Acres building on Boyne Avenue on a $100,000 grant that will help pay for some environmental protections of the building that will support its remodeling and future uses.
• Boyne City staff is also working on a grant application under the Health Department of Northwest Michigan’s “Building Healthy Communities Greenspace Improvement Project to Increase Physical Activity” program.
Boyne City obtained one of those grants two years ago for program and physical improvements south of the 1910 Building.
Unfortunately, Cain said, this grant opportunity was released after the city’s last meeting and is due just after the first of the year, so they have been unable to go through the normal more formal review processes. Based on their knowledge of the program, city staff felt two projects were most viable. The first is paying for new six-inch by six-inch posts out at Rotary Park based on what the city has discussed before for about $5,000 with the second being a contingency fund for the Boyne Valley Trail project for $15,000.
• Cain said he received an email from the Boyne Valley Township Supervisor advising him that they are planning to switch provision of EMS services for their township from Boyne City to the Jordan Valley EMS Authority.
Apparently, Boyne Valley Township held a special meeting on this topic on Nov. 26 and voted to have their attorney draft a resolution to make this switch at a recent board meeting.
“We had no advance notice of either of these actions,” said Cain. “In fact, we were waiting to hear back on several invitations we made to their leadership to meet and discuss outstanding matters in this area starting before the November election.”
He added, “Given our years of quality and cost-effective services to the township and their residents over the years—including bailing them out of some real pickles—we are deeply disappointed by the apparent change they are considering. There are lots of outstanding issues related to this and we will keep you posted as they move ahead.”
Consideration of the first reading of an ordinance 34-9 and 34-10 to prohibit marihuana establishments within the City of Boyne City as defined by the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act and schedule a second reading for Jan. 23, 2019. Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson discussed the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) that was overwhelmingly approved by Michigan voters on Nov. 6 and became effective on Dec. 6.
The Act requires municipalities to either opt-in to permit and regulate marihuana establishments or opt-out to not permit marihuana establishments within the municipality.
If a municipality wishes to opt-out it is recommended that the action is done by ordinance.
From the effective date of the law, the state has one year to assemble the regulatory framework for licensing commercial recreational marihuana establishments.
While the state could adopt the regulatory framework in a shorter time-frame, it is not anticipated to be completed anytime in the near future. The city may opt in or out at any time.
However, given the fact that the nature and requirements of the rules that will be adopted by the state are completely unknown at this time, developing an ordinance to regulate establishments at this time would pose significant challenges, according to city officials.
Therefore, city officials say, it would seem prudent to choose to opt out at this time to provide the city the time to further study the issue and fully consider the rules developed by the state once completed.
McPherson said municipalities are not permanently bound by any actions they takes.
If a municipality decides to opt-in after a decision to opt-out has been made, they can do so, and similarly the municipality can opt-out after opting in. But, McPherson said this may pose challenges on how to treat any establishments that were legally created during the opt-in period.
The proposed amendment presented to the Boyne City Commission at its Dec. 11 meeting was for a first reading. As required by the Boyne City Charter, ordinance amendments cannot be adopted until at least one month after the meeting it is introduced.
The next available city commission meeting that meets this requirement would be Jan. 23, 2019.
City staff recommended that an opt-out ordinance be considered at this time.
Boyne City Police Chief Jeff Gaither agreed with the recommendation, saying the city has “clearly heard from the voters.” He suggested the city allow the State of Michigan to devise the rules.
The Boyne City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of ordinances 34-9 and 34-10 to prohibit marihuana establishments within Boyne City, and scheduled a second reading for the first evening meeting in February 2019.
Consideration to approve:
1. Proposed North Lake Street MDOT contract up to the maximum $234,461 in State and Federal Funds authorized for this project.
2. C2AE’s proposal for professional services associated with this project at an estimated cost of $28,100 and authorize the city manager and/or city clerk/treasurer to execute the necessary documents contingent upon meeting the project budgets.
Cain discussed the proposed milling and resurfacing of North Lake Street, between State Street and 200 feet south of Lakeview Drive.
The construction of this project is proposed to be paid for using up to $234,461 of State and Federal Funds.
The City’s responsibility is to cover the engineering and inspection costs.
North Lake Street was rebuilt in the late 1990s and is showing signs of wear. The city has applied for and received funds to resurface the street in two sections.
The first section was discussed at last week’s meeting. The second section picks up at the north end where the first one leaves off and continues to West Michigan and will follow one year later in 2020.
Bids for the first phase of the project came into MDOT on Friday Dec. 7. The low bid by Payne & Dolan was $199,195.50 with a second bid very close behind. Both bids were over 17% above the engineer’s estimate of $169,721.50.
Even with the higher than expected bids there appears to be sufficient State and Federal funding set aside for this project that would allow it to move forward.
Although this project is being done on city-maintained street, the funding sources require that it be done under MDOT’s jurisdiction
The second item needing the city commission’s consideration is an agreement with the city’s consulting engineer C2AE to perform the construction engineering and required test at an estimated cost of $28,100.
These costs would be covered by the city’s Major Street Fund and there will be funds available for this purpose
The project was unanimously approved.
Interim Director of Boyne City Public Works Michael Wiesner gave a presentation and review of the financial forecasting model work he prepared. Background of how the data was obtained was provided. Work on the forecasting, along with an improved Capital Improvement Plan will continue.
2019 Meeting Calendar
To approve the regular meeting schedule for 2019 as the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. and the fourth Tuesday of each month—except Dec. 24—at noon, with all meetings to be held at Boyne City Hall, 319 North Lake St.
The schedule was unanimously approved.