Boyne City Commissioners discussed and decided a number of business items at its Tuesday March 12 meeting. Included in this story is public comment, the city manager’s report, and much more!
Penny Hardy of Boyne City spoke to the Boyne City Commission regarding the recent city planning commission meeting wherein two mixed-use developments were presented and discussed.
She said the planning commission’s meeting, which offered ample opportunity for the public to comment, was greatly appreciated.
“Before these two projects come before the planning board again, there are some items that need clarification,” Hardy said. “First, does the need for additional housing override the need for parking, public and private, within this district?”
She also asked whether this type of development was most appropriate for the area—especially if the goal is to provide affordable housing for medium-income housing.
She also asked if allowing public parking to be used for private interests is something the city will allow other developments to do.
“Does the city offer large developments preferential treatment over private and smaller business owners?” she said…. “Is it normal city practice to approach a property owner to ask them to build a specific size and type of building on a site they have purchased or owned within this district?”
Hardy also asked when four-story buildings became a part of Boyne City’s master plan.
“Do we no longer have a turn-of-the-century Victorian design plan for the facades of the buildings in our commercial district?” she said.
Hardy also said various parking designations and amounts were never clearly defined during the planning meeting.
She also asked if the developers have asked for or been offered incentives like tax abatements.
Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer said someone from the city would talk with Hardy to answer her questions at a later date.
“Procedure is we will not discuss this at this point,” Neidhamer said. “It will go to staff.”
He added that he will be happy to sit down with Hardy later to answer the questions.
Marty Moody addressed the city commission also regarding the planning commission meeting.
He said his concern is that parking has always been an issue and he is worried that the project won’t end up being what has been “sold” to the public.
He said he wants the commission to ask itself if it is willing to allow the city to be “duped.”
City Manager Report
Boyne City Manager Michael Cain updated commissioners on the latest work the city is doing.
The Cedar and Terrace Road infrastructure reconstruction project is up for bids. Those bids are due back on March 20.
“We have submitted our application for the new MDOT Category B road improvement grant for Cedar and Terrace streets project in the amount of $250,000 and the state has received it,” Cain said.
At Boyne Valley Township’s most recent meeting, Cain and city staff presented a two-year price agreement that would provide taxpayers and users of
Boyne City’s EMS services reduced costs compared to other proposals the township has received.
“We believe that proposal would be advantageous to both us and the township,” Cain said.
The township tabled the matter and is considering Boyne City’s offer.
The company that takes down the city’s holiday decorations was expected to do so last week.
Public informational meetings will be soon scheduled regarding both the MDOT resurfacing of M-75, the entire length of it in the city, and the city’s resurfacing of a portion of North Lake.
Both projects are slated for this spring.
Consideration to approve the application of Brehm Ventures, LLC, the owners of Boyne Country Provisions and The Wine Emporium, for a new Class C license for 125 Water St., which is currently Local Flavor coffee and bookstore which is going out of business.
This liquor license would be used to open a wine bar.
“As opposed to building or developing outside of Boyne, which we’ve been contemplating for the last couple of years with additional stores, we kind of regrouped and decided that we would focus on this,” said Ed Brehm.
The Brehms intend to connect the stores and offer an adult-oriented place with a focus on craft beer, Michigan craft spirits.
“Our intent is to hire an additional four to six people, be open five, six days a week—this is not a short-term plan, this is a 10-year commitment on our behalf,” Brehm said.
There will be food service and merchandise space as well.
The motion to approve the request was unanimously approved.
Consideration to accept the informal hourly quotes provided by R&B Trucking of Boyne City for up to $14,000 to remove snow from the Open Space property.
Several residents commented that the money could be better spent elsewhere or saved.
Cain said the money for the proposal has been budgeted.
Commissioners agreed that it’s close enough to spring to leave the snow pile to melt.
However, Boyne City Commissioner Hugh Conklin said there should be a plan for the future to haul the snow elsewhere since it is probably not best to
have all that salt and road chemicals piled up next to the water.
The city commission chose not to pay for the snow removal.
The state’s Waterways Division implemented a reservation system for booking overnight stays at state and grant in aid facilities throughout the state similar to that of the state parks.
The DNR has been using this central reservation system (CRS) for approximately 15 years and made it a requirement within the grant agreements that grant in aid facilities utilize the system for transient reservations.
Over the last 15 years, Boyne City has received several grants from the DNR-Waterways Division. Each grant agreement specified using the state’s reservation system.
To date, this requirement has not been implemented by either party. Reasons for this have ranged from poor internet connection, to changing companies and software platforms to our operations of the One Water Marina.
In ongoing discussions with the state’s harbor coordinator, we are both agreeable that this coming season is a good time to finally implement the central reservation system for Boyne City.
There are some pros and cons to utilizing the system, such as; an additional $8-$10 non-refundable fee that is charged to the boater, a $2.30 – $2.50 charge to the marina (city) and an approximate 2% credit card processing fee. The funds will be processed by the State and net proceeds will be issued to the city every two weeks.
The motion to implement the system was unanimously approved.
Cain presented the proposed 2020 budget to the Boyne City Commission. Discussions and planning will occur at upcoming work sessions regarding the proposed budget.
The preliminary budget review meeting was scheduled Monday March 18.
The budget work session will be held at 8 a.m. on March 21.