July 14, 2024 Donate


Chelsea Council Synopsis, 6-3-24

By Natalie Davies

Chelsea City Council met on June 3 to consider the fiscal year 2024-25 budget, create official Gun Safety Awareness and Juneteenth days, ratify labor contracts, and approve a new shade structure in Palmer Commons.


City Council unanimously passed the departmental Budget of $40,640,543 for the fiscal year 2024-25.

Utility Rates

City Council unanimously passed the millages and a 1% property tax administration fee.

Finance Director Priya King held a public hearing on utility rate budget amendments for water, wastewater and electric utilities. The amendments kept rates the same as fiscal year 2023-24 for fiscal year 2024-25, which starts on July 1.

“The three overall goals of these fees are cost recovery, operational efficiency and sustainable practices,” King said.

Solid waste fees for couch disposal will increase to $20 from $10. Burning barrels will increase to $10 from $5. Building materials will increase to $35 a yard from $25 a yard.

“These increases are for solid waste disposal support environmentally responsible waste management practices such as recycling, managing hazardous waste and preventing illegal dumping,” King said.

Union contracts

Council unanimously ratified an agreement between construction union IBEW Local 876 and the City of Chelsea. Benefits negotiated for Chelsea’s four employees with this contract include receiving a $750 one time contract signing bonus, wage increases over a three-year contract of 4%, 3% and 3%, healthcare savings plan contribution increase, defined contribution increase, and the addition of the Junetenth holiday.

Council unanimously ratified an agreement between Teamsters Local 214 union and the City of Chelsea. Sixteen employees are covered by the contract, and one position is still open, Colburn said.

Benefits will include wage increases of 5% after the first two years and 4% after the third, a footwear and clothing allowance of $400, and increases in hourly compensation for employees with Water and Wastewater Licenses as well as Commercial Drivers Licenses.

The contracts will start on July 1–the first day of the city’s fiscal year 2024-25– and will end June, 30, 2027.

Palmer Commons Renovations

City Council approved a Polygon shelter system from Penchura for a new pavilion at Palmer Commons. The 4-post and painted steel structure will cost about $145,000, which is within the $150,000 the city budgeted for the project. The project quote includes engineering, drawings, installation and electrical prep.


Mayor Jane Pacheco presented a proclamation declaring the first Friday in June to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The proclamation, brought to council by Moms Demand Action, unanimously passed. Pacheco said Chelsea has meet with the group and honored National Gun Violence Awareness Day in previous years.

Council Member Kate Mehuron presented a proclamation declaring June 19, 2024 as Juneteenth Independence Day on behalf of the Human Rights Commission.

Junetenth became a federal holiday in 2021 and Michigan declared Juneteenth as a state holiday in July 2023.

“Celebrating this holiday is a way of working toward a more equitable and just Michigan by continuing to affirm liberty and justice for every resident of our community,” Mehuron said. “The Human Rights Commission wants to bring this forward to you today, and the commission is in the midst of planning some really good educational events to celebrate this holiday.”

Potential Commerce-Related Road Fixes

Chelsea City Manager Martin Colburn presented resolutions 2024-19 and 2024-20 to request the city apply for MDOT Economic Development Funds to rebuild Commerce Park Drive and Old Manchester Road and Hayes Street.

The grants are for $250,000 and the city would need to match if the grants were received. The funds must go towards fixing areas of the city related to commerce. The estimated cost to fix Commerce Park Drive is $611,000, where the Old Manchester Road and Hayes Street total would be about $634,000, Colburn said.

“The worst streets are being targeted,” Colburn said. “For instance, Commerce Park Drive you have what I call one of the entryways into the city. A lot of the people that come to stay here to do business and commerce are literally doing business and commerce on one of the worst streets in the city.”

New Assistant City Manager

Chelsea City Manager Martin Colburn announced Susan Montenegro started as the new assistant city manager. Montenegro said she has 11 years of city management experience doing tasks including planning, zoning and community development. Montenegro is a mom of four and an exchange student. Before her city council experience, she was a pastor.

City Council next meets for a regular meeting on June 17.