Dexter Community Report, 06-27-22


By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

Highlights from the June 6, 2022, Dexter City Council meeting.

Cornman Farms: City administration, DPS/DPW staff, City attorney, OHM, and Mayor Keough met with representatives from Cornman Farms and Dexter Township on June 22 to discuss a connection to the City’s public utilities. Cornman Farms requested the meeting stating that public water and sewer are necessary to continue operating and growing the business. The property’s 22 acres are in Dexter and Webster townships. To gain access to City utilities, annexation would be required. The next steps would be for Cornman to place an official request with the City and townships, which would prompt zoning and utility capacity evaluations.

Small Cell Wireless Tower: The City has approved the design for a small cell tower to be installed at the corner of Alpine and Main streets. The design is similar to the decorative street lights along Main St.

Read more at Dexter Council Considers Small Cell Tower Permits

This simulated photo of the cell tower planned for the corner of Alpine and Main streets will be designed to fit into the City’s streetscape, mainly in the style of the lamp posts. Image from City Council Packet.

Pure Michigan Radio: City Staff gave an interview with WJR for the Pure Michigan Radio Show about the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival. The interview is expected to air on July 30 & 31.

DHS Senior Processional: In light of COVID restrictions for the last two years, a motorcade processional down Main St. was organized for the public to congratulate the graduates. The City has not received any follow-up conversation for a processional this year and is under the impression it will not occur.

Indecent Exposure and B/E Suspect: City Staff was notified by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office that a suspect has been taken into custody related to a series of indecent exposure and attempted breaking and entering incidents.

Second St. Construction: Construction of the new Second St. water main and sidewalk has been completed. The contractor is finishing the restoration portions of the project.

“Walk Your Wheels”: The City continues to work out placement for the “Walk Your Wheels Pedestrian Zone” stencils on the sidewalks downtown. Once the most effective locations are identified with temporary stencils, permanent stencils will be painted onto the walkways.

Chief Smith’s Retirement: Mayor Keough reported that June 16 was Chief Smith’s last Dexter Area Fire Dept (DAFD) meeting. His retirement is effective July 1. Assistant Fire Chiefs Armstrong and Gaggi presented their plan for DAFD interim leadership. The plan was well received by the DAFD Board, and Doug Armstrong will be acting Fire Chief for the next 4-6 months.

Dan Schlaff Retirement: The City recognized Public Services Superintendent Dan Schlaff’s retirement with a proclamation of appreciation for his 37 years of service. Schlaff responded with, “It takes a strong governing body, a strong paid staff, and one hell of a strong community to do the things we’ve done.”

Image from City Council Packet

Sheridan Property Sale: UM has requested a meeting with the City about the Sheridan Property (formerly Thomson Shore) on Joy Rd. The University wishes to discuss its purchase and planned renovation of the property for its pharmacy program.

2022-23 Budget: The Council approved the City’s budget for the fiscal year 2022-23. Details can be found in the City Council meeting beginning on page 117.

Baker Rd. Construction: Major renovation of Baker Rd. from Main St. to Grand St. is scheduled for summer 2024. The City has received a $336,610 federal grant for the project. The Council approved $38,800 for design services from OHM.

Charter Amendment: The Council discussed a charter amendment for the sale of city property. Currently, no sale of city property can occur without being approved by a majority vote of residents. The amendment would exempt items considered personal property, such as trucks, furniture, and electronics. In the City’s recent survey, 71.99% of respondents said they would support such an amendment. The Council is working on ballot language for such an amendment for November’s election.

Council Compensation: The Council discussed increasing the pay for council members from $80 per meeting to $90. Councilmember Griffin inquired about the rationale behind the compensation. Councilmember Michels responded, “We have folks here now who probably don’t need the money, but we also have to plan for the future when that may not be the case.” For example, Michels noted that the compensation might help cover daycare for someone who might not otherwise be able to serve their community on the City Council. No action was taken.

ACHC Compensation: Similar to the above, the Council discussed compensation for the Arts, Culture, and Heritage Committee. The ACHC is the only committee that does not receive compensation. The proposed amount is $40 per meeting. No action was taken.

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