Two Months In, Colburn Unpacks City's Blueprint with a Dash of Digital, a Pinch of Policy


Chelsea City Council held its mid-year review on October 16th. Mayor Pacheco acknowledged the review was coming later than usual due to the recent hiring of City Manager Marty Colburn.

Colburn presented the review to the council, sharing insights gathered from engaging with city staff, the mayor, council, and public and crediting these interactions for his understanding of the community and its ongoing projects. "I've had the opportunity to be here now just a little bit over two months as I jumped in and indulged myself into numerous different conversations," he told the council.

City Election Preparations
Highlighting the forthcoming city election that will usher in at least two new members, Colburn discussed preparations to onboard the new inductees. He stated, "We'll have a training session with the City Council coming up," indicating a comprehensive effort to acquaint the new members with the city's operations.

Survey Insights
“We have a survey that was completed by the city council. The city clerk has taken that information, and it's helpful particularly if understanding some of the time loads and workloads that go into some of the boards and commissions that is heavier than others. That is something that'll evolve out of the council meeting immediately after the election.”

Emphasis on Regional Collaboration
Colburn championed regional collaborations, suggesting the integration of regional topics into city council meetings. "One of the things that I hit on early on is the regional opportunities and the regional opportunities are vast," he remarked.

Technological Advancements
The city's digital infrastructure is getting a facelift. "Candidly, we're very close to updating the website," Colburn declared, with plans to also train the staff in web management to ensure smooth online interactions for the public.

Public Safety and Community Health
Public safety remains paramount, with strategic planning group discussions and an upcoming survey. Colburn also spotlighted the collaboration with Community Mental Health roundtables and village rebate funds, aiming to holistically serve the community.

Strategic Planning
With an eye on the future, Colburn revealed aspirations to have a "draft strategic plan by December."

Chelsea Police Department Update by Chief Kazyak
The police chief reported on recent equipment and fleet upgrades, policy revisions, and personnel additions. Emphasizing training, he detailed sessions undertaken in areas like active shooter response and CPR.

Economic Development Projects
Colburn discussed engagement with EGLE on projects like the MSPA initiative and a loan for the Rockwell building, aiming for revitalization. He also touched on potential business visibility enhancements in the South Main and M52 business corridor, updates on the Wolf land development, and progress on the "Redevelopment Ready Community" initiative.

Trinkle Road Property Redevelopment
Safety concerns about a barn at the city’s Trinkle Road property led to an urgent call for its redevelopment. "Definitely deem it dangerous," Colburn stated, with plans in motion for its demolition. He also hinted at future plans for the property's utilization.

Parks and Recreation
Timber Town Park is undergoing renovations, with updates like electrical lines and a forthcoming pickleball site to provide diverse recreational offerings for residents.

Green Initiatives and Infrastructure
A spotlight was cast on environmentally-friendly activities, traffic studies, and infrastructure projects. Mention was made of potential grants, water infrastructure plans, and the MDOT's involvement in various projects.

Water, Sewer, and Electrical
Colburn outlined the exploration of potential water system interconnections, ongoing electrical rate studies, and emergency response strategies, underlining the importance of community safety and well-being.

Regional Opportunities: Courthouse and B2B Trail
A paradigm shift in courthouse operations might see shared space facilities in the future. Additionally, collaborations to expand the B2B trail were hinted at, offering recreational connectivity for the city.

Administrative and Technological Improvements
Administrative team changes, potential new roles, and digital transformation, including website updates and a new document management system, were discussed, showcasing the city's efforts for efficient and transparent governance.

The entire 53-minute presentation can be found on the city’s website.

Photo by Doug Marrin

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