Chelsea Community Forum discuss the Community Center Task Force, Federal Screw Works Site and Main Street Park


From Chelsea Community Forum moderator Vince Elie:

Approximately 7 people participated in the Chelsea Community Forum (CCF) via Zoom on March 12th. It was not recorded.

The topics chosen:

The Community Center Task Force/Main Street Park

Federal Screw Works Site/Main Street Park

There was a brief discussion regarding the externalities of doing business, i.e., what are the total and true costs of doing business; is it just the cost of labor and materials or should the impact on the local environment be calculated and added to the labor and material costs of doing business. Examples of these external costs include: a carbon tax or a tobacco tax or a sugar tax, in addition to the traditional costs of doing business. The concept of external costs of doing business was put forward by economist Arthur C. Pigou. These externalities, also known as a Pigouvian Tax, have been part of economic theory for a long time. This concept requires the community members to understand what “air, water, and forest” means to the community and its businesses.

This led to a discussion of the old Federal Screw Works (FSW) property and FSW’s responsibility to clean the site, despite selling the property to a third party. Heavy metals have been removed from the site, but further groundwater testing is required by EGLE (the old Michigan Department of Natural Resources), and this retesting step has not yet been completed due to external factors. Despite these issues the Main Street Park concept has garnered much community momentum and continues to seek more public involvement.

The Community Center Task Force (CCTF) has resumed its meetings. The CCTF objectives include:

1) assessment of community space needs.

2) summarize construction, operational, and maintenance costs.

3) research funding methods.

4) review and recommend the engagement of community partners such as Chelsea schools, St. Joseph Mercy-Chelsea, Chelsea Aquatic Club, and other health and wellness organizations.

The Task Force has created a survey for public dissemination; it can be found at the following site, via the City of Chelsea’s website:

Community Center Survey - Seeking Public Input

Please click on the Adult Survey or the Youth Survey.

Thank you! more

The CCTF is active and has researched the community centers in Saline and Howell. There continue to be discussions of monthly vs. daily fees or resident vs. non-resident fees, the location or working with the Wellness Center. It was brought up that the area lacks affordable housing and that Chelsea’s attempts to target young families with children, young people, and young adults with a community center may not be effective as there is no place for them to live and Chelsea runs the risk of “aging out” the school system and a community center. Another participant noted that the fixed cost of building is high and that these costs are unchangeable regardless of house size.

The Community Center Task Force is independent of the Parks and Recreation Task Force.

The Chelsea Community Forum will be transitioning to a different model. We will no longer meet monthly, but on an ad hoc basis around a designated topic. We are revamping the Chelsea Community Forum’s website, (thanks given to Laura Damschroder and Judy Oake). Future invitations will be conveyed via the “Chelsea Residents in the Know” Facebook page, Chelsea Update, The Sun Times, the CCF website, and via e-mail.

The CCF sessions will remain available to all with an interest in the affairs of the Chelsea School District and its next meeting time, day, and date are to be determined.

The Forum’s website:

Thank you to all that have participated in the Forum.

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