Dexter Community Update 05-22-23
The following are highlights from the Dexter City Manager and Community Development Manager written reports submitted at the May 22, 2023, city council meeting.
City Offices: The final decontamination work has been completed for the new city offices at 3515 Broad St.
DTE Power Outage Follow-up: In April, the city administration and team met with DTE representatives to discuss the extended power sag that occurred after the ice storms in February. Presently, DTE is engaged in significant tree trimming operations throughout the city, specifically with the power lines connected to the Diamond Sub-station on Second St. A substantial portion of the conversation revolved around our endorsement for moving power lines underground and the difficulties DTE has experienced in securing easements from landowners to facilitate this process.
After the meeting, our DTE Government relations liaison made contact, promising to deliver a written outline of the activities and enhancements DTE is implementing in the City of Dexter and neighboring townships. Staff expects to receive this information to incorporate it into the next council meeting supplement.
Arbor Day: In April, the city, with help from Wylie Elementary, 4th and 5th-grade students distributed 400 free seedlings to celebrate Arbor Day.
“No Mow May” Clarification: Last year, the City of Ann Arbor endorsed an initiative, "No Mow May," encouraging residents to refrain from lawn mowing to support bees and other pollinators.
The "No Mow May" initiative was not embraced by the City of Dexter the previous year. Consequently, several residents were served violation notices for not maintaining their lawns during May. Out of approximately 30 notices issued to residents and property owners, only one ticket was eventually given out. A number of residents mistakenly thought the initiative was county-wide due to miscommunication.
This prompted the Council to revise the general code of ordinances. The update involved removing lawns and noxious weeds from the section on public nuisances and incorporating regulations on these into a new article (III) in the Vegetation Chapter (62) of the General Code. The amendment also necessitated the city to publish a notice in the first half of April and July each year about the city's grass and weed control regulations. The first such notice was published on April 5, 2023.
Block Grant: The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development has confirmed our Community Development Block Grant allocation for 2023-2024 from Housing and Urban Development. The allocated amount is $7,022. Given that this allocation is not substantial, it will require several years to accumulate enough funds for a project. This strategy is also more practical and efficient for programming the funds. For instance, our most recent project involving ADA ramps required pooling four years' worth of funding.
County Waste Removal: During the latest WRRMA meeting, Washtenaw County DPW provided some insights into a prospective waste hauling ordinance they are developing, with possible implementation targeted for 2024. The primary objectives of the ordinance include:
- Collecting data on trash and recycling,
- Holding waste haulers responsible,
- Establishing a funding mechanism at the county level,
- Supporting other County objectives like curbing illegal dumping, enhancing recycling rates, and reducing waste volume.
Fire Station Construction: Public Safety Facilities User Group convened on May 17th to initiate the process of assessing information relevant to constructing a fire station. The initial meeting covered various topics, with related materials shared with the City Council on May 18th. These topics included:
- The schedule for the first phase of discussions,
- Revisiting previously shared site layouts, planning designs, and space programs,
- Reviewing the Request for Proposal/Request for Quotation (RFP/RFQ) for the Construction Manager (attached to this memo),
- Previewing future meetings,
- Kick-starting discussions about temporary relocation of fire and police services,
- Exploring design techniques to reduce future maintenance requirements both internally and externally,
- The commencement of Phase II environmental assessments.
Destination Ann Arbor Marketing Filming: Destination Ann Arbor has notified the city that they are interested in taking drone footage of the town, including downtown and the city’s parks, in putting together a marketing video that includes the City of Dexter.
Annexation Request: David Lutton of Baker Land Holdings LLC has submitted an Annexation Application for a 45-acre plot next to the Dexter Crossing Residential Subdivision. The staff is preparing a Proposed Development/Redevelopment Project webpage on the city's website to provide public access to progress updates on the proposed project. This will be modeled after the approach taken by the City of Northville, enabling the public to monitor the progress of proposed projects within their community. Furthermore, the City and Scio Township officials have arranged a preliminary meeting for Friday, May 26th.
Image: David Zinn artwork in Dexter Farmers Market Pavilion. Image from council meeting packet.