Dexter Community Report 04-26-21

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By Doug Marrin

The following is a synopsis of the Dexter City Council meeting of April 26, 2021.

Pre-Arranged Participation

Mike Kloack of Meeder Investment Management presented the Council with an update on its investments. Kloack reported that overall consumer spending has returned to pre-COVID levels. This is helping to stabilize the market, and as a result, the City is getting a solid return on its investments. The City’s investment portfolio is $3,160,280.17 as of April 19.

City Treasurer Report

Dexter City Treasurer Marie Sherry presented the Council with the Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2020-2021 report. The report can be found in the City Council meeting packet for April 26, 2021.

Dept of Public Works Report

In addition to his written report included in the council meeting packet, Public Services Superintendent Dan Schlaff stated that the water line was being installed for the Community Garden and that the ground would be tilled one more time before opening to the public.

Community Development Report

Lucy Ann Lance Show: Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol reported that she had been interviewed for an episode of the Lucy Ann Lance Show on 1290 WLBY.

The link to the eleven-minute segment is: https://www.lucyannlance.com/audio/041921/dexter.mp3

SBA Grant Opportunity: The Small Business Association is initiating a new grant program to support the foodservice industry. Ms. Aniol reports that all eligible businesses in Dexter have been notified.

Tour of Mill Creek Park: Northville is developing a plan to create a river walk along the Middle Rouge River, which courses through the city. Northville officials have requested to meet with Dexter officials to tour Mill Creek Park and get an account of what it took to develop the park and walkway, particularly its connections to regional and state trails.

Planning Commission Public Hearings: The PC has scheduled three public hearings for its meeting on May 3.

  1. A text amendment that would establish self-storage facilities as a special land use.
  2. A special land use application that was submitted for self-storage.
  3. The final draft of the Capital Improvement Plan for years 2021-2026.

Washtenaw Co Economic Outlook: Ms. Aniol summarized UM’s RSQE saying, “The Economic Outlook for Washtenaw County in 2021-2023 was presented/released by the UM Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics (RSQE) last week. The Washtenaw County economy has recovered substantial ground from losses suffered last year due to the COVID-19 recession. The unemployment rate is forecast to decline to 2.7% in 2023, which is 0.2 percentage points lower than its level in 2019. The two biggest reasons are 1) the rapid improvement in the public health situation, and 2) the aggressive economic policy response to the recession (i.e., $900 billion fiscal relief package passed by Congress in December 2020 and $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed in March 2021).”

To view the entire report and PowerPoint presentation, please click the following links:

Washtenaw Co Sheriff Report

See article: Dexter Police Report, March 2021

City Manager Report

Sidewalk Improvements: Interim City Manager Justin Breyer reported proposed plans for some city sidewalks ramps to replace ADA accessible ramps.

Third & Broad Streets Reconstruction: The project has been delayed until next year due to a delay in getting the project reviewed by MDOT’s Railroad Department. As a result, the City will not meet MDOT’s bid deadlines pushing the project into the winter months. Mr. Breyer reports that this is a problem that communities all around the state are having.

Elected Officials Core Training: Councilmember Griffin will be attending a training seminar for newly elected officials hosted by the Michigan Municipal League.

Farmers’ Market: Opening day is May 1, and a new manager has been hired.

See article: New Management Comes to the Dexter Farmers’ Market

Mast Rd/Huron River Dr. Roundabout: The county road commission requested a letter of support from the City to apply for a grant to construct a roundabout at the five-point corner of Mast, Joy, and Huron River Dr.

See article: Possible Solution Resurfaces for Dangerous Five-Point Corner

Parks Use Permit: The City Staff is developing a more comprehensive and standardized application for park use.

WRRMA Recycle Project: The Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority will be studying the quality of the recyclables it collects. The study is scheduled to begin mid-May with a mailer explaining the details of the analysis.

Mayor Report

City Manager Search: Mayor Shawn Keough reported that the field of candidates has been narrowed down to three. The next stage of the interview process is to have each candidate meet with the City Staff, Dept. of Public Works, and the City Council.

Council Vacancy: Five candidates have expressed interest in the open City Council seat. Mayor Keough is interviewing the applicants and intends to have a recommendation ready for the Council to vote on at its May 10 meeting.

Consent Agenda

The Council approved $306,769.65 for bills and payroll, and amendments to the third quarter budget.

Old Business

Alley Vacation: The Council determined it would be in the City's best interests to approve a request by Mike Penn to vacate the remaining portion of Fourth Street, between Broad Street and the railroad right-of-way that runs between his two properties.

Friday Night Music Series: The Council approved a permit request by the Chamber of Commerce to hold concerts in Monument Park on Friday nights in the summer.

See article: Dexter’s Summer Outdoor Concert Series Goes Before the Council

New Business

ACH Master Plan: The Council adopted the 2021-2026 Arts, Culture, and Heritage Master Plan.

City Office Discussion: The Council discussed due diligence updates on the potential purchase of 3515 Broad St. for city offices. The list of necessary modifications was considered in the discussion and how these requirements might affect the sale price. The use of extra space in the complex was also considered—whether the City should lease it out or use it for public works.

Further detail on the Council’s agenda items can be found in the meeting packet posted on the City’s website.

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