By Pat Maurer
Two Clare Police officers were named Officer of the Year at the Clare City Commission meeting last Monday evening.
Two officers are selected for the honor each year by the Clare Police Department.
The 2013 Officer of the Year is Tom Brandon and the Reserve Officer of the Year is Mic DeFoy. Both men were recognized with certificates and keys to the city at the meeting Monday evening.
The Commission also took another step forward in the development of the planned new Clare Industrial Park North on Colonville Road.
After selecting Gourdie Fraser and Associates as the engineering firm for the design and construction oversight of the new park last month, a contract with the firm was drafted and approved at Monday’s meeting. The total contract cost is $762,850, $28,000 less than the cost listed for that part of the project in the Economic Development documents. The EDA will reimburse 60 percent of the total with a portion of the $2.6 million in grant funds approved for the project late last year.
GFA Municipal Specialist Craig Goodrich was at the meeting and told the board, “We have already started the project and are about 30 percent done with the design drawings.” He said GFA had made the early start so the project could be bid this spring and underway by summer.
Consumers Energy has plans to begin construction of a $4 million service facility on 20 acres of the new 60 acre park this year with completion of their facility early next year.
The Clare Industrial Development Corporation approved the proposed layout of the new park at their January 13 meeting.
Another project in the same area will be improvements to nearly one mile of Colonville Road between the freeway off ramp and Eberhart Road. The Commission approved the jurisdictional transfer of the maintenance of the road to the city from the Clare County Road Commission. With the transfer in place the city will receive additional annual Act 51 funds from the Michigan Department of Transportation to allay a portion of the cost to the city.
Other business at the City meeting included:
*Approval of a resolution amending the Consumers Energy Standard Lighting Contract, which is adopted annually in August. The change is for the replacement and conversion of bulbs to ones more energy efficient. City Manager Ken Hibl said in his report that “there should be a savings to current billing.”
*The Commission approved the sale of a used police vehicle to highest bidder Martin J. Card of Midland for $4,100.99. The next highest bid came from Gary L. Bauer for $2,151.00, which the Commission approved if Card decided against the purchase.
*The Commission also approved the payment of a cell phone stipend of $25 to off-set personal costs by management employees. The lowest stipend was $15.
*In his manager’s report, Hibl said the Downtown Development Authority will meet February 7 to decide if they will submit an application for Federal designation for the City’s downtown as a Historic District. Clare resident and Eastern Michigan University student Ken Lingaur has completed the required work as part of his master’s degree work.
*Hibl also reported that the steam locomotive will bring 400 to 500 passengers to Clare March 15 during the Irish Festival and that the Chippewa Indian Tribe has offered to bless the ground at the new location for the depot. “We will be moving the depot in mid-April,” Hibl said.
*During his report City Treasurer Steven Kingsbury said three Clare residents, disabled veterans, have qualified for a full exemption of their property taxes. He also said a bill has been introduced into the State House requiring the State to reimburse local units of government for the property tax losses associated with the recently enacted bill.
*Commissioners Bob Bonham and Jean McConnell were appointed to the Fiscal Oversight and Budget Committee for the next year. McConnell will serve as the committee chair.