Clare approves reps for USDA loan, grant applications

February 8, 2019

By Pat Maurer

The Clare City Commission appointed Treasurer Steven Kingsbury as primary designee and City Manager Ken Hibl as alternate designee to represent the city for two applications that will be submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture. The first, a project loan application, is for a loan to fund critical system improvements at the City’s water plant and to drill a new public water well. The second, a project grant application, is for grant funding to drill two new wells for two that are located in the Environmental Protections Agency Super Fund Site.

In his report to the board, Hibl said, “This action does not commit the City of Clare to any fiscal obligations as both the loan and grant applications are just that – applications. If either or both of the applications are approved, the City Commission will be required to authorize acceptance of the loan and grant.”

In his report to the Commission, Hibl noted that the City has received an engineering estimate (from Gourdie Fraser and Associates) of the cost to construct the proposed Gateway project. (The renovation of the property donated to the City at the former site of Consumers Energy on the corner of Third and McEwan Streets.) Hibl added, “We will use the estimates to apply for grant funding in an attempt to complete this downtown project. The estimate lists a probable cost of $297,858.00.

In another matter the Commission gave its approval for a four-year intergovernmental agreement with the school district providing a liaison officer. The Commission had approved the contract for only one year, which expires in June. Hibl said, “The Board of Education and the City Commission met jointly in August and held discussions of mutual interest regarding school security and the agreement.”

According to the agenda report, the agreement stipulates that both parties share equally in the wages and benefits for a full-time officer to service in the school resources officer position. The four-year agreement includes “opt out” language that allows either party to terminate the agreement with 120 day written notice.
The Clare City Park may soon have a bus shelter for Clare County Transit riders with the City Commissions approval for the Federal Transportation Administration to fund the shelter Monday evening.

Hibl said, “Tom Pirnstill, the Executive Director of Clare County Transit, proposed this project to the City Staff more than a year ago. The City staff suggested this site location…due to its central location in Clare and its proximity to Clare’s downtown, the senior center and the intersection of the two business routes.”
Other business at the City meeting included:

*A second public hearing and approval of a zoning change to allow the construction of a new Mercantile Bank building in the City.

*A presentation from Clare Water Superintendent Dale Clark on the test levels of PFOA/PFOS in the City water. He said, “Our test samples show that we are well below the 70 parts per trillion LHA level, but we presently have a low presence of these chemicals in our drinking water. We are not aware of any factors that would cause our test levels to increase, but concurrently we simply cannot offer any guarantee that the levels will not increase over time due to migration through the aquifers we use.”

*Approval of the expenditure of $8,737 for a new West State Street Storm Water Lift Station pump which failed two weeks ago.

*Approval of an AT&T permit in the City’s right-of-way.

*Approval of bills totaling $51,231.44.

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