By Pat Maurer
The next step in the process to develop a Clare Soccer Complex happened last Monday when the City Commission okayed an agreement with the Clare County Community Foundation to establish a “development fund.”
In his agenda report, Hibl said “We have conducted initial discussions with Clare Public Schools and Mid Michigan Community College for development of the complex, which is anticipated to require hundreds of thousands of dollars and three to four years to complete.”
He continued, “We have agreed in principle to jointly develop this new recreation complex…”
Hibl said the Clare Community Foundation had recommended the agreement to develop a “Soccer Complex Development Fund.”
“This method was used in Midland to develop that community’s huge soccer complex,” he wrote.
The Clare City Commission approved buying 26 acres on the south side of the city behind Tice’s Farm Market in August to develop as a new soccer complex.
The $169,500 purchase is financed on a ten year contract through Chemical Bank at 2.25 percent. Funds for the annual payment of approximately $19,500 will come for the Parks and Recreation millage funds, which were approved for a ten year renewal by voters August 7.
At the August meeting, City Manager Ken Hibl said development of the property may begin next year. Soccer games are presently played on Clare Municipal Airport property along Washington Road, a temporary location until a permanent complex is developed.
Another project under discussion by the City Commission is a potentially county-wide program for emergency notification services, similar to the one in Isabella County. Hibl said he and Clerk Diane Lyons, Police Chief Dwayne Miedzianowski, Fire Chief Jim Chapman and City Treasurer Steve Kingsbury all attended a web-conference to learn more about the “Code Red” program. “We were all very impressed by its responsiveness, its capabilities, its adaptability and its flexibility and also by its affordability.” He said the service would notify residents of emergency situations, severe weather and more with several different pricing options.
Hibl also notified the board that there are some problems with obtaining permits for the new Pump Station #5.
In mid-September meeting the Clare City Commission approved 4-1 a $375,700 bid from Pete’s Contracting for the relocation and construction of Pump Station number 5 at an aboveground site on the north side of the city.
He said the site for the station has “limited right-of-way boundaries,” which the Michigan Department of Transportation is attempting to have amended to allow the construction adjacent to the US-127 Park & Ride lot. If they are unsuccessful Hibl said it could cost an additional $75,000 for property. “If that happens, I think we should take this one to Lansing,” he said.
The sanitary pump station now in use is aging and needed to be either upgraded or replaced. The commission, after some deliberation earlier this summer, agreed to move the station to the north side of U.S. 127 adjacent to the carpool parking lot. The new location would enable the station to serve both existing businesses and any expansion on that side of the city.
Commissioner Tom Koch was the dissenting vote to build the new station and again on the bid approval in September.
The project will be paid for from the City’s Sewer Fund balance.
Other business at the City meeting Monday evening included:
*A closed session following the regular meeting to discuss a property purchase related to Parks and Recreation. When Commissioners returned to open session they voted to approve the consensus of the board.
*Changes in the City holiday expenditures, changing bonuses to an additional ½ day off, reducing the Police Auxiliary and Firefighters Christmas bonus to $25, and changing sending Christmas Cards to sending a Christmas letter. One item – requiring employees to pay $10 each to attend the annual Christmas party – was deleted from the motion.
*Election of Pat Humphrey as Mayor and Jean McConnell as Mayor Pro-tem and swearing in Commissioners Humphrey and Karla Swanson.
*Adoption of the Title VI nondiscrimination plan as rewritten by MDOT.
*Approval of the 2013 Poverty Exemption Application and Income Levels.
*Re-appointment of Jan Winter to the Planning Commission; Dr. Kurt Keppner to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Mike Sved to the Cherry Grove Cemetery Board.