Clare City purchases 26 acres for soccer fields

By Pat Maurer

Review Correspondent


In a 4-1 vote Monday evening, the Clare City Commission approved buying 26 acres on the south side of the city to develop as a new soccer complex.

Bob Bonham was the dissenting vote on the purchase.

The property, listed at $169,500, is behind Tice’s Farm Market and will be financed on a ten year contract through low bidder Chemical Bank at 2.25 percent. Funds for the annual payment of approximately $19,500 will come for the Parks and Recreation millage millage funds, which were approved for a ten year renewal by voters August 7.

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 while the Parks and Recreation Committee investigated possible permanent locations.

In another matter, two new stop signs will be installed on the corner of Pine Street and East Fourth (Pere Marquette Library corner) in Clare.

The change, recommended the City’s Traffic and Safety Committee, was approved by the City Commission Monday evening because of recent accidents at the corner. The intersection will now be a four-way stop for traffic.

Greg Rynearson, representing the Clare City Police, said there have been several accidents at the corner, due to people running the stop signs on Pine. “This will slow Fourth Street traffic and the stop will mean less chance of a Fourth Street vehicle hitting one that does run one of the stop signs on Pine,” he told the City Commission.

The City also approved the purchase of a new pickup truck from Krapohl Ford for the Water and Wastewater Department. The City budgeted $20,000 for the purchase, but the cost is slightly more, with the Krapohl bid for $21,175.58. The additional funds will be covered by the recent savings in the purchase of a mower, which was partially funded by the Clare Little League, saving the City $5,000 on that purchase.

Krapohl’s bid was the second lowest but was for a three-quarter ton vehicle, while the lowest bid from Benchley Brothers was for a one-half ton truck.

In other business at the City meeting:

*A Fiber Optic Co-Location Agreement was approved with Merit Network to develop an access site for the fiber optic cable which serves high speed internet communications. The project to develop broad band access for the whole county after Clare investigated connecting to the existing Regional Education Service District cable several years ago. Since then the initiative has become a model for the whole State, Technology Director Steven Kingsbury said. The co-location, or access site will serve as a secondary access to broadband through the northern counties, and be a backup should something happen to the southern existing cable.

*The Commission discussed prohibiting fireworks displays in the city except when they are allowed (the day before, day of, and day after major holidays) by the State. “It has become an issue in the city,” Clare Police Officer Greg Rynearson said. “This would give the department another tool to deal with complaints.” The Commission agreed to develop ordinance amendment wording for the matter.

*The Commission approved the second and final contractor’s application for payment of $7,630.00 for the demolition of the old wastewater treatment plant and another payment application for the ammonia remediation and electrical upgrade of the WWTP project totaling $83,831.61.

*The City’s responsibility in regard to new wells in the Hatton Township Landfill area was discussed. City Manager Ken Hibl reported that wells drilled within 800 feet of the “contamination plume” would have to be at least 250 feet deep. Outside that area, property owners would have to sign a waiver for shallower wells.

*The Commission approved the annual Title VI Plan and Policy as required by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

*Arlene Garver and Jerry Allen were re-appointed to the Airport Advisory Board.

The next meeting of the City Commission will be Tuesday, September 4, due to the Labor Day holiday.