Farwell takes first step to develop DDA district

May 16, 2014

By Pat Maurer

In a special meeting held April 22 during their monthly Committee of the Whole meeting, the Farwell Village Council accepted a proposal from a new Engineering Firm to put together a feasibility study and create a Downtown Development Authority and TIF Plan for the Village.

The Village Council discussed two proposals for the work; one from Village Engineering Firm Wade Trim for $20,400 over 12 months, and one from McKenna Associates Community Planning and Design of Northville, MI  for $22,000 over seven months.

An initial motion to accept the Wade Trip proposal by Council member Elton Marshall had no second. A second motion by Joe Manley to approve the Wade Trim proposal with feasibility study costs of $6,500 was voted down with  Village President Steve Grim, Council member Marshall and Joe Manley voting yes and Council members Gina Hamilton, James Conlay, Vicky Gunden and Joe Colosky voting no.

The third motion, to approve the McKenna proposal with the feasibility study costs at $3,000 of the total proposal was approved 5 to 2 with Manley and Grim voting no.

The feasibility study is required to qualify for a DDA through the State, said Clerk Janet Conlay. Since there was some community concern over the DDA proposal, the Village would still be able to opt out of the project if they decide to do that. She said some community members were against developing a DDA in the Village.

During the COW meeting earlier the Village Council discussed the upcoming Floyd and Webber Street project. They also agreed to look at the cost for a one inch asphalt layer on Hall Street between Illinois and Floyd while getting bids for the local street project.

At the regular meeting May 5, the Council approved a proposal from Medler Electric for $1,792.00 to replace 32 of the main street lights with 35 watt LED retrofit bulbs. The payback for the energy efficient bulbs is 1.65 years.

Three COW motions were approved at the regular meeting: the first was adoption of the Rules of Procedure; the second was approval of a resolution to exempt the Village from the provisions of Public Act 152 of 2011 (the purchase of tax sale property); and the third was the appointment of Joe Manley to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

Other business at the Village Council meeting included:

*Approval of the Power Generation Planned Equipment Maintenance Agreement with Cummins Bridgeway LLC for lift stations 1, 2, and 3 for the amount of $2,732.74.

*A discussion of mosquito control options for the Village.

*A report from County Commissioner Lynn Grim.

*Discussion of Hogger’s sandblasted sign estimate for $1,250 and design idea similar to the Enterprise Park sign with the Farwell Village Hall inscribed.

*Estimates for cooling and heating options for the Village office, Police Post and Council room will be requested with a special meeting May 20 to review estimates.

*A report that the DPW will purchase 12 trees to replace those removed earlier as approved at the last meeting.

*Approval of bills totaling $26,913.66.

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