By Pat Maurer
The Farwell Village Council will have a new face at the table for their Committee of the Whole meeting next Tuesday evening.
After the Council accepted the resignation of eight-year member Barb Roe January 6, one of the applicants from last June, Joe Manley, was appointed 4-1 to fill the remainder of Roe’s term, which will expire December 1, 2014. Long-time Council member Elton Marshall voted against the appointment.
Manley will be sworn in at the Committee of the Whole meeting next Tuesday.
This will be the second new council member in less than a year after Justin Colosky was appointed to fill the remaining term of former Council woman Deloris Knepper, who died last spring.
Manley was picked from the same pool of candidates for the Council position to replace Roe. He was a member of the Planning Commission.
A retiree who has lived in Farwell for 22 years, Manley has lived in the area for 60 years, moving to mid-Michigan from Illinois as a youngster with his family. He is a Navy Veteran and was on the Clare Police Auxiliary for 15 years. He worked at several companies in the area and was a Lighting Engineer and Assembly worker at Evart Products for 15 years.
Roe had served two complete four-year terms on the board. Her term was extended a year when the Village Council election dates were changed to coincide with regular even-year elections.
She notified the Council through their attorney of her decision to resign in a letter dated December 9.
The board also voted unanimously to approve a cooperative agreement with Surrey Township and Farwell Area Schools to continue a contract with the Clare County Sheriff’s Department for a school liaison officer which would keep a patrol vehicle in the area through the end of the school year.
The School Board had previously cut the liaison officer’s position due to a decrease in student enrollment and less State funding, but agreed to reinstate the officer and fund one-third of the cost contingent on the agreement with Surrey Township.
Surrey Township also approved the agreement at their board meeting Tuesday evening.
The Village, township and schools will share the cost of the liaison officer for the rest of the year, an expenditure of $5,700 for each entity. The pro-rated cost for the officer is $20,622 for the rest of the school year.
The Council also approved a move forward with establishing a Farwell Downtown Development Authority and seeking a DDA plan consultant.
The matter was discussed at the Committee of the Whole meeting December 17. They were invited to attend a DDA meeting January 20 for more information about the process. Establishing a Downtown Development District could “capture” taxes on improvements to area businesses and establish a fund for further Village improvements.
Other business at the regular meeting included:
* In a 4-1 vote, Office Assistant Tracy Lee’s hours were increase from 30 to 40 per week. Vicky Gunden was the dissenting vote.
Approval of the purchase of a Kubota tractor with cab for $30,142 from Kubota Central in Clare. The money was already in the Village budget.
*Approval of an on-line course for clerk certification.
*To qualify for a Risk Management grant, the Council discussed and is looking into security cameras.
*The Council approved a $300 expenditure for a quilt block on the Village Office building.
*The Council voted to approve the same design for Christmas decorations for 2014.
*Approval of the December bills totaling $27,561.22.