Swanson resigns from Clare council, Loomis appointed

March 23, 2020

By Pat Maurer

The Clare City Commission will have a brand-new board member at the next regular meeting.

Karla Swanson, Mayor Pro-tem and a City Commissioner for more than eight years, submitted her letter of resignation at the regular meeting Monday evening.

Swanson, a member of the Clare City Planning Commission for six years, was originally appointed to fill the remaining term of a vacant seat on the board and was subsequently elected to serve two more terms. She was presented with a resolution of appreciation for her many years of service to the community.

In her letter, she said, “It has been a privilege to serve on the commission.” She said she and her husband would be moving outside the city limits, but hoped to continue to be involved in city activities.

Her resignation is effective today, March 20th. Her present term expires in two years.

At Monday’s meeting the Commission

Following her recognition, Planning Commissioner Nick Loomis was appointed to fill the remainder of Swanson’s term on the Commission. Loomis comes to the City board from the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Bob Bonham was selected to fill the position of Mayor Pro-tem.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the City Offices will not be open to the public for the next few weeks and non-essential business will not be conducted. The offices closed to the public on Wednesday and will remain closed through April 5th. Residents who wish to make a utility payment can pay with a debit or credit card on the City’s website at www.cityofclare.org. Check payments can be placed in the outside drop box. To make a cash payment call 989-386-7541 to make arrangements.

A city manager search session has been deferred to a future date. The next City meeting is scheduled for April 6th. All other City meetings have been postponed until after the regularly scheduled meeting.

Following the presentation of the Middle Michigan Development Company’s annual report, the board approved street project bids for the coming season. In his agenda report City Manager Ken Hibl said, “The City is in a position where it will be able to afford two phases of street projects in calendar year 2020; primarily overlay projects in our current fiscal years ending June 30th and a significantly great investment in our streets after July 1st in the City’s 2020-21 Fiscal year.

Bids solicited were for the fist phase, a thin overlay of 958 feet on Wilcox Parkway from Shamrock Court west and a thin overlay of 304 feet on East Fourth Street. The Commission approved the low bid of $55,160.86 by Central Asphalt. The total project cost is $57,780 with the additional $2,565 the costs to install needed manhole and water box risers in the project area.

The City also gave their approval to submit a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Passport Recreation Grant Application for $30,000 to purchase a “poured in place” safety surface for the new playgrounds to be constructed at the Emerald Isle Recreation Complex. If the grant is approved the local match will be $10,000 and that amount will be raised by the Parks & Rec Board and local volunteers. The group has already raised $59,000 for the playground equipment.

In other business Monday:
*The Commission approved an early retirement request from DPW Director Bob Bonham, who plans to retire May 31st. The City also approved the continued payment of his medical benefits through the end of the year. The approval will save the City approximately $48,000.
*The board approved budget amendments for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
*The Board discussed complaints that have been received about horse manure on the City Streets and a proposed “dialog with the Amish community.
*It was reported that the expenses resulting from a sewer back up on First Street during the installation of manhole liners would be reimbursed by Harsh Construction.
*A report was made that four City employees with compromised immune systems were sent home.
*The board approved the payment of bills totaling $80,799.93.

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