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Chelsea City Council Approves Long List of Business Items

After the Chelsea City Council heard presentations on April 5 from representatives from the Chelsea Senior Center and developers of the Rockwell Building, it was onto council business.

Those deliberations began with the unanimous appointment of the five-member Kaboom grant steering committee that will oversee the planning and placement of new parklets downtown. The steering committee is part of the requirements for the $46,000 grant that was recently awarded to the city.

The money will be used to incorporate parklets into the downtown for outdoor dining and interactive recreational opportunities.

Jennifer Kwas will be the City Council representative, Kathy Finger the DDA representative, Eric Brayton, the rep from the parks and recreation commission, Terris Ahrens from the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce and Julia Upfal from the city’s planning and zoning department.

The steering committee was appointed to serve a term that expires on Jan. 31, 2022.

The City Council also heard and discussed a citizen agenda item for additional speed enforcement in the 200 block of Washington Street. Resident Julianne Chard said there is a speeding problem and there are seven children who live in the block and she is concerned about their safety.

Chard urged the City Council to implement measures that will protect the health and safety of not only those neighborhood children but also the many residents in the area who frequently walk or bike in that area.

The city’s Transportation Study Group was apprised of the issue last month and Washington Street is one of the areas slated for additional traffic calming measures in the new Chelsea POP 2.0 project.

The City Council then unanimously approved on a first reading a rezoning request for two contiguous properties on Buchanan Street and West North Street owned by Jiffy Milling Company.

The request was to change the zoning from RS-2 (moderate density single family) to I-1 (general industrial), and it was previously approved by the Chelsea Planning Commission.

A second reading for the rezoning request will take place on April 17.

Also on April 17, elected officials will hold a public hearing for a request of a tax abatement through a commercial rehabilitation certificate exemption for an estimated $8.977 million investment in the Rockwell Building at 301 N. East St.  

In other business, city employees, elected and appointed officials, board and commission members now have a new social media policy, which was unanimously approved with the following addition: THey must adhere to all city, state and Federal laws and regulations.

(Please read the new policy at the bottom of this story.)

Chelsea Area Festivals and Events (CAFÉ) was granted unanimous approval to use Palmer Commons and to have a portion of South Street and East Middle St. closed with barricades from 5-9:30 p.m. for seven Thursdays from July 1-Aug. 12. In addition, the City Council approved the use of Palmer Commons for a reduced rate of $35 per event or a $245 total cost.

Public hearing dates of May 17 at 7 p.m. were set for both the city’s utility rates and the city’s budget and millage. City Manager John Hanifan told the City Council that there are no increases planned for the city’s utility rates. And in addition, for the 14th year in a row, there are no tax increases planned.

In addition, the City Council unanimously approved another power purchase agreement that leverages the 18-member communities in the Michigan Public Power Agency (MPPA) for group rate power purchases. This purchase is for the years 2025-2026.

(Publisher’s note: This is the first of several stories about the City Council meeting. If you would like to listen to the entire meeting, please click here and go to city meeting videos on the upper right hand corner.)  

Social Media Policy
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