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Chelsea City Council approves resolutions to assist businesses

The Chelsea City Council unanimously approved several resolutions to assist city businesses as they recover from Covid-19 closures during its virtual meeting on June 1.

The first is an annual request to allow Los Tres Amigos to have outside seating along M-52. Approval requires not only a local resolution of support but also approval from MDOT because the restaurant’s outdoor seating is on M-52, a state highway. This is the fourth year for this request for tables and chairs along the sidewalk.

City Council also unanimously approved a temporary request through Nov. 1 to allow additional outdoor seating for city restaurants and cafes to expand seating capacity either on-street by using “parklets” or in public parking lots. The on-street parking locations would be on either Park or West Middle streets. In a separate motion, businesses could also use private property.

Businesses applying for either temporary easing of restrictions would need to fill out specific forms and include the city as additionally insured.

Also unanimously approved was a concept for Palmer Commons to temporarily be used as a retail and service center for additional space. This would assist retail and service businesses to comply with the Covid-19 social distancing restrictions and in-store capacity limitations, by expanding “floor space” outdoors.  

As part of the concept, businesses could reserve space at Palmer Commons on a weekly basis on specific dates with city staff overseeing a more specific plan depending on the popularity of use of outdoor space by businesses that would like to use it.   

In other business, the City Council approved a request to purchase a new control system for the water department at a cost of about $97,550. This budgeted item will replace the current 20-year old equipment.

The City Council and the Planning Commission set a work session date of Wednesday, June 17 at 7 p.m. for a Zoom joint meeting to set goals and priorities for the city’s updated Zoning Ordinance. Changes in the zoning ordinance will reflect those in the city’s newly approved Master Plan. A copy of the plan can be found on the city’s website.

The City Council also approved:

  • The city’s utility rates and fees, which did not increase with the exception of the charge for the installation of a meter horn to connect a new water line to a home. The increase is due to the cost of the part.
  • The 2020-2021 millage rate, which has not increased since 2008. It breaks down to 11.2000 mills for the general fund, 1.22 mills for streets, and 0.7355 mills for solid waste for a total of 13.1555 mills.
  • The 2020-2021 DDA millage rate at 1.628
  • The 2020-2021 City of Chelsea budget, which can be found here.
  • And, a tax resolution to collect a 1-percent administration fee, a charge allowed by the State General Property Tax Act.  

If you would like to listen to the entire meeting, which was held virtually, please go to the city’s website.

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