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Chelsea City Council Makes Appointments, Approves Numerous Business Items

The Chelsea City Council began its Zoom meeting on June 7 by approving several agreements with local entities including Washtenaw Area Value Express for $63,000 to assist with local transportation services, Chelsea Senior Center for $30,000 to assist in providing services and $10,000 to Chelsea Community Education to provide recreational services to residents. These agreement amounts are all included in the FY 2021-2022 budget.

During the business portion of the meeting, the ninth and final member was appointed to the city’s Community Center Task Force when Ginny Leikam was appointed to fill the open position for a member from the Chelsea Area Friends for Recreation of other non-profit recreation organization in Chelsea.

The task force, which has no final decision-making authority, will research findings and make recommendations to the City Council for further study or action.

Leikam, who lives in Dexter Township, will represent 5 Healthy Towns Foundation. She currently works for the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation as a supervisor of park planning and the Natural Area Preservation Program.

Jamie Lane, an experienced and former Zoning Board of Appeals board member, was appointed to the city’s ZBA for a term ending June 30, 2022. The 30-year resident of the city is currently also on the Planning Commission.

Julianne Chard was unanimously appointed to the city’s Planning Commission for a term ending June 30, 2023. A city resident since 2016, Chard is a licensed LEED accredited architect. It’s expected that she will also serve as the Planning Commission’s representative to the city’s Transportation Study Group.

The City Council authorized City Manager John Hanifan to sign two power purchases for solar power — one from Calhoun County Solar Project and one from the Hart Solar Partners.

After approving social districts in the city at its last meeting, the Chelsea City Council Monday night approved the applications from four businesses to be a part of it. Zou Zou’s, Grateful Crow, Jet’s Pizza and Ugly Dog Distillery applied to participate in the new program.

The program allows for the sale of to-go cocktails in cups and outdoor alcohol consumption with specific stickers affixed to those cups that must be consumed in designated social district areas. The final approval for these sales will come from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

The vote was 4-2 with Council Member Peter Feeney absent. Both Council Members Charles Wiseley and Cheri Albertson voted against  the approval of the designation of the social districts last month as well as in opposition to all four of these applications.

In other business, the City Council approved a 3-year bid to purchase trash bags from Petosky Plastics at a locked-in price of $20,080 per year for a total of $60,240. This purchase is included in the budget.

The City Council then adopted five resolutions for fiscal year 2021-2022. First up was the adoption of resolution for the city’s utility rates and fees with no change in cost from last year. Next up was a resolution to set the city’s millage rate that has not increased in 14 years. Residents will pay a total of 13.1555 mills. The general fund millage is 11.2000 mills, the street millage is 1.2200 mills, and the solid waste millage is 0.7355 mills.

For residents and businesses in the city’s Downtown Development District, (DDA) City Council approved a millage of 1.5884 mills and this levy is used to support operations in the DDA district. This millage is a separate line item on tax bills for those residents and businesses in the downtown district only.

The City Council also approved a 1-percent administrative fee that is collected to offset the costs incurred in assessing property values, collecting property taxes and in the review and appeal process. This fee has been allowed and collected for many years since this provision in the State General Property Tax Act was approved by state lawmakers.

And, the City Council approved its budget for the FY 2021-2022 and this approved budget document is expected to be posted on the city’s website (add link) by the end of the week.

In its final business item of the evening, the date of June 21 was set for the closed session evaluation of City Manager John Hanifan, who has been on the job for more than 14 years.

The City Council went into closed session at the end of the meeting to discuss collective bargaining and the purchase of property.

If you would like to listen to the meeting, please go to the city website and go to meeting videos. 

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