In its first meeting of 2019, the Chelsea City Council unanimously approved the date for its annual visioning session, which will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 13 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Village Conference Center at the Comfort Inn.
The council held last year’s visioning session at this location and City Manager John Hanifan said that the venue attracted more residents to the session than in past years. Past visioning sessions have been held at The Depot, the Chelsea District Library and the City Council chambers.
The annual visioning session is an open session where the city council and staff review its list of goals from the previous year and discusses plans and ideas for the future.
The visioning session also marks the beginning of the city’s budgeting process for the next fiscal year while it marks the halfway point of the current fiscal year.
In other business, the City Council also unanimously renewed a 5-year contract with the Huron River Watershed Council for the period Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2023.
Although the services provided to the city have typically been in the $1,300 per year range, this contract begins at about $4,584 in the first year and increases to about $7,640 in 2023.
“For the past two decades, the Huron River Watershed Council has provided support to partner municipalities and agencies through the Middle Huron Partnership to address stormwater and other pollution sources to the Huron River System,” according to the cover letter with the new contract.
The partnership works together to meet state and federal requirements to reduce the amount of pollution in the middle Huron River and its tributaries.
Other municipal partners in the group are Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Township, Barton Hills, Belleville, Dexter, Dexter Township, Lodi Township, Northfield Township, Pittsfield Township, Scio Township, Superior Township, Van Buren Township, Webster Township, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township.
Agency groups include the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commission, Washtenaw County Road Commission, Ann Arbor Schools, and University of Michigan.
The increase is due to a number of factors said Ric Lawson, Middle Huron Partnership coordinator. Among them are the addition of macroinvertebrate (insect) sampling for a more complete water quality analysis and associated lab costs as well as reductions in grant funding.
Among the goals of the group are to work cooperatively to meet permitting requirements, phosphorus control and to improve stormwater and non-point source runoff.
HRWC services to the group include “preparation of regulatory compliance products, development and implementation of monitoring and educational programs as well as group representation in discussions with the DEQ and leveraged implementation projects.”
Chelsea has been working with the Watershed Council for about 20 years.
Because of the significant increase for the multi-year contract, the city will need to amend its budget to pay for the additional expense said Mayor Melissa Johnson.
In other business, the City Council unanimously agreed to purchase electric capacity for coming years that amounts to about $136,200 for the periods of June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021 and for June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023.
The elected officials also approved on second reading an amendment to the city’s ordinance No. 78, 270.001, 3-11-1974. Sec. 32-71 to comply with DEQ requirements.
Added was a testing section for backflow devices that reads: “That all testable backflow prevention assemblies shall be tested initially upon installation to be sure that the assembly is working properly. Subsequent testing of assemblies shall be on an annual basis as required by the City of Chelsea and in accordance with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requirements. Only individuals that are ASSE 5110 certified shall be qualified to perform such testing. That individual(s) shall certify the results of his/her testing.”
Corey Davis, water/wastewater superintendent, told the city council that 304 inspections are made a year and 120 are testable devises.
If you would like to watch the City Council meeting, a video produced by Randy Lee of RK Studios can be viewed here by looking at the top right of the page and clicking on meeting videos.