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Chelsea council schedules work session for large downtown redevelopment projects

By Lisa Carolin

Some big projects will be facing Chelsea City Council in the near future, and in order to have time to discuss them, Council members voted to set a work session for Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. prior to the City Council meeting that starts at 7 p.m.

City Manager John Hanifan said that the last few days have been busy and exciting with a couple of developers moving forward on projects, which he said have been a long time coming.

He was referring to True North Development’s proposal to redevelop the Federal Screw Works site and JP Commercial Sales interest in re-developing the Rockwell Building.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had something of this magnitude,” he said.

Both projects are proposed to be primarily residential developments with a small amount of mixed use.

In other action, City Council approved an amendment changing the by-laws regarding the number of members in the City’s Downtown Development Authority. The number was reduced from eleven to nine members. Hanifan said that it has been difficult keeping the current full board number of eleven members.

A special event permit was approved by City Council for a Witches Night Out, a social and shopping event that includes vendors selling Halloween related items. It will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10. The request was made by Pam Conn of Wines on Main and includes using the parking lot off Middle Street behind Agricole and next to Chelsea Farmers Supply. The event will conclude with a meet and greet at the Victorian Inn.

Council approved proclamations for Trinh Pifer for the 2019 Citizen of the Year Award and for Bob Pierce and Nadine Anderson for the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, both to be given by the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce at an Oct. 24 banquet.

City Council approved adopting the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Local Agency Pavement Warranty Program as well as approving a resolution to determine when the program would be implemented. Hanifan said that there is a threshold of $2 million, though it is unlikely the City of Chelsea would have a paving project that large.

Also approved was a power purchase agreement allowing the purchase of energy for October and November of this year, some of which will be renewable energy. Mayor Melissa Johnson said it is part of the city’s strategy and that funds for the energy purchase are in the budget.

City Council voted to set Oct. 7 as the date for an annual performance evaluation of City Manager Hanifan. 

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