2011-01-16 / News Briefs

NEWS Briefs

SHOWBOAT QUEEN'S PAGEANT FEB. 26 – Applications are now available for the Chesaning Showboat Queen's Pageant, Applications are available at Chesaning High School for girls ages 17 to 21. The deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 1. The application fee is $10. The pageant will be held on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Chesaning Middle School auditorium. Admission to the pageant is $3. For more information, contact Keely Zoellner at kazoellner@hotmail.com.

WEEK 10 FOOTBALL FRENZY WINNERS – The winners of the Chesaning Chamber of Commmerce Football Frenzy for Week 10 are: Julie Amman, of Chesaning, 112 pts., $100; Joe Sedlar, of Chesaning, 110 pts., $65; Robert Bloom, of Chesaning, 110 pts., $65; Matt Agnew, of DeWitt, 109 pts., $50; Nick Walter, of Saginaw, 107 pts., $40; Ralph Behnke, of Harbor Beach, 105 pts., $30; Jim Dodak, of Chesaning, 16 pts., $30; Meredith Kviz, of New Lothrop, 17 pts., $10; Katie Elchler, of Flushing, 17 pts., $10.

CHAMBER RAFFLE WINNER – The winner of the Chesaning Chamber of Commerce biweekly raffle for Wednesday, Jan. 12 was Julie Crim. Guest drawer was Bobbi Bates, of Studio 1-2-4.

O'HARE ELECTED CHAIRMAN – Mike O'Hare, of Chesaning, was elected as chairman of the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners at the Jan. 3 organizational meeting. Timothy Novak was elected vice chairman. O'Hare also served as the chairman of the board during 2010.

DEFORKE QUESTIONS TWP. WATER BILL – Former Montrose City Councilman Frank DeForke went before the city council on Jan. 13 to inquire about billing Montrose Township for water used at the fire station. DeForke said the water bill had been previously brought up, but asserted that there had been “no payment in five years.” He demanded to know why. Mayor Ray Foust responded, “I don't have an answer for you. But I will have an answer by next meeting.” Foust thanked DeForke for bringing the issue to his attention.

CONSOLIDATION AHEAD? – During the January meetings of the Montrose City Planning Commission, and the Montrose City Council, the groups were advised that the State is pushing for consolidation of police and fire services. “Bedford Township contracts with the state police for law enforcement.” Commissioner Bud Tackebury asked, “This has been tried before?” Taylor responded, “It has, but without success.” Planning Commissioner Mark Richard stated, “It's due to diminishing funds.” Tackebury commented, “I've heard of small townships and villages going together, not cities.” Members of both the Montrose City Council and the Planning Commission plan to attend a meeting on Jan. 19 to hear more about a proposal to consolidate and regionalize police and fire services. During the discussion Montrose City Mayor Ray Foust commented, “A lot of departments are worse off than we are.”

HOMELESS AND COUNTING – Montrose City Manager Frank Crosby advised the planning commission that the U.S. Department of Housing will be conducting a count of “homeless folks” on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. He asked if they know of homeless people that should be counted. Federal funding for the homeless is at stake.

SMALL CITIES/BIG PROBLEMS – Montrose City Mayor Ray Foust informed the Montrose City Council on Jan. 13, that he has “learned a lot” through the Small Cities organization. He talked about having interacted with state lawmakers at one of the Small Cities meetings and learned that the state is looking to cut back 10 percent across the board, which includes a 10 percent cut of state shared revenues to cities and other municipalities. This would mean a substantial reduction in local municipal funding.

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS – During their Jan. 13 meeting, the Montrose City Council approved new and renewed committee appointments. The Planning Commission appointees, who now serve three year terms under state requirements, will be Councilman Adrian “Bud” Tackebury representing the

council, Frank Taylor, Mark Richard, Agnes Johnson, Norville “Smokey” Landes, Regina Sturgis-Johnson, and Rick Cummings. Since Tackebury served on the planning commission before his recent election to the council, the planning commission has an opening to fill. The City's DDA Board appointees included Mayor Ray Foust, Kathleen Swart, Roxanne DeLaCruz, and Carie Ryndress. Eva Vandefifer was reappointed to the Election Commission. The Public Safety Committee appointees were Mayor Foust, Paul Wixson and Eldon Dunklee.

DETROIT WATER HIKES AGAIN – Montrose City DPW Director Everett Persall reported that during a meeting of the Genesee County Water and Waste Advisory Committee he learned that the City of Detroit will again be raising their rates. Persall said, “A 10 percent increase is coming our way again.” He informed the city council that this is the third 10 percent increase in one year. Mayor Ray Foust informed the council that a number of Detroit city officials are currently facing federal indictment over misuse of funds. Councilman Paul Wixson commented, “It's amazing the cost of water would go up this much.” City Manager Frank Crosby said they now have to replace infrastructure. Crosby stated, “They forced people into the Detroit water system; but then allowed the [Detroit city council] complete control.

CHARTER KICKS UP COSTS – The City of Montrose has been notified that the Charter Communications cable television provider is increasing rates to its customers effective Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011. According to a letter issued by Charter Communications Government Affairs Director Tim Ransberger, dated Dec. 17, 2010, basic and expanded basic levels of service would remain unchanged. Ransberger also listed service prices that would increase. They are: Sports View increases from $5 to $10 per month. HBO/Cinemax up $6 to $20 per month. Showtime/The Movie Channel and Starz/Encore increase by $1 to $15. The cost of two and three premium service packages each increase by $4 per month. Ransberger did not indicate the reasoning for the increases in his letter.

S-3 CERTIFICATION ELUSIVE – In a 4-3 vote, the Montrose City Council resolved to remove the S-3 certification requirement from the job description of Montrose City DPW director. DPW Director Everett Persall did not obtain his S-3 certification, scoring

exactly the same as before. “I plan on going after it again,” he stated. City Mayor Ray Foust said he had the opportunity to discuss the matter at the Genesee County Drain Office. Foust learned that a lot of small communities don't have anyone with S-3 certification on staff; but the Drain Commissioner is willing to fulfill the city's need at no cost to the city. Foust said, “He has a secret agenda,” explaining the drain commissioner wants to be able to utilize the city's backup wells as a backup for the county in an emergency. Councilwoman Sue Head stated, “Its a certification we rarely use.” She moved the S-3 certification be striked from the DPW director's contract. Councilman Thomas Bigelow commented that Persall had been given five years to achieve the S-3 certification but had not. Councilman Paul Wixson stated, “I know Everett does a fantastic job for the city.” Wixson didn't want Persall released, “Just because he doesn't take tests well.” Mayor Pro-Tem Colleen Brown asked, “Am I hearing correctly, there is an offer to provide [a S-3 certified individual] at no cost to the city?” The requirement for the DPW director to possess S-3 certification was rescinded from a previous board motion and the Genesee County Drain Commissioner was named to fill the city's need to fill state requirements.

LIQUOR SALES ALLOWED – The Montrose City Council discussed the state proposal to allow liquor sales on Sundays and holidays, which was received after the council's December meeting. City Manager Frank Crosby explained that under the state proposal, liquor sales would be allowed on Sundays and holidays, unless community boards voted to oppose this proposal. Councilman Thomas Bigelow said, “It automatically went into effect.” Mayor Pro-Tem Colleen Brown stated it was her understanding that if the community opted out, liquor sales would be prohibited on Sundays and holidays altogether. Crosby added that the Michigan State Attorney General concluded that there was no deadline on the prohibition. Councilwoman Sue Head asked if there had been any additional alcohol-related crime since the state proposal went into effect. Attorney Otis Stout was not aware of any other municipalities that had issues. Crosby addedthatthereisstilla2a.m.cut-offwith alcohol sales permitted to resume at 7 a.m. He explained that the purpose of the proposal was to allow alcohol to be served with Sunday brunches.

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