The Ludington City Council met last night. Mayor Pro-tem Castonia lead last night's meeting beginning with the approval of the Ludington Lakestride marathons with registration beginning on June 9th and the race occurring on the 10th.
City Manager John Shay explained 2016 expenses pointing out that the city exceeded expenses by $214,700 from the general fund, but still left the general fund above the recommended amount by auditors. The city went onto approve payment of bills and 2016 budget amendments.
Public Safety and utilities began with the extension of Solid Waste Collection and Recycling Agreement with Republic Services. During public comment, concerns were expressed regarding removing the spring clean up event. The extension agreement included a change from having an annual spring clean up to allowing residents to have two bulky items picked up per month along with their standard trash pick up. any Additional bulky items beyond two per month would be picked up with a small fee. Due to being high risk for drivers, large Items that exceed 250lbs are being recommended to contact individual contractors, such as Two Men and a Truck, to transport to the landfill. Matt Biolette, Municipal Program Manager for Republic Services said that some customers enjoy having bulky items removed throughout the year rather than on an annual basis and that regular pick up in other cities have not caused any zoning or refuse issues. He also spoke of the challenge of coordinating the spring clean up on his employees versus the easier ongoing pickup. Counselor Karuch expressed conflict with the decision and made a motion to send the agreement back to the committee for consideration. 4 yes and 2 no’s lead to the motion being sent back. The city welcomes any feedback from the public regarding their opinion on the bulky item removal.
The result of water bonds will lead to many water and sewer mains being replaced in the 4th Ward in Ludington, focusing on water and sewer mains on 6th St and Taylor St. The 2nd ward will also see some water and sewer main replacements as well as one block in the 5th ward.
The Water Plant, Wastewater Treatment plant and Utility maintenance department reports were received by City Council. Over 1 billion gallons of water was treated and pumped in 2016 from the water plant. The increase was reportedly due to the service agreement between the city of Ludington, PM township and Michigan Power. Lead testing currently occurs every 3 years, and will likely increase due to the Flint water crisis. Those interested in testing their home for lead were encouraged to reach out the the Health Department to receive water testing kits. The Wastewater treatment plant reported an increase in part due to upgrades as well as an industrial users use of the wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater treatment plant is working with the industry on ways to reduce usage. This is causing a delay in the upgrades to the treatment plant.
Standard business resumed with the approval of the purchase of 316 acres to Dow Chemical. The purchase includes the south side of the Pere Marquette Land and north channel of Pere Marquette river. This land is to be used for recreational development on a possible interconnected trail system. The meeting concluded with the approval of the City of Ludington working towards receiving their Redevelopment Ready Community certification in order to continue to be eligible for community grants.