Saline City Council Recap: New Park, Gifts from Brecon, Donation for Police Cameras and More

 10/01/2013 - 02:19

The City of Saline has a new park.

Saline City Council voted unanimously Monday to designate 15 acres of city-owned land as Salt Springs Park. The park, located north of the DNR fish ponds off of Saline-Milan Road, is home to an active salt spring.

Here's a brief run down of the other news from Monday's meeting.

  • City council voted 7-0 to pay $7,320 to Precision Concrete Cutting, Inc., to complete a sidewalk survey. The survey will be used to help the city decide how to improve the 60 miles of sidewalks in Saline.

  • The city approved an ordinance to amend the city code to add a “service charge in lieu of taxes” and to approve a municipal services contract with PK Housing and Management, which manages and plans to purchase Maple Heights Apartment. The “service charge in lieu of taxes” is required for the management firm to receive state and federal tax credits it seeks to help pay for $1.5 million in improvements at the apartment complex. As a result of the ordinance, the property will no longer be assessed property taxes. Instead, 10 percent of rent charges will be forwarded to local taxing units. For the city, that would have meant a decrease in revenue by $4,000 a year. But the firm and the city have a side deal that will make sure the city is fully funded. Other government jurisdictions, like the school district and county, will receive less money.

  • Council member David Rhoads presented the Residential Support Services Task Force report to city council. The task force was commissioned to survey resources available to residents who need assistance to support themselves. The group has been meeting since April. It produced a 7-page list of local services available to those in need of assistance. The document will be available at Saline Area Social Service and online at www.cityofsaline.org.

  • Mayor ProTem Linda TerHaar and City Councillor James Roth, recently back from visiting Brecon, Wales, presented gifts from Brecon leaders to Mayor Brian Marl. The gifts included a crystal and a badge. The crystal was inscribed with the Brecon town crest and the words “Presented to our sister city of Saline on their visit to Brecon to celebrate 47 years of Friendship, by the Mayor, Councillor Matthew Dorrance, Sept. 23, 2013.” Mayor Dorrance also gave Mayor Marl a “Mayor's Bear Badge.” In Brecon, sale of the badges go to raise money for the city's youth center. TerHaar and Roth were among 24 Saline residents to visit Brecon.

  • Council voted 7-0 to adopt a resolution imposing a moratorium on the issuance of permits licenses for the sale or dispensation of medical marijuana in the city. The moratorium is in place while the city begins reviewing ordinances that allow such a use in the city.

  • City council took no action on a request by PlasTechs Inc. to waive a penalty and interest charge on late payment of a tax bill.

  • City council unanimously approved the purchase of the WatchGuard 4RE HD Video Camera systems for the Saline Police Department vehicles. The cost to the city is just $3,961. A $31,695 donation by the Mullick Foundation paid for most of the project. According to Police Chief Larry Hrinik, about half the SPD's in-vehicle cameras are broken. The new HD video also offers much better quality shooting in difficult lighting.

  • City council unanimously approved a service agreement with Communications Brokers Inc. The company will review the city's communication services and look for ways to save money. CBI is taking no upfront money for the service, but will be paid up to 45 percent of the money the city saves as a result of the work.

  • The scheduled discussion on the Leather Bucket Alley Agreement did not take place because City Manager Todd Campbell did not speak with one of the property owners' involved. The city is leasing the South Ann Arbor Street alley to Mangiamo and Brecon Grille. Linda Murawski is owner of 100 S. Ann Arbor St., which adjoins the alley. Her tenant, Benito's Pizza, wants its customers to have access to the alley. She asked City Manager Todd Campbell to speak with her about issues regarding the alley. Resident Mary Hess, meanwhile, told city council that Brecon Grille owner Paul Geragosian yelled at Hess to “get off his property” when she was standing in the alley during Oktoberfest. Hess had confronted staff about the lack of a walkway for pedestrians who want to walk through the alley. Hess and Geragosian butted heads over Brecon Grille's sidewalk cafes and sidewalk safety in the past.

  • Campbell gave council an update on the Saline River Properties/Johnson Controls property on South Monroe Street. Campbell said the property owned once again by Johnson Controls Inc. The company will work to improve the site's appearance in the near future.. The property is polluted with hazardous substances. Saline River Properties attempted to develop the property as a condo development but ran into environmental difficulties. Several lawsuits ensued.

  • The recent Washtenaw County Cleanup Day served 435 vehicles in five hours.

  • The Rec Center Sustainability Task Force is back to work on plans after school officials nixed a plan to use CARES funding as seed money to help fund an expansion of the Rec Center's hours and customer base.

  • City council will review several example ordinances from other communities in an effort to get some properties into shape. In addition, employees in the Saline Police Department, Department of Public Works and assessor's office may soon be asked to begin reporting property maintenance violations to the city's building inspector. The city's code officer position was eliminated in 2009.

  • Five residents from Lindenberg, Germany, will be visiting Saline in October to mark the 10th anniversary of the Saline-Lindenberg twin city relationship. A reception is scheduled for 4 p.m., Oct. 13.

  • The dedication of the Mike Price Memorial Trail at Saline High School will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27.

Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore founded The Saline Post on Aug. 15, 2012. Follow him on Twitter at @tranlongmoore. Follow The Saline Post @thesalinepost. Follow The Saline Post on Facebook by clicking here.