Saline City Council Talks Budget, Hotel Design, WWTP Fix and More Monday

 04/02/2017 - 03:00
This rendering by J Bradley Moore Associates depicts the design of the proposed hotel for Saline.

Saline City Council meets Monday night to discuss next year’s budget, the design of the proposed hotel, and a proposal to use a state low-interest loan fund to pay for a wastewater treatment plant odor control system.

Council meets at 6 p.m. for a work meeting to discuss the 2018 budget. The current projection calls for $8.9 million in revenue and expenditures. When this budget year closes June 30, the city expects a surplus of around $64,000, which would bring the rainy day fund to $2.4 million.

The projections for the 2018 budget were determined after meetings with city department heads. The city is planning a cost of living increase of 2.5 percent in wages plus steps and longevity increases for all employees, two new staff vehicles, a police vehicle and speed sign, a 4-by-4 pickup truck for the DPW, $100,000 for the entrance and path at Salt Springs Park, a $75,000 annual lease for a Vactor sewer cleaning vehicle, and a contribution to the EDC budget.

The city appears to be budgeting for its EDC contribution to rise from $12,500 to $41,000 next year.

The regular council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

The developers of a proposed hotel, which would be located east of The Oaks shopping plaza on Michigan Avenue, are asking city council to approve the character and quality of the design of the hotel. A clause in the developers’ agreement with the city states city council must approve of the design. The hotel developers are purchasing the property from the city.

Another key issue before city council is a motion to approve a proposal to move forward with the State Revolving Fund for a low-interest loan to fund a new odor control system for the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

A $100,000 study by Webster Environmental Services found the cause of the odor was a 20-year-old odor scrubber nearing the end of its useful life. The study recommended repairs that would cost the city about $2 million. However, Webster also recommended a second odor study this summer.

In a memo to council Tetra Tech VP Brian Rubel said that the application for the low-interest loan must be started immediately or construction would have to wait until the fall of 2018. Tetra Tech is offering to assist Saline with applying to the MDEQ for the low-interest loan by June 30. Tetra Tech is asking $25,000 for its service.

Council will also decide whether or not it supports preliminary approval of the planned  unit development for the Maple Oaks residential development at 600 N. Maple Road. This would be the first PUD considered in Saline. PUDs give a developer more flexibility from city ordinances.

Council will also hear the yearly update from the Environmental Commission and Police Chief Larry Hrinik’s annual report.

Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is owner of The Saline Post. Email him at tran@thesalinepost.com or call him at 734-272-6294

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