Saline City Council Approves Food Truck Event, Changes Marijuana Ordinance

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Here's a recap of Monday's Saline City Council meeting.

Saline Praised for Being "Dementia-Friendly"

The City of Saline was recognized for efforts to be more friendly to those living with dementia. Jim Mangi, of Dementia Friendly Saline, said Saline was recognized for being among the first two Michigan communities certified as "dementia-friendly." He said the city offered training to employees and helped offer training to local interested businesses. 

Mangi posed for a picture with Mayor Brian Marl and members of Saline City Council.

Public Comment

During public comment, resident Mary Hess advised council not to approve the expenditure of city resources on the planned food truck rally at Mill Pond Park. Resident Ben Goodman asked council to consider a buffer from residential homes in the ordinance governing marijuana businesses.

Food Truck Rally Approved

Council voted 6-1 to approve the planned Food Truck Rally planned for Mill Pond Park (4 to 8 p.m. July 30). The rally is a publicity event for MI Home Team, a local Real Estate One company, and fundraiser for Saline Area Social Service. Organizers said they're renting two portajohns for the event and said they would not be using city power or water. They asked the city to waive the cost of having police oversight (about $230). 

Councillor Janet Dillon motioned to not approve the event and not waive fees associated with the event. Her motion received no support. Councillor Dean Girbach motioned to approve the event but not waive the policing fees. His motion passed by a 4-1 vote, with Dillon dissenting. Councillors Kevin Camero-Sulak and Dawn Krause were absent.

Marijuana Ordinance Update

Council adopted a revised ordinance dealing with marijuana businesses. The key change is that land parcels with marijuana businesses must now be at least  1,000 feet apart instead of 250 feet apart. This could prevent a shopping plaza, for instance, from housing two marijuana businesses. 

The existing ordinance specified that the businesses must not be within 1,000 feet of a school. Some residents believe that restriction should also pertain to daycares. For now, council has chosen not to change that portion of the ordinance.

Council approved a moratorium on licenses to open marijuana businesses in the city while it reconsidered the ordinance. However, people who applied before that moratorium will be subject to the old ordinance.

East Belt Sewer Contract

Council voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of $37,500 with OHM Engineering Design for additional services on the eastbelt sewer project. City Engineer Tesha Humphriss reported that the scope and cost of the project have risen significantly to over $7,000,000. The city is hiring OHM to help evaluate bidding the project more economically. The project could be split in two phases, Humphriss said.

Door Repacments Approved for $16,726

City Council approved the spending of $16,726 on new doors at the wastewater treatment plant. The exterior doors needed replacing due to corrosion and degradation. Commercial Door Specialties, the low bidder, quoted $16,726.00 for two fiberglass doors and one steel door.

$63,156 Authorized for Pleasant Ridge Relief Sewer Project

Construction of the new storm sewer on South Harris Street and Pleasant Ridge Drive resulted in more damage than anticipated, so the city is spending $63,156 more than originally approved to repair the roadway.

Reports And Announcements

Councillor Dean Girbach, liaison to the city's planning commission, reported that planners approved the preliminary site plan and special land use permit for a marijuana facility planned for the Zax Autowash at 660 E. Michigan Ave. The application was submitted by Leonia Wellness LLC. Girbach said due to concerns about parking and other issues planners postponed action on a similar request for a provisioning center at 813 W. Michigan Ave. (east corner of Michigan and River Oaks) by Compassionate Advisors LLC.

Roads Millage

City Manager Colleen O'Toole said the city has been getting "real bang for our buck" utilizing road millage funds to get state and local dollars for road projects in the city. The current 1-mill levy expires at the end of 2023. O'Toole said the city is considering going to voters in November to extend the millage three more years. Council will consider ballot language in August.

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