At the May 17 regular meeting of the Belleville City Council, Mayor Pro Tem Jesse Marcotte said there were two scrap cars at what had been called the “green monster,”[…]
At the May 17 regular meeting of the Belleville City Council, Mayor Pro Tem Jesse Marcotte said there were two scrap cars at what had been called the “green monster,” that now is tan, on East Huron River Drive.
He also said on Liberty Street two or three couches have been out on the street for months. He said Republic Services just drives by if the trash is too big.
He said the residents need to call somebody at Republic instead of calling city hall.
Marcotte asked that the budgeted ordinance office be added to the council’s Follow-Up List.
Mayor Kerreen Conley said police officers and DPW staff probably drive down every street in the city each day and they could alert the city of needed pickups.
“There’s a long laundry list of things that need addressing,” Mayor Conley said, referring to an ordinance officer.
Marcotte said a couple of houses are for sale on the street where the couches are located.
“A lot don’t know they have to call and let them know,” Councilman Ken Voigt said referring to Republic, which will send out a truck for heavy items.
Councilman Tom Fielder said he had to call Republic for an item and another time DPS Director Rick Rutherford took care of it.
Rutherford said rental properties think it’s the city’s responsibility. He said the property owner should tell the renters to call Republic instead of Rutherford having to call. “The fault is on both sides,” he said.
Marcotte suggested the trash truck driver could call it in.
Fielder said they could be told they are violating the blight ordinance, which he thinks they are.
Councilwoman Kelly Bates said she believes it is the responsibility of residents to make the calls. Mayor Conley said the drivers could tag the item with the number to call on the tag.
City Manager/Police Chief Dave Robinson said when they hire the ordinance officer, there’s going to be a lot of education to the public.
“Tomorrow, I’ll call Republic myself,” Chief Robinson said. He said he will ask the driver to jot down the address and the city can reach out to the residents.
Chief Robinson said he wants to put together an all-encompassing city folder with everything needed for a new resident, including trash days, when water bills are due, and other information.
He said a police officer could knock on the door of a new resident, introduce themselves, and give them the packet of information.
Robinson said he has selected two of his officers who will take the ordinance officer training from Rutherford, along with the new ordinance officer. He said it is important for police to understand the ordinance officer’s work.
“I want to make this something special,” he said.
In other business at Monday’s 39-minute regular meeting, the council:
• Approved a resolution to be sent to the state’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, which was approved by voters in the November 2020 election. Robinson said he talked to Van Buren Township Supervisor Kevin McNamara and agreed the city should join with VBT and Sumpter Township to ask the commission to put the tri-community into one House district because they share services. He said VBT and Sumpter will be approving resolutions to send to the commission, as well;
• Approved the annual, no-cost, permit package from Wayne County, which covers the county roads within the city of Belleville;
• Set the public hearing for the 2021-22 city budget for 7:30 p.m., June 7, via zoom;
• Approved accounts payable of $159,226.57 and the following departmental purchases in excess of $500: to Michigan CAT for back hoe service for the DPS, $714.81; to CDW Government for printers for the police department, $1,209.16; to Axon Enterprises for body cameras for the police department, $29,932.48; and to PFM Financial, annual disclosure report for the treasurer’s department, $1,000;
• Heard Mayor Conley say Carol Thompson will leave her position with the Downtown Development Authority at the end of the month. She said Thompson has served many years, since the beginning of the streetscape, and they wish her well in her endeavors. She said the city will have a presentation to honor Thompson;
• Heard Robinson report that things are going well in his dual position and he is adjusting to the learning curve. He said he has five interviews scheduled for May 18 and 19 for applicants for the deputy administrator position and the budget is pretty close to completion;
• Heard Marcotte say now that the weather is warmer, people will be able to start enjoying the lake and boat safely and responsibly. He said lake rules are posted at both public access sites. He said it has been a while since they’ve had a drowning and, “I’d like to keep that streak going”;
• Heard Councilman Tom Fielder say he wants to look at ways to open up city hall when they can allow people to feel comfortable. Robinson said he has been doing his due diligence and by the end of the week more guidances will be released, such as whether you can ask if a person is vaccinated. Once he gets the guidance they want to give, “We’re ready to go”;
• Heard Mayor Conley speak about who should be in charge when Robinson is gone, like he was the previous Friday, since he is both city manager and police chief. Rutherford said when Diana Kollmeyer left, the council acted to put Rutherford in charge when there is no city manager and he will be glad to continue to serve. He said Robinson told him he would be gone and to call him if he needed anything; and
• Discussed the county’s work on the curb and railing on the Belleville Bridge. Marcotte said there still is water leaking under the bridge and the county should be informed. Voigt said the bridge roadway is pretty good, but the crossing at Denton/N. Liberty and Main is pretty rough. Voigt said Van Buren Township plans to do roadwork on Belleville Road from the freeway to the bridge and maybe the city could piggy-back on that. Rutherford said Main Street has taken a beating because of the county project on East Huron River Drive and he would suggest any long-term investment wait until the county is done with its work. “I’m sure you’ve notice traffic flow is crazy in the city, with heavy vehicles,” Rutherford said. “Wait until they’re done before doing any roadwork.”
At the end of the open meeting, the council went into closed-door session to discuss strategy and negotiations connected with a collective bargaining agreement.