Council Capsule: June 9, 2015

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 12:00 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

Listen to Council: You can listen to an audiotape of yesterday’s Council meeting for yourself by clicking here, going down to the section on “City Council Work Sessions,” and clicking on “audio” for the meeting of June 9, 2015. (The audio is sometimes not available until later on Wednesday.)

All present: Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Councilmembers Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Council backs Red Cedar neighborhood’s concerns about MSU development: During Councilmember reports. Kathy Boyle brought forth a letter she asked her fellow Councilmembers to sign to the MSU Board of Trustees. Council unanimously agreed to do so. The letter relates to concerns on the part of the Red Cedar Community Association about what MSU is planning to build on the site that had previously held the Michigan State Police headquarters. Read more in our special report.

Request to de-Landmark Historic District house denied: On the advice of City Planning Director Tim Dempsey, Council declined to follow Mark Terry’s request to remove 343 MAC Avenue from the College Grove Historic District and to remove the house’s Landmark status. Read more in our special report. (The only public comment was on this matter and is covered in that report.)

City to front MDOT grant for MSU: Because of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), MSU is seeking to reconfigure Wilson Road and wants MDOT funding for that purpose. Getting such a grant would require that the City of East Lansing apply on behalf of MSU and then, according to East Lansing Planning Director Tim Dempsey, act as “a pass-through” for the funding. Staff supports this because they feel this would benefit the community as a whole.

Council agreed unanimously to put this matter on the consent agenda for Council, meaning it is expected to be approved next week without further discussion. You can read the staff memo on this, see the resolution proposed, and see a map of the proposed changes.

Liability insurance increase: Following a recommendation by East Lansing’s Director of Public Works Scott House, City Attorney Tom Yeadon presented an “Amendment to Policy Resolution 2013-6” which would increase the City’s liability protection by $500,000 to cover non-city-workers doing permitted work in the City’s right-of-ways. (Read Yeadon’s memo on the matter.) Council supported this and is expected to approve it on their consent agenda next week.

Discussion of appointees to non-City boards: Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris asked Council to take a more thoughtful and consistent approach to appointments to non-City boards and commissions. She suggested Council think more carefully about how people are assigned to such positions, their term limits, how they should report back to Council, etc. A chart from staff helped show the kinds of appointments under consideration. Council instructed City Manager George Lahanas to have staff pursue this matter for Council and to report back.

Councilmember and City Manager reports: In her report, Councilmember Kathy Boyle raised the issue of the Red Cedar neighborhood’s concerns about the MSU development; read our special report. Mayor Nathan Triplett said he attended the groundbreaking ceremony for MSUFCU’s new building. The rest of Council and the City Manager had nothing to report.

Reminder: You can communicate with Council in person at its weekly meetings or write to Council directly at council@cityofeastlansing.com. You can speak or write on any issue involving the City, not only what is on the published agenda.

 

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