COUNCIL CAPSULE: November 5, 2014

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 8:21 pm
By: 
Alice Dreger

This week’s meeting happened on Wednesday because this Tuesday was Election Day. The meeting was a short half-hour.

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

Councilmembers absent: Susan Woods.

Grant to study recycling: Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution accepting a Competitive Grant Assistance Program grant for $10,001 "to fund a regional feasibility study of recycling programs and infrastructure to inform collaboration and efficiencies in the region." City staff member Cathy DeShambo spoke in favor of the grant, which is from the Michigan Department of Treasury, to study feasibility of new operations and collaborations with other local municipalities. Eaton County is the grant administrator on the project. Boyle said this was an exciting opportunity and said she was thrilled to have East Lansing working with these other communities.

Extension of Marriott University Place TIF coming up: ELi has previously reported on this developing story, which involves a possible Tax Increment Financing plan extension called Ordinance 1343; click here to read more. Tonight, Council voted to introduce a public hearing on this topic for December 2, 2014. In the discussion tonight, Beier asked for more information, specifically what the City’s legal/contractual obligation is in terms of provision of parking facilities to the business owners and what the value would be on the property if the City wanted to try to sell it. (She wanted to know if it would have to go to the ballot for voter approval.) As ELi previously reported, the City long-term leased the land of University Place to the developers rather than selling it to them. The lease is for forty years at $10 per year.

In the discussion of this item, Triplett called up Planning Director Tim Dempsey to explain why personal property was being removed from the calculations for the tax capture. Dempsey said that the personal property included was not a significant amount and was “not worth all of these challenges and issues we face."

Citizen asks for resolution to prevent Lansing postal service job loss: During public comments, Jesus Gonzales said he came to make Council aware that the Postal Service is planning to close a mail processing and distribution center in Lansing to move the work to Grand Rapids. He said this will result in a loss of local jobs as well as slowing of mail delivery. He was seeking support from City Council for a resolution to be sent to Congressman Rogers and the Postmaster General asking them to first conduct an economic impact study with the goal of ultimately reducing the loss of jobs in the area. No one on Council responded.

Councilmember reports: Goddeeris congratulated the East Lansing High School boys’ soccer team on their second state championship and thanked the fans who went to the game to support the team. She said everyone was proud of their accomplishments.

Triplett said that Woods is away because she’s working at the East Lansing Film Festival. Triplett said that “Council is a part-time job for all of us” and noted that Woods’ full-time job is the Festival.

Triplett also noted that yesterday’s vote on the parking lot sale authorization did not reach the 60% “yes” vote required to pass. He thanked all who participated in the planning process for the project that had included the parking lots. He noted that DTN has withdrawn that proposal and so the Council and DDA will be looking at next steps in terms of developing the DDA-owned properties. On that, read more here.

Beier and Boyle had no reports.

City Manager’s report: George Lahanas thanked the City Clerk, Marie Wicks, and her staff for the tremendous work done to run the election. Lahanas also spoke to the failure of the parking lots sale authorization ballot question to pass yesterday. He thanked everyone for their participation in what he called a highly transparent and “forward-facing” process, particularly DTN. For more on this issue, click here.

City Attorney’s report: none.

Items passed without discussion: The following items were passed on a “consent” agenda, which means they were voted as passed without further discussion. All those present voted in favor:

  • Approval of Class III rental license for 3280 Wharton Street allowing up to 2 unrelated persons or family to reside at the property.  The property is owned by Amanda Bodle, Harrisonburg, VA and the local legal agent is Logan McAnallen, Dewitt.
  • Approval of a Class III rental license for 2181-2183 Rolling Brook Lane allowing up to 2 unrelated persons or family to reside at each unit of the property.  The property is owned by Krista Myles, East Lansing.
  • Approval of Policy Resolution 2014-11; a resolution to update the Historic District Commission Bylaws and Rules of Procedure.
  • Approval of a contract with MacKay Meters Inc. for a six month field trial for 10 credit card parking meters and authorize the City Manager to sign.
  • Set a public hearing for December 2, 2014 for an application from Park District Investment Group, LLC, for Site Plan and Special Use Permit approval for the properties at 100, 124, 128, 130, 136, and 140 West Grand River Avenue, and 303 Abbot Road to demolish the existing structures and construct a ten-story mixed-use building (Building A) containing retail and restaurant spaces, a 120 room hotel with a restaurant serving alcohol, up to 102 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, and two levels of underground parking for 283 cars. The property is zoned B-3, City Center Commercial District.
  • Approval of Traffic Control Order number 467 pertaining to the left turn restriction from Old Hickory Lane to Burcham Drive during the morning drop off period to the East Lansing High School. Due to the start time beginning 15 minutes earlier, the existing Traffic Control Order requires revision.
  • Approval of the request for a transfer of ownership from Elevated Endeavors EL, LLC to JAB Hospitality, LLC (The Landshark Raw Bar & Grill) located at 101 E. Grand River Ave. for their Class C, SDM liquor license
  • Approval of an authorization for VeriClaim, Inc. to settle the insurance claim arising from the June 27,2014 motor vehicle accident on Saginaw Highway in an amount not to exceed $25,000 and obtain a full release from the claimant.

 

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