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Cass City Council review proposed 2020 budget

Mary Drier

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 10:15:43 EST

 


click on the picture to enlarge




    At the Nov. 25 meeting, Cass City Village Manager Debbie Powell presented the proposed budget for 2020 for the council's review.
    There is a council meeting and a public hearing on the budget schedule for 7 p.m., Dec. 16. Once that is done, the council can move forward with updating zoning ordinances and working on compliance to be a Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Redevelopment Ready Community.
    At the November meeting, Jill Bahm, who is a partner with Giffels Webster, which is a company of civil engineers, landscapers, architects, planners, surveyors and GIS specialists, who work with communities to make them better.
    The company does community planning, surveying, project design and development. The Giffels Webster team is with a community from the planning stage to construction to completion.
    "Giffels Webster, is a firm that is on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) - Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) listing of approved companies to provide services for planning and zoning," explained village Manager Debbie Powell.   
    The village's planning commission met with the company's representatives to discuss the process of contracting with a company to update the zoning ordinance.
    "Instead of going out to bid, it recommended using one of the approved firms by the MEDC, RRC program. Giffels Webster was recommended as their work was known by staff and planning commissioners," Powell said.
    Bahm did a presentation on "clear-zoning" at the village's Nov. 13 committee of the whole meeting.   
    After the presentation, the village council received a proposal from Giffels Webster to update the village's zoning ordinance at a cost of of $26,000.
    That expenditure was figured in to the 2020 budget.
    "After approval of the budget and proposal, work on update the zoning ordinance could start as early as January (2020)," said Powell noting, "The cost to update the village's zoning ordinance is a reimbursable expense through the MEDC RRC program because we are pursuing RRC certification."
    "The RRC program has grant 'toolbox' funding to assist communities seeking certification."
     Therefore, the cost of Giffels Webster updating the zoning ordinance would qualify for a 75 percent reimbursement from RRC with a 25 percent in-kind match from the village.   
     The Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC) Program is a voluntary, no cost certification program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) promoting effective redevelopment strategies through a set of best practices to achieve a desired goal.
     The program measures and then certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability and efficiency into their daily development practices.
     The RRC certification is a formal recognition that a community has a vision for the future and the fundamental practices in place to get there.
     The East Michigan Council of Governments (EMCOG) staff is trained and will work with local governmental agencies that are interested in applying to become a Redevelopment Ready Community.
     EMCOG serves the counties of Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Iosco, Isabella, Midland, Ogemaw, Roscommon, Saginaw, Sanilac, Tuscola, and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
     To be vibrant and competitive, Michigan communities must be ready for development. This involves planning for new investment and reinvestment, identifying assets and opportunities, and focusing limited resources. Certified Redevelopment Ready Communities attract and retain businesses, offer superior customer service and have a streamlined development approval process making pertinent information available around-the clock for anyone to view.
     It is becoming increasing important for municipalities to become a CCR community in today's competitive economy because developers and businesses can invest anywhere.
     Having a Certified Redevelopment Ready Community signal that locating a new business or growing an existing one within the municipality that has that certificate is ready to welcome development.
     Certified communities have removed barriers to development including eliminating uncertainties surrounding project timelines and approvals by implementing best practices that:
* That have specific areas targeted for reinvestment.

* Zoning regulates for development that implements the vision of master plan.

* Officials and staff understand their role in redevelopment for the community.

* Zoning ordinance allows for mixed-use by right in specific districts.

* Development materials are easily accessible online.

* Proactively market redevelopment opportunities

* Create a business friendly, one stop community
   

 

 

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