CASPIAN —At its regular June 12 meeting, the Caspian City Council asked City Manager John Stokoski to submit a resolution to the county, state and neighboring communities, asking that the Michigan Works program continue in the city.
Stokoski had received a letter from Michigan Works stating that it will no longer offer the programs to the city due to funding cuts. Instead, it will be re-formed into more of an internship-based program.
Mark Stauber, city commissioner, was concerned about the program cuts.
“I can’t see them not doing something there anymore with all of the programs they had,” he said. “It would be a big asset lost to the community.”
The letter also said that Michigan Works would no longer be renting its office building from the city.
The city also approved the adoption of a blight ordinance, based on City Attorney Steve Polich’s advice to accept the ordinance as is with no corrections made.
Commissioners discussed whether the Caspian-Gaastra Police Department would enforce the blight ordinance instead of hiring a blight enforcement officer at this time. The part-time officer could have additional hours as the code enforcer, separate from the hours as police officer.
Public comment favored the idea of the separate hours if the code is left for the part-time police officer to cover because of the time it takes to enforce and follow through with blight complaints.
Stokoski said he would be more comfortable having a police officer enforce the ordinance because of the protection and authority having a badge provides.
The ordinance includes the terms of employment the blight officer would be held to if the city decided to hire an individual who would be in control of the blight enforcement.
MASTERS Racing Circuit President Skip Schulz presented the idea of a motorcycle hill climb to the board. In order to begin the process of further research, gaining sponsorship and planning the event, Schulz wanted the commission’s permission to use the hill for the event.
The motorcycle hill climb is described as a family event that would bring both participants and viewers to the area during summer, Schulz said.
“We feel we have a lot of potential to promote the area with tourism,” Schulz said.
Although the event in Caspian is not definite, the board did grant Schulz the permission to use the hill and to seek further research on the event.
“I welcome you into town,” Caspian Mayor Gary Sabol said, “You have our cooperation.”
The board also approved an increase in Aramark’s water rate. The $326 increase would only be charged if the monthly 1.3 million gallon minimum was not reached. The minimum rate is currently $3,900 up to 1.3 million gallons of water used, so if Aramark uses less than 1.3 million gallons, the city only receives the $3,900.
In months when Aramark drops below the minimum usage, the city is charged more than it is receiving by the West Iron County Sewer Authority. The increase would make up for what the city is charged, but only in the months that Aramark drops below the minimum usage.
In other business:
--The Caspian DDA budget of $67901.80 was approved.
--The amended 2012-2013 city budget was approved.
--The Caspian Community Center millage proposal was approved.
--Monthly disbursements of $223,097.43 were approved.