The first city council meeting of the summer was on June 3rd, at 7:30pm. The four hour meeting was held at Flat Rock City Hall.
The meeting began with Kimberly Papalas, the art teacher at both Bobcean and Barnes. She, along with three students, presented a mural created by her 5th grade students. The mural will now be a permanent feature at City Hall.
Many citizens came forward during the open time for citizen comments. The first citizen was Daryl Ridener, who voiced his concern about the burned out house on Van Riper St. In reply, Bill Vack, the fire chief and building department director, informed the council that the house on Van Riper and the old attorney’s office on Telegraph should be demolished soon.
During the mayors comments, he extensively covered his concerns about the playscape. He reminded citizens that the playscape is for children 12 and under only. Young adults over the age of 12 must be accompanying a younger child if they wish to visit the playscape. Many young adults have been defacing and damaging the area. There has been an increased police presence, but the damage continues. The mayor reminded citizens that if young adults are found defacing or damaging public property, the parents will be held responsible. The mayor went on to say that he is hoping to get the students at the junior high and high school involved in the upkeep, in hopes that it deters them from damaging it when they will be the ones cleaning it up.
The mayor also mentioned the possibility of building a splash pad. The current fountain is unusable, due to the lack of a filter. Without a filter, the water becomes unsuitable for human use. According to the mayor, adding a filter is not a feasible option, due to the fountain being used as an ice rink during the winter. A splash pad could be constructed on the opposite side of the warming building, by using current grant money. A motion was carried to look into the creation of the splash pad.
Councilman Paul Gagne informed the council of the Flat Rock Library’s intent on adding a half of mill increase on the ballot. According to Gagne, the half of mill would keep the library in the black when legislation comes down next year. While there is no written plan in place of what the money from the mill would be used for, Gagne mentioned that it would be used to pay the bond payment, buy new books and materials, give the current staff a raise, add more activities at the library, and possibly hiring more staff. The mill will be voted on during the November election.
The last business during the open session of the city council meeting was the extension of the Train Depot lease. The head of the model train club requested the extension because of the renovations the train club would like to make to building. Within five years, they would like to add a new roof to the building. After the roof is built, they would like to add an extension on the building. The Flat Rock Model Train Club is a nonprofit, run only on donations.
While the recommendation from the planning commision for Meijer has been sent to the council, it may still take up to three more meetings for a decision. While it could technically be voted on at the June 17th meeting, it is very unlikely. It would have to be deemed an emergency to be voted on so soon. It is more likely that it will be voted on at the one of the July meetings.