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Monday, November 15,2010

Colonial Village leader

A local neighborhood association leader to be recognized; Committee of the Whole to talk snow removal standards, consolidated service garage

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, Nov. 15 — The only scheduled business for tonight’s Lansing City Council meeting is a resolution recognizing Anita Beavers for her 10 years of service on the Colonial Village Neighborhood Association board.

Beavers, the board’s president, has lived in Lansing for 43 years and retired as a nurse in 1996. She has served as the board president for seven years.

Beavers said Colonial Village has stayed “fairly stable” in her 10 years on the board, noting that foreclosures aren’t quite as bad as elsewhere in the city.

She credits the association as being one of the most active in the city, which often goes unrecognized.

“Neighborhood associations are able to make people in government work with them and aware of what neighborhoods need and how to bring that about,” Beavers said. “People don’t realize how important neighborhood associations are.”

Beavers said she intends to spend her free time gardening, traveling and volunteering whenever possible. “I have been retired since 1996 — I know how to fill my time.”

Following the Council meeting is the Committee of the Whole, where questions on snow removal standards and the planned consolidated service garage will be addressed.

Two weeks ago, Council members told Chad Gamble, director of the Public Services Department, that the snow removal standards drafted in light of the new snow removal ordinance still had some holes in it.

The three-page set of standards gives the basics of the new ordinance and answers frequently asked questions.

At-Large Councilman Derrick Quinney was concerned that there was no minimum snow depth at which residents had to clear it off their sidewalks.

Quinney and At-Large Councilman Brian Jeffries were also concerned about what defines a “winter weather event,” which the standards define as an “even that causes snow or ice to continuously accumulate.”

Gamble said he would address their concerns and present his findings at tonight’s committee meeting.

Also up for discussion during Committee of the Whole is the city’s planned consolidated service garage. Officials say they want to make the maintenance of the city’s 1,144-equipment fleet more efficient by housing all of it at the corner of Cedar and South streets.

The new single-stream recycling program scheduled to take effect next year will not need a sorting facility, which is at the Service Garage at 525 E. South St. Instead, the city will move its police and fire equipment from the Central Garage at 312 N. Cedar St. to the Service Garage.

According to the city’s plan, construction bids will be sent out in December with plans to start building in April. Project completion is expected in Dec. 2011. Total project costs are $4.2 million, $3.2 million of which come from bonds and another $1 million from the city's garage internal service fund. An additional $200,000 will be added for debt services (issuing the bonds).

The Council approved the intent to bond at its Oct. 4 meeting. Those will be paid off over 20 years at a 4 percent interest rate. Nearly $3 million of the consolidation costs will be for renovating the existing transfer station on South Street. Other costs include demolition, constructing a new garbage truck garage and site preparation and cleanup.


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