Evart City Council tables committee appointments

EVART – There still is time for residents of Evart to have a hand in helping shape the city's future.

The Evart City Council tabled its city boards/commissions/committees appointments during its meeting on Monday evening at City Hall.

Members discussed openings that needed to be filled for the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. However, more time was spent discussing the Parks and Recreation Committee.

At their Dec. 5 meeting, council members questioned whether or not the committee needed to be a standing committee with monthly meetings or if it should meet whenever it was needed, since the city has a new, five-year parks and recreation master plan.

However, Department of Public Works Supervisor Mark Wilson, who also heads the city's Parks and Recreation Department, and council member Dan Elliot pointed out a committee is needed to apply for grants and other funding, especially for Project Rising Tide, a community development block grant program created by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Wilson said he'd like to see the Parks and Recreation Committee move away from a focus of youth athletics, pointing out the city will not handle money for Pop Warner and Little League in 2017

“I would like to see a broader vision than youth athletics,” Wilson said. “There's certainly nothing wrong with those, but it would be nice to see Riverside Park East developed into a campground, as it would be something that would generate revenue for the City of Evart.”

BJ Foster said he would like to see more people want to serve on these types of board.

“I'm all for new people on these committees,” he said. “People can delve into it and take it in the direction they want to take it.”

In other action from Monday's meeting, council also tabled its goals for 2017, with members hoping to set their goals at the first meeting of the new year.

Council members also voted to opt out of Municipal Employees' Retirement System Credit Purchases 4-1, with Elliot casting the only dissenting vote.

The council approved Wilson to look into seeing about the cost savings a cemetery sexton may have for the city.

“We had $8,839 in savings in the last year,” he told members. “Even with those savings, it's still going in the red. Our expenditures exceed our revenues by about $7,700. I would like to see if there can be some savings by just having a look at what a sexton may cost.”

Wilson also addressed some concerns about snow plowing within the city limits.

“We prioritize our main thoroughfares first, secondary roads next and sidewalks after that,” he said. “We prioritize by needs.

“This last storm took place on on the weekend, and we spent much of (Monday) cleaning it up, and will be back at it (today).”