September 1, 2014

Area municipalities prepared for 2 percent requests

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — The end of March marked the deadline for government entities and public schools to apply for 2 percent grants from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, and a variety of projects have been put forth for the tribe’s approval.

According to AuGres City Manager Pat Killingbeck, the city has gone in on a grant with AuGres Township for roadwork on South Street.

AuGres Township Supervisor Chester Pawlaczyk said once work is completed, the road should give seniors an easier route to the post office and the nearby streetlight.

In Omer, the primary project seeking approval is for a city master plan, required on the step to getting a city charter drafted.

Omer is also seeking funds to construct a fence around the park located near City Hall. Council members expressed concerns that children could run out into traffic after a ball, and hope to head off tragedy by getting a fence installed.

According to Omer Clerk Sue Oliver, the city is asking for $8,350 for the fence from the tribe, and plans on seeking an additional $5,000 in outside grants.

In Standish, City Manager Curt Hillman said he was going after a new roof for the Department of Public Works’ building, which has had problems with leaks, at the tune of $27,000. The city also is requesting $30,000 to work on Industrial Drive near the new Standish Area Fire Authority fire barn, and a new police shotgun for $638.

He added the fire authority is seeking funds to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatuses, or SCBA, which are used by firefighters going into smoke-filled areas. Since the authority cannot make requests directly, it is going through Standish Township, where Hillman serves as the supervisor.

He added Standish Township is also seeking funds to continue renovating the township hall. He said the township is looking to replace the flooring and the chairs at the hall, neither of which have been touched in decades.

Hillman said townships have been hit hard by state budget cuts, so tribal grants have been helpful.

“The tribe is a big help,” Hillman said. “With a decrease in revenue sharing from the state, that’s what the township lives off of, so it’s tough.”

Lincoln Township Supervisor David Hertzberg said the township submitted a grant application for the Standish-Sterling Youth Sports Organization to help build ball fields. The group needed to go through a governmental entity, and since the members intend to build the fields on township land, Hertzberg said he hoped to get some funding for it.

The township is also seeking funds for general roadwork, and constructing a new pavilion near the proposed site for a new township hall.

Several municipalities throughout the county submitted proposals for the Heritage Route’s “Telling the Story” program. The program focuses on telling the history and legends of the communities in the county for use in documentaries and other tourist-oriented documents.

The county is seeking $36,000 for a new road patrol vehicle and bulletproof vests for the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department, $18,000 for the drain commission to remap the county drains, $25,000 for the soil conservation district for an educational center, $80,000 for 911 infrastructure improvements, $130,000 for a rescue air boat, $10,000 for the county clerk’s office for scanning documents, and $20,000 for improvements to an area food pantry.

The Arenac County Board of Commissioners did not approve an additional request for $430,000 to work on Sagatoo Road, though Commissioner Jeff Trombley said he would try and submit it separately in his capacity as a commissioner.

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