This week we had a meeting of the full Board of Commissioners. We once again had issues with the road commission come up. Several employees attended the meeting to protest the allegations that have been made at the road commission. Commissioner Deb DeLeon informed them that the County Services will take up the issues at the road commission and listen to all points of view as we try to determine what is happening. As expected, the Board appointed Marc Thomas and Milton Scales to the two road commission spots.
We also hear from a gentleman who represented Michigan Open Carry, Incorporated. He indicated that he is against the library policy of prohibiting open carry and that it is against the law, and indicated a possibility of pending litigation. I assume he brought this to us because the Ingham County Commission appoints people to the Capital Area District Library Board.
For the items on the agenda, we once again considered the resolution to create a position in the Drain Commissioner’s office to do assessments for the drainage districts. I again mentioned that this was a matter of efficiency. We eliminated a 1/2 time position from the general fund, and the Drain Commissioner is funding a full-time position through the drainage districts which he says is a cast savings to taxpayers. The Republicans argued that this is reckless spending at the Drain office. The resolution passed 12-4.
We also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing a contract with the Dr. Pepper/Snapple group for vending machine service at all Ingham County parks. This project involved soliciting proposals from qualified and experienced vendors interested in entering into a contract with the County to provide beverage vending machines and product at the three county parks: Burchfield Park, Lake Lansing Park, and Hawk Island Park. The request for proposals included evaluations of many different options with respect to the placement of the vending machines, sponsoring options (e.g. banners, field signage, etc.), promotional incentives, advertisements, and commission/rebate options. The final contract includes a 40% commission on all product priced at $1.25, and no extra delivery fees for concession sales. The Dr.
Pepper proposal was the most financially advantageous proposal to the County. Dr. Pepper will also provide and place all equipment and vending machines, and repair and maintain the equipment and machines based on need or predetermined service intervals during the term of the 3-year agreement.
Yet another resolution that we passed unamimously amended the Potter Park Zoo Master plan by removing the Meerkat Exhibit due to a lack of available funding. The 20010 master plan is laid out by world regions with a new area focused on North American.
The master plan lists current projects as; the Rhinoceros exhibit, Meerkat exhibit and Eagle owl exhibit. The Eagle owl exhibit was completed in 2010 and the Rhinoceros exhibit will be completed in 2011. In 2010, $58,000 of the $100,000 of funding planned for the Meerkat exhibit renovation was transferred to the Rhinoceros exhibit. This leaves a balance of $42,000 in the Meerkat exhibit which is
insufficient to complete a renovation, without a significant fund raising campaign. In the new master plan the Meerkat exhibit is located in a new location. During the course of implementing the zoo master plan, constructing a new Meerkat exhibit which will be located in the Lake Tanganyika region, should be done when that region of the zoo is embarked upon. In 2011 the Potter Park Zoological Society will start a capital campaign that will concurrently seek financial support for phase one, Michigan Great Lakes, as well as phase two, the Animal Health Care and Teaching Facility. The Zoo Board and Parks & Recreation Commission supported the amendment
of the Potter Park Zoo Master Plan at their December 2010 meetings.
Finally, I would like to add in a report on economic development in Ingham County. The Land Bank reports that 2010 was another great year of growth for the Land Bank. We had 22 home sales and moved forward on a number of commercial redevelopments. At year end we owned 657 parcels, including 201 structures with demolition slated for 60. More renovation, new homes and demolition to follow! 2011 will be another big year as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding kicks into high gear. We have a dozen homes wrapping up renovation in the next 6 weeks. Please visit www.inghamlandbank.org for updates and homes for sale. Also, the Ingham County Brownfield Authority Land Bank/Brownfield Plans are one special funding source we bring to the table. We had a great bond sale this week for $2,685,000 at just under 4.65% interest cost on a 15 year issue.
I hope everyone has a great weekend!