RC saves expenses by cooperating with local and regional gov’t

ROGERS CITY – In an effort to save taxpayer money and qualify for a state revenue program, Rogers City has agreed to start maintaining a pathway along the shore of Lake Huron.

The city has an agreement with the state Department of Transportation to maintain all of the Huron Sunrise Trail, Mayor Beach Hall said. The city will do the work for the department, who in turn will reimburse the city. This will save the state money, as there no longer will be a need to travel to Rogers City to fix the trail. This paved, multi-use pathway stretches from Hoeft State Park, north of the city, to Sports Park near the city’s southern edge.

The agreement is expected to save at least $500 per year, Hall said, adding he expected the actual savings to be higher. Past partnerships with MDOT have gone well for the city. It’ll also help the city meet its Economic Vitality Incentive Program requirements.

“We certainly had a very successful run last year with the repaving of First Street … which saved us some money,” he said.

Rogers City now cooperates with local, regional and state government organizations in 32 ways, Hall said after the meeting. Other examples include the city’s police department and Onaway’s sharing firearms training with the Presque Isle County Sheriff Department, and collaborating with local planning commissions to get training. Council member Deb Greene pointed out during the meeting the city also gets funding from the Michigan Citizen-Community Emergency Response Coordinating Council to buy emergency equipment.

State lawmakers enacted the Economic Vitality Incentive Program in 2011, according to a state Department of the Treasurer website. It’s intended to replace statutory revenue sharing payments, provided municipalities meet certain requirements. Sharing of services is one of them, and there are transparency and employee compensation requirements as well.

In other business:

  • city council members appointed Paul Marshall as special representative of the city. He’ll help develop business in the city, and work closely with Presque Isle County’s Economic Development Corporation to do so. Marshall told the city he worked for nearly 30 years as a manufacturer representative, selling parts from European, Canadian and American businesses to other companies. He and his wife recently moved to Rogers City.
  • cellular phone provider AT&T signed a lease in the first week of January to put an antenna on the city’s new water tower, City Attorney Mike Vogler said. The deal has been in the works for some time, and the provider will move its equipment from the city’s old water tower sometime within the next year.
  • the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Commission has approved the city’s proposed marina rates, City Manager Mark Slown said.
  • after some questioning from city council member Gary Nowak about the fairness of Clerk Terri Koss’s salary, the council voted 5-1 to give her a 1.5 percent raise over three years. Nowak was the lone “no” vote, and said he didn’t think she was being paid enough.