The Belleville Downtown Development Authority voted to give the $12,000 left in its Community Events budget to the City of Belleville to help pay the city’s share of operations for the Belleville Area Museum.
The Belleville City Council had asked the DDA for a contribution of $14,000 to help pay the city’s share of Belleville Area Museum operations.
The city’s share is $32,000 and it had budgeted $18,000. The balance was requested from the DDA which has contributed to the museum fee since 2006.
At the Dec. 15 DDA meeting, there was discussion on why the city is going 50/50 with Van Buren Township on the museum ($32,000 each) when the township’s SEV is more than 10 times that of Belleville.
Councilwoman Kim Tindall said the information the city got on the museum shows there is no decrease in funds this year and, “It doesn’t appear the museum is cognizant of what the rest of the world is cognizant of.”
In December, DDA member Ken Voigt said, “We have to consider we benefit by having the museum as an anchor in our downtown.”
Sumpter Township also shared in operation costs of the museum until March 1998 when it discontinued support because of falling township revenues
In other business at the Jan. 19 meeting, the DDA:
• Reelected the same officers for another year: Kerreen Conley, chair; John Hoops, vice-chair; Sabrina Richardson-Williams, treasurer; and James Higgerson, secretary;
• Agreed to meet at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month for 2011;
• Decided to go forward with brick pavers in an area next to the Belleville Bridge, after learning the sprinkler system that would be cut off for that area by the pavers could be separated from the sprinklers for the Doane’s Landing and gateway sign plantings;
• Took no action on proposals to remove snow from along the sidewalks in the downtown area, since a study by Hoops and Higgerson found there are so many unknowns with snowfalls that it’s almost impossible to budget for. Also, the costs for contractors are high. Jane and Ron Vesche, who had asked the DDA to remove the snow berms that builds up along the street, were disappointed that the DDA couldn’t help. The DDA does pay the city to plow Main Street which is in the DDA district; and
• Learned the welcome sign designed by the late Chesley Odom is expected to be discussed at the Feb. 16 meeting. There may have to be a redesign to fit it in the space set side at the city’s front door.
Absent from the Jan. 19 DDA meeting were: Ken Voigt, Sabrina Richardson-Williams, and Mayor Richard Smith.