Two important bond resolutions were removed from the Sept. 25 agenda of the Van Buren Township Downtown Development Authority because the DDA bond attorney Robert Schwartz had some questions to answer before their approval.
Attorney Schwartz did not attend the meeting.
The items removed from the agenda were:
• Consider Approval of DDA Resolution 2012-04, Resolution to Authorize Issuance of Tax Increment Revenue Bonds ($4.9 million for the Ecorse project); and
• Consider approval of DDA Resolution 2012-05, Resolution Authorizing Defeasance of Bonds (about $3.7 million dated Oct. 13, 2005, maturing in the year 2016 and thereafter).
The second Resolution said the DDA has enough funds on hand to defease the Bonds and put the funds in an escrow account to provide for their payment on Oct. 1, 2015.
The DDA heard a monthly progress report from Matt Stacey from Wade Trim Engineers on the Belleville/Ecorse Intersection project.
Stacey said that construction started Aug. 20 and temporary signals have been installed. He said pavements have been ripped up and traffic shifted on the westbound sections of Ecorse Road.
He said, as of that date, the sanitary sewer was about 40% installed. The contractor is on schedule and completion of eastbound lanes is expected by this November.
Stacey said the sanitary sewer should be 60-70% complete as well as underground utilities prior to the winter shut-down.
In the spring of 2013, they will finish the sanitary sewer, finish the westbound lanes, and then work on the service drive.
Susan Ireland, DDA Executive Director, told of a resident’s complaint about truck traffic using Robson Road to Morton Taylor as a construction bypass.
Stacey said that although that route is not an assigned detour, there is always going to be natural diversion around construction.
DDA members Kurt Atchinson and Carol Bird asked about the clearing of dead trees, maintaining light posts and fixing broken curbs along Belleville Road. It was agreed to procure estimates.
Ireland and DPW Leader Jeff Fondaw are waiting for a report from their meetings with a representative of DuPont to determine whether the DDA landscapers sprayed the herbicide Imperlis that resulted in several dead trees at Applebee’s, Fifth Third Bank, and along Belleville Road.
DDA members heard a report and then voted to start a preliminary Belleville/Ecorse landscape concept with preliminary drawings and fees.
Sally Hodges from McKenna Associates and Jim Allen, a registered landscape architect, presented an Ecorse Road Gateway ideas board and suggested using the northwest corner of the intersection for a greeting sign to the township.
There were concerns about the use of the northwest corner, which is the exit, promoting a welcome to the township.
DDA members Atchinson and Bird said they would like to keep the current VBT theme. A free-standing VBT logo to accompany the curved brick wall and signature sign seemed to be the most interesting to DDA members.
At the next DDA meeting, McKenna will submit a proposal for fees associated with design drawings. An easement with the property owner may be necessary.
After looking at the plans, Allen suggested that as designed there might be road drainage problems over sidewalks that need to be addressed. There also has been a lot of vegetation removed on the South Service drives and buffering will be needed for existing homes.
There also were concerns brought forward about pedestrian crossings.
In other business at the Sept. 25 meeting the DDA:
Learned that the DDA costs for VBT Public Safety Day were just under $10,000. Also, they heard questions about the updates to the DDA website by Communication Associates, Inc., and concern that the “live” feature not working properly;
• Reviewed Supervisor Paul White’s recommendation for a Code Red emergency notification system. Fire Chief Dan Besson said he is hoping to bring additional information from the Public Safety Committee meeting. The issue will be reviewed at a future meeting;
• Discussed a request to purchase five portable scoreboards for Quirk Park soccer fields for $10,725, and then put the request on hold. More information will be sought from the Recreation Department, since soccer is sponsored by the department which may have income to purchase equipment;
• Considered roof repair for fire station No. 2. Chief Besson presented a $900 inspection conducted by D.C. Byers and a $33,841 estimate to correct roof flashing. The building is six years old and the DDA suggested looking at the building’s warranty and getting additional bids, using pictures from D.C. Byers rather than removing bricks. There is an urgency to repair the leak before winter; and
• Approved sponsoring a photo page in the 2013 Belleville Area Museum calendar.
Absent from the meeting were Supervisor White and DDA members Robert Bechtel and Ron Blank.