City councilors will discuss whether to retain Republic services for garbage and recycling collection when they meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
The city is considering whether to switch to a new contractor for its garbage and recycling collection after the Republic Services contract expires in 2023. Time is running out to decide on that and find a contractor for the year. next, Foster said.
Informing Monday’s discussion is a letter from Republic Services offering several concessions in exchange for another five-year contract.
Republic Services would agree to pick up recycling twice a month at no additional cost. They would also maintain the yard waste cart fee at $65, if its cost can increase each year in accordance with the other elements of the contract.
In an effort to improve communication, Republic Services was directing Ludington callers to a local office number, rather than a 1-800 number. They would also work with the city on alternative solutions to manage seasonal properties.
The city council interviewed the general manager of GFL Environmental Inc., which Foster said he expected to be the only other option.
Councilors will also review allowing marijuana sales within city limits.
Medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries were banned in the city shortly after Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana sales in 2018. Councilors in 2019 proposed revisiting the issue after two years, and that time is now come.
Advisors will consider supporting Lake Michigan Carferry’s application to be enrolled in a financing program administered by the US Department of Transportation.
Applying to join the American Marine Highway program would open the door to grants, loans, and other opportunities.
“It also identifies you, your port and your region as some sort of commercial port of importance,” Foster said. “The folks at Lake Michigan Carferry…they’re looking for help potentially in the near future to upgrade the power of the Badger.”
A letter written by Mayor Steve Miller to the US Secretary of Transportation states that “the time has come for the ferry to embark on a new journey incorporating the technology of the future”.
Discussion on Brownfields
Councilors will also consider passing a resolution to establish the city’s own brownfields redevelopment authority, rather than going through the county’s.
Brownfields authorities are encouraging contaminated land to be cleaned up and redeveloped in exchange for a temporary freeze in the property’s assessed value.
City officials said local development was hampered by several of the county’s brownfield rules that go beyond those required by the state. One of those rules, prohibiting providing funds for infrastructure that would be needed on land never before developed, blocked a proposed apartment complex at 106 Laura St.
“Having municipal authority over brownfields is not meant to be an us versus them situation,” Foster said. “It’s really that we might have different priorities, and that’s okay.”
Councilors are to schedule a public hearing at the next council meeting regarding the creation of a municipal brownfields authority.
On Monday, counselors will also:
- consider an ordinance authorizing the Harbor Front Condominium Association to use certain recreational facilities at Harbor View Marina;
- hold the first presentation of a contract renewal with the municipal assessor Dan Kirwin who would pay him approximately $71,608.50 annually, fluctuating according to the number of properties to be assessed;
- consider applying for a state grant to improve the driveway behind Sportsman’s Restaurant to increase pedestrian activity;
- consider a repayment schedule to reimburse the Township of Pere Marquette Charter for $105,836.01 in overcharged sewer fees;
- consider a resolution allowing officials to sign an annual agreement regarding state rights of way;
- consider a proclamation in support of the Childhood Cancer Campaign Lemonade Stands scheduled for June 4; and
- consider a deal with the Ludington Daily News to run the Western Michigan Boat & RV Show.