EAST TAWAS – With city hall closed to the public until April 6, East Tawas City Manager Brent Barringer proposed to take advantage of the down time at the regular meeting of the city council on March 16. 

Barringer said that he had obtained bids from local companies to paint the hallway and corridor of the East Tawas Community Center, as well as to install new carpeting in the facility. Barringer reported that he had received a bid of $8,460 for painting and $15,407 for the carpeting.

While Mayor Bruce Bolen agreed that the proposed work “is easier to do…when the building is shut down,” Councilman Dave Leslie cautioned that the same job bid procedures should be applied as if business as usual were being conducted. Barringer agreed, and said he would seek additional bids.  Council approved up to $8,500 for painting and up to $15,500 for carpeting by separate 6-0 votes.

While this meeting was open to the public, only council members, city officers, and press were present. Councilman Steve Klenow attended via a previously-approved video conferencing arrangement, and Councilwoman Blinda Baker was absent. No one from the general public was in attendance at the meeting. 

According to the public notice regarding the closure of offices, “City offices will remain open but will be closed to the public except for scheduled meetings. We encourage anyone at risk, and those with symptoms of illness, not to attend public meetings.”

At the same meeting, council unanimously approved a resolution approving ballot language for Charter Amendment to Chapter VII. Budget Procedure and General Finance, Section 7.2. According to Barringer, the language was approved last year and clears up timeline requirements. The proposition will appear on the general election ballot for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

In other matters before the council:

• By a 6-0 vote, council passed a budget amendment for the increase of prior year funds to account for administration costs in the local streets fund, based on a request from the city’s auditors in the amount of $3,365.

• A request from the Knights of Columbus to hold their semi-annual Tootsie Roll Drive on May 14, 15, and 16 was unanimously approved. Barringer asked Council for the authority to approve this type of recurring request administratively in the future;

• A previously-approved road closure was approved for modification. The Sunrise Solstice event planned for June 13, was originally approved for a closure of the first block and one-half of the second block of Newman Street, along with a half block of Westover Street each way from 3 to 11 p.m. A request from event planner Jolene Grusecki was approved, changing the time of the closure to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and shifted the closure to the second block and one-half of the third block of Newman, and a half block of State Street each way

• By a 5-0 vote, with Mayor Bolen abstaining, council approved the city entering into an Intergovernmental Agreement for Winter Road Maintenance with the Iosco County Road Commission. As a result of this agreement, the City of East Tawas will be asked to plow snow on approximately one half-mile of Cranberry Pike Trail, eliminating the need for a road commission truck to drive through the city to maintain that section of county road.

In accordance with the Articles of Incorporation of the Tawas Utility Authority (TUA), council unanimously approved the appointment of Mayor Bolen to the TUA board.