A new dropbox has been installed at the East Tawas Community Center which will accommodate the increased volume of absentee ballots expected to be returned directly to the city.

EAST TAWAS – In their remarks to the East Tawas City Council at the remote meeting on October 5, City Manager Brett Barringer and Mayor Bruce Bolen reported that the committee formed by the council to examine options regarding the city’s police protection was still working on that project. 

Barringer noted that a meeting with the Iosco County Board of Commissioners has yet to take place, but the committee was working through Iosco County Sheriff Allan MacGregor to bring the parties together.

“We’re continuing to meet regularly, and there’s data, information that we going to want to collect,” Mayor Bolen said, adding that the committee had met immediately prior to the Council session. “We’ll be going through that process, and continue to work on it.”

Later in the meeting, Barringer stated that the Tawas Police Authority (TPA) board was going to hold a special meeting in the near future to address personnel issues, specifically with respect to the status of the position being vacated by TPA Chief Mark Ferguson, as well as filling a vacancy in the police officer ranks.

A tree assessment was completed for the first three blocks of Newman Street, according to Barringer, who said that the city will work with the Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) to develop a fall/winter pruning plan. Upon completion of that project, the city manager said that a city-wide tree management plan will be under consideration.

Barringer also reported that the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is preparing draft language for their permit application for their DASH invasive species program on Tawas Lake. Barringer said the draft would likely be presented at the next city council meeting on Oct. 19.

East Tawas Fire Chief Bill Deckett reported that his department’s old fire engine was being serviced in anticipation of a potential sale of the unit to an interested buyer.

DPW Supervisor Rodney Collier updated the council on his crew’s activities. Collier said that the hydrant flushing project “went well,” as did the ditch cleaning along Robert Elliott Blvd. Collier added that his department will engage in leak detection activities next week. He said that quotes have been requested for heating the new DPW facility currently under construction. 

In anticipation of the arrival of a new pickup truck for his department, Collier said that the 2017 model truck which has been used by the DPW was up for bids. However, interest in purchasing that vehicle has not yet exceeded the trade-in value of the truck.

Park Manager Eric Braun was pleased to report that the parking lot at the new bathhouse has been striped, and is now open. Barringer acknowledged that Braun took over his new job, effective Oct. 1, and thanked Keith Frank for his years of service.

By a 6-0 vote, the council approved the city’s 2020-21 Financial Depository Resolution.

City Clerk/Treasurer Julie Potts announced that a new, larger drop box has been installed at the North entrance of the Community Center. Potts noted that the dual-key access to the drop box greatly enhances security. The larger box was put in place in anticipation of a higher volume of absentee ballots being returned directly to the city for the upcoming presidential election.