Dexter Community Report 5/23/22 | The Sun Times News
By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter
The following highlights are from reports from the City Manager, Director of Community Development and Mayor of Dexter submitted to City Council on May 23, 2022.
Affordable housing options: Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol said in her written report, “The need for diverse affordable housing options has become increasingly relevant to the economic development community, particularly in Michigan. Private companies look for communities that have a healthy inventory of homes when making location decisions, but the current market hasn’t been able to keep pace as housing costs have risen faster than income. To remedy the situation, the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) has published a guide titled “Housing is Economic Development – A Guide to Using Tax Enhancement Funding for Housing Development”.
Ms. Aniol provided the Council with a link to the guide, also stating: “The guide not only serves as a guide for the development process, but helps to advocate with investors and local leaders for housing needs in a community. .
Gypsy Moth Season (formerly Gypsy): The Town is consulting with its arborist to take steps to prevent or minimize the impact of gypsy moth this year. Last year the city had a major breakout and expects something similar this year.
No mowing May: Council discussed the pros and cons of ‘No mow may’, the social initiative designed to help pollinators get established by leaving their lawns uncut for the month of May. Some municipalities in the region have endorsed the concept. Council discussed the fact that some people involved in the cause have had problems with tall grass. Council member Michels explained that the movement started in Minnesota, where lawns don’t grow as much in May as they do in Michigan. He recommended the City approach the issue with a “soft touch” going forward.
External arts: This year’s temporary sculpture exhibitions are being set up in their various locations around the city.
Walk your wheels: The City is selecting locations to temporarily paint “Please Walk Your Wheels” stencils on the Main Street sidewalks between Alpine and Central streets. If the spots are deemed effective, permanent marking will be used.
Community survey: The city compiled the survey data and made the results available in the May 23, 2022, city council meeting docket. Responses totaled 730.
Renovation of the municipal office: Demolition of the new municipal offices at 3515 Broad Street has begun.
Community garden: The opening day of the community garden was May 21.
Mill Creek Park North: Plans are moving forward for the rehabilitation of the park. The focus shifted from landscaping to playground structures.
Student representatives: Mayor Keough said he continues to receive applications from students interested in serving on city governance groups. Mr. Keough intends to make his recommendations to Council at its June 13 meeting.
Search for a DAFD fire chief: DAFD Fire Chief Robert Smith is retiring on June 30. A job search resulted in the DAFD Board of Directors offering the top position to DAFD Deputy Fire Chief Doug Armstrong. Mayor Keough reported that Mr. Armstrong has since withdrawn his candidacy. Instead, Mr. Armstrong is hatching a plan in which he and fellow deputy chief Stephen Gaggi will share the duties of head of the DAFD. Council will review the plan when it is complete.
Sheriff Clayton: Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton met with Mayor Keough to review the policing service his office was providing to Dexter. The Mayor also gave Sheriff Clayton a tour of the City’s new office building.