O’Brien Updates Vicksburg Village Council

State Representative Margaret O’Brien talks to the Vicksburg Village Council.

By Sue Moore

State Representative Margaret O’Brien gave a legislative update to the Vicksburg Village council during its April meeting. She drew attention to one big issue at the state level – revenue sharing – that will affect the village budget. She cited competing proposals currently winding their way through the committee process. Her favorite proposal would be the governor’s recommendation on revenue sharing that would put $274,915 into village coffers. The appropriations committee chairperson’s legislation would actually cost the village $100,000, she said.

She said these proposals pit neighbor against neighbor and she didn’t like the taste of that.

Bill Adams, president of the village, thanked O’Brien for her help with the Department of Treasury meetings last year. When the Village was called on the carpet for its deficit spending, she helped every step of the way.

“She helped streamline the process when the problem was discovered,” he said. Rep. O’Brien complimented the village officials on not sweeping the debt under the rug.

“You are a model for any community,” she said. “You didn’t point fingers and were immediately looking for a solution, unlike some of the state’s larger cities.”

In addition to hearing from O’Brien, the council also discussed several other items. First, South Central Michigan Construction Code Inspections (SCMCCI) will now issue permits and do blight inspections in the Village.

Chris Hamilton, administrative manager of the company, said they don’t police the community but they will issue tickets, based upon the complaint received as it relates to the general ordinance for code enforcement. Her company replaces Michigan Township Services (MTS) which has held the Village’s contract for a number of years. Ken Schippers, interim village manager, recommended the change. SCMCCI will collect the fees for permits, just as MTS did.

Chris Newman, council member, said this will take the onus off the police department for enforcement of the blight ordinances. He felt Hamilton’s company would be more competitive and more proactive with the village customers for obtaining building permits which can be picked up at the Village office or obtained online.

In other business:

*Schippers also reported on trees that would be cut in the village on Park Street and Michigan Avenue in the near future. The limbs are always falling down and causing problems, he said.

*A decision to move the fire siren from the Village Hall to the fire department was approved at a cost of $2,750. The fire department will now be responsible for setting off the siren off when they think it is required, Schippers said.

*Schippers requested a new chipper at a cost of $23,950, saying the old 1990 vintage chipper was mighty tired. The money was set aside in last year’s budget but the chipper was never purchased.

*Well number five, which supplies the village with drinking water, has deteriorated to the point where it is pumping at a third of its capacity. The Council approved $30,000 to clean each section of the well and get it back up and running. He cited the need to get this job done now and not wait until summer when the demand for water would greatly increase.

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