County Board Sets 4 Public Hearings

Washtenaw County commissioners set four public hearings for Oct. 16 to get input on items they’ll be considering at upcoming meetings. The action took place at the county board’s Oct. 2, 2013 session.

Three of the hearings that will take place on Oct. 16 relate to:

  • An increase to the Act 88 millage from 0.06 mills to 0.07 mills. The millage would be levied in December 2013 and would raise an estimated $972,635.
  • The proposed 2014-2017 budget, which was presented by county administrator Verna McDaniel on Oct. 2. The board is required to approve the $103 million general fund budget for 2014 by the end of this year. [.pdf of draft 2014-2017 budget]
  • A proposed ordinance that would allow the county to issue municipal civil infractions for owning an unlicensed dog, and to establish that the county treasurer’s office would be the bureau for administering these infractions. The public hearing on Oct. 16 would also cover proposed licensing fee changes.

The fourth hearing, set for Nov. 6 also on Oct. 16, is for a proposed brownfield plan by the Chelsea Milling Co., makers of Jiffy Mix. The plan relates to a renovation of an abandoned warehouse at 140 Buchanan in Chelsea. The company plans to invest more than $4 million in the project. If the project is given brownfield status, it would allow the company to be reimbursed for up to $376,805 in eligible activities through tax increment financing (TIF). The total amount to be captured through TIF over 16 years is $580,677, which includes fees paid to the county brownfield program administration and the county’s local site revolving remediation fund.

Dan Smith (R-District 2) cast the lone vote against setting the Oct. 16 brownfield public hearing. He said he continues to be concerned about the lack of an overall policy regarding the creation of TIF districts.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main. A more detailed report will follow: [link]