Albion Recorder & Morning Star News

City temporarily closes water system to Riverside Cemetery, Council discusses various other items

Those who attended Albion’s annual Memorial Day celebration at Riverside Cemetery may have noticed some recent improvements. The City of Albion is working to clean up Riverside Cemetery and is collaborating with members of Friends of Riverside Cemetery, Albion VFW, and the Albion American Legion for their input. Renovations will include redoing the roadways, trimming and pruning trees and removing overgrown vegetation to provide easier access. Work on the cemetery’s main office was scheduled to begin last week. The trim on the outside of the building will be repainted and the office will be completely remodeled providing a nicer atmosphere for those who come to make arrangements for their loved ones.

The irrigation system to the cemetery is in need of costly repairs and has been capped off indefinitely.  As a temporary solution, the city has placed 55-gallon rain barrels at various locations in the cemetery so citizens can get water to maintain flowers and plants.

According to the DPW report included in the May 20th city council agenda packet, the water system is in such bad condition that the cost to repair it is too great. The system must be completely replaced and will need to meet EGLE’s backflow prevention standards since it is tied into the city’s drinking water system. This could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

If the rain barrels prove to be a successful alternative, the Department of Public Works will purchase additional barrels and increase their locations.

At the May 20 meeting, council saw presentations by Andy Campbell of Baker Tilly on the financing for the city’s water system improvement project and Virgie Ammerman with an EDC report.

Assembly permits were approved for the Albion Farmers Market in Stoffer Plaza on Wednesday evenings through September and for the 14th Annual Father Son Picnic in Victory Park on June 8.

Council approved an amendment to the fee schedule on the mobile food vending ordinance allowing for a weekend only permit option. A decision was made to add a 3-day option for those vendors who only participate in a weekend event in the city. Mobile food vendors now have the option of a three day, seven day or yearly pass. The weekend permit is only $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents.

Other items of discussion included the need for stronger code enforcement, speed limit signs and the implementation of the equity task force.

Council member Nora Jackson spoke about getting the equity task force underway. The goals of the task force are to address issues of structural and systemic racism in Albion and to provide recommendations on policies and procedures to ensure racial equity.

“We need to get this back going…This is something that is vitally important. It has the purpose, the establishment, the membership…,” said Jackson.

The task force has been unable to meet due to a lack of quorum. According to the ordinance, the City of Albion Equity Task Force is to consist of seven members. Task force member Wayne Arnold who was present at the meeting said they only need one more member to achieve quorum. Members are to be appointed by the mayor with the approval of council and will serve a two-year term. Anyone interested in serving on this task force should contact their precinct councilperson.

To view the meeting in its entirety, visit the city’s You Tube page. The next meeting of the Albion City Council will be Monday, June 3 at 7 pm.

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