City of Adrian Blog
22 Sep 2015
Community is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society. I hope you were able to experience “Community” this past weekend and participate in the many events occurring around town. The 9th Annual Art-A-Licious Festival took place Downtown on Friday evening and all-day Saturday. The Downtown streets were buzzing with activity as artists, musicians and culinary professionals entertained and educated thousands during this free Fine Arts Festival. This event has grown to become one of the premier festivals in our region. It was neat to watch the families walk the streets of Downtown Adrian and experience community in their own unique way. Many individuals behind the scenes worked over the course of the past year putting this all-volunteer festival together. A special thank you to all of the volunteers, artists, and vendors who helped make this festival a rousing success.
Many additional events were held throughout last weekend including:
- Lenawee United Way Day of Action where 600 volunteers completed 47 projects throughout Lenawee County all day Friday
- Adrian vs. Tecumseh football game at Maple Stadium Friday evening
- Adrian College Homecoming and football game at Docking Stadium Saturday evening
- Siena Heights University football game at O’Laughlin Stadium Saturday evening
- 2015 Lenawee County Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held at Trestle Park Sunday afternoon
Our community was alive with all sorts of activities this past weekend. I would encourage you to participate in our many fall events and performances coming up this fall throughout our community. Check out the following sites for additional information on upcoming events:
- City of Adrian
- Lenawee County Conference & Visitors Bureau
- Croswell Opera House
- Adrian Symphony Orchestra
Margaret Mead was an American Cultural Anthropologist born in 1901, one of her famous quotes is “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
We indeed have a great story to share, get involved in our community, volunteer and become part of the solution.
Adrian District Library Millage
1 May 2015
2014 Year in Review
23 Dec 2014
As we look back on 2014, we can definitively say this was a busy year full of milestones and progress…
snow and cold
During my first year as City Administrator I am proud to say that we weathered one of the snowiest years on record. The snow and cold started in November and did not let up until the end of March. We were introduced to a new phrase last winter, “Polar Vortex”. I am proud of our DPW and Parks employees who worked many long hours to make our roadways safe.
The First Friday festivities downtown have grown substantially over the past year. It is neat to have local talent on display for all to enjoy. 2015 will be even bigger and better so come downtown with the family and enjoy.
We also had another outstanding Art-A-Licious event in September that continues to set participant and attendance records. This fun two-day fine arts festival has quickly become a local and regional destination event that continues to grow each year. This festival provides a great venue to enjoy both visual and performing arts while celebrating our proud heritage and community.
The Blues & Brews Festival celebrated their third year downtown. Even with challenging weather conditions, we again experienced great participation and support for local musicians and craft beer businesses.
Thanks to all of the volunteers for their outstanding work and commitment to providing Adrian with outstanding cultural events.
A great community collaboration effort was concluded in July with a downtown retail market study completed by the Gibbs Planning Group of Birmingham, MI. The entire cost of the study was funded by contributions from throughout the community. The study concluded that downtown Adrian could support an additional 97,000 square feet of retail and restaurant development generating over 27.3 million in new sales.
The City of Adrian celebrated our 25th anniversary this year with the City of Moriyama, Japan. The original Sister-City agreement was executed in August 1989. A contingent from Moriyama visited Adrian in September to celebrate this milestone. We are planning a goodwill mission from Adrian to Moriyama in the Fall of 2015.
We had a special opportunity to partner with the City of Tecumseh to create a joint Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) that was recently approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to become a satellite SmartZone to the Ann Arbor SmartZone. This unique partnership will position both communities to take advantage of state programs as we look to grow our high tech manufacturing, agriculture and energy capabilities. The Adrian/Tecumseh LDFA SmartZone part of an exclusive group as the state has only approved 18 such SmartZones state-wide.
Division Street Reconstruction
Division Street from Alden Drive to Dawes Street was rebuilt with new base and asphalt as well as a new 10 inch water main.
Church Street Parking Lot
The Church Street parking lot was rebuilt with new base, asphalt and LED lights. We incorporated green storm water collection bio-swales into this project as well utilizing a state grant.
Mill and Resurface Streets
The following local streets had the top three inches on asphalt milled off and replaced:
Budlong, Elm, Mulzer, Baker, Woodfield, Winter and Hoch
Brick Arch Sewer Separation Project
We completed the first of three phases of storm/sanitary sewer separation work in Downtown Adrian. This work included the installation of a new storm sewer outfall to the Raisin River off of Winter Street and new storm sewers installed on Washburn, Main, Toledo, Locust, E. Maumee and the parking lot behind Citizens Gas.
Williams Street Water Main Replacement
Utilities Department crews completed a new water main installation project on Williams Street between Madison and Charles. We increased the size of the new water main in anticipation for future demands in this area.
Special thanks to residents and business partners throughout our construction season; we appreciate your patience and understanding throughout these infrastructure improvement projects.
The local street millage was renewed at the November general election. This 0.9746 annual millage was renewed by almost 60% of the voters. This millage renewal will allow us to invest approximately $4.0 million dollars over the next 10 years, addressing approximately 12 miles of local streets. Thanks to all who continue to support this dedicated funding for our roads, we appreciate your support and look forward to putting these resources to work over the next 10 years.
The City of Adrian is excited to again partner with the Adrian Kiwanis Club as we look to complete the Ted Durst Kiwanis Gateway Park on W. Maumee at Church Street. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) together with the Adrian Kiwanis Club and the City of Adrian launched a crowdfunding campaign in October. The MEDC agreed to provide a $25,000 matching grant through its Public Spaces Community Places Initiative if the campaign reached its crowdfunding goal by November 28. We are pleased to report that 120 individuals and businesses responded in a big way and we were able to reach our goal and will receive the MEDC $25,000 match to help us complete this wonderful community project.
Residents can now report quality of life issues to the City of Adrian such as tree branches, trash, graffiti, pot holes, blight and many others. Residents can provide locational, descriptive and photographic information as they see an issue in real time. Once the resident submits an issue, the City of Adrian will receive an alert which is acknowledged and sent to the appropriate staff person who will send out a response and will update the service request until it is resolved. Residents can use the desktop or mobile platform to report and generate a service request. Click here to check out Adrian Fix It.
Mayor Berryman has been busy promoting several initiatives including:
Downtown Adopt-A-Bench program – For $800.00 an individual or business can purchase a bench in honor or in memory of someone that impacted their life. To date we have sold 20 benches which have been installed downtown. We are still looking to continue this program with the goal of reaching 35 new benches. We appreciate those who have contributed to this program, your donation will make a lasting impression to those who visit our downtown.
Comstock Christmas Riverwalk – We have started a new tradition at Comstock Park that included the placing of 33 real Christmas trees that were purchased and decorated by residents, businesses and community partners. It has been neat to see the community get behind this project and enjoy this beautiful park. Special thanks to our partners on this project: Rotary Club of Adrian, Civitan of Lenawee, Lowes, Barrett’s, Wright Signs, Culvers, Vision Performance Group and Carlton Lodge.
Snow Plow Art – Some of our snow plows will have an exciting new look this winter. Our DPW employees promoted the concept of having our plows painted by our local institutions. The artwork on our plows has been designed by Adrian College, Siena Heights University, Lenawee Intermediate School District, Lenawee Christian School, Adrian Public Schools and the Croswell Opera House. We appreciate these institutions and their impact in our community; this is another unique way to brighten our landscape.
The City of Adrian will receive $375,000 to fight blight in the city. Adrian was identified by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) as one of twelve Michigan communities eligible for federal blight demolition funds. The City of Adrian will be partnering with the Lenawee County Land Bank to facilitate the transfer and acquisition of eligible properties. We anticipate addressing around 15 blighted properties with these funds. Blight has been an on-going concern in our community; these funds will help in restoring property values while reestablishing neighborhood pride.
Economic Development Projects
We have had a tremendous year of growth and activity regarding economic development over the past year:
- Sears Home Store
- Family Farm & Home
- Hobby Lobby Relocation
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Family Medical Clinic
- Gaslight Village Senior Assisted Living Project
- Adrian Urgent Care Facility
- Chomp Burger
- Sauce on the Side
- Sale of three Buildings Downtown by Doug Kapnick and Steve Hickman
- New Retail Downtown with Sass and Passion 4 Fashion
- Downtown Housing Growth
- Downtown Facade Improvement Projects
- Announcement of new Promedica Hospital Facility
As you can see we have had a very busy but productive 2014, special thanks to city staff that go above and beyond on a daily basis. I am honored to work along-side such a dedicated team. We look forward to continued progress and development in 2015. Best wishes to you and your family for a healthy, joyful, bright, prosperous and happiest new year ahead.
Crowdfunding Success in Adrian!
08 Dec 2014
The Adrian Ted Durst Kiwanis Gateway Park will be completed and ready for the public in Spring 2015 thanks to a unique partnership and a cutting edge way to raise funds. The City, together with the Adrian Kiwanis Club, utilized a program introduced this year by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The MEDC partnered with the Michigan Municipal League (MML) and a Michigan website company, Patronicitiy, to bring the process known as crowdfunding to municipal projects all over Michigan.
In the case of the trailhead park, the Adrian Kiwanis Club and the City had pooled funds to raise approximately $105,000; the total cost of the park came to $155,000. In order to raise the remaining $50,000, the club and the city proposed to the MEDC if the community could raise $25,000, the MEDC would match that amount and complete the funding required to build the park.
The day before Thanksgiving, the campaign reached its goal of raising $25,000, and the MEDC will be forwarding a check for the balance of the funds. 120 individuals and businesses contributed to the campaign, with donations ranging from $10, to $2,000. Less than a dozen of these campaigns statewide have successfully reached their fundraising goals to date using this program, and Adrian is proud to be one of the first to successfully utilize this unique program.
The Ted Durst Kiwanis Gateway Park sits on the Kiwanis Trail where the trail crosses West Maumee on the western edge of downtown Adrian. The park is designed to provide an easy way for trail users to get to and from downtown Adrian, and to provide a great gathering and resting place for the community. The park will feature benches, plantings and a large concrete pad with the city Maple Leaf logo at its center.
The Kiwanis Trail is over 20 years old and was one of the first rails-to-trails projects in Michigan. It provides a beautiful path to many of Adrian’s parks and features great views of the River Raisin, as well as a great way to view many interesting and attractive places along its 9 mile route.
DDA & Economic Development Coordinator
Downtown Buildings Bought For Restoration
01 Dec 2014
Former Executives and Local Investors Commit to Downtown Adrian Revitalization through Major Building Purchase and Restoration Estimated at $4.25 Million
Steve Hickman and Douglas Kapnick, retired executives of Brazeway Inc. and Kapnick Insurance Group respectively, purchase three downtown buildings for restoration and leasing opportunities.
Downtown Adrian’s revitalization continues as two Lenawee County natives plan to purchase three downtown buildings for restoration. Steve Hickman, retired president and current chair of Brazeway Inc., and Doug Kapnick, retired president and current chair of Kapnick Insurance Group, plan to renovate the historic buildings and return them to active use in the community as commercial and residential space.
Strongback Properties, LLC, a Michigan company formed by Hickman and Kapnick, plan to purchase the adjacent buildings at 101, 105, and 109 E. Maumee in Adrian. Current plans include having apartments on the upper floor and commercial space on the ground floor. Pending the State of Michigan’s involvement, this project will be moving forward with construction planned for fall 2015.
“Steve and I have been doing business in this community for a long time,” said Kapnick. “We value working and raising our families here. By supporting the Downtown Adrian revitalization effort in this way, we feel that we are creating the opportunity for the next generation to do the same. Economic development is not a one person job; it takes all of us working together in our own capacities on a ongoing basis.”
Kapnick is currently the chairperson of Lenawee Now’s board of directors and has been for three years. “Two people that exemplify the understanding of economic development are Steve Hickman and Douglas Kapnick,” said Jim Van Doren, Executive Director of Lenawee Now. “Both have been supportive of our efforts by way of their leadership. Now it is evident to the community just how much they want to see the local economy continue to grow because they truly believe in this county and all it can be.”
The buildings were in the Lenawee County Land Bank inventory. Marilyn Woods, the chair of the Land Bank, is supportive of the project. “This is the very reason the land bank was created: to encourage local development,” said Woods. “The buyers have a proven track record of making good, sound business decisions and we look forward to seeing the final product.”
As Downtown Adrian continues to undergo a renaissance with new stores opening regularly, city officials keep an eye on their citywide goals. “Once again, when it is needed most, our community comes together to invest in the revitalization of our Downtown, said Mayor Jim Berryman. The Mayor continued to say, “This extensive project will be the cornerstone for future development, not just on Main Street, but increased economic activity throughout the City of Adrian.”
Renewal of Local Street Millage
05 Nov 2014
I wanted to express my gratitude to residents of the City of Adrian that took the time to vote in support of the renewal of our local street millage. This 10-year renewal will allow us to continue to invest dedicated resources into our local streets. Since the inception of the local street millage in 1996, we have invested over $9.7 million dollars addressing 33 miles of local streets. We are projecting to invest approximately $4 million dollars completing improvements to 12 miles of local streets within the next 10 years with this local street millage renewal.
Quality local streets play a large part in creating a sense of place that we all come to expect from our community. We are committed to the on-going effort to upgrade our street infrastructure. Thanks again for partnering with us on this journey to upgrade and invest in this critical quality of life item.
Crowdfunding for Kiwanis Trailhead Park
27 Oct 2014
The Kiwanis Trailhead Park project – at the intersection of W. Maumee and the Kiwanis Trail – is an awesome project that is utilizing a great partnership including the City of Adrian, the Adrian Kiwanis Club, the Adrian Kiwanis Foundation, and YOU! Even better, if you are part of the supporting team, the State of Michigan, via the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, will match every dollar you donate with one dollar from their Public Spaces, Community Places program.
This innovative crowdfunding program doubles the amount the community donates for a public project that supports traditional downtowns. The Kiwanis Trailhead parks is going to link downtown to our fabulous trail.
Folks interested in supporting the project are encouraged to visit www.patronicity.com. At the Patronicity site, you will find a great video and description of the project, and you can donate – using a credit card – right on the site. If you’d prefer to donate via check or cash, you are welcome to do so at Adrian City Hall; just make checks payable to the city, and write Kiwanis Trailhead Park on the memo line.
Here’s how to go online to find out more and to make a donation:
- Go to www.patronicity.com
- Click the Public Spaces, Community Places tab
- Scroll down and click on the Kiwanis Park rendition
- Watch the video and read about the project
- Read over the giving levels and see what rewards each offers
- Decide how much to give and click on the yellow SUPPORT button
- Follow the log in directions
- Pick your pledge amount and reward (if you wish)
- Fill out the form and click MAKE DONATION
- That’s it! You are part of the team!
DDA & Economic Development Coordinator
Renewal of Local Street Millage
11 July 2014
The local street millage renewal will once again be up for consideration by City of Adrian voters in November 2014. Our local street millage began in 1996 with a 1.0-mill levy and was renewed by Adrian voters in 2005. With the funds from the local street millage, $9.7 million has been invested in repaving 32.98 miles of Adrian’s 44.76 miles of local streets.
Since 1996 the original local street millage rate of 1.0 has been reduced to 0.9746 mills. This reduction is due to the Headlee Amendment which was instituted state-wide in 1978 to keep taxes from increasing more than the rate of inflation. As this occurs, the millage rate is “rolled back” to equal the inflation rate. So in essence we have lost 0.0254 mills due to the Headlee Amendment.
Significant progress has been made on our local streets over the past 20 years, but as I’m sure you are well aware many of our streets still need attention.
At the last meeting of the Adrian City Commission two renewal options were discussed and the commission will consider the options at their July 21, 2014, 7pm meeting. Citizen engagement will play a critical role in the success of this local street millage renewal. I would encourage you to contact me or any city commission with your thoughts and or concerns. One of the options presented below will be placed on the November ballot.
|Option 1||Renew Street Millage to original 1.0 mill||
Avg. Taxpayer w/home value of $72,000
|Avg. Taxpayer would pay approximately $36 per year|
This option would renew the current street millage of 0.9746 plus the 0.0254 mills that was reduced by the Headlee Amendment for a total levy of 1.0 mill. If approved, it is estimated that 1.0 mill ($1.00 per $1,000 of taxable value) would raise approximately $364,000 when first levied in 2015.
The difference between the full 1.0 mill levy and the next option of a 0.9746 levy is less than $1.00 per year by the average taxpayer.
|Option 2||Renew Street Millage to rolled back rate of 0.9746 mills||
Avg. Taxpayer w/home value of $72,000
Avg. Taxpayer would pay approximately
(No new tax burden)
As this option is just a renewal to what we’ve had over the past ten years it represents NO NEW TAX BURDEN. The local street millage would be renewed at the current “rolled back” rate of 0.9746 mills ($0.9746 per $1,000 of taxable value). If approved, it is estimated that this option would raise approximately $355,000 when first levied in 2015. This option is what Adrian residents have been paying since 2005.
If the local street millage is renewed for an additional 10-year period we are projecting to complete 11.78 miles of local streets with this renewal at an approximate value of $4 million dollars.
The City Commission and I would like to hear your thoughts on what option we should place on the November ballot. Over the next week I encourage you to talk to your city commissioners or please feel free to leave a comment below.
Adrian City Band Begins Summer Concerts in the Park
12 June 2014
As the Mayor of Adrian, it is my privilege to welcome Jimmy Rice back for his 20th season as the Director of the Adrian City Band. This is the City Band’s 177th season (the original group was known as the Adrian Brass Band) and played in Monument Park.
Concerts are held in Trestle Park on Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm and are free to the public.
The theme for the first concert, to be held on Thursday June 19th, is “In the Beginning”. I believe this theme was selected for two reasons; first, because it kicks off the Summer Concert Series and secondly, I am the guest conductor (for only one selection) and it is certainly the beginning of my musical career. Director Rice assures me that he will not allow me to mislead the bands many talented musicians with just one attempt with the baton.
Please come and join us for the first in a series of wonderful family musical evenings in Trestle Park. Adrian and neighboring communities have been fortunate to re-discover, for the past 177 years, the joy of listening to talented musicians playing under the stars. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend in the past, make this your year to be entertained.
Mayor, City of Adrian
Meeting with premier Urban Planner Bob Gibbs
05 May 2014
Bob Gibbs is one of the premier Urban Planners in the United States, and has completed projects in more than 500 town centers and historic districts in the US and abroad. Bob has worked on strategic projects in communities from Atlanta Georgia to Birmingham Michigan, and from Charleston South Carolina to Portland Oregon.
We were very fortunate to host Bob in Adrian on March 26th. Bob’s work was referenced in a meeting Mayor Jim Berryman attended earlier this spring, and the Mayor reached out to Bob requesting he visit downtown Adrian and give us the benefit of his industry-leading perspectives. Bob came having reviewed the state of downtown over the last 10 years, and had studied the Blueprints for Downtown plan the city has worked on since 2003.
Mayor Berryman, Administrator Shane Horn, and DDA Coordinator Chris Miller toured downtown with Bob prior to his presentation, and answered his many questions as they met business owners and looked over the entire downtown. Bob then met with a number of downtown stakeholders, including the DDA Board, a number of building and business owners, and representatives of Adrian College and Siena Heights University.
During his presentation Bob made a number of observations about downtown Adrian, and was very complimentary about the community in general, noting “this is a community of doers.” He indicated that few of the communities he had worked in had been as diligent in working a plan as had Adrian with the Blueprints for Downtown plan. Bob also noted the building stock in downtown is remarkable, saying that the historic buildings that have been restored are “among the top 5% in the nation, as good as any community in N. America”.
Looking forward, Bob indicated that the community has an opportunity to move aggressively on the revitalization of downtown and on the continued restoration and filling of downtown buildings. He believes that downtown can now target specific businesses and entice them to locate here because the economic model can work in a community with our market area, and because of the growing movement back to traditional downtowns.
Following Bob’s visit, the DDA board endorsed moving ahead in a formal partnership with Bob, and the Board and Mayor Berryman are now raising private funds to pay for a market study that will be used to bring businesses to downtown Adrian. The DDA Board has pledged the first $1,000 to the study and has already donated or raised over $6,000. Any member of the community that is interested is invited to participate as well. Contact any member of the Downtown Development Board, or DDA Coordinator Miller for details.
DDA and Economic Development Coordinator
Put Away Your Snow Boots & Find Your Running Shoes
25 March 2014
Our 2nd annual Art & Sole 5K run is fast approaching. It’s that time we put away our snow boots and try to find our running shoes that are in some dark forgotten place in the back of the closet. This year we’ve added a 1 mile Tot-Trot for the kids to make this an event for the entire family. Both the 5K and the tot trot will have art stations along the course to allow you to show off your creative talents. Registration information can be found at the YMCA of Lenawee’s website or you can stop in the Y and pick one up.
I am also excited about this event as a showcase for the partnership involved. This event wouldn’t be possible without the committed volunteers from Siena Heights University, Soul 2 Sole Running, Adrian DDA, and First Fridays, but the event also displays the continued partnership between the city and the YMCA of Lenawee County. While it has only been 6 months since the agreement between the city and YMCA was signed, the transition has been surprisingly smooth. From a management level I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the YMCA staff to help make the transition a success. From the participant level I also had the opportunity to experience the change first hand as my family and I have participated in several events/programs. When I was asked to blog about the transition, I thought to myself ”there won’t be much to report other than now registrations are taken at the YMCA instead of City Hall”. This is exactly why I am declaring this transition a success. The community hasn’t seen a real change in the recreation opportunities that are available. The programs that were available through the city are still being offered, often times on the same day and at the same locations. Even though it’s hard to imagine right now due to the extreme winter, Bohn Pool will be open soon and our parks will once again be filled families, friends and neighbors.
Director of Parks & Forestry
New Adult Services Librarian
10 March 2014
The Adrian Public Library is very pleased to welcome Heidi Neil to our staff as Adult Services Librarian. Heidi will be more than happy to assist you with your research and reference questions and will help you find a good book to read as well. Most recently Heidi worked at the Bedford Branch of the Monroe County Library System. Heidi has a special interest in genealogy/local history, pop culture and reading off-beat books including teen books.
We are excited to have Heidi on our staff. Stop in the Library and say Hello!
Shirley A. Ehnis
Adrian Public Library
Greetings Michigan Crowdfunders!
27 Feb 2014
Just a few updates since Michigan’s new crowdfunding law, sponsored by our own Representative Nancy Jenkins, was signed by the Governor at the end of December and is now the law of the land.
- Today, February 27th, Rep Mike Shirkey is hosting a “What is Crowdfunding?” event in Jackson –it will take place in the Jackson Tower building at 120 W. Michigan Ave in Jackson from 5-6:30pm. We know this will be a good event with high-quality info because Angela Barbash from Reconsider, and Thomas Coke from VerifyValid will be presenting. Both Angela and Tom have done groundbreaking work on crowdfunding, and both bring a wealth of info and passion to the table.
- On Sunday March 2nd, Angela Barbash & I will be doing a presentation/discussion with entrepreneurs in downtown Detroit, as part of Crowd Camp Detroit – a 2 day event, on March 1 & 2. The event features Brian Meece and Gustavo Rodriguez of RocektHub.com, and is sponsored by InsYght & Grow Detroit. We’ll be presenting at noon at Grand Circus.
- Angela Barbash will also be part of an all-star panel presenting on crowdfunding at the Michigan Municipal League’s Capitol Conference on March 19th. In addition to Angela, the panel will feature Amy Cortese, author of Locavesting; Dan Miller, co-founder of Fundrise in Washington DC; Kevin Hitchen co-founder of the crowdfunding website Localstake (now working in MI) out of Indy; Rick DeVries, President and CEO of Monarch Community Bank; and Kyle DeWitt, co-founder of Tecumseh Brewing Company. The conference is a two-day event, March 18 & 19, at the Capitol Center, will feature a crowdfunding expo booth staffed by panel members and members of their companies, and the crowdfunding session will be on the 19th at 10:15am.
- We just learned that we will also be presenting at the Michigan Economic Development Association’s “Inside the Economic Development Toolbox” event on May 29th. This is a particularly interesting opportunity because this is an organization of traditional economic development professionals. The membership was canvassed for suggestion topics, and crowdfunding was the #1 request. Not sure of the details yet other than it will be at the Lexington Hotel in Lansing.
- Finally, please note the very good news that the Michigan Municipal League (MML) has agreed to become the state-wide backbone organization that will carry the crowdfunding story, education, and tools to every Michigan city and village. Dan Gilmartin, CEO, and the MML board and staff have made the commitment in concert with their Placemaking and other forwarding looking efforts. This is fantastic news as it will continue Michigan’s strategic crowdfunding advantage. MML Director of Policy Initiatives & Federal Affairs Summer Minnick will be leading the charge. Thanks to Dan & Summer for their leadership!
One key to us optimizing the impact of crowdfunding will be growing the number of folks who are talking about the movement, and especially talking about our early successes; if we combine that with a solid, strategic, and long-term plan as we build our foundation, well, who can imagine what might result?! If you are new to crowdfunding and would like to continue the conversation please contact me at email@example.com
DDA & Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Adrian
Crowdfunding law means that any Michigan resident will be able to invest in your own community. Michigan investors will be able to invest up to $10,000 in crowdfunding projects and there is no limit to the number of projects an investor can support. Expect to see some investment opportunities in start up businesses, in existing businesses, and in the purchase of local properties.
We are excited to say Michigan Crowdfunding was born right here in Adrian!
Image courtesy of University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Ford students, Representative Nancy Jenkins and Adrian DDA & Economic Development Coordinator Chris Miller testifying at House Commerce Committee in October 2013.
Fire Department Receives Donation
03 Feb 2014
Thanks to the $5000 donation from the firefighter’s union, IAFF Local 1511, the City of Adrian Fire Department was able to purchase new EMS supplies. Thank you for your support and generous donation IAFF Local 1511!
02 Jan 2014
Happy New Year! I hope the time spent surrounded by family and friends this holiday season provided cherished life long memories.
Since this is my first blog as the acting City Administrator/Utilities Director, I wanted to take the time to introduce myself. My name is Shane Horn and I am a life-long resident of the City of Adrian. After high school I completed a degree in Water Quality from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. I was hired by the City of Adrian as an Operator at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in May 1992 and did this for a year and a half before transferring to the Water Treatment Plant as a Plant Operator. I was an Operator at the Water Plant for four years before being promoted to the Water Plant Superintendent position. While performing the job of Plant Superintendent, I started taking classes at Siena Heights University in Public Service Administration, completing this degree in 2004. In December 2007 I was promoted to the Director of Utilities position and I have been performing this job since then. On November 25, 2013 the City Commission appointed me to the position of acting City Administrator/Utilities Director.
I have been blessed to grow up and raise my children in such a wonderful, caring community. Like many communities across Michigan, Adrian has taken its share of economic hits over the past few years. Many difficult budgetary decisions were made and even more tough decisions lay ahead. This job is larger than any one person, it will take city employees, city commission, residents and community leaders to work together to continue to move Adrian forward. I am humbled and excited to be a part of this continued restoration project and I would encourage you to get involved, volunteer and continue to strive to make Adrian a place we can all be proud of.
"City Pride – City Wide"!
23 Aug 2013
As an Adrian native, there is nothing that aggravates me more than property owners or tenants who do not maintain their property. There are numerous studies to indicate that there is a direct correlation between poor property maintenance and reduced property values. No one likes to have the government become involved to the point of enforcement, but it is an unfortunate reality when properties begin to fall into disrepair. Often, we hear complaints of neighbors who call to see “what City Hall is going to do” about such properties.
With the recent foreclosure crisis and economic conditions, I have noticed an increased level of problems associated with uncut lawns, peeling paint and clutter all over porches and yards. After discussing this with my staff, we are taking action to aggressively address this problem. For this endeavor, we ask for your support with this program.
The city adopted a Property Maintenance Code that sets forth minimum requirements for the maintenance of existing buildings. The plan is to update this code to the 2012 edition, as recommended by the city Inspection Department. This will be the basis of our enforcement efforts.
This is our plan. Our Code Enforcement Officer has created a list of common areas of concern, such as weeds, junk & rubbish, abandoned vehicles, etc. We have divided the city into 6 “regions”. I have assigned two department heads to each “region”, with each team to be responsible to physically review their area to become the “eyes” for the Inspection Department regarding possible violations of the Property Maintenance Code. That information will then be reviewed with the City Attorney and Code Enforcement Officer for compliance with this code. Property owners will be given reasonable time to comply with the code before enforcement action is taken. The plan is to obtain a comprehensive review of the entire city.
We plan to do this on a regular basis to keep maintenance of property at a high level. If we all pitch in, we can truly have “City Pride – City Wide”!
Update of Oil Leases
21 Aug 2013
At the last meeting of the City Commission, an update of the oil leases with Savoy Energy was requested. So here is the latest. At present, there is one well operating on city owned land, which is located near the barn at Heritage Park in Raisin Township. In areas nearby, Savoy has, or will soon have four other producing wells. All of these wells will have oil piped to a processing facility on the 7.64 acre parcel that the City Commission recently sold to Savoy, which is located at the northerly border of the ‘Witt Farm’, near Purse Funeral Home. While the actual production units for all these wells has not been completed, my expectation is that the city will receive royalties from 4 of the 5 wells. To date, the city has received $178,977.34 in royalties. It is possible that other wells could be attempted in this area.
There are no permits issued at this time for any other city owned land.
The Commission has discussed the use of these royalties. The strategic plan approved by the Commission calls for the creation of a trust with all royalties to be invested for 3 years from the date of the first royalty payment to allow the principal to accumulate and grow. After that, the Commission would be permitted to spend a certain portion of the trust each year, much like the Harriett Fee Trust is managed. In this way, the trust funds will benefit the city forever, rather than being spent on annual operations.
I hope that this clearly sets forth the current status. If you may need any further information, I will be glad to share what we know.
Sign Ordinance Update
08 July 2013
The Daily Telegram has been reporting on the ongoing issue regarding the adoption of a new sign ordinance to regulate the size and location of signs in the city. While these articles have been helpful, I continue to receive calls and comments for me to explain the current situation. I thought it would be helpful to better explain the process of ordinance adoptions in general and apply it to the current facts involving the proposed sign ordinance.
Several months ago, Mayor DuMars appointed a committee, without objection, to review the old ordinance and to develop a new one. In addition, the city commission unanimously voted to retain the planning firm of Birchler and Arroyo to assist and to write the new ordinance language. During this process, the consultant met with the committee and solicited input from the public and members of the city commission. Eventually, a final draft was completed and was turned over to the city planning commission, which also held a public hearing on the newly proposed language. The recommended ordinance language from the committee was approved unanimously by the planning commission and also received unanimous support from members of the city zoning board of appeals.
Since an ordinance is a law, the city charter requires an “introduction” or “first reading” before one may be adopted. A true emergency ordinance would be an exception to this requirement, but does not apply to a sign ordinance. When introduced, Section 7.2 of the city charter states “ Each ordinance shall be introduced in a written or printed form”. Once such ordinance is approved by the commission, Section 7.4 states “Each ordinance shall be published within 10 days after its enactment by publishing the full text thereof in a newspaper—“. An ordinance becomes effective not less than 15 days after the publication.
In the present case of the sign ordinance, the ordinance voted on by the planning commission was properly introduced by the city commission and was set to be voted on at the next meeting. However, after hearing objections by some groups, business owners and citizens, it did not receive enough votes to be adopted. At a later meeting, Commissioner Berryman-Adams moved to adopt the proposed ordinance with 5 amendments, which included in the General Business Districts , “the continuation of pole signs as presently allowed”. At that time, no written or printed language was provided to the clerk. Since a vote was taken to permit no discussion of this issue, it was not possible to raise this concern at the meeting. Thereafter, the clerk consulted with the city attorney, as she had nothing in writing to take to the newspaper to have published. Since it was not able to be published within the required 10 days, the ordinance, as amended, has not been able to become effective.
It is not the responsibility of the clerk to draft the language of an ordinance. Until she receives a fully completed written ordinance regarding the regulation of signs, the current ordinance will remain the law in Adrian. I regret that this procedural problem has impacted the adoption of this new ordinance, as I have never seen this occur in over 30 years with the city. However, I do support the position and decision of the city clerk, as she had no option but to follow the provisions of the city charter.
Get Out The Vote!
01 July 2013
With the City election season fast approaching, I thought it may be helpful to review the process to avoid inconvenience with upcoming city elections and to hopefully encourage better voter participation.
On August 6th, a City primary will be held to reduce the candidate pool for the office of City Commissioner from seven to six. This will be the only issue to be voted on at that time. Candidates with the highest number of votes will then be placed on the ballot for the November 5th general election. At that time, three commission seats will be filled along with the election of our Mayor. Commission terms are set by City Charter for four years, with the mayoral position up for election every two years.
On the day of the election you may vote at the merchant’s building at the county fairgrounds. The polls will open at 7:00am and will close at 8:00pm. If you may be interested in voting with an absentee ballot in the August primary, you would be eligible if you (1) are 60 years or older; (2) expect to be absent from the area on election day; (3) are not physically able to attend the polls (4) cannot attend the polls due to a tenet of religion; or (5) are confined to jail awaiting arraignment or trial.
To obtain an absentee voter application, you may request one by mail or in person from the City Clerk at City Hall. Once the application is approved and you receive a ballot, you may then fill out your ballot and return it to the City Clerk.
Now – to encourage your participation
The voting history in our City has not been a positive one for our community and needs to improve dramatically. In the 2009 City election, the turnout was 8% of registered voters; in 2011 it was 13% (1,925 out of 13,990 registered voters). Primary turnouts are even lower. We are indeed fortunate to have an excellent slate of good candidates who have committed to serving our community for what is often a thankless job. Please do your part to become involved and take the time to vote in both the August and November elections.
A Fun Friday in Adrian
19 June 2013
Often we are told that there is little to do in Adrian on a Friday night. This past Friday, nothing was further from the truth. This blog is about my experience last Friday.
Start with a high school graduation open house for Spenser Warren, son of Julie and City commissioner, Milo Warren. Held at the Nazerene Church in Adrian, the event highlighted Spenser’s accomplishments, including being co-valedictorian of his Adrian high school class. Over the past years, I have been able to get to know this young man and follow his achievements, which are many and varied. Add to this the fact that he will enter the Honors program at Michigan State University (my alma mater), it was a great event.
My wife and I then moved to First Friday activities in downtown Adrian. These regular events are fast becoming a tradition and are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of committee members, Don Taylor, Eric Gable, Jackie Koch, Kimberly Myers-Pinkel, Joni Warner, Sue Smith, Maya Comfort and Al Wilkerson. Each month, they work behind the scenes to create activities downtown that are to be enjoyed by everyone. We entered downtown, only to find the streets full of cars and no place to park. Normally, one would be upset over such an occurrence, but as city administrator looking at downtown Adrian on a cool Friday night, I loved it! Restaurants were busy, Hooligan’s outdoor seating was packed and we listened to jazz and blues music from Herbie Russ of Plymouth, who was located outside Governor Croswell’s Tea Room, owned by my friends, Phyllis and Al Wilkerson. While Herbie’s music was terrific, even better was the opportunity he gave to Josh Harper, a 10th grade student from Adrian High, who was allowed to get his saxophone from the trunk of his father’s car and join in with a professional musician. My assumption is that Josh is a student of the wonderful AHS teacher, Brad Sharp. Brad should be proud of Josh’s efforts and impromptu performance.
I had planned on watching the debut of probate Judge, Gregg Iddings, who performed at the Rebicycle shop on East Maumee Street. I heard good things about his performance and would have loved to see him out of his robe in this capacity, but could not due to all the First Friday activities.
We then moved to Dawson Auditorium at Adrian College to watch the final performance this year of the Adrian Symphony Orchestra. The concert was a tribute to artists from The Swing Era. The entire performance was wonderful and was enjoyed by a large audience. The ASO is just a blessing to our community. Under the direction of John Thomas Dodson and the management of Libby Watson, the board of directors and her staff, the continued and varied concerts throughout the year are a huge asset for all of us.
All in all, it was a busy night in Adrian, but one to remember. Please thank those who make such opportunities possible and support their efforts, as we all benefit greatly. The variety of activity for our community is exceptional, as evidenced by all this past Friday!