The Daily Press, Escanaba  
Friday, Nov. 5, 2021  
Departing council members give advice for future  
Refund: Drivers  
sewers that lead to overloads course I always feel that our city staff do every year dur-  
By Ilsa Minor  
Continued from page 1A  
protecting the longevity of a  
fund that pays for the cost of  
medical care for Michigan-  
ders seriously injured in car  
accidents,” said Insurance  
Alliance of Michigan Execu-  
tive Director Erin McDo-  
absolutely are owed a refund  
because insurance companies  
have been “gouging” them for  
years. But they also renewed a  
push for stalled legislation to  
help catastrophically injured  
motorists who they said are  
losing care because of slashed  
reimbursements to rehabilita-  
tion facilities and other  
Michigan Brain Injury  
Provider Council President  
Tom Judd urged Whitmer to  
show “bold leadership.”  
Republican legislative leaders  
have not embraced the policy  
bills. In July, the governor and  
Legislature did approve $25  
million in aid for providers  
that can show financial losses,  
though some lawmakers have  
said it is inadequate.  
“We wrote this law to  
include an automatic refund  
next year, and I’m glad our  
reforms have produced large  
to act immediately and return  
that money to the people even  
sooner,” House Speaker Jason  
Wentworth said.  
at the wastewater plant and need to repair streets should ing the annual budget  
discharges of partially treat- beourfirstpriorityrightafter process.  
ed water into the bay, seeking more jobs for our  
Under the 2019 law, the  
state insurance director must  
hire an independent actuary  
starting next July and every  
third year after to audit the  
MCCA, a state-created non-  
profit that reimburses car  
insurers for personal injury  
passing $600,000. If the  
review — due by September  
— shows the MCCA’s assets  
exceed 120% of its liabilities,  
the difference must be refund-  
Under the Democratic gov-  
ernor’s proposal, the entire $5  
billion surplus would be  
returned — $675 per car.  
MCCA Executive Director  
Kevin Clinton said this week  
that having no surplus would  
be too risky, saying the law  
could require an estimated  
$100 per-vehicle refund.  
“It’s just something that I  
ESCANABA — Three  
took time Thursday to give  
parting words to the rest of  
the council, the newly-elect-  
ed council members that  
have not yet been sworn in,  
and to the community as a  
“I have a few pieces of  
advice, as I go out the door,  
never to return,” said Coun-  
cil Member Ralph Blasier,  
before making his way  
through a multi-point list of  
things he felt were important  
for the city to consider mov-  
ing forward.  
expanding the wastewater community,” he said. “But I like to do, and I received so  
treatment plant, and expand- wish the new council well muchfeedbackfromthestaff  
ing the capacity of the water and if there are questions I about being appreciated.  
treatment plant’s clarifying will be available by phone.” They really enjoyed hearing  
case of equipment failure.  
The last exiting council those things, and there’s so  
member to speak was Peggy many great things that they  
Blasier also expressed O’Connell, who did not seek do,” she said.  
repaving streets and adding reelection Tuesday. O’Con- O’Connell also took a  
nell’s farewell focused more moment to call out the work  
sidewalks was a priority.  
“I think it would be a bad on accomplishments than of Zoning Administrator  
errortoassessthecurrentres- hopes for the future.  
idents. You could have a lit-  
tle old widow lady owning a I am of this council is our  
place and suddenly you hit professionalism in meetings hires,” said O’Connell of  
her with a $12,000 bill to ... and making decisions based DeMay.  
place the sidewalk. Why not on good information, mostly  
put that onto the next owner provided by our excellent the exiting council members,  
atthetimeofsale?Youcould staff. Andwedidthisregard- Council Member Karen  
roll that into the cost of the less of the social media cir- Moore read a statement  
Roxanne Spencer and City  
“One of the proudest things Clerk Phil DeMay.  
“That’s one of my proudest  
After the comments from  
retain City Manager Patrick  
sale,” he said.  
cus that’s out there in our thanking the council mem-  
Also important for Blasier community and really in the bers and presented each of  
was to get the site of the for- country right now,” she said. them with a plaque com-  
mer Delta County Jail devel-  
oped, but not to accept the was proud of the council’s council.  
county’s portion of the site actions to get utility rates “in  
(see related story). He also line,” which she said took pleasure to serve with the  
noted there were seven guts, and the city’s COVID- three of you. You brought  
potential developers for the 19 response. However, most calmness, wisdom, humor,  
Blasier then passed the around the city’s staff.  
floor to Mayor Marc Tall, As a goal for the next coun- said Moore, who said she  
who said he agreed with all cil, O’Connell recommend- enjoyed getting to know all  
of Blasier’s points. edtheycontinuehertradition of them and considered each  
“Don’t let this manager get  
away. He’s much more intel-  
ligent that we ever expected  
or hoped for. He knows his  
job well and he does it well.  
He’s not perfect, but I’m not  
perfect either,” Blasier said.  
A number of Blasier’s rec-  
ommendations revolved  
around infrastructure. He  
championed continuing with  
the replacements of lead  
water-service lines, finding  
and fixing groundwater  
intrusions in the sanitary  
O’Connell also said she memorating their time on the  
Whitmer called the pending  
refunds “great news.”  
“It has been an honor and a  
Many motorists currently  
are paying $86 a vehicle  
annually to the MCCA. The  
fee was $220 in 2019-20 but  
has been dropping due to the  
“It’s important for the  
MCCA board to do its due  
diligence and land on a refund  
amount that balances giving  
insured drivers back the  
money they deserve while  
of her comments revolved and intelligent, constructive  
discussion to this council,”  
“I would only reorder of highlighting positive of the members her life-long  
(Blasier’s points) and of things department heads and friends.  
Michigan city on edge as lead water crisis persists  
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — For three years, tests of its public water  
Shortly after sunrise on a recent Satur- system revealed elevated levels of lead. has promised to spend millions of dol-  
day in Benton Harbor, Michigan, resi- Waiting for free bottled water is time lars to replace the city’s lead service  
dents began lining up for free bottled consuming and some residents wonder lines within 18 months – a blistering  
water so they could drink and cook why, in a state that recently dealt with pace for a process that often takes  
without fear of the high levels of lead in the Flint water crisis, the problem decades. For now, residents have been  
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer  
Vaccines: Workers  
Continued from page 1A  
Republicans serving as state  
attorneys general have indi-  
cated they plan to sue, arguing  
that only Congress can enact  
such sweeping requirements  
under emergency authority.  
Last week, 19 states sued to  
stop Biden’s narrower man-  
date that employees of federal  
contractors be vaccinated.  
That requirement was sched-  
uled to take effect Dec. 8, but  
the administration said Thurs-  
4 to match the requirements  
on other large employers and  
health care providers.  
comply with the regulations  
could face penalties of nearly  
$14,000 per violation.  
the city’s tap water.  
Free water distribution sites are a fix-  
wasn’t fixed sooner. warned not to cook, drink or make baby  
“It’s tiresome,” said Rhonda Nelson, formula with tap water.  
ture of life in the majority Black city in waiting in line at a site run by the Boys  
the southwestern corner of Michigan, & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor.  
Residents worry what the elevated  
lead levels mean for their families’  
It was unclear how OSHA  
planned to enforce the rules:  
Even counting allied regula-  
tors at the state level, the  
agency has only 1,850  
lion workers at 8 million  
workplaces. A senior admin-  
istration official said OSHA  
will target companies if it gets  
where almost half of the nearly 10,000  
residents live below the poverty line. through, I really do,” she said.  
“I understand what Flint was going health. The problem is also inconven-  
ient and stressful.  
Esky: Warning about old jail site  
Continued from page 1A  
way around. But not until  
then,” he said.  
In other business, the trict, which allows for  
council held two public more mixed use housing  
The release of the rules fol-  
lowed weeks of regulatory  
review and meetings with  
business groups, labor unions  
and others. The regulations  
form the cornerstone of  
Biden’s most aggressive  
effort yet to combat the spread  
of COVID-19, which has  
killed more than 740,000  
people in the U.S.  
OSHA drafted the rules  
under emergency authority  
meant to protect workers from  
an imminent health hazard.  
The agency estimated that the  
vaccine mandate will save  
more than 6,500 worker lives  
and prevent more than  
250,000 hospitalizations  
over the next six months.  
ue to work with the county  
on the property’s develop-  
Tyler DuBord, who was hearings on ordinances, options in the downtown  
not up for reelection Tues- which were both approved. area. The second ordinance  
day and will continue to The first was to amend the eliminated an energy opti-  
serve on the council, city’s zoning map to rezone mization charge on resi-  
thanked the exiting council 77 parcels in the area along dents’ utility bills, as it will  
members for their thoughts Ludington Street to E3 - no longer be required by  
The rules will require work-  
ers to receive either two doses  
of the Pfizer or Moderna vac-  
cines or one dose of the John-  
4 or be tested weekly.  
Employees who test positive  
must be removed from the  
“When a developer is iden-  
tified and a plan described, if  
then, and they require a single  
... owner of the properties,  
that time, the council should  
decide whether they want to  
gift that that land, our land,  
for that purpose or the other  
on the matter.  
Central Commercial Dis- the state.  
The requirements will not  
apply to people who work at  
home or outdoors.  
Senior administration offi-  
cials said the rules preempt  
conflicting state laws or  
orders, including those that  
ban employers from requiring  
vaccinations, testing or the  
wearing of face masks.  
The administration will face  
an immediate challenge from  
Republican state officials who  
are eager to fight Biden in  
court and in Congress. Senate  
Republicans immediately  
launched a petition to force a  
vote to overturn the vaccine  
mandate, but with Democrats  
controlling the chamber, the  
effort is nearly certain to fail.  
More than two dozen  
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development  
Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division  
Administrative Rules for Regulation no. 634. Commercial fertilizers  
Rule Set 2021-69 AC  
Tuesday, December 7, 2021  
01:00 PM  
Constitution Hall, 525 W Allegan Street, Lansing, MI 48933, Room: CH-ATN-THEODORE-BROWN  
Virtual Room: Microsoft Teams +1 248-509-0316,,659194761# United States, Pontiac  
Phone Conference ID: 659 194 761#  
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will hold a public hearing to receive public comments on  
proposed changes to the Regulation no. 634. Commercial fertilizers rule set.  
The rules will allow the State of Michigan to align with current standards set by AAPFCO. The subsequent  
decrease in fertilizer usage and cost of tonnage reporting as a result of the proposed rule change benefits the  
public’s health, farmers, and the environment. The proposed rule change will benefit farmers and the industry  
by reducing the cost of tonnage reporting and decreasing the amount of fertilizer used. Both the public and  
environment will also see substantial benefits due to that decrease in fertilizer usage.  
By authority conferred on the director of the department of agriculture and rural development by section  
8516 of the natural resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.8516.  
The proposed rules will take effect 7 days after filing with the Secretary of State. The proposed rules are published  
Register. Copies of these proposed rules may also be obtained by mail or electronic mail at the  
following email address:  
Comments on these proposed rules may be made at the hearing, by mail, or by  
electronic mail at the following addresses until 12/8/2021 at 05:00PM.  
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development  
Office of Legal Affairs and Emergency Management PO Box 30017 Lansing, Michigan 48909  
The public hearing will be conducted in compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. If the hearing  
is held at a physical location, the building will be accessible with handicap parking available. Anyone needing  
assistance to take part in the hearing due to disability may call 517-284-5730 to make arrangements.