The Daily Press, Escanaba
Friday, Nov. 5, 2021
Departing council members give advice for future
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
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-
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-
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
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
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
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
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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: Guardiolaj1@michigan.gov.
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.