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Month: April 2015

Olivet Community Chamber of Commerce continues fund-raising efforts

The Olivet Community Chamber of Commerce is intent on building off the momentum of its Light Up the Night event held last month. The fund-raiser netted the Chamber $1,700 towards its goal of beautifying downtown Olivet during the Christmas holiday. In total, fund-raising efforts have raised more than $3,000 towards Christmas lights and decorations for the downtown corridor. The Chamber, however, isn’t slowing down now. Board members have planned a Chamber Yard Sale to be held in conjunction with the Olivet Citywide Yard Sales that will take place on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. “Proceeds from the...

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Charlotte High School choirs earn excellent ratings at MSVMA Choir Festival

The Charlotte High School Choirs earned high ratings at the MSVMA Region VIII District Choral Festival.  All three Charlotte choirs received ratings ranging from a good Division II to a Division I perfect score. The women’s Chamber Choir performed “Chi La Gagliarda” by Baldassare Donato and “Wake Me a Song” by Andrea Ramsey. Chamber Choir earned the highest rating of Division I Excellent including a near perfect score of 28 of 30 possible points in sight-reading. Comments from judges included, “lovely free tone and balance” and “great poise, preparation and literature.” The mixed-voice Varsity Choir performed “Sanctus” by Wolfgang...

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Cold temps don’t put the chill on fun Bellevue tradition

Snow in late April may have affected the number of participants, but it didn’t cool enthusiasm for the fifth annual phone toss competition in Bellevue on Wednesday, April 22. Ten participants took turns tossing varying forms of hand-held communication — everything from cans on a string to cellular phones — in recognition of national Administrative Professionals Day. The event, founded by The Bellevue Villager owners Aaron and Angie Warner, is in its fifth year of adding some fun and excitement to what Aaron said can be a dull time of year. “It’s a reason to be silly and support...

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Charlotte DDA considers 2-mill levy in property within district

The City of Charlotte Downtown Development Authority was hit with a hard truth April 23 concerning its fiscal viability. Declining property values partnered with the elimination of the personal property tax and properties within the DDA district that have been purchased by non-tax-paying entities, have left the DDA with projected revenues of slightly less than $6,000 for the 2015-16 fiscal year. “Without significant changes to the way our DDA is structured and funded, it will only be able to pay its debt,” said Bryan Myrkle, Community Development Director for the City of Charlotte. “Nearly everything else would have to be eliminated, or funded by other entities.” The debt Myrkle referred to is that of close to $65,000 remaining from the $105,000 the DDA borrowed from the city in 2010 to purchase the former Corral property. The DDA still has annual operating expenses tied to an annual contribution to Courthouse Square, watering the downtown trees and flowerpots, emptying downtown waste receptacles, as well as sponsoring the Concerts on the Square and Saturday morning Farmers Market. One option the DDA has to increase its revenue is to levy 2 mills on all property located within the district. Myrkle said the additional 2 mills would generate between $12,000 and $14,000 annually. “This is commonly levied by DDA’s around Michigan, but has never been in Charlotte,” Myrkle said. DDA Chair Jeanette Sommer said...

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Four key policy decisions identified City of Charlotte proposed budget

Charlotte City Manager Gregg Guetschow identified four key action points during Charlotte City Council’s first look at the City’s proposed 2015-16 budget on Monday, April 13. The four points, Guetschow said, will likely require more information from City staff in subsequent meetings in order for the council to move forward in the budget process. The first key policy decision, as Guetschow described them, is a major downtown parking lot improvement program. Guetschow said the city has been operating under a “pay as you go” basis to this point, setting aside $100,000 per year to improve downtown city parking lots. “In order to go along with other efforts related to downtown revitalization, we have kind of rethought this and said ‘we’re setting aside $100,000 a year, why don’t we use that to pay debt service instead of accumulating money and we can get these parking lots all upgraded while all the other work is going on to try to improve the downtown and accomplish that all perhaps as soon as in the 2016 construction season,’” Guetschow said. To accomplish upgrading the remaining three downtown parking lots, Guetschow said the city would sell roughly $1.2 million in bonds, which would be paid off over a 10 to 15 year period. The second key policy decision involves a utility rate increase for city water and sewer. Guetschow said the city has not...

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