City Commission passes budget amendments, buys land

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published February 19, 2024


MOUNT CLEMENS — City commissioners kept the bulk of the meeting under an hour on Feb. 5, completing its first meeting of the month without Mayor Laura Kropp at the helm.

City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Laura Fournier led the meeting in Kropp’s place, starting with the approval of an amended fiscal year 2024 budget. Changes to six funds were made by the Plante Moran accounting team with special consideration given to moving American Rescue Plan Act money in the general fund from being recognized in FY 2024 back to FY 2023.

“We are required to recognize that revenue, I believe, by the end of this fiscal year, and it just made sense during the audit to recognize it last fiscal year,” said Danielle Kelley, a Plante Moran accountant. “We used the ARPA money to offset the Macomb County Sheriff police services.”

Kelley also requested a line-item increase for the accounting department be removed as it was included in error.


CDBG allocations
Commissioners approved the allocation of 2024’s Community Development Block Grant funds, keeping all of the $13,700 in-house. The senior center will use the funds for events, social clubs and fitness and health programming. The CDBG program also allows the city to apply for two capital project grants. Mount Clemens will seek grants of $150,000 for a new fire engine and $50,000 for a new fire hose.

CDBG funds are typically split between nonprofits in the community, but an offer from Pleasantrees President Bryan Wickersham at the last meeting would see the cannabis company fill in the gaps in the CDBG funding requests.

As of Feb. 8, Pleasantrees was still interested in supporting CDBG applicants in some capacity. CDBG funding requests in Mount Clemens for 2023 were Care House for $6,000; Hearts for Homes for $5,000; Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers for $1,184; MCREST for $1,890; Motor City Mitten Mission for $4,000; and Turning Point for $3,000.


Land acquisition
After a closed session period, city commissioners approved the purchase of roughly 2 acres at 24398 Dubay Drive for $350,000. The approximately 12-acre lot located between North River Road and Interstate 94 has an assessed value of $120,900.

The land was purchased for building a water tower and pumping station as part of the city’s ongoing water infrastructure improvements ahead of it joining the Great Lakes Water Authority. Prior plans to have a water tower and pumping station located in surrounding communities failed, leading the city to pursue the Dubay Drive property before state assistance ran out.

“It was not our first attempt,” Mount Clemens City Manager Gregg Shipman said on Feb. 8. “We looked at dozens of different options since the beginning and we’ve tried to go with the most cost-effective options first. They turned out to be non-feasible for many reasons, and that’s how we came upon this option.”

Included in the purchase are easements rights to run water infrastructure underground. As of Feb. 8, the sale had not yet been finalized, pending the results of surveys.