October 30, 2014

Omer discusses contingency plans for concert

Discusses library bathroom renovations, grant proposals

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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OMER — The Omer City Council discussed contingency plans for the upcoming concert during its meeting Aug. 28.

Omer Mayor Alice Sproule said the Omer City Limits concert will be at the Omer Library Park at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 after rain forced its cancellation Aug. 16. Since the park does not have a pavilion, Sproule was concerned exposing the electrical wiring to the moisture would be dangerous.

Councilman Larry Daly suggested using the pavilion at the ball diamond near State Road in case of inclement weather, where the band could play without their equipment getting wet. Daly said he believed the structure would be capable of delivering the electricity the band needs for their instruments and speakers.

“We can use the pavilion at the ball diamond if the weather is poor, instead of canceling the concert,” Daly said.

Daly said there is ample parking around the diamond itself, adding it may have more space available than the area around the park.

Sproule said she would take the diamond into consideration as an alternate site in case weather is poor on Sept. 13. Beyond that, she said the band should be ready for the new date.

The concert will be the final show in the Arenac County Heritage Route’s summer concert series.

Councilman Robin Berry also gave an update on the library women’s bathroom renovations planned for the fall. The work would make the bathroom handicapped accessible and meet the compliance standards set in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Berry said the city had received three bids so far for the work, which includes three fluorescent lights, a four-foot mirror, two stalls with one being a full handicapped one, and repainted walls.

The plans also call for one sink, though Berry said a bidder told him a second sink could be added for $100.

Work is going to be financed by $3,000 in the city’s library fund, with another $5,000 available from the Iosco-Arenac District Library if work is underway by the end of October.

“We have a deadline of Nov. 1,” Berry said. “This needs to be complete by then.”

For changes to the plumbing necessary to have two stalls, Berry said the winning bidder would need to go through code enforcement with the county and get the proper permits.

The original plans called for one stall, but the council voted to change it to two July 24 after Councilwoman Ruth Ann Cook said it would be problematic during meetings and events.

The council also discussed a few ideas to apply for the fall 2-percent gaming revenue grants the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe gives out.

Berry suggested a new tractor for the city to help cut grass, while Sproule proposed applying for playground equipment or a pavilion for the library park.

Cook said she thinks the city should apply for a solar panel grant for a future 2-percent application to offset the cost of electricity, citing the falling cost of panels and the positive reaction she had seen elsewhere to them.

Grant applications need to be completed by the end of September, Sproule said.

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