Council welcomes Boy Scouts, reviews department needs
Published 10:53 am Friday, February 5, 2016
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – Members of Boy Scout Troop No. 354 listened and took notes as Mayor Earl Niven and the Chelsea City Council discussed the city’s capital projects, finances and other municipal business during a pre-council meeting Feb. 2.
The members’ attendance at the pre-council and council meeting earned them the Citizenship and Community Badge.
“We’re proud to see these Scouts,” Niven said of the Chelsea-based troop.
Each member received a City of Chelsea pin.
After Matt Parker with Joe Jolly & Company discussed Chelsea’s new bond issue––which the council later approved to ensure the city maintains reserve funding as it pays off capital projects––the council reviewed other municipal business in pre-council.
Bills to be paid included flags for the Chelsea Community Center, which was completed in late 2015.
In November 2015, the first full month the center was open, 1,200 people came to and used the facility. In January, 4,320 people used the facility.
Niven said the city has completed more than $4 million in projects, has paid about $5.4 million on projects that are not yet completed and owes about $1.9 million.
The new sports complex, a multi-phase project estimated to cost between $1.5 million and $2 million when finished, is one of the reasons the city is backing the new bond issue.
Niven said Chelsea High School has requested to draw out $5,000 of the $20,000 in funding the city has budgeted for the school for a special project.
Councilman Tony Picklesimer asked Niven about plans for a new fire station to be built, and Niven said the potential cost is being determined.
Fire Chief Wayne Shirley broached the subject of old equipment the fire department has dating back to the 1970s, when the department was volunteer, noting Engine 30, a 1977 model, could be declared surplus and given away.
Shirley said he plans to bring a proposal to the council in the next month suggesting the department utilize the Terry Farrell Fund to restore the old fire engine to give to another department in need.
Terry Farrell was a firefighter who died on Sept. 11, 2001, during the World Trade Center attack in New York City. The fund bearing his name provides relief to firefighters and families in difficult times, and distributes donated surplus equipment to fire departments.
Niven – who is nearing the end of his fifth consecutive and final term as the city’s only mayor – said he will hold a “Chelsea 101” meeting for anyone planning to run for office.
“If you do your job, there is work,” he said. “We have a great city. We’ve just got a solid foundation we need to build on.”