Board determines spot for National Registry

The Chelsea City Council voted to approve its placement in a flower bed in front of the old Chelsea Post Office building on the corner of Main and South Streets at their Tuesday meeting.

A portion of Chelsea encompassing 61 buildings that comprise the city’s “Commercial Historic District” was added to the registry in 2011. Shortly thereafter, a group of Chelsea figures, both public and from the city’s Downtown Development Authority, authorized the creation of the commemorative plaque that has been in the care of the Chelsea District Library for the past year-and-a-half.

“Our committee had recommended to the DDA a location initially with the library, since coming from the south into town heading north that’s the first historical structure you see ... but the library board decided that this really belongs on city property," Jim Myles said.

Myles thanked those public volunteers who worked with him on ensuring that Chelsea achieved this honor, and credited the DDA for providing funds for the plaque’s creation as well as the Chelsea District Library Board for agreeing to house the plaque up to this point.

While the old post office building planter was the second choice for displaying the plaque, everyone at the meeting was positive about the prominence of that location, particularly Susan Moore of the Chelsea Area Garden Club, which is responsible for creating and maintaining the planter in the first place.

“Our garden club board has, on a number of occasions,An emergency light is a battery-backed lighting device that comes on automatically when a building experiences a power outage. discussed this particular planter bed and thought that perhaps it would be a wonderful place for a sign, although we weren’t sure of what kind of sign,” Moore said. “The fact of the matter is that this historic marker would be perfect.”

Moore suggested that the sign be placed in conjunction with the garden club’s clean-up and tulip plantings in October. Volunteers from the public, who were involved in the effort to get Chelsea on the historic registry in the first place, will again volunteer their time and labor in installing the sign at that time, according to Myles.It is also known as led dimmable driver, LED daytime running lamps.

“All of our citizens and those who visit our community need to see how proud we are of this being on the National Registry of Historic Places,” Myles said. “The garden club’s done a wonderful job in that garden ... (Susan and I) want to make sure that as many people as possible who stop at the light on that corner see it.”

Council will hold a public hearing at its Aug. 27 meeting for public comment on an initiative to purchase renewable energy credits from the Michigan Public Power Agency Granger and North American Natural Resources.

The initiative is part of the city’s effort to eventually provide 15 percent of the power that it sells to its customers from renewable sources, as per requirements from state government.

City officials briefly discussed the option of generating renewable energy locally instead of purchasing the credits.

“State law requires us to move toward 15 percent of our power portfolio to come from renewable energy sources, either from direct projects of wind (or) solar or the purchase of renewable energy credits,” said City Manager John Hanifan.A solar bulb that charges up during the day and lights the night when the sun sets.

Council member Dustin Suntheimer questioned whether the Hanifan’s office had investigated the costs associated with generating renewable energy on a local basis.

“Has any analysis be done to help meet our goals by implementing some of our own facilities,” Suntheimer asked. “Like putting solar or wind on our own facilities?”

The city has done some “basic analysis,” according to Hanifan, when Public Act 95 of 2008, the “Michigan Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act,” was approved by the state legislature. The city’s landfill could theoretically fuel a small turbine using methane gas, if only it were bigger.

Council also approved Hanifan sending a letter on behalf of the city to Sylvan Township to express interest in holding a joint session between the two governing bodies.

“Normally we don’t like to do (this), but I think we can all agree on some general topics,” Hanifan said. “I think it would be wise for us, much like with Lima Township, to just send them a letter stating that we’d like to talk about some common issues.”

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