Eco-friendly street program gets city council support

By SHERRI KOLADE
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Residents may soon see streets that are more pedestrian and eco-friendly.

The City Council approved a resolution to support policies involving a number of roadways to become more sustainable, along with other resolutions during their regular meeting on March 6.

Councilors supported the national Complete Streets program in Dearborn, which requires the city to develop a Non-Motorized Transportation Plan. The plan for NMTP is to make Dearborn more accommodating to residents and visitors, according to the agenda.

The Complete Streets policy includes design, planning, maintenance and operations for the city’s right-of-way.

Council President Thomas Tafelski said the initiative works two-fold.

“This will help to facilitate our streets be more friendly on non-automotive users … as well as help (Dearborn) qualify for federal grants that are applicable to Complete Streets.”

Dave Noorwood, sustainability coordinator for Dearborn, said the program is good for the residents and the environment and it makes financial sense.

“Complete Streets is a concept and it is a policy of looking at ways that streets are not just for moving cars but actually for moving pedestrians, bicycles and other modes of transportation,” he said.

Norwood added that Complete Streets will not have a negative impact on the budget. Currently there is no specific project underway with the policy; Norwood said the city will apply the Complete Streets concept to a street in the future.

During the meeting another resolution was made to award a contract to RNA Janitorial for approximately $47,649 for janitorial services for DPW and City Hall Complexes.

The councilors also discussed recognizing the the FY11 Assistance to Firefighter Grant of $286,895 that will be used to replace the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus gear for the Fire Department; also authorizing an appropriation from the General Fund fund balance in the amount of $112,979 to finance the required 20 percent local match, according to the agenda.

Tafelski said the equipment has a 15-year life span and is near the the end of its life and will need to be replaced soon.

A contract will be awarded to Carlisle Wortman Associates, Inc. for $38,240 for a Camp Dearborn Feasibility Study; authorizing the Finance Department to appropriate $38,240 from the Camp Dearborn Operating Fund fund balance to finance this study.

A new contract with DTE Energy is in the works for the amount of $242,244 for the Replacement of Specified Street Light Fixtures to Energy Efficient Fixtures throughout Dearborn.

The council resolved to fill an office coordinator position by April 1 in the Water Division in the amount of $500 that is budgeted for in FY13. Tafelski said there is a need to fill the position earlier than anticipated.

“Because of the new billing system and some of the changes that are happening they need to have this person come on for the position,” he said. “There is a budget shortfall and they are asking for the difference in the fiscal year.”

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at skolade@bewickpublications.com.)

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