State approves $220,000 grant for cleanup
The last Tecumseh City Council meeting before the election — and council person Pat Housekeeper’s final one — lasted only a few minutes on Monday evening, Nov. 4. The only action was to pay the city’s bills.
In the city manager’s report, Kevin Welch noted that the city recently received notification that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has approved a site reclamation grant in the amount of $220,000 to fund clean-up activities for the proposed Salsaria’s Restaurant site, where the Ivy Gallery presently conducts business. The MDEQ also approved a loan for $20,000 that serves as the local contribution for the project, funding that will come from the private sector to repay the loan.
The report also said city representatives are meeting with the developer, MDEQ and environmental consultant in mid-November to map out the next steps for the project. Salsarias, owned by Valerie Robichaud, who operates an Adrian Salsarias, plans to invest a minimum of $280,000 into the project, which is expected to create 7-10 full time equivalent jobs. The clean-up is necessary because the building once housed a dry cleaning facility.
At the end of the meeting, council member Jack Baker said he has served on city council with some excellent members throughout the years. “But the lady who sits next to me is one of the most understanding and most interesting council members I have ever served with,” he said. “Not a meeting goes by that she hasn’t taught me something about how to run a city. It’s been a real honor to serve with her.”
Mayor Richard Johnson added, “I believe Jack spoke for all of us.”
Housekeeper said she plans to remain politically involved, and talked briefly about concerns she is interested in, such as large farming operations that she believes threaten drinking water.