What is our City Council up to these days? We have the highlights of the latest council meeting.
By Charles Sercombe
The city council met on December 13, and all councilmembers were in attendance.
A presentation was made by Wayne Metro about financial help for those who are financially stressed with water bills.
For those facing water service shutoffs, there is help. You can reach the organization at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (313) 388-9799.
During public comment, a resident said that she is opposed to a change in the city’s animal ordinance that would allow animal sacrifices at homes in observance of a religious practice.
She said that some people would be upset seeing this happen or having to hear the animal as it is slaughtered.
Lynn Blasey said the city should examine its work environment, in light of ongoing resignations from city hall employees.
Bill Meyer said he is “excited” about the upcoming appointment of Muhith Mahmood to council. (He is replacing Adam Albarmaki, who resigned because of work duties.)
“I know he’s (Mahmood) going to do a great job,” Meyer said.
Mahmood was a later appointed to the council.
In an update, Interim City Manager Max Garbarino said that he is looking into having the fire department take over ambulance service, which it once did up until several years ago.
In the meantime, Garbarino recommended extending its contract with the current ambulance service, Rapid Response, for a year.
The cost of the service is $144,000.
In a note to the council, it was said:
“The agreement with Rapid Response provides for one ambulance for the city. In addition, a second ambulance is stationed nearby the city in the event a second incident occurs at the same time as another ambulance run.
“Rapid Response also has mutual aid agreements with other entities who are contacted when both the first and second ambulance are unavailable. Even with this coverage, there are times when a situation arises and delays occur in ambulance response time.”
The contract was approved.
In another contract matter, the council agreed to appoint former Public Services Director Rodney Johnson to once again fill that role, temporarily, while the city looks for a replacement for former director Bill Diamond, who resigned.
Garbarino said that Diamond’s resignation “leaves a big hole” in the department.
In yet another contract matter, the council agreed to hire Spalding DeDecker Associates Inc. to design the alleys for the Joe Louis Greenway project.
In a note to the council, it was explained:
“The Hamtramck Alley Project is one of four segments of the Joe Louis Greenway that will run through Hamtramck. This segment covers nine-blocks of the Jos. Campau alleyway between Holbrook and Caniff, and will provide a walking-cycling trail with culturally significant installations.
“Once completed, this project will draw visitors from across the region to our downtown businesses, create vibrant new public spaces for community engagement, encourage positive public health outcomes through outdoor recreation, and provide equitable transportation alternatives.”
The contract is being paid mostly by a grant the city received. The total cost is $40,000.
Moving on, the council agreed to create a subcommittee to come up with incentives for business development.
In a note, it was explained:
“To meet the demand of current commercial and industrial development pressures, and to be prepared to attract future desired development, the Community and Economic Development Department recommends the following:
• The city council establishes a working subcommittee to investigate, discuss, and propose the use of other local economic development tools, including proposed policies and metrics for use.
• City council formalize and adopt a policy for use of the Industrial Facilities Exemption (IFE) tax abatement. This committee would convene and provide recommendations within the next six (6) months.”
A lengthy discussion was held on a proposed change to the city’s animal ordinance.
The council is considering to allow animal sacrificing at home for religious purposes.
Some members of the city’s Muslim community have been requesting to be allowed to engage in this practice – especially during Eid.
Councilmember Mohammed Hassan said he was confident that the city’s overseeing of the disposal of animal waste would be monitored. He also said that, if this arrangement does not work out, the council can reconsider the matter.
Mayor Amer Ghalib said he met with city leaders to come up with a compromise on allowing the practice.
Councilmember Nayeem Choudhury said this compromise is “what we wanted to see.”
The council agreed to hold a public hearing on the matter at its Jan. 10 meeting.
Posted Jan. 6, 2023