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Monday, February 28, 2011

Rogers City Community Theater

Singin' in the Rain, the beloved 1952 Broadway musical, is coming to the Rogers City Community Theater!

Show dates are March 4,5,6, 11,12, and 13. 2011.  Friday and saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm. For ticket information and to order your tickets contact the Rogers City Theater
257 North Third Street
Rogers City, MI 49779
989-734-7368 (office)
989-734-3861 (Hotline)

"See you at the show!"

February 2011 Nautical City News

Mayor’s Message:

The end of winter brings new hope and new challenges for Rogers City.

Many will rejoice that a Missaukee Judge approved a request for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to review the permit denial for the Wolverine Clean Energy Venture (WCEV). Also, DEQ has decided not to appeal this action. There may be legal challenges ahead for WCEV, but at least we have positive movement.

Also, the Presque Isle County Commissioners recently agreed to hold a county-wide inter-government meeting to discuss areas of mutual interest. This meeting is scheduled to take place at the Bismarck Township Hall at 7:00 pm, on Thursday, March 10, 2011.

As we address next year’s fiscal challenges, you should be aware the City reduced staff from 28 full-time employees to 25 during the past two years: two were public works employees and one was a police officer. Also, last year the City Council reduced the tax rate in the City from 17.1208 mills to 16.6711 mills. According to the last audit report, general fund expenses have been reduced from $2,040,730 to $1,798,027, saving tax payers $242,703 per year.

The marina refunding bond closed on February 24, 2011.

Along with staff changes and other economy measures, the marina may no longer require a subsidy from the general fund.

We continue efforts to economize. City Council and staff are working on a new budget for the new fiscal year which begins July 1, 2011. We want to hear from you about what is important to sustain and what may be cut to finalize a new balanced budget.

City Hall Staff:

We are here to serve you. Clerk/Treasurer Terri Koss and Deputy Clerk Liz Fuhrman have been working at City Hall for about three months. Other City Hall employees include Mark Slown, Judy Darga, Toby Kuznicki, Janet Nowak, and Police Chief Matt Quaine and members of the Police Department. Mike Kroll is the Fire Chief for the Rogers City Area Fire Department Authority. You are welcome to visit or email in to register a complaint, make a suggestion, or ask a question.

Community Development Authority (CDA) News:

Federated Properties and the CDA settled a lawsuit over the Lakeview Project. Federated Properties agreed to purchase one lot on which they had built a model home for $6,000. Also, it was agreed to dissolve the condominium and lease agreements and the master deed & by laws. Federated agreed to hold the CDA harmless and make no further claims.

The house Federated built on the Lakeview site is now available to be purchased with a clear title. The property is a Michigan Renaissance Zone location which provides significant tax advantages to the property owner.

The CDA is considering its options for the remaining property it owns at this location. If you have suggestions for the CDA, please contact Janet Nowak.

The Main Street Design Committee meets following the Planning Commission on the fourth Monday of each month. Planning Commission begins at 6:00 pm and is done by 7:00pm. The Design Committee works on projects to improve the appearance of the downtown.

Planning Commission News:

The Planning Commission completed and City Council has approved a new Zoning Ordinance. This important document is available on the city website or at City Hall.

If you are planning a new building project or a renovation of an existing building or residence, please contact Toby Kuznicki about your project.

Antique/Classic Snow Mobile Show is March 11-12, 2011.

Cable Television News:

Sunrise Cable Network (SCN) of Onaway is providing cable viewers with TV programming, including bulletin board service, City Council meetings, and community programs. Please send bulletin board requests in 14 days prior to the event.

Real-Time Weather:

You can get real-time weather information based right here in Rogers City. The Hammond Bay Anglers provided funding to purchase a weather station that up-loads current weather statistics every 2 minutes to the city website. You can see current temperature, highs and lows, wind direction and speed, rainfall totals, and barometric pressure. To see weather info, go to www.rogerscity.com then the marina page. Click on the link under the Hammond Bay Angler's logo.

City Council:

City Council appointed Dana Labar to fill a vacancy on Council. Dana will serve until the next election, when the seat will be open for candidates seeking election to the office. If you are interested in service on City Council or on one of many city commissions or committees, please contact City Hall for more information.


All groups wishing to sponsor a Parade on an MDOT trunk line, such as Erie (M-68) or 3rd (BR-23) need to know about new MDOT requirements. MDOT’s new system at the Alpena Transportation Service Center (TSC) requires thirty (30) days to process. City staff needs up to 15 days to obtain City Council approval. Please make your request 45 days in advance of the event.


Go to www.rogerscity.com to find a calendar of local events, links to other websites, information about Rogers City tax information, community and visitor information, and the City Manager’s weblog. Your tax information is also on the Presque Isle County website:  http://www.presqueislecounty.org/

Rogers City has a Facebook page where you may post comments and pictures to connect with our community. You must establish your own login with Facebook to access Rogers City’s Facebook page.

Sewer Line Policy:

Sometimes a property owner experiences or suspects a blockage in their sanitary sewer service. The property owner or servicing plumbing contractor must notify the City prior to beginning any cleanout work. The City crew will check the main. If the blockage is found in the main, the City crews will remove the obstruction and/or make the necessary repairs. Blockages within the service line from the structure to the main are the responsibility of the property owner. The City does not participate/share in the cost of cleaning out/repairing sanitary sewer service lines before the main.

☺ Shop Rogers City ☺

Note: City Hall will be closed for Good Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Antique Snow Mobile Show

The Rogers City Antique and Classic Snow Mobile Show is scheduled this year for March 11 and 12, 2011.  The event will be held in the parking lot of the Water's Edge Restaurant.  On Friday night there will be a contest called "Outhouse Races."  There are other activities scheduled for Saturday. You don't want to miss it.  Big fun!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Job Fair

Michigan Works is sponsoring a "Job Fair" from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm on Friday, march 25, 2011 at the Cheboygan National Guard Armory, 610 Cuyler Street.

Please contact Randy Neumann at 231-627-4303, ext 2323 or email neumann@nemcworks.org

Monday, February 21, 2011

Good Advice

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

--Abe Lincoln

Winter Carnival Video

Here is a link to a great video of our recent Winter Carnival:


Thank you to Sunrise Cable Network (SCN) and  

Tara M. Sotirin
Production & Programming Coordinator
Sunrise Cable Network
20938 Washington Ave.
P.O. Box 733
Onaway, MI 49765

SCN produces Rogers City TV on Charter Communications Cable Channel 99.   You will find many great programs there.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Darga Triplets Open House

This is a reminder of the Open House from 1-5 pm on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at the Senior Center.  Come see Haven, Eden, and Lily born on 12/20/2010 to Darrin and Milanne Darga of Rogers City.

Refreshments will be served.  The event is hosted by Emilie Yarch, diane Darga, and Leeny Ries.

Governor's Budget Proposal

Governor Snyder's proposal to fix the Michigan Budget is now public.  Included in the proposal is a provision to eliminate Statutory State Revenue Sharing (SSRS).  Rogers City's current budget of $1,910,000 includes approximately $108,000 of SSRS, or aboutr 6% of the budget.  In practical terms, if this proposal is adopted, the City will have no choice but to eliminate 2 city employees.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Peaceful and Beautiful Herman Vogler Conservation Area

Visit the Herman Vogler Conservation Area in Rogers City to relax and escape the pressures and cares of modern civilization.  This picture is from the summer, but even in winter this area is worth a visit, and you will find it accessible all year with great cross-country ski trails.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Small Business Investment Tax Credit

Here is a report from Matt Roush:

A new 25 percent state Small Business Investment Tax Credit, designed to encourage investments in start-up and early-stage Michigan technology companies, is aiming to help Michigan entrepreneurs secure capital and reduce risks associated with a new business or novel technology.

“Michigan’s growing technology culture can only get stronger with this incentive to foster new investment in our homegrown tech businesses,” said Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “Michigan is a powerhouse of often overlooked innovators and new technology entrepreneurs, who, along with their employees, will now have a new tool to assist their business expansion plans.”

The angel credit program allows qualified investors to receive a 25 percent personal tax credit on their investments in qualified Michigan-based seed- and early-stage companies with a pre-investment valuation of less than $10 million. Prior approval by the Michigan Strategic Fund is required to qualify businesses and investment groups.

Individuals will have 60 days after making an investment, alongside or through an qualified investment group, to apply for their credit.

Among several qualification criteria, state law requires a minimum investment of $20,000 be made through or alongside an MSF-registered investment group and before Jan. 1, 2013. Individual investors are limited to a maximum tax credit of $250,000 in any one year and may not claim more than this amount in any one business. No more than $250,000 in credits may be awarded to investors in any one company, and the total amount of credits certified by the Michigan Strategic Fund cannot exceed $9 million per calendar year.

“Michigan’s new angel tax credits mean we should expect the number of angel groups and deals to double over the next few years, said Mina Sooch, vice chairman and past chairman of the Michigan Venture

Capital Association. “Additional capital for young companies can attract executive talent back to Michigan and help build a critical mass of talent and deals that are essential to a robust entrepreneurial economy that creates new industries and jobs here.”

Complete details and registration requirements are available by phone, toll-free (888) 522-0103, e-mail to SBITC@michigan.org or online, http://www.michiganadvantage.org/SBITC.

Friday, February 11, 2011

City Council Meeting on Monday, February 14, 2011

Due to Council member schedules, the Regular City Council meeting this week has been moved from Tuesday to Monday, February 14, 2011--Valentine's Day! 

The meeting is at 7:00 pm as usual at City Hall. 

This is an important meeting due to final action on the new zoning ordinance.  Also, the Marina refunding bond and other items are on the agenda.

Hope to see you at the meeting!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

City Finances and Street Light Project

On facebook, I received a question/comment about the Street Light project.  The question was, "why did the City spend money on new street lights if the City is having financial challenges?   
This is a good question for which there is a good answer.  Per State law, the Community Development Authority (CDA) and grant funds used to pay for this project can not be used by the City to pay for general government expenses such as for payment of regular employee wages or benefits.  The funds used for the street light project are reserved to help reverse the decline in downtown areas.  The CDA Board determined that improving the appearance of the downtown with modern, energy efficient lights was the "best" use of these funds to help reverse the decline of the downtown.  It also helped that over $500,000 in grant funds from the Federal government were made available to help pay for the project.
The construction costs of the light posts, concrete, labor, etc were paid with CDA and grant funding that can not be used for regular City expenses such as city employee wages and benefits.  If we had not used these funds, most of them would have gone to another city and Rogers City would still be paying the higher electrical charges for the old lights.
The money spent on these new lights is not a contributing factor in the current financial challenge facing the City.  Even if the CDA had not done this project, the City would still have the exact same financial problems we have today.  In fact it would be a little worse because of higher electric charges; although, the electric costs are a small part of the general fund problem.  I'll write more about the City's financial challenges another time.
If you have questions about this, please contact me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Street Lights Phase 2--Request for Release of Funds

Today i sent MEDC the Request for Release of Funds (RRF) and the Environmental Certification for Phase 2 of the Rogers City Downtown Street Light Improvement Project.  The document is about 20 pages of details including my certification that the project will not harm the natural environment and that an environmental impact study is not needed.

The project will actually be beneficial to the environment as it will reduce energy consumption by an estimated 30% over the existing high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps in our cobra head street lights.

Some people have observed that the downtown does not look as "bright" with these new lights.  Testing of the light level on the street proves that the light levels are actually higher.  The reason it does not appear as bright is that the new lamps are shielded from horizontal view.  You don't see the lamp itself unless you get under the light and look up.  So, when you look down the street, you don't see the bright bulbs (which are actually very bright if you look up into the lamp).

The type of lighting we now enjoy actually is better for visibility and the environment.  You aren't blinded by bright bulbs which harm your night vision.  Also, you can see special effects lighting better with these new lights.  Finally, it is "dark sky" or "star light" compliant.  you can see the stars more easily because you don't see the bright bulbs which reduce night vision.

If you want to learn more about our new lights, don't hesitate to contact me.  Once you get use to the change you are going to love the new lights, especially since they save your tax money!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Huron Pines--A Great Organization

Check out the Huron Pines website below.  You will be glad that you did.  This wonderful regional organization does a lot of great good for our entire region.  Visit the site to learn more.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Pretty Yards in Rogers City

Are these early signs of spring?  Unfortunately, not. This is Rob and Chris Vogelheim's lovely front porch last summer.  Last year I posted similar pictures of many of our pretty yards on this blog.  While it is still winter, the dedicated gardeners out there are already planning to make their garden bloom!  Don't forget to send me an email with a photo attached, so I can post it here for all to enjoy.  A series showing the progress of your garden is also possible.  We love our gardens in Rogers City.  Also, if you have a winter garden, snow sculpture, or a picture of something interesting, please send that to me.  One of the purposes of this blog is to show case our great community.  Please help.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

PICCA Serves Your Transportation Needs

The good folks at the Presque Isle County Council on Aging (PICCA) have been serving the transportation needs of our community for over 35 years!  Thank you PICCA for your "cute" teal busses and good service!

There is a fare: $3.00 round trip for Under 60 and $1.50 for over 60 and handicapped.  Don't be "house bound," get out and see our great community.  All seats are first come, first serve.

For your transportation needs, call 989-766-8191 or go online to http://www.piccoa.org/

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Budget Planning for new Fiscal Year 2011-2012

It is the time of year when the City begins work on the new fiscal year (FY) budget that runs
July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.  The budget includes revenues from dozens of sources, including your taxes and State revenue sharing, and expenses, including hundreds of line items.

The City budget is a plan for spending.  The budget includes many different funds such as the General, Major Streets, Water, Sewer, and Marina funds (to mention a few).  Each fund has different rules and requirements based on Michigan law.  For example, the General Funds can give money into Major Streets, but once money is in the Major Street fund, it can not go back to the General Fund, except to pay not more than 10% for adminstration charges.

Actual spending, that is the accounting record, may be different than the budget due to future events.  Of course, it is very important for actual spending to remain within the budget and stay in the "black."  Each fund has a "fund balance" in case the actual spending is over budget and in the "red."  Fund balances are recommended to be between 10-15% to protect against a "rainy day."  Rogers City's fund balances are within the recommended range.

Per the City Charter, the City Council must adopt a balanced budget (plan) for the new FY before the end of the month of May.  To that end, the City Council will hold a budget workshop at 7:00 pm on Thursday, February 3, 2011.  This will be the first of several workshops, prior to final action on the budget in May.

All residents and taxpayers are welcome to attend these workshops.  Be aware that the primary purpose of these workshops is not to seek public comment but to allow the Council ample time to consider and discuss financial issues and the impact on public services.  Public comment on the budget and public services are welcome at any time.

City staff is available answer questions about the budget, budget process, and how it may impact our community and you.

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