Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for New Housing Project in Plymouth

Dignitaries from the City of Plymouth and the Marshall County areas of economic development and government welcomed the start of a new housing project in Plymouth on Tuesday morning.

The River Gate South housing project broke ground yesterday. At the corner of Michigan Street and Lake Avenue, three apartment buildings will be built. The east and west buildings will have 15 apartments consisting of one, two and three bedroom apartments. The center building will have nine condos with two and three bedroom units. Ground level parking will be available under each building as well as an outdoor lot. Continue reading

Plymouth Board of Works and Public Safety Takes Lease Proposal Under Advisement

Emanuel Reese submitted a proposal to the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety for his business this week.

According to Plymouth City Attorney Sean Surrisi, Reese has added new BBQ grills to his operation at Reese’s Family Ribs at 208 Water Street. He asked the city to formally lease the two parking spaces that he is currently using for his grills. Surrisi says Reese has agreed to pay $10 a month to rent the parking spaces plus semi-annual taxes, as the city-owned property becomes taxable once it is put to commercial use. He asked that the lease begin July 1.

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Next Step Approved in Plymouth City Hall Renovation Project

Plymouth City Building

The Plymouth City Council took action Monday night to take another step closer in the city building renovation project.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi presented a resolution that would approve a lease between the Plymouth Redevelopment Authority and the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission and the issuance of lease rental bonds by the Plymouth Redevelopment Authority.

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Plymouth Redevelopment Commission to Move Forward with Renovation Project

Plymouth City Building

The Plymouth Redevelopment Commission held a public hearing last night to gather opinions on the proposed city building renovation project.

The project includes construction of improvements and expansion of the city office at 124 N. Michigan Street including the clerk-treasurer’s office, mayor’s office, city attorney’s office and the council chambers.

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Plymouth BOW Ratifies Designation of Underground or Buried Utilities Area

Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter signed an executive order at the end of April that restricts the placement of small wireless devices and the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety took further action on that document.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi said a state law passed in the final days of the General Assembly broadens access to government-owned right-of-way for the placement of cell phone antennae on poles of 50 feet or less. There was a provision in the law that the city wouldn’t have any review process over the location of those poles unless it is in a designated area for underground utilities.

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Plymouth City Building Improvements to begin in August

Plymouth City Building

The Plymouth City Building will undergo renovations this fall. The architects will finalize plans this month. It is the hope of the Plymouth City Council and the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission that the bidding process will proceed in June with the sale of bonds in July. The project is anticipated to begin in August.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi said the clerk-treasurer’s office will see a big change.

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Bids Opened and Quotes Submitted for Projects during Plymouth BOW Meeting

A quote will be considered for the microsurface project this spring in the City of Plymouth.

One bid was received for the project which was opened by City Attorney Sean Surrisi during the Plymouth Board of Public Works and Safety meeting last week. The single quote of $415,972.78 was submitted by Pavement Solutions, Inc in Middletown, Indiana. City Engineer Rick Gaul explained that there aren’t too many companies close around that can complete the project. He found 11 companies and contacted four of them that were within 200 miles. Two companies attended the pre-bid meeting.

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Plymouth City Council Approves Ordinances

The Plymouth City Council approved two ordinances on second and third reading on Monday night.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi explained that one ordinance pertains to wages and disbursement of those wages to the fire department.

“This is to accomplish the changes for the increase in the payment for the volunteer fire department raising the amount from $12 to $15 per call,” commented Surrisi. “Recently, there’s been a change in the city’s policy of making one lump payment for all of the volunteers had been in December to making those payments monthly. This reflects that change as well.”

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Plymouth BZA Grants Extension for Sign Removal

The owner of an ice cream parlor involved in a sign placement violation dispute with the City of Plymouth has been given more time to remove the sign.

City attorney Sean Surrisi told members of the Board of Zoning Appeals that Mooney’s Ice Cream owner, John Webster, and the building owner applied for a variance in February to erect the sign at the business at 309 E. Jefferson Street. The sign had already been placed in a location on the property that is not in compliance with an ordinance, and without a permit. The group of businesses in the building, including Mooney’s Ice Cream, were encouraged to get together and create a sign to accommodate all of the businesses. That design was presented to the BZA on April 7. Webster was given until the end of the week to remove his sign, and the business owners were given 60 days from April 7 to install the new sign. Continue reading

Plymouth City Council Considers Tax Abatement Change

Marshall County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jerry Chavez presented a proposal for a change in tax abatement guidelines to the Plymouth City Council Monday night.

Chavez explained that the bedrock of tax abatement remains. Companies can fill out an application form to discuss what type of economic development will be occurring at the facility. Real property and personal property is evaluated for capital investment. An annual report is required as to the progress of the business.

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Plymouth Plan Commission President Recommends Discussion on Garage Sizes

The Plymouth Plan Commission President proposed an idea for future discussion that includes housing standards.

Doug Feece proposed the elimination of the garage door size and to allow only a 12-foot door. Feece noted that this would eliminate “storage barns” in a residential area, especially in the historic district. He also would like to see something that would regulate garage sizes. Feece said he would like to have a formula that doesn’t allow a garage that’s bigger than a house. If the house is a certain size, then the garage should only be 30 to 40 percent the size of the house.

Feece’s opinion expressed was that if the practice continues, the residential districts are going to turn into a problem. They could turn into commercial districts. Continue reading

GIS Data Contract Approved for Plymouth Trail Project

The Marshall County Commissioners have approved a measure to help the City of Plymouth move forward with the Greenway Trail.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi told the commissioners last week that the city is attempting to complete phase two of the grant-funded project. Officials with SEH Engineering need GIS data in order to continue with the design work.

“In order for them to prepare the plans, they would like to have some GIS data for that area,” explained Surrisi. “We’ve made a similar request before and we were able to put together a contract where we signed off and said we were guaranteeing that the contractors were just going to use the information for this project and not for any other commercial purposes.”

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