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Long-range street plan proposed at Dearborn

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

On the road to better things.
That's where Dearborn Mayor Josh Linville hopes his town is headed, now that a state audit that divided some of the community has been completed and a public report has been issued.

As previously reported in The Landmark, the audit suggested better oversight was needed in several areas of the city, especially in the areas of long-range planning and budgeting. Linville says he has a process in mind that should help accomplish that goal.

Linville has asked city employee Tim Otto to develop a list of streets that need to be repaired within the next two years, another list of streets to be included in a five year plan, and others in a 10 or 20 year plan.

"We'll do this with streets, sewers, everything," Linville said. "We need to get a master plan so we can start budgeting for this stuff in advance.”

Linville said he will be checking the budget to determine how much money is available for street projects each year of the plan.

Another sign of progress in the mayor's eyes is the continuing effort to, through a city ordinance, encourage homeowners and businesses to keep their property in respectable condition.

The city recently updated its unkept property ordinance to the point it now will withstand a court challenge.

"There's a lot of stuff going to (municipal) court. We're just waiting for the judge to do something with it," Linville remarked.

"This is not a head hunt," the mayor said, explaining no property owner is being targeted for personal reasons.

"We just don't want eyesores or dangerous structures. It's up to the property owners to either make repairs for demolish the (structures)," he added.

Another improvement being made at the city deals with the water billing system. City fathers Monday night approved the purchase of roughly $3,600 for a new water billing software system.

The successful bidder will transfer information from the city's old computer onto its new one. The bills will be easier to read and will also "tag" potential billing mistakes that can be easily reviewed by staff.

"We hope to have the new system in place by the next billing, so we don't have to handwrite all the bills," Linville said. A new laser printer will be used with the new software.

In other matters at a regular board meeting Monday night:

•Residents were reminded not to bring their complaints of loose dogs and other police matters to the board meetings. They were encouraged to immediately call the police (sheriff's department) when they spot laws being broken. "Quit coming to the meetings thinking we're (aldermen) going to do something about it," Linville said.

•It was announced that Cynthia Atkison has been hired as new city clerk. "She lives just north of town, she has a lot of skills. She'll start later this week," the mayor said.

•It was reported the city park project is coming along. Bids are being taken for the shelter house, the infield is "looking good," gravel is being placed where the parking lot is going to be, and grass seed has been planted in the outfield and around the ball field. In the near future, fencing will be installed and around 400 stadium-style bleacher seats will eventually be installed.


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