While the snow is falling today, spring is right around the corner. Road repairs, city festivals, and public art are among the things we can look forward to. I also have information for people in need of help and new legislation that should help curb the litter from the "pink bag" newspapers, among other updates.
2020 Road Repairs
Starting this spring, the county will begin road repairs on 12 Mile Road between Greenfield and Coolidge. Some minor work will start in April with the bulk of the work starting as early as June. More information is available from the Road Commission. They will have open house informational sessions the morning and evening of Wednesday, March 11th. I also shared comments from our DPW director on why Berkley won’t be doing any utility work under 12 Mile during the construction.
The city will also start spending the first of the infrastructure millage money on road repairs. Numerous spots with bad concrete throughout the city will be repaired.
Sidewalk Repair Program
We will also be starting a sidewalk repair program, beginning in the southwest section of the city, south of Catalpa and west of Coolidge. Residents will be responsible for paying for the repairs fronting their property, but can use the city contractor for a likely savings, and can pay it off on their tax bill. The project bids should come before council soon and residents should start being notified shortly thereafter.
It will take 4–5 years to complete the entire city, with the plan being to continue the program indefinitely so the sidewalks remain in good repair.
2020 Festival Dates
With the road work on 12 Mile, some of the city's festivals are going to have to adjust.
- Berkley Days: May 14–17.
- Art Bash: May 30. This is a couple of weeks early to avoid the start of the 12 Mile Road construction.
- Street Art Fest: July 11.
- CruiseFest: August 14. If needed, the cars will turn down Coolidge if 12 Mile is closed.
- County Oakland Irish Fest will not be held this year.
Berkley will participating in the DIA’s Inside|Out program, which brings art reproductions from the museum’s collection to outdoor venues throughout metro Detroit.
The DIA is also working with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), spearheaded by Articipate to bring a permanent public art fixture to the city. They are currently conducting an online survey to find the type of art people may be interested in (e.g. mural or sculpture).
Free Financial Help
If you are struggling financially, Oakland County has a number of free programs that might be of help.
- One-on-One Financial Counseling.
- Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention.
- 0% interest forgivable loans to help homeowners catch up on past due property tax or mortgage payments.
A list of additional resources for Food, Shelter, Clothing, Medical, and other resources is available from the Oakland County Times.
"Pink Bag" Newspapers
Council has passed the first reading of a law to help curtail the “pink bag” newspapers being thrown haphazardly on people’s properties. The city cannot stop them because they are protected on First Amendment grounds, but recent court rulings allow us to restrict where they can be delivered. Our new law will require that they be placed near the front door or in a newspaper holder.
- Council is putting into law new practices to achieve better outreach for public hearings on important issues.
- A law should be passed soon with attendance and training requirements for our boards and committees.
- The Downtown Design Guidelines took a step closer to passage with Council giving the Planning Commission direction on how they would like them implemented.
- The city has finalized all the work required for marijuana licensing. I shared some of my thoughts on the subject.
As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have.