Flint, MI–At the council meeting on June 28, the Flint City Council voted on the approval of several multi-year contracts and postponed several discussions and appointments. 

Here’s a breakdown of what the council did:

Postponed discussion of two contracts

The council voted to postpone discussion of two contracts. 

The first contract was a two-year contract with Complete Towing to provide towing and storage services, in an amount not to exceed $185,845.00 for Fiscal Year 2021 and $242,400.00 for Fiscal Year 2022. The previous contract with Complete Towing had expired June 30, 2019. Councilman Eric Mays suggested postponing the contract until more information was available as to why the contract hadn’t been approved earlier, while Council President Kate Fields suggested approving the contract now to provide towing services immediately for the city.

“One of the things that the residents complain about are cars that, you know, don’t have tags that are unregistered, are parked up and down the street or parked in their lawns or yards,” Fields said. “And so we need a towing and impound contract. And I don’t see any reason to postpone this, because when you look at the bid documents, they were the sole bidder and the lowest bidder.”

The council voted 5-3 to postpone this contract back to the next committee meeting. Fields, Councilwoman Eva Worthing, and Councilman Santino Guerra voted against the postponement. Councilman Allan Griggs was absent.

The second contract council postponed was a 90-day contract with Republic Services to provide additional waste collection services, from July 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021. The contract with Republic Services is set to expire June 30. The city administration has requested the extension to allow them time to redo the bid process for trash collection services, which was originally done in private—a violation of the city’s charter. If the council chooses not to approve the contract extension with Republic Services, the city will be without trash pickup beginning July 1, said Clyde Edwards, Flint’s City Administrator. The contract would extend the contract with Republic through September 30, 2021, for an additional $1.43 million. This would bring their contract total to $21,019,325.89. 

You can read more about this contract here.

Postponed discussion of the Brownfield Redevelopment Plan to the next committee meeting

The council voted 7-1 to postpone the discussion to approve and adopt the Brownfield Plan for the James P. Cole Project (1809 James P. Cole Boulevard) to the next special affairs meeting. Councilman Santino Guerra was the sole dissenting vote.

The project is supposed to create a renovated and new industrial space at 1809 James P. Cole Blvd. According to Khalfani Stephens, Flint’s director of economic development, the project relies on an investor raising the taxable value of the property before they can get any reimbursement. Although the project has the potential to bring economic development, the investor runs the risk of losing money “if the property’s taxable value goes under,” Stephens said.

During the June 28 council meeting, the council had concerns about whether Flint residents would be prioritized for jobs that may come out of the plan. Stephens suggested that this agreement “should be set up with the tenant of the building as opposed to the landlord.” Although the majority of the council voted to postpone this discussion, Council President Kate Fields expressed her frustration in the postponement.

“I would think that any type of economic development that we can encourage in the city of Flint, we need to encourage because we don’t want to get a reputation for, you know, entrepreneurs and companies that want to do economic development to look elsewhere because the city of Flint is so difficult to work with,” she said. 

Postponed two appointments 

There were two appointments brought before the council, both of which were postponed for various reasons. 

The council voted 5-3 to postpone the appointment of Mildred Silva Zuccaro to the Hurley Board of Hospital Managers to the next committee meeting. Zuccaro would have served the remainder of a five-year term commencing immediately, and expiring April 30, 2022, as requested by Mayor Sheldon Neeley, replacing the Rev. Daniel S. Scheid, who recently resigned from the board. Zuccaro is currently an outreach and enrollment navigator with Flint’s Hamilton Community Health Network. She also has strong connections to the local Latinx community in Flint, previously serving as the Latinx culture ambassador at the Latinx Tech & Community Center in Flint. Councilman Eric Mays pointed out that  Zuccaro did not have a residential address listed in the agenda nor on her resume attached to the agenda. Zuccaro was not at the meeting for comment. Without her address listed, the council decided to postpone her appointment to the next committee meeting. 

The council also voted 5-3 to postpone the appointment of Casey Lester to the Downtown Development Authority Board until the next council meeting. Lester’s term would commence June 30, 2021 and expire June 30, 2025. He would replace Glenn Kelly, whose term expired in August 2016, although he continued to serve, until recently resigning. Lester currently works as a business banking community banker at Huntington National Bank. The council decided to postpone Lester’s appointment because he was not present at the meeting for comment. 

Accepted grant funding for the Flint Police Department 

The council unanimously voted to accept $10,381.44 in grant funds from the Hamilton Community Health Network for the Flint Police Department. This grant is part of the North Flint Community Based Crime Reduction Project to investigate and follow-up on tips received from Crime Stoppers. Two officers will be identified weekly for 4-hours overtime pay to investigate Crime Stoppers tips.

The Flint Community Based Crime Reduction Project is a seven-month grant starting March 1, 2021 and ending September 30,3031. $136.33 of the funds will be used for unemployment, $146.43 will be used for Medicare, and $10,098.68 will be used for overtime.

Voted to enter and extend multiple contracts in sidewalk replacement programs, mowing services, and additional tree trimming services

The council voted to approve ten resolutions in an 8-0 vote. The resolutions include:

  • Enter into a year contract with Lighthouse Insurance Group to provide the city with excess Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage through Midwest Employers Insurance Co. at a premium cost amount not to exceed $102,846.00 for the period of July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022
  • Enter into Change Order No. 1 with Reliance Building Co. to install the sixth water quality monitoring panel in Control Station No. 2 at the Water Treatment Plant, in an amount not to exceed $17,925.00, for a total contract price not to exceed $392,325.00
  • Enter into a three-year contract with Manquen Vance, to provide employee and retiree healthcare consulting and benefit administration services for Fiscal Year 2022, Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, in the amount of $90,000.00, pending adoption of each year’s budget, for a total cost of $270,000 
  • Enter into a three-year contract with LA Construction for 50/50 sidewalk replacement program services, as requested by Flint’s Department of Public Works, in an amount not to exceed $165,000.00 per year for Fiscal Year 2022, Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, pending adoption of each year’s budget, for a total cost of $495,000.00
  • Enter into a three-year contract with Curtis Landscaping for right-of-way mowing services, in an amount not to exceed $100,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2022, Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, pending adoption of each year’s budget, for a total cost of $300,000.00
  • Enter into a three-year contract with Boyd’s Lawn & Landscaping for right-of-way mowing services, in an amount not to exceed $100,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2022, Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, pending adoption of each year’s budget, for a total cost of $300,000.00
  • Enter into a three-year contract with Forrest Lawn Care for right-of-way mowing services, in an amount not to exceed $100,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2022, Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, pending adoption of each year’s budget, for a total cost of $300,000.00
  • Enter into a three-year contract with Perfect Lawns for right-of-way mowing services, in an amount not to exceed $75,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2022, Fiscal Year 2023 and Fiscal Year 2024, pending adoption of each year’s budget, for a total cost of $225,000.00
  • Extend the contract with J&M Tree Service to provide additional tree trimming services, as requested by Flint’s Department of Public Works, in an amount not to exceed $15,000.00, and a total cost of $88,000.00, under the same terms and condition
  • Extend the contract with Great Lakes Tree Experts to provide additional tree trimming services, as requested by Flint’s Department of Public Works, in an amount not to exceed $15,000.00, and a total cost of $88,000.00, under the same terms and condition

There will be a special meeting on June 30 at 5 p.m. to discuss the contract extension with Republic Services.

Khue Tran

Khue Tran (she/her) is a journalist hailing from Pflugerville, TX. She is currently a student at Yale University and has written for multiple publications on campus, in addition to having words in the...