By Ralph Echtinaw
Roger Collison and Bill Leonard took their places on city council Monday, being sworn in by Clerk Mari Anne Ryder and attending their first meeting as council members.
They replaced Jerry Church and Melissa Allen, who chose not to run for re-election last year.
“I want to welcome the new council members. We’re please to have you on,” said Councilman George Kubin, who ran the meeting in the absence of Mayor James Kelly.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here,” Leonard said. “The reason I took this seat is because Melissa Allen had this seat. I don’t think that the footprints of Mr. Church and Mrs. Allen will ever, ever go away out in the hallway. And by sitting here it’s like someone’s always (saying), ‘Do the right thing. Say the right thing.’ So that’s why I’m here.”
Council voted unanimously to rent 75 acres east of Luce and north of Van Buren in Arcada Township to Friedrich H. Gadde, 49, of Gadde Farms for $9,260.
The property is part of 114 acres where the city has created four wells to supply the Gratiot Area Water Authority that serves Alma and St. Louis.
One more well is expected to be established on the property next year. Exploratory drilling has already begun to locate a site. After that the city will have no more new wells to drill.
City Manager Kurt Giles said the portion of the property that doesn’t contain wells will eventually be sold.
“Some of it is good farm land,” he said. “Some of it is marginal.”
Mayor James Kelly was absent. All other council members were present.