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Jim Causley Buick

Major issues included coyote sightings


January 03, 2008
Grosse Pointe Farms officials opened 2007 with a bang after an animated council debate on whether to reinstate skeet shooting at Pier Park.

And things didn't quiet down much after that.

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Coyotes were spotted lingering around the Country Club of Detroit. Later, the Michigan Humane Society’s Varmint Police captured a female and six cubs. File photo
The Farms had several activities going on with the huge success of its Winterfest, to a council election that returned three incumbents, who must decide what to do with city-owned property at Mack and Moross once the Kroger lease expires in May.

Some highlights:

January

u Councilman Terry Davis introduced a motion to reinstate skeet shooting at Pier Park for gun enthusiasts. Skeet shooting was allowed in the park until safety and environmental concerns prompted its discontinuation. At an animated council meeting, council members traded barbs and the vote was put off for future consideration.

February

u Pointers flocked to the city's annual Winterfest held on the Hill. Event organizers said attendance was "awesome" and that everyone who came had a splendid time.

Due to the event's success, officials said this year's party will be even more ambitious.

u The Michigan Humane Society's Varmint Police were called in to capture several coyotes spotted at the Country Club of Detroit. Regular sightings of the animals had residents concerned over the safety of their pets and young children.

u Renovations to Pier Park harbor began in preparation for the upcoming boating season. Many upgrades were planned and scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day.

March

u High winds were to blame for a power outage at city hall that resulted in closing the building. The winds also disabled one of two power lines that deliver electricity to the water plant. Power at the plant was lost for about two seconds before a reserve generator went online.

u The Farms City Council tabled a request from Ed Russell, a local developer, to create two easements at 71 Radnor Circle to provide parking for tenants of his Hill commercial properties.

Due to the objections of neighbors, Russell later withdrew his request.

April

u Farms officials plan to begin planting native plants in the accreted area north of Pier Park in the summer. Last fall, the Farms initiated a maintenance plan to rid the area of accreted plants. A herbicide will be applied to the plants and new, more aesthetically pleasing plants will replace them.

May

u Developer Ed Russell's site plan request to add a third floor, along with other upgrades, to his building at 63 Kercheval was approved by the Farms city council.

The addition will add nearly 10,000 square feet to the facility. It is the first architectural upgrade to the building since it was constructed more than 40 years ago.

u A female coyote and six of her pups were captured under the deck of a house near the Country Club of Detroit. The animals, captured by the Michigan Humane Society's Varmint Police, will be released in the western half of the state.

u Henry Ford Health System announced it will continue to own Cottage Hospital and expand services at the facility. Henry Ford became the sole owner of the hospital, which was co-operated with Bon Secours Hospital.

June

u Plans to beatify the accreted area north of Pier Park met the approval of the state's Department of Environmental Quality.

The Farms needs the Army Corps of Engineers consent to further clean up the area. A maintenance plan was started in 2006, but some of the plants have returned.

July

u Police seized several pounds of marijuana from a home in the 400 block of Bournemouth following a raid. Police discovered the drugs after responding to a medical run to the house.

The suspect was found bleeding profusely from a laceration to his head. Police believe that because no cash was found in the house, it was used as a warehouse for the drugs.

u The city council tabled a resolution allowing it to appoint the library trustee representing the Farms.

August

u Police are looking for a suspect who rammed his car into a bicyclist at Fisher and Ridge. The collision injured the biker and a car was seen fleeing the scene.

The victim was taken to an area hospital where he was placed in temporary serious condition.

u Jumps Restaurant officials applied for and received a liquor license from the city council. The restaurant also announced plans to expand the business at 63 Kercheval.

October

u State Representative Ed Gaffney, R-Grosse Pointe Farms, drew heavy criticism for his support of an income tax increase to help balance the state's budget. Gaffney, who voted against a service tax, said he supported the increase to avert a state shutdown.

u Henry Ford assumed full ownership of Cottage Hospital, renaming the facility Henry Ford Cottage Hospital. Company executives plan to expand services.

u A fire at Pier Park consumed and destroyed two boats in the harbor. Law enforcement officials believe a gas leak was the cause of the blaze.

Two boats in surrounding slips were towed to safety.

u Gaffney fights a recall effort for his recent vote to increase the state's income tax. He said he plans to fight the recall with all his efforts.

November

u A ballot proposal to extend the 10-year Wayne County Community College District millage was defeated on the strength of suburban voters. WCCCD sought the extension to guarantee college offerings would be available for students who graduate years out.

The proposal called for a 10-year extension of the 1.5 mill levy enacted in 2001.

u Council incumbents Joe Leonard, Therese Joseph and Doug Roby were returned to the council in convincing fashion. Challenger Greg Bourgoin finished some 400 votes off the pace.

December

u Construction on a $1 million multi-use ice rink and basketball court began at Pier Park.

The 8,300 square foot facility will house basketball courts during the summer. Refrigerated units below the surface will convert them into an ice skating rink in the winter. The project is the brainchild of the city council and the Grosse Pointe Farms Foundation.

u An application by the developers of the property at Ridge and Moran to join a county land bank was met with skepticism by the city council. The three-acre parcel, on which four homes were approved for construction last year, has not attracted one buyer.

Many challenges face Farms officials in the New Year. With the Kroger lease set to expire in May, council members will have plenty of decisions to make in 2008.

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