NEW BUFFALO — There will be trick-or-treating in New Buffalo for Halloween 2020.
The New Buffalo City Council voted 5-0 during its Oct. 19 regular meeting to set trick-or-treat hours in the city for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25.
Tricia Bowden, representing the committee that traditionally sponsors a New Buffalo Halloween Parade on the Sunday prior to the holiday, said there will be no procession this year and the treat bags normally handed out at the city fire station will instead be distributed to about 264 pupils at New Buffalo Elementary School.
For those who don't want to participate, Bowden said she has come up with an 8-by-10 piece of paper to be posted on the front door with a pumpkin and the message "Sorry, Kids, See You Next Year" (which she is willing to hand out). Mayor Lou O'Donnell IV suggested adding the design on the city website so people can print it out, along with state Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.
The City Council meeting packet included a list of other area trick-or-treat schedules that included: Baroda Village — 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31; Bridgman — 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31; Three Oaks — 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31.
The City Council on Oct. 19 also agreed to accept a lower price for the former hardware store building at 435 South Whittaker St. ($113,000 versus the previously accepted bid of $139,000) after purchaser Firas Naji reported he was unable to get financing for the higher amount due to an appraisal coming in at the $113,000 amount.
The only offer the city received for the property earlier this year was for $35,000.
Mayor Lou O'Donnell IV and City Manager David Richards noted that the city only gets the first $67,000 of the sale amount, with the remainder going to the county, before the motion to accept the lower amount passed 5-0.
By another unanimous vote, council members approved an agreement with Red EV Charging Stations, in conjunction with the State of Michigan, to locate two vehicle charging stations in the city (with a few details involving issues such as indemnification and the nature of the agreement to be worked out by the city attorney).
The stations would be located at the southeast corner of the Barton Street parking lot located at the corner of Barton Street and West Mechanic Street; and at two parking spaces on Mechanic Street between North Thompson Street and Townsend Street.
Tony McGhee of Abonmarche said Ozinga Concrete will be installing a charging station off South Whittaker Street as well.
At the end of the meeting council members bid a fond farewell to Elizabeth Ennis, who is not seeking re-election after four years of service.
Ennis said she appreciates everyone who contributed to "a successful four-year session" including her "good friends" on the council, the city staff, city manager, and "all of our citizens who have participated in our various elections."
Three City Council seats will be filled by voters in the Nov. 3 election. In the running are incumbents Robert Spirito and Mark Kroll along with challengers Roger Lijewski, John Humphrey and Karen Billingslea.
In other Oct. 19 New Buffalo City Council business:
• The council gave McGhee the green light to get repairs (all covered by insurance) under way at the city's Transient Marina building which was damaged by an Aug. 27 fire that started in a bathroom exhaust fan. McGhee said rest room trailers were brought in to finish the boating season. He said needed repairs include replacing five trusses, attic insulation, light fixtures and fans, installing new shingles on the roof, some drywall, and repainting the entire interior.
• During the public comment portion of the meeting Audrey Tuszynski, owner of Gold Coast Yacht Management, asked the council to ensure that slip renters (including herself) at the Pleasure Isle Marina (which was recently donated to the city by the William J. Deputy Foundation) can maintain their privacy at the site.
• The council approved $10,076,51 in repairs that were made to the 2016 beach rake tractor after it broke down and had to be taken apart piece by piece.
• Council members supported efforts in the State Legislature to establish a recreational funding fee that could be levied on "transient lodging" properties.
• The City Council OK'd purchasing Police Department replacement radio equipment from Motorola through the State of Michigan Purchasing Plan (three office radios, one portable radio, and installation costs) for $9,782.78.
• Council members approved a series of 2020-21 Budget Amendments.