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City Commission Highlights: Medical Marijuana, Emagine Parking, Parade and More

Royal Oak officials tackle a long agenda in four-hour meeting Monday evening.

It took four hours, but the Royal Oak City Commission got through a long agenda Monday night. 

Aside from , following are some highlights from the meeting:

Purchase of 2 new police vehicles OK’d

By a 5-2 vote, the City Commission approved the purchase of two 2012 Ford Tauruses at a cost of  $21,658 each for Royal Oak Police detectives’ use, replacing two other vehicles that are 10 years or older. Commissioners Jim Rasor and Patricia Capello voted against the expenditure.

Arts, Beats & Eats report

City Manager Don Johnson reviewed the preliminary financial report for the Labor Day weekend Arts, Beats & Eats festival. Despite lower attendance and revenues, the city does not stand to lose any money in part because of lower costs this year, Johnson said.

The Downtown Development Authority will be reimbursed roughly $88,000 of its initial $100,000 investment, Johnson said.

A final report should be complete by February, he said.

Hermann’s Bakery gets historic designation

Commissioners passed on second reading an ordinance designating Hermann’s Bakery a Historic District.

The purpose of the ordinance is to allow for preservation and restoration of the approximately 110-year-old building at 317 S. Main St., which is owned by Richard and Cheryl Hermann.

Commission backs 3 of 4 medical marijuana bills

With Commissioner Rasor opposed, the City Commission approved a resolution to support three pending state Legislature bills on medical marijuana – House Bills 4850 and 4856 and Senate Bill 418 – but voted to not support House Bill 4853, which decides penalties for violators.

DTE Energy updates

A DTE Energy representative is scheduled to meet with city officials on Nov. 14 to discuss the utility’s infrastructure problems and plans for improvements. City officials expressed frustration with power outages, equipment failures and lengthy wait times for DTE workers to cut off power in fire emergencies.

The city also continues to bill DTE for the time of firefighters who “babysit” downed lines, but DTE continues to ignore the invoices, Johnson said.

2011 Holiday Magic Parade set

Commissioners approved a special event permit for the 10th annual Holiday Magic Parade and Santa Scamper on Nov. 19 in downtown Royal Oak.

Emagine off-site parking tabled again

For the second straight meeting, commissioners held a lengthy discussion about parking for the Emagine entertainment complex on 11 Mile Road near Main Street. And for a second straight meeting they held over the issue for further fact-finding and discussion.

Emagine needs to secure 102 additional parking spots and has been leasing them from the city at the Farmers Market lot. Emagine has now secured leases with the owners of two private parking lots – at 221 N. Main St. and at 411 E. 11 Mile Rd.

Officials expressed concern over pedestrian safety and increased traffic crossing Main Street to use the Billings lot, which Emagine representative Michael Southen said would be used for valet parking.

Commissioners asked for a revised agreement, including how the city will be notified if the parking deal is terminated, and agreed to take up the issue again at its next meeting in November.

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