The Cheboygan City Council passed a resolution agreeing to participate and cooperate with Meijer Inc., Inverness Township and the US-27 Downtown Development Authority, DDA, to supply water to the Meijer retail store project site at its regular meeting Tuesday. "The biggest issue that we have at this point, is the funding for the water extension in Inverness Township," said City Manager Tom Eustice. "Inverness Township is aware that they need somehow to provide some funding for this project. Absence of a 425 agreement, which is a land lease agreement. ... The city can not participate in funding a project in another adjacent township. We can't do that. It's illegal." Eustice said there has been discussion about a 425 agreement, but it wasn't on the table. "They don't want it, and if we did a 425, we would have to provide police and fire. We would have to add at least one officer, and what we would get in tax revenue to the general fund wouldn't even cover that," said City Clerk Kenneth Kwiatkowski. Eustice said the city would be helping to educate and guide the township and the US-27 DDA on how to get funding for the project. "Small townships like Inverness don't do a lot of bonding; they don't have a great deal of experience in municipal water systems and sewer system like we do," said Eustice. We have 122 years experience with water and waste water systems. I think to move this project ahead, we need to do some education, we need to help them understand how to get funding and how to get this project moving forward. Meijer is willing to participate as well, they certainly will put some money into the game. They are not going to fund this project 100 percent. So if we want Meijer to build here, Inverness Township and the US-27 DDA need to help them." Eustice told the council that the city is working on improving infrastructure in the city, including a new water tower, that would be able to help serve the north end of Inverness Township, but the township and the US-27 DDA would have to sort out the funding issue. The upgrades have been in the works for some time now, and are not tied to the Meijer project alone. "We can put a meter at the city limits to provide them water," said Eustice. "But somebody has to build the infrastructure. That's what the township and Meijer need to work out." The city is currently in the process of writing a utility service agreement with Inverness Township. "It could be the City of Cheboygan or they could privately outsource this, but it would be certainly much less expensive for them to use our water and waste water people to service it in case a line breaks," said Eustice. "We could repair it; they don't have the ability to do that sort of thing." Eustice also updated the council on possible port property sales to Ryba Marine and Kokosing Construction Company. At the last council metting, the panel approved purchase agreements be sent to both entities, offering 362 feet of property to Ryba for $206,000 and 767 feet to Kokosing for $500,000. Both agreements were contingent on maritime service agreements be in place at the time of closing that would ensure the property would be used for port operations. "They (Kokosing) told me that the price, $500,000 was very reasonable; they could live with that; it's fair market," said Eustice. "But they did not want any ties to a maritime service agreement. They don't think they could pitch that to their corporate office and be able to purchase the property. They certainly would agree to be the port operators in something less detailed than a maritime service agreement. They certainly are willing to be the the shipping and receiving port, but they want to do it basically on their own. They don't want ties to the city; they don't want the city basically conferring with what they can and cannot do." Eustice said Ryba had looked favorably at the agreement when it was received. "It's not a deal-killer by any means; I think we need to have some discussion and have already discussed this at great length with Steve Joppich, our attorney," said Eustice. "There are certainly some things we can do; we can amend that purchase agreement I think to satisfy all parties." Eustice said he believed if there was not a maritime service agreement in place with Kokosing, then the city should not have one with Ryba either, as it would restrict competitiveness between the two entities. Eustice said he and Joppich would continue to work on the agreements, and would set a special Port Commission meeting to get input from that panel before the next regular council meeting. During public comment, several citizens voiced concerns over a recent discussion regarding changing regulations for mobile food vendors, voicing their support for the food trucks and carts that have been operating in the city. "The city council, the chief (Director of Public Safety Kurt Jones) and myself are not against food trucks in any regard," said Eustice. "We understand they are a nice asset to this community. We just have some concerned citizens that own businesses that would like it to be better regulated. ... We need to do some more investigation on what we will recommend to council. There are certainly some issues; it's not an issue that's unique to the City of Cheboygan and many municipalities deal with this. We understand that these businesses can be helpful to the community." Eustice said the matter will be brought up at the next regular meeting.