GLADSTONE - A check for more than $150,000 from the Dr. Mary Cretens trust, was presented to the city of Gladstone during Monday's city commission meeting.
A philanthropist and long-time resident of Gladstone, the late Dr. Mary Cretens was honored by the Community Foundation for Delta County as Executive Director Gary LaPlant and other board trustees presented a $153,000 check to the city of Gladstone in her name.
Trustee members in attendance included David Williams, president of U.P. State Bank, Matt Smith Jr., chairman of Northern Michigan Bank and Trust, Bill Lake, Community Foundation chair, Alice Butch and Larry Carlson.
Laura Mead | Daily Press
On behalf of the city of Gladstone, City Manager Darla Falcon accepts a $153,000 check presented by Bill Lake, chairman of the Community Foundation for Delta County, during the Gladstone City Commission meeting Monday.
The Dr. Mary Cretens trust money is designated through her endowment fund and is earmarked for certain uses which include recreation, cemetery, overall improvements, the Fourth of July celebration and other events within the city of Gladstone. The city will determine how the money will be used during its budgeting process.
Before presenting the check, LaPlant said a few words about the generosity and service Cretens had for her hometown.
"If there was a rock solid citizen in Gladstone it was Dr. Mary Cretens," he said. "She loved her hometown, cared about the citizens, and she made sure, in her trust, that she would take care of the citizens of Gladstone for many years into the future. We're very pleased Cretens has been honored by the city."
Hunter expressed his appreciation of Cretens and the Community Foundation, on behalf of the city
commission and the citizens of Gladstone.
"I appreciate what Dr. Mary Cretens has done for the city, and what the long-term effects this fund will bring...and you have my word that as long as I'm mayor, and part of this commission, that we will see the funds are used appropriately," he said.
City hall hours were also discussed Monday. The 30-day trial period, during which city hall was closed to the public from 8-10 a.m. to allow staff to work on the budget, has ended. City Manager Darla Falcon said being closed in the morning was very helpful. However, some commissioners reported receiving comments from citizens who said they missed being able to pay their utility bills in person. They could only pay bills through an outdoor drop box during the trial period.
"People who've talked to me say they still want to be able to come to the window and talk to a person and we still have to accommodate that, but that's going to diminish your (the city hall staff) time," said Maki.
The suggestion was made to have just the utility billing window open during the morning, and close the rest of city hall to the public for those hours. Falcon said the staff at the window were also very busy and could use the morning to do work. The commission decided to have another 30-day trial period, with the utility billing window open at all hours, to determine what works best and then they would come up with a long-term solution. The new hours will be implemented in this week.
Falcon also informed the commission she had spoken with Jim Calouette, of the local boilermakers group, regarding the group's interest in purchasing the UPPCO Power Plant and turning it into a training facility. He had told her the purchase was off the table because clean-up costs were too high. However, they will still look into the possibility of building a training facility in Gladstone. Falcon said she will meet with him next week to show him the available land in Gladstone.
Local Eagle Scout Alex Picard was also honored Monday with a city of Gladstone Certificate of Appreciation, presented by the city commission for his involvement in constructing a monument in Gladstone's Van Cleve Park. The monument, which Picard built as part of an Eagle Scout project, is a memorial done in honor of the late Frank Van Cleve.
In other business:
The commission authorized City Manager Darla Falcon to sign an agreement terminating the city's lease with Cingular Wireless (AT&T) on the tower constructed on the North Bluff.
Citizens are invited to submit nominations for Fourth of July grand marshal, as well as ideas for an event theme. Submissions can be sent to the attention of City Clerk Kim Fudala.