By Tony Wittkowski | City Reporter | The Times Herald
Jeff Bohm will be chairman of the St. Clair County Board of Commissioners for a third consecutive term.
The board during its first meeting of 2015, elected Bohm chairman and Bill Gratopp as the vice chairman. Gratopp replaces Steve Simasko who was vice chairman from 2011-2014.
Bohm appointed Howard Heidemann as the sergeant-at-arms.
Chairmen of the standing committees are David Rushing, Ways and Means; Karl Tomion, Human Services; Tom Reilly, Judiciary/Public Safety; and Howard Heidemann, Environmental/Public Works Committee.
Most of Thursday’s meeting was spent discussing the board’s goals and priorities for 2015. Bohm began the conversation by placing five posters in front of the commissioners, showing accomplishments from the past four years including work at the St. Clair County International Airport and at the Blue Water Convention Center.
Bohm then went through a list of priorities. Near the top of the list was the former Art Van building in Port Huron, which the county purchased in 2014 for $560,000. County administrator Bill Kauffman said the planning department has been working on the project for the last three months.
“They’ve engaged the services of two local architect firms to provide us with some design concepts on what could eventually occur on site,” Kauffman said. “It is not complete, we expect to receive it later this month. We will then be sitting down with the city of Port Huron and the board of commissioners to share some of this information.”
He said the architects will be coming up with different uses for the property.
“There we can find out what (residents) liked and what they didn’t like. Then we’ll sit down and analyze what some of this will cost, what we will be able to afford and what partners will be able to assist us,” Kauffman said. “This is something that will continue to grow and evolve over probably the next 10 to 12 months. Watch for some updated information later this month.”
Kauffman said many of the goals and priorities came from department heads when they were asked to provide the county with ideas and issues.
As part of the administrator’s report, Kauffman said a 10-year capital improvement plan for the airport is being drafted.
“It’s something they do every couple of years,” he said. “That document is drafted and we will be working finalizing it within the next two months.”
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 8, 2015)