PENTWATER — At the regular meeting of the Pentwater Village Council Nov. 11, council authorized the staff to prepare Requests for Proposal (RFP) to seek architects to develop plans for the new village hall and for a storage addition to the Department of Public Works building.

Because working drawings prepared by a licensed architect are required to obtain permits for construction in any commercial building, the village will hire architects to prepare the designs for these structures. In the case of the new village hall, the motion included a requirement that the buildings and grounds committee help determine the general design, and what’s needed for the building based on information from the community and staff.

In addition, council members agreed to approach Pentwater Township to explore a joint tenancy at the Pentwater Friendship Center to make it a true community center. If the township is interested, negotiations will proceed to determine the terms of such a tenancy. The Friendship Center is currently undergoing renovations and remodeling, including painting, flooring and heating improvements, with bid awards for electrical and plumbing updates still to come.

Council also heard a detailed report from Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Company, the village’s auditors, in which he outlined the positive state of the village’s finances and the high-level long-term outlook presented by the auditor’s analysis.

The Promotions-Community Economic Development Committee reported on the “Pick Pentwater” brochure regarding the census, which will be distributed via mail, churches, social media, schools and posting on the website. The brochure focuses on the importance of identifying Pentwater as home, regardless of whether Pentwater is where a property owner claims a homestead exemption or whether property in Pentwater is the owner’s full-time home. Since the village’s eligibility for cost-sharing, grants and other financial benefits is determined by population, it is critical to the financial health of the village that people claim Pentwater as home.

Other matters approved by the council were an application for payment of $66,901.80 under the contract for street and utility improvements with Hallack Contracting; acceptance of a bid from C & I Electric of Ludington for the marina electrical project in an amount of $161,338, with work to be completed by May 1, 2020; a fee schedule for the marina for 2020 (only seasonal slip fees were increased for this year); the annual schedule for open meetings of the village council; and a memorandum of understanding between the village and the township to provide for police Officer Alexander Schulz to serve as a non-paid member of the Pentwater Fire Department and as a medical first responder in emergencies.

In other business, village Manager Chris Brown reported that Second Street was scheduled to be top-coated this past week, but because Reith Riley is on strike, the village’s contractor, Hallack Construction, is looking into having A-1 Paving finish the work. In addition, he is working with Fleis & Vandenbrink on a possible grant opportunity that Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering for river and lakefront communities. This would be used to address seawall damage at the marina and boat launch from the high water experienced this year.

Brown offered thanks for those who volunteered to do demolition work in the Friendship Center, and also to Carol Nauda and Peggy Cantella who stepped up to help with the village’s planters and fall decorating when the garden club could no longer do this project.

Finally, Police Chief Laude Hartrum reminded residents that winter parking restrictions are in effect, and that no parking is allowed on village streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from November through March. Vehicles may not be ticketed at all times, but in the event of snow, streets must be kept clear of vehicles to allow for plowing, and vehicles may be ticketed if they are parked on the streets during prohibited times.