Well, it’s been roughly two months since the last issue of Marquette Matters and we’ve all been very busy. If you recall, the last time I wrote I told you a little about myself after having been unexpectedly elevated to the position of City Manager. It was a time of some uncertainty and maybe some confusion, but I’m happy to report that City Staff has not missed a beat and continues to do the good work that we’ve all come to expect.
The emphasis for the last few months (and for several months yet to come) has been putting the pieces of the Duke LifePoint project together. As you are probably aware, this is a complicated process with many moving parts, one of which is the relocation of the Municipal Service Center. This is an educational process for me and I am continuously amazed at the actual number of City departments and staff that are needed to make this all work. Due to the complexity of the project, every City Department, with the exception of one, has had to contribute in one fashion or another. Luckily for me, everyone here is very good at what they do and I can depend more on their expertise instead of sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong.
Although many staff members have contributed to this project, I couldn’t help but have a special appreciation for City Attorney Ron Keefe and his partner Suzanne Larsen. The amount of legal work that went into this project was staggering and there were at least six attorneys involved from both sides (and we can all imagine the potential there). But I’m happy to report that we all had the same goal, the right people were in the room and reason and common sense won the day. My thanks to Tom Butler and the DLP staff as well. They proved to be good people to work with.
In case you missed it, we were able to complete the land sale (the current Service Center) to DLP through a detailed Post Closing Development Agreement, approve a lease agreement with DLP to enable us to continue to (temporarily) utilize part of our old Service Center after they purchased it and during our transition to our new Service Center, approve the purchase of about 3.5 acres of land from Argonics on Wright Street for the development of the new Service Center and move forward in solidifying some of the funding for the project through the Brownfield Redevelopment process.
Of course there is still plenty left to be done, but if anyone has any doubt that the hospital project will happen I, for one, am not seeing anything to indicate otherwise.