Police Chief Vince Emrick addresses Adrian city commissioners at a work session before their Aug. 3 meeting.

Issues faced by APD include gang rivalries, increase in calls, decrease in applicants

Calls to the Adrian Police Department have risen dramatically during the past few years, police chief Vince Emrick told city commissioners during a work session before Monday’s commission meeting. Emrick showed commissioners a graph of how many calls for service the department has received each year since 2012, with estimates for 2015 based on call volume so far:

Year
Calls for service

2012
10,599

2013
12,591

2014
17,049

2015
 19,477 (estimate)

“As you can see, we’ve had a steady rise since 2012,” Emrick said. Part of the difference from 2012 to 2013 could be attributable to a better record-keeping system implemented at that time, but the number has continued to rise since then, he said. Emrick updated the commission on several recent incidents, including the Church Street shooting in July and the drug raids that came immediately before it. He said those incidents involved two rival criminal groups. Continue Reading

Comstock Park fountain

Comstock Park fountain to be replaced, but skipping bid process prompts objections

The nonfunctional fountain at Comstock Park, on the west edge of Adrian’s downtown, will be replaced soon. But several speakers at Monday night’s city commission meeting objected to the city skipping its normal bid process in awarding the $56,500 contract for the job. The commission voted 5-1 to award the contract to The Beaubien Companies to put a new water feature in the place of the current fountain. The money will come from the capital projects budget within the Fee Estate, which is a fund bequeathed to the city of Adrian by Harriet Kimball Fee for parks and beautification. City administrator Shane Horn said that he, Mayor Jim Berryman, and parks and engineering services director Todd Brown visited the Adrian College campus and looked at the fountain at the Adrian Tobias Center. Continue Reading

Pi Benio, vice president of the Lenawee Council for Visual Arts, shows one of the buildings the LCVA will lease from the city of Adrian on the former Adrian Training School campus.

Arts group plans to offer classes at former Adrian Training School site

The old Adrian Training School campus on the north side of town sits empty — 55 acres of quiet grounds and vacant buildings. Since the former juvenile detention facility was closed over six years ago, the city has struggled to find a new use for it — an effort made harder because the state requires it be used for a public purpose. Now, a local arts organization has a new vision for the site: a place where people of all ages can come to learn about art and exercise their creativity. The Adrian City Commission tonight gave its stamp of approval to leasing three of the buildings on the campus to the Lenawee Council for Visual Arts, which plans to offer classes starting this fall. Pi Benio, vice president of the LCVA, said the group will start with ceramics, then expand to other media such as woodworking, letterpress, sculpture and glass. Continue Reading

Ballenberger Road closed to through traffic

Notice from the city: Ballenberger Road will be closed to through traffic beginning this morning while the road is reconstructed. Residents of Ballenberger Road will be able to access their residences, but no through traffic will be allowed until the road project is completed, possibly early in August. Continue Reading

Click on the image to download the flyer for the city's June bulk trash collection day.

City spring cleaning: North side of Adrian, you can put your junk out now

The first of two pickup dates for the city of Adrian’s bulk trash collection is this Saturday. The pickup is for household trash, couches, chairs, washers, dryers, stoves, and appliances (as long as any freon has been removed). Small items should be boxed, bundled or bagged. Anyone who lives on Maumee Street or anywhere north of it can put their items out starting today for Saturday’s pickup. Items from homes south of Maumee Street will be picked up next week. Continue Reading

The site of a proposed Taco Bell on North Main Street.

Proposed Taco Bell snarled by state and federal red tape

City officials are growing frustrated with state and federal red tape that’s tying up plans for a new Taco Bell on the north side of Adrian. “We have run into some very interesting roadblocks that, when you are familiar with the property, don’t necessarily make sense,” city attorney Sarah Osburn said at Monday night’s city commission meeting. It all started because, in order to put an entrance onto North Main Street, developer Sundance Inc. needed to buy a small parcel of city-owned land in order to get the entrance far enough north to not cause problems with the intersection of North Main and Albert. The property the city is trying to sell is .27 acres of land adjacent to Island Park. When the city commissioned a title search — a normal part of selling a property — the title examiner discovered that the state of Michigan had a deed dating back to 1989 that entitled it to 70 percent of any mineral rights on the land. Continue Reading

Kiwanis Trail

Section of Kiwanis Trail that “will jar your fillings loose” will get repairs soon

A portion of the Kiwanis Trail that runs from Adrian to Tecumseh is slated to be repaired after the Adrian City Commission approved spending $51,600 from the Harriet Kimball Fee Estate to fix it up. There’s a bridge on the trail between Occidental and Gady, and the part of the trail that’s scheduled to be fixed starts at the bridge and runs about half of the way to Occidental. “I rode it a few weeks back and it will jar your fillings loose,” city administrator Shane Horn said. “It’s in pretty bad shape.” That’s not the only section that needs work, city officials said, but it’s as much as the Fee Estate can support at the moment. Continue Reading

Bohn Pool will once again be part of the city's budget this season.

City will help pay for Bohn Pool’s operation this summer

After the city of Adrian and the YMCA of Lenawee County merged their recreational programs and put them all under the YMCA’s administration, the Y found it was losing money as a result.  Now the city is committing to help the YMCA cover the costs of operating Bohn Pool this summer, in exchange for more control over the pool’s operations. “Historically, Bohn Pool is not a moneymaking venture by any means,” city administrator Shane Horn said at tonight’s city commission meeting. During a work session a few months ago, city commissioners agreed that they did not want to risk seeing the pool close, and felt that taking back some responsibility for the pool would be reasonable. Under the new agreement, the city will cover any financial shortfall the pool incurs this year. The city will also be responsible for up to 10 hours per week of wages for the YMCA associate director, who is responsible for the pool, during pool season, and a city seasonal employee, John Knauss, will take a more active leadership role at the pool. Continue Reading

The city is seeking state funds to demolish the former Jefferson School.

City seeks state funds to tear down Jefferson School

With a little luck, the broken windows and graffiti-covered bricks of the old Jefferson School could soon be an eyesore no longer. The city of Adrian is asking the state for grant money to demolish the abandoned school building, which sits between Center and French streets just north of Beecher. Several months ago, the city received $375,000 from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to tear down blighted residential properties. “One of our frustrations was that the funds were all for residential use,” economic development coordinator Chris Miller said, and thus could not be used for properties like Jefferson School. But less than two weeks ago, Miller said, the city became aware that the state would be making about $4.7 million available for the demolition and redevelopment of blighted commercial properties statewide. Continue Reading