Mt. Pleasant City Commission adopts resolution in support of wearing face masks due to COVID-19

On July 13, 2020 the Mt. Pleasant City Commission adopted a resolution in support of wearing face masks due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  This new virus strain is an easily transferrable respiratory disease which can result in serious illness or death. Isabella County has recently seen an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

RESOLUTION SUPPORTING EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-147 REGARDING FACE COVERINGS

WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death and it is caused by a new strain of virus that has not previously been identified in humans and can easily spread from person to person; and

WHEREAS, Governor Whitmer has declared a state of emergency to harness resources across the state to slow the spread of the virus including, but not limited to, requiring face coverings in public places and in certain instances outdoors (Executive Order 2020-147); and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance to the public and employers to slow the spread of the virus including, but not limited to, encouraging individuals to wear face coverings and practice social distancing; and

WHEREAS, there has been a recent increase in confirmed cases within Isabella County; and

WHEREAS, the City Commission recognizes the importance and effectiveness of face coverings in helping to slow the spread of the virus; and

WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to assist in returning to economic stability, which can more likely be obtained if businesses can stay open and gradually return to full capacity, and understands that this may be dependent on slowing the spread of the virus; and

WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to do what it can to keep residents, visitors, business owners and front-line workers safe; and

WHEREAS, the City Commission emphasizes the personal responsibility of each individual to wear a face covering and believes doing so reflects a sign of respect for neighbors, front line and essential workers, and all residents and visitors

WHEREAS, the City Commission desires to provide leadership and support to implement the wearing of face coverings; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Commission of the City of Mount Pleasant as follows:

  1. The City Commission supports Executive Order 2020-147 requiring wearing of face coverings in any indoor public space and when outdoors and unable to maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of the same household. 
  • Individuals are encouraged to implement their personal responsibility by wearing face coverings as required to help keep others safe both in public places and as appropriate outdoors and to eliminate putting businesses and law enforcement in the position of enforcing the standards
  • Businesses are encouraged to do their part in implementing the requirements so that customers feel safe that the expected protocols are in place.
  • In the rare instances where law enforcement is called upon for enforcement, the City Commission supports the approach of educating first and attempting to get voluntary compliance.   Using law enforcement discretion, in instances where personal responsibility and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved and the law enforcement staff feels that enforcement is the best option in the circumstances, enforcement that is deemed necessary will be supported.

Topics to watch at the Mt. Pleasant City Commission Meeting – July 13, 2020

Here are the topics to watch at the next virtual Mt. Pleasant City Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, July 13, 2020 at 7 p.m.

  • Introduce an ordinance to amend Chapter 50: Solid Wastes and set a public hearing for July 27, 2020 on the same.
  • Consider authorizing the execution of documents associated with the Economic Development Association (EDA) Grant for Industrial Park South Detention Pond.
  • Consider resolution to select an alternative date for the 2020 July Board of Review meeting.
  • Consider postponed resolution setting fee for Christmas tree pickup.
  • Consider authorization for amended loan repayment terms for Brownfield Redevelopment Loan.

To view the entire meeting packet visit: 

How to follow public meetings during social distancing:

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Mt. Pleasant is following federal, state and county health officials’ recommendations while still providing valuable City services.

Even though the City Commission meeting will take place as scheduled, it will be an electronically conducted meeting as allowed by the Governor’s Executive Order and the City Commission Chambers will be closed to the public.

Citizens can watch the City Commission meeting live on Spectrum Charter Channel 188, web streamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/MtPleasantMi/ or via Zoom.

Zoom Meeting instructions via computer, phone, or dial-in number are as follows:

Zoom Meeting information

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89057011678?pwd=RTJJa1JNY3pmSmxwaFNKWkM2M0ozdz09

Meeting ID: 890 5701 1678

Password: 839170

Phone dial-in: (312) 626-6799

Audio and video will be muted for members of the public and then unmuted by the host during public comment periods.

  • For participants accessing via computer or smartphone please use the “Raise Your Hand” icon to indicate you would like to speak. First, click on the “Participants” icon at the bottom of your screen. Next, click on the “Raise Your Hand” icon near the bottom right corner of the screen.
    • To raise your hand for telephone dial-in participants, press *9.
    • Members of the public may be muted or removed if using abusive language or if they become disruptive to the meeting.

Any citizen desiring to make a public comment on an agenda item must email their comments to comment@mt-pleasant.org either before or during the meeting. Individuals must include their name and address.

Update from City Manager, Nancy Ridley – July 2020

The past several months challenged us in ways we never thought possible. We found ourselves battling, and continuing to battle, a virus that knows no boundaries. Once only a news story from across the globe, COVID-19 quickly made its presence known in our state and in our community.

Throughout our City we were required to temporarily close many of our businesses and schools and halted our daily activities. As we start to reopen, like the rest of the nation, we are trying to find the delicate balance of getting our society up and running while staying socially distanced and safe. To accomplish this, City Commissioners and City staff are finding creative ways to conduct City business and assist our local businesses and residents in this financially challenging time.

Outdoor Business Activity Options

To make the transition of doing business in a COVID-19 landscape a little easier, the City Commission adopted a resolution temporarily authorizing outdoor business activities for all businesses within the City limits.These activities include waiving certain standards and fees for outdoor dining, tent and merchandise display permits. 

To allow for proper social distancing, businesses are able to utilize the space directly in front of their establishment and possibly adjacent frontage of service providers who will not be using their outdoor space. Although license fees are being waived, businesses must still apply for an outdoor dining license or merchandise display license if using public space. Expedited approvals are in place for use of privately-owned outdoor space.

In the downtown business district, Broadway Street between Main and University Street is closed for restaurant, merchant and public use. Even though this street closure has the possibility to last until September 30, staff is reviewing it every two weeks.

Summer Tax Payments

Due to financial hardships the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused to City taxpayers, the City Commission also approved waiving late charges which accrue on unpaid taxes from August 1 to September 14. This waiver is for tax payers who do not escrow their tax payments with financial institutions. Based on state law, interest will be applied at the rate of 1% on any unpaid balance on September 15, 2020 and the rate shall increase by 1% each month thereafter until paid. 

Additionally, some taxpayers may qualify for deferment of Summer Taxes to February 2021. Taxpayers who meet certain eligibility requirements can file for deferment of Summer 2020 taxes to February 14, 2021. This deferment only applies to a principal residence property. Details can be found at: https://mpcityblog.com/2020/06/30/city-of-mt-pleasant-summer-property-tax-bill-information/

Past Due Utility Bill Payment Plans

If you are having difficulty paying a past due utility bill, please contact the Utility Billing Department to discuss payment plan options. The City Commission authorized staff to approve payment plans within certain parameters during this time. (989) 779-5387.

Island Park Improvement Projects

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic City staff are working on the following Island Park improvement projects.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Pedestrian Bridge leading to Pickens Field is being replaced. This includes adding a half mile trail to Island Park’s existing paved trail. Once completed, the one-mile trail will circle the island and feature outdoor fitness equipment along the route. This project, partially funded by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant and Tribal 2% funds should be completed by the end of August. 

The Island Park Amphitheater’s decorative concrete walls, stone pillars and wood ceiling will be seal coated. During this process the amphitheater will not be available for use. This project is expected to be complete by the end of July.

Street Construction

City staff worked with construction contractors to complete three projects while traffic volumes were low. The Michigan and Pickard Street projects were completed ahead of schedule.

  • Michigan Street from Oak to Washington was reconstructed.
  • Pickard Street from Mission and Bradley was milled and overlaid.
  • The alley west of Mission, bordered by Bellows, Arnold and Gaylord Streets was reconstructed and completed on schedule.

Currently, work is occurring to reconstruct Brown Street from North Drive to Broadway, as well as the parking lot at University and Illinois.

Stay safe.

We hope some of these programs and improvement projects make this transition period a bit easier for our residents. Thank you for following the recommended guidelines from our health officials, as well as wearing a face mask when out in public. Stay safe and be well.

Absentee voting option now available to all registered voters

Due to the November 2018 passage of a statewide ballot proposal, all registered voters in Michigan are now eligible to vote via absentee ballot without a specific reason.  A written request to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you can be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office in any of the following ways:

  • Drop box in parking lot – 320 W. Broadway Street
  • Postal mail – City Clerk, 320 W. Broadway Street
  • Email (scan or photo of application) – clerk@mt-pleasant.org
  • Fax – Attention: City Clerk – (989) 773-4691
  • In person in the Clerk’s office – Upstairs at City Hall, 320 W. Broadway Street

Absentee Voter Application Forms are available at the City Clerk’s office or can be found online at http://www.michigan.gov/sos.  You can also visit www.mi.gov/vote to see what contests and questions are on your ballot, as well as track your application and ballot.

If you have concerns related to COVID-19 and voting, many of the options available still allow you to fully participate in the voting process, but in a contactless manner.

By mail:  Absentee voter ballots may be mailed to you at your home address or any temporary address outside of your city of residence until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020.  Ballots must be returned via postal mail (it is recommended to mail a week before the election to allow adequate time for delivery), drop box located in the City Hall parking lot, or in person to the Clerk’s office by8 p.m. on election day.  

In-person absentee voting:  This option is available at the City Clerk’s office from now until Monday, August 3, 2020 at 4 p.m.  For your convenience, the City Clerk’s office will also be open for in-person absentee voting on Saturday, August 1, 2020 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

All registered voters can now also request to be added to the permanent absentee voter list maintained by the City. Once an individual is on the permanent absentee voter list, they will receive an application to vote absentee for every election. After the completed application to vote absentee is received by the Clerk’s office, a ballot will be mailed directly to the voter, eliminating a trip to the voting precinct on election day.

Election Day is Tuesday, August 4, 2020 and polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Even though safety protocols will be in place at all polling locations, absentee voting is the safest option during this COVID-19 pandemic. Need a ride to and from the polls? I-Ride is offering free rides. Call (989) 772-9441 to schedule.

Visit www.michigan.gov/vote to confirm where you are registered to vote. If you have questions regarding absentee voting, or being added to the permanent absentee voter list, call (989) 779-5361.

Island Park improvement projects to begin on July 6, 2020

The following Island Park construction projects are scheduled to begin on Monday, July 6, 2020, please be aware of occasional disruptions to vehicle and foot traffic in the park.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Pedestrian Bridge leading to Pickens Field will be replaced. This project also includes adding a half mile trail to Island Park’s existing paved trail. Once completed, the one-mile trail will circle the island and feature outdoor fitness equipment along the route. This project, partially funded by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant, should be completed by the end of August. 

The Island Park Amphitheater’s decorative concrete walls, stone pillars and wood ceiling will be seal coated. During this process the amphitheater will not be available for use. This project is expected to be complete by the end of July.

City of Mt. Pleasant Summer Property Tax Bill Information

Summer property tax bills, which are due July 31, 2020 were recently mailed to City of Mt. Pleasant residents.

In response to financial hardships the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused to City taxpayers, the City Commission recently approved waiving late charges which accrue on unpaid taxes. This waiver is for individual tax payers who do not escrow their tax payments with financial institutions.

In these instances, interest will be applied in accordance with State law and shall be at the rate of 1% on any unpaid balance on September 15, 2020 and the rate shall increase by 1% each month thereafter until paid.  Please allow ample time for postal delivery by September 14, 2020 and each month thereafter that the interest rate increases. Post marks are not accepted.  The City will accept partial payments until March 1, 2021 at which time the balance is delinquent and becomes payable to the County Treasurer. 

Additionally, some taxpayers may qualify for deferment of Summer Taxes to February 2021.  Taxpayers who meet the eligibility requirements listed below can file for deferment of Summer 2020 taxes to February 14, 2021.  This deferment only applies to a principal residence property. 

Taxpayers must have a household income of less than $40,000 and be one of the following:

  • 62 years of age or older, including unmarried surviving spouse of a person who was 62 years or older at the time of death.
  • Paraplegic, Hemiplegic, or Quadriplegic
  • Eligible Serviceperson, Eligible Veteran, Eligible Widow or Widower
  • Blind Person
  • Totally and Permanently Disabled

Due to COVID-19, contact less payment is recommended.  Please consider paying either by mail (320 W. Broadway Street), in the drop box at City Hall, or pay online at www.mt-pleasant.org.  If you would like a receipt, enclose your entire bill and a stamped self-addressed envelope.  You may also check your payment status online on our website. 

If you haven’t received your bill by July 6th please call 989-779-5384.

Brown Street Reconstruction Project Update: Brown and Broadway Street Detour July 7-9, 2020

The Brown Street reconstruction project (Broadway Street to North Drive) began on June 15th and is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. Asphalt pavement, curbs and gutters are being removed and replaced. Partial sidewalk replacements and sidewalk ramps are also being upgraded. Driveways are being reconstructed from the street to sidewalk and water main valve replacements and sanitary sewer upgrades are taking place.

Street Closure and Access

Brown Street is closed to thru traffic between North Drive and Broadway Street for the duration of the project. Residents have direct access off of Brown Street except when work is being done on their driveways. The Contractor will notify residents prior to the work beginning on their driveway. During this time, residents will be asked to park on the nearest side street.

Employees of Pullen Elementary School are asked to access the school from East Michigan Street, unless otherwise directed by the Contractor.

Access to McLaren Central Hospital from South Brown Street (between High Street and North Drive) will not be affected.

A detour is in place to direct traffic around the project using High Street, Mission Street (US-127BR) and Broadway Street as shown on the Detour Map. Work at the Broadway Street intersection will require an additional section of detour to Pickard Street and North Brown Street. This additonal detour will be in effect from July 7 – 9.

Garbage Collection: Residents still need to bring their garbage cans and recycling to the nearest side street while their block is under construction. The Contractor can offer assistance, if needed.

Mail delivery is not affected. 

Water Service:  Interruptions to water service is anticipated. The contractor will notifiy residents in advance via a door tag.

If you have questions, concerns, or you need a special accommodation due to a physical disability, please contact: 

Connie Houk, Project Engineer      Prein & Newhof                    (231) 468-3456

Stacie Tewari, City Engineer            City of Mt. Pleasant              (989) 779-5404

Summary of Minutes of the Mt. Pleasant City Commission Meeting – June 22, 2020

Summary of Minutes of the electronically conducted regular meeting of the City Commission held Monday, June 22, 2020, at 7:12 p.m.

Received petitions and communications.

Approved the following items on the Consent Calendar:

1) Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held June 8, 2020.

2) Contract with ATI Group of Flushing, MI for HVAC preventative maintenance and hourly response rates as presented.

3) Contract with Cusack Masonry Restoration, LLC of Hubberdston, MI for the Public Safety Building EIFS repair and the appropriate budget amendment.

4) Contract for the bid prices submitted by Nutrigro Environmental Solutions of Charlotte, MI for biosolids management as presented.

5) Authorized the Mayor to sign the 2020 CARES Act agreement with MDOT-AERO regarding sub grant #MOP-11720 CARES for the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport.

6) Warrants and Payrolls.

Held a public hearing and approved a new Class C License for John G Kulhavi Events Center, Central Michigan University and resolution in support of authorizing same.

Authorized the Mayor to sign the appropriate MSHDA documents for the acceptance of the $30,000 Neighborhood Enhancement Program Grant.

Authorized the Mayor to sign the site access agreement with Alltel Corporation as drafted by the City Attorney for property located at 3244 West Broomfield Road, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Conducted a work session to continue discussion on 2019 Housing Study.

Adjourned the meeting at 9:37 p.m.

City of Mt. Pleasant Fourth of July Holiday Hours and Firework Ordinance Reminder

City of Mt. Pleasant Holiday Hours

City offices will be closed on July 3, 2020. There will be no delay in refuse and recycling pick up.

Firework Regulation and Safety Reminders

As Independence Day approaches, now is a good time to review firework safety tips and regulations.

City of Mt. Pleasant Fireworks Ordinance

This ordinance states a person may only discharge or use consumer fireworks on private property on June 29 – July 4; from 11 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. On all other days of the year, fireworks may not be discharged within the City limits. Violations shall be punishable with fines of $500 up to $1,000.

Additionally, a minor shall not possess, ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks. Fireworks shall not be used while a person is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or during times when a burning ban has been established by the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, MI. For a list of burning restrictions by county, visit http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/burnpermits/.

For those planning on discharging fireworks this July Fourth holiday, please follow the City regulations as stated above and practice these safety tips:

1.    Read and follow all warning and instructions.

2.    Never allow children to play with fireworks of any kind.

3.    Wear protective clothing, including eye wear.

4.    Only light devices on smooth, flat surfaces away from residential areas, dry leaves and flammable materials.

5.    Always keep a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of malfunction.

6.    Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.

The best way to protect your family is to avoid the use of fireworks at home entirely. 

Topics to Watch at the Mt. Pleasant City Commission Meeting – June 22, 2020

Here are the topics to watch at the next virtual Mt. Pleasant City Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, June 22, 2020 at 7 p.m.

  • Public hearing on a new Class C License for John G Kulhavi Events Center, Central Michigan University and consider resolution in support of authorizing the same.
  • Consider acceptance of $30,000 from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) for a neighborhood enhancement grant and authorize the Mayor to execute the necessary documents.
  • Consider agreement with Michigan Department of Transportation Aeronautics (MDOT-AERO) to receive CARES funding for the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport.
  • Consider site access agreement with Alltel Corporation.

To view the entire meeting packet visit:  http://www.mt-pleasant.org/docs/board/city.commission/agendas/2020/6.22.20.pdf

How to follow public meetings during social distancing:

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Mt. Pleasant is following federal, state and county health officials’ recommendations while still providing valuable City services.

Even though the City Commission meeting will take place as scheduled, it will be an electronically conducted meeting as allowed by the Governor’s Executive Order and the City Commission Chambers will be closed to the public.

Citizens can watch the City Commission meeting live on Spectrum Charter Channel 188, web streamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/MtPleasantMi/ or via Zoom.

Zoom Meeting instructions via computer, phone, or dial-in number are as follows:

Zoom Meeting information

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86980815198?pwd=cEFxRE9LNm5xajJwQlFjUkRSa3lDQT09

Meeting ID: 869 8081 5198

Password: 069007

Phone dial-in: (312) 626-6799

Audio and video will be muted for members of the public and then unmuted by the host during public comment periods.

  • For participants accessing via computer or smartphone please use the “Raise Your Hand” icon to indicate you would like to speak. First, click on the “Participants” icon at the bottom of your screen. Next, click on the “Raise Your Hand” icon near the bottom right corner of the screen.
    • To raise your hand for telephone dial-in participants, press *9.
    • Members of the public may be muted or removed if using abusive language or if they become disruptive to the meeting.

Any citizen desiring to make a public comment on an agenda item must email their comments to comment@mt-pleasant.org either before or during the meeting. Individuals must include their name and address.