City police officers receive MADD awards

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Pictured from the left, Mt. Pleasant police officers Mike Covarrubias, Kipp Moe, Kurt Solmonson and Jeff Thompson. 

Four City police officers have been recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of Michigan for their work to put an end to impaired driving in the Mt. Pleasant community.

Officer Jeff Thompson received MADD’s Outstanding Officer Award, a statewide recognition honoring members of law enforcement who made a difference in 2016 in reducing drunk driving deaths and injuries through education, prevention, policy or enforcement. Officer Thompson led the department last year with 54 operating while impaired (OWI) arrests. The award was presented to Thompson last month during the Lifesavers Recognition Luncheon presented by MADD Michigan.

Officers Mike Covarrubias, Kipp Moe and Kurt Solmonson have been named MADD Salute Award winners as they each made more than 25 OWI arrests last year.

Together, the four officers made 154 OWI arrests in 2016.

5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

Here are 5 things to watch at the Oct. 9 City Commission meeting:

  1. Indigenous Peoples Day: Mayor Kathy Ling will proclaim the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value the Saginaw Chippewa and other indigenous peoples add to our City and community. Members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe community drummers will provide an honor song prior to the Proclamation.
  2. Storm Water Ordinance: A public hearing will be held on the proposed changes to the storm water ordinance, which will impact which parking lot reconstruction projects are eligible for permit waivers, clarify that normal maintenance of parking lots is exempt from the ordinance, address flow through of storm water from adjacent properties, and clarify single-family and two-family dwelling pavement changes. After the public hearing, the City Commission will consider approving the amendment.
  3. “Yield to Pedestrians within Crosswalk” Sign at Island Park Entrance: The City Commission will consider the final approval of placing a “Yield to Pedestrians within Crosswalk” sign on Main Street north and south of the entrance to Island Park on Lincoln Street. This temporary traffic control order has been in place for 90 days and staff is recommending it be approved as a permanent traffic control order.
  4. New Zoning Ordinance and Map: The updated draft zoning ordinance and map were released to the public last month, reflecting the comments received through the prior public review period, as well as changes requested by the City Commission at its special meeting in August. The City Commission will be asked to set a public hearing for Nov. 13 on the new zoning ordinance and map, pending the recommendation from the Planning Commission at its Oct. 19 special meeting.
  5. TIFA Development Plan Amendment for Fire Safety Grants: An amendment to the Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) development plan will be introduced to allow TIFA funds to be eligible for the Downtown Fire Protection Grant Program. This reimbursement grant program assists downtown property owners with the cost to install necessary fire protection systems while maintaining and/or restoring the historic character of the building facades. The City Commission will consider setting a public hearing for Nov. 13 regarding this amendment.

Following the regular meeting, the City Commission will hold a work session to discuss the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMMFLA).

To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for Oct. 9, 2017, click here.

Mt. Pleasant City Commission meetings are held at City Hall on the second and fourth Monday of every month. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.

Riverside Cemetery cleanup ends Oct. 15

The City of Mt. Pleasant Parks Department has begun preparing Riverside Cemetery for winter cleanup.  Individual lot owners are asked to remove all flowers, materials, garden hoses and other decorations from the cemetery by Oct. 15 or they will be discarded.  Riverside Cemetery is open from dawn to dusk every day to accommodate those needing to remove decorations.

For further information or questions, contact the Parks & Recreation Office at 779-5331.

SUMMARY OF SEPT. 25 CITY COMMISSION MEETING

The video of the Sept. 25, 2017 City Commission meeting is available here.

Below is the Summary of Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, at 7:00 p.m., in the City Commission Room.

1. Mayor Ling read and presented a Proclamation in support of Domestic Violence
Awareness Month, “October, 2017”.

2. Received petitions and communications.

3. Approved the following items on the Consent Calendar:

  • Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held September 11, 2017
  • Contract with Block Electric of Mt. Pleasant, MI to complete the repair to the Island Park north restroom electrical service
  • Authorized the Mayor and Clerk to sign the appropriate agreement with Mead and Hunt of Lansing, MI for design, bid letting, and contract administration services for the approach slope clearing and updating the PAPI lighting plans at the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport
  • Amend the purchase buyback contract with Krapohl Ford of Mt. Pleasant, MI for a 2018 F-150 truck for a police administrative vehicle
  • Authorize contracts with Krapohl Ford of Mt. Pleasant, MI for the purchase buyback of nine 2018 Ford F-150 pickup trucks
  • Payroll and warrants

3. Held a public hearing and approved the adoption of Resolution No. 5 for approval of
the roll and setting of payment terms for Special Assessment.

4. Received Commissioners’ top rankings for Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe two percent allocations.

5.Authorized the Mayor and Clerk to sign a contract with Bud Percha Painting and the
Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation for the painting of the High Street Bridge
abutments and pump house.

6. Received information on downtown budgets and approved TIFA reserve fund
allocation for downtown Christmas light curtain matching program.

7. Received proposed ordinance to amend Chapter 54: STORM WATER MANAGEMENT,
Sections 54.02, 54.03, 54.04 and 54.09 of the Mt. Pleasant City Code to address parking
lot reconstruction and off-site pass through and set a public hearing for October 9, 2017
at 7:00 p.m. on same.

8. Approved and conducted closed session pursuant to subsection 8(h) of the Open
Meetings Act for material exempt from discussion or disclosure by state or federal
statute.

9. Approved and conducted closed session pursuant to subsection 8(d) of the Open
Meetings Act to discuss possible purchase and/or lease of real property.

10. Conducted work sessions on the 2018 Operating Budget and sidewalk snow removal.

11. Adjourned the meeting at 9:18 p.m.

Applications for City boards and commissions accepted through Oct. 23

Community members interested in serving on any of the City’s boards and commissions should apply by Oct. 23. Qualified electors may submit their name or the name of another for consideration.

“We accept applications for all of the City’s boards and commissions throughout the year,” said City Manager Nancy Ridley. “However, each fall, we encourage community members to apply so the Appointments Committee has the information of potential candidates readily available to review if partial-term vacancies occur.”

Applications are available online or at the City Manager’s Office, located at 320 W. Broadway. For more information, visit www.mt-pleasant.org.

Police Capt. Andy Latham graduates from FBI National Academy

Andy Latham National Academy
Police Capt. Andy Latham (center) with FBI National Academy classmate Dulgunn Ganbat (left) of Mongolia and an embassy representative (right) during “International Night,” where international students provided food from their country for all to enjoy. 

Police Capt. Andy Latham graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy this month, making him the fifth officer from the Mt. Pleasant Police Department (MPPD) to complete the prestigious program. Held at the FBI campus in Quantico, VA, the ten-week academy is designed specifically for leaders in law enforcement and serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad.

Latham first learned of the National Academy several years ago when the lieutenant for MPPD at the time graduated from the program. “It was after listening to him tell of his experience that I made it my goal to attend the academy,” said Latham. “So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to apply, I did.”

Attendance is by invitation only, and Latham was one of approximately 220 leaders in law enforcement from all over the world selected to take part. “The most rewarding part of the program was meeting all of the folks from around our country and the world,” said Latham. “I realized that no matter the size of the agency or resources available, we all try to police our communities the best we can. No matter where you’re from, there is a great deal of support and camaraderie among law enforcement worldwide.”

During the program, Latham completed specialized trainings and fitness challenges, as well as rigorous coursework through the University of Virginia focused on leadership, behavioral science, communication in law and more.

“I’m very thankful to all who had a hand in allowing me to attend the academy, and to those who took on my duties while I was away,” he said. “Without a doubt, this includes my wife.”

Previous graduates of the program include current Mt. Pleasant Director of Public Safety Paul Lauria and Sergeant Dan Gaffka. The City’s former Director of Public Safety Bill Yeagley and former Lieutenant Jeff Shell also attended the academy.

Annual Downtown Mt. Pleasant Open House scheduled for Sept. 29-30

Residents and visitors are invited to the third annual Fall Open House downtown Mt. Pleasant for a weekend full of festivities! On Sept. 29 and 30, several downtown businesses will offer customers samples, specials and great coupons for future deals from local retailers, restaurants and eateries.

The following businesses will have a unique offering during the Fall Open House: Art Reach of Mid Michigan, GreenTree Co-op, Trillium, Pure Vitality, Basketree, Le Fleur Boutique, Headliners Salon, Pleasant City Coffee, Motorless Motion, Redbloom Yoga, and Gray’s Furniture & Accessories. Specific details about these offerings can be found on each business’s respective website and social media pages.

For additional information, visit https://www.facebook.com/downtownmp.

Downtown Mt. Pleasant is centrally located in the city of Mt. Pleasant and is bordered by the picturesque Chippewa River.  Two of Mt. Pleasant’s most scenic parks, Island Park and Nelson Park, are also located downtown offering a local trail system with a variety of nature trails and cycling paths. Downtown Mt. Pleasant boasts over 135 businesses that include remarkable specialty shops, art galleries, excellent and eclectic dining establishments, bars and bistros . . . you’ll find “big city” amenities with small-town service and charm.

Located just a few blocks north of Central Michigan University’s campus and 3 miles directly west of the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, downtown Mt. Pleasant has all you’re looking for and more!

 

5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

Here are 5 things to watch at the Sept. 25 City Commission meeting:

  1. Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Mayor Kathy Ling will proclaim October 2017 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month to demonstrate support for the efforts of those who work to hold perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable, and recognize the efforts of those who work to prevent domestic abuse, address its brutal and destructive effects and make ending domestic abuse a local priority. The proclamation also recognizes the courage and strength of domestic violence survivors and encourages survivors and their families to seek assistance from local service organizations, such as Women’s Aid Service.
  2. Special Assessment Roll for District #1 – 2017: After a public hearing is held on the special assessment roll for properties in the Special Assessment District #1 – 2017 (downtown Mt. Pleasant), the City Commission will consider approving the roll and setting of payment terms. The special assessment funds are used for parking lot maintenance and snow removal, groundskeeping and beautification. If approved, the assessment would be in place for 2018 and 2019.
  3. Design and Bid Services for Projects at Mt. Pleasant Airport: The City Commission will consider an agreement with Mead and Hunt for services related to the tree abatement project at the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport to clear obstructions protruding into the approach slope – the path an airplane follows to land on a runway. The agreement also includes services related to the updating of the precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lighting. Click here to learn more about the tree abatement project.
  4. Painting of High Street Bridge Abutments: In 2013, a grassroots citizens group raised funds from private contributors to repaint the High Street Bridge with a “Welcome to Mt. Pleasant” sign. Currently, a group of citizens is working to generate contributions to also paint the abutments and the nearby pump house. The City has been asked to be a partner in the project because a governmental unit is needed to contract for the work on the bridge owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The City Commission will consider two contracts for the painting of the High Street Bridge abutments and pump hose.
  5. Storm Water Ordinance: The City Commission will receive proposed language on changes to the storm water ordinance, which will impact which parking lot reconstruction projects are eligible for permit waivers, clarify that normal maintenance of parking lots is exempt from the ordinance, address flow through of storm water from adjacent properties, and clarify single-family and two-family dwelling pavement changes.

Following the regular meeting, the City Commission will hold a two work sessions. The first will include a presentation on the 2018 Operating Budget, and the second will include a discussion on sidewalk snow plowing.

To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for Sept. 25, 2017, click here.

Mt. Pleasant City Commission meetings are held at City Hall on the second and fourth Monday of every month. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.

Tree abatement at airport planned for this winter

The City will complete a tree abatement project this winter at the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport to clear obstructions protruding into the approach slope – the path an airplane follows to land on a runway.

The project was deemed necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order for the City to continue to safely accommodate the larger planes that utilize the airport. The majority of the abatement will occur west of the airport between US-127 and South Isabella Road.

According to Airport Manager Bill Brickner, the project is not only essential for the successful arrival and departure of airplanes, it is also needed for the airport to remain a driver of local economic development and business growth.

“The airport adds about $8 million of revenue to the community each year,” said Brickner. “If the trees remain, the runway will be shortened and several of our customers who fly larger planes will have to go elsewhere to land, purchase fuel and conduct business.”

Federal and state funding will pay for 95 percent of the total project costs, with the remaining five percent budgeted in the Airport Capital Improvement Plan.

Work is expected to begin in November.

City announces leaf collection schedule

Beginning the week of Oct. 23, residents who live within City limits may begin raking their leaves into low piles in the street for the City to collect the following week in a citywide sweep. The full leaf collection schedule is as follows:

  • Week of Oct. 23: Rake leaves into low piles
  • Week of Oct. 30: Leaf collection week
  • Week of Nov. 6: Rake leaves into low piles
  • Week of Nov. 13: Leaf collection week
  • Week of Nov. 20: Rake leaves into low piles
  • Week of Nov. 27: Final leaf collection week. (Leaves left in the street after crews have made their final sweep will not be collected and are the responsibility of the homeowner.)

Please rake leaves in low piles into the gutter and close to the curb. Please avoid covering storm sewer catch basins. To prevent causing a traffic obstruction, do not place the leaf piles too far out into the street.

On High and Pickard streets, where traffic prohibits leaves in the gutter, leaves may be piled on the rights-of-way between the curb and sidewalk.

In uncurbed areas, leaves should be raked into the streets along the street shoulders.

Yard waste bags should not be used. Leaf piles must not contain yard waste or brush.

Questions may be directed to the Division of Public Works at (989) 779-5401.