Community asked to provide feedback on City communication

The City of Mt. Pleasant is seeking community input through an online survey to measure the effectiveness of its current methods of communication with the public. Responses to the survey questions will help the City improve its efforts to ensure citizens are informed and involved.

“As technology and social media evolve, it is important we continuously evaluate how well our communication strategies are working,” said City Manager Nancy Ridley. “This feedback will help us determine the best ways to reach as many of our residents and property owners as possible,” said City Manager Nancy Ridley.

A link to the survey is available here. Hard copies of the survey can be found at the reception counters of City Hall (320 W. Broadway), the Division of Public Safety (804 E. High Street), and the Division of Public Works (1303 N. Franklin Street).

The survey closes July 1.

USA Softball of Michigan Girls’ State Championship Tournament slides into Mt. Pleasant

Softball Tournament 2016The City of Mt. Pleasant’s Parks & Recreation Department will host the 2017 USA Softball of Michigan Girls’ Fastpitch State Tournament June 29 – July 2. A total of 108 Class A teams comprised of age groups 12U through 18U will compete for the state title, and the winning team from each age group will continue on to the prestigious USA National Fastpitch Tournament. Games will be held at Island Park, Pickens Park, Mt. Pleasant High School, Central Michigan University and McDonald Park. Admission is free.

“The City has been fortunate to host the USA Softball of Michigan State Tournament for the past seven years, and we look forward to this weekend every year,” said Tournament Director Steve Hofer. “Some of the best athletes across to the state will be here to provide excellent competition for the community to watch. We expect this event will bring more than 3,000 people to Mt. Pleasant, and we are excited to provide a great experience for them on and off the field.”

The tournament will likely generate several hundred bookings for local hotels, and increased business for restaurants and attractions. Mt. Pleasant Parks & Recreation staff is committed to providing unbeatable service to the teams and spectators.

For more information, call Parks & Recreation at (989) 779-5331 or visit www.mt-pleasant.org/recreation, and select “Youth Athletics and Activities.”

Ad-Hoc Committee develops draft recommendation regarding medical marihuana facility regulations; Town Hall meeting set for June 19

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The City’s Ad-Hoc Committee on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMMFLA) has developed a draft recommendation on the suggested parameters and elements to include in a draft ordinance(s) regulating the five facility types created under the MMMFLA: Provisioning Centers, Processors, Safety Compliance Facilities, Secure Transporters, and Growers. A Town Hall meeting will be held at City Hall on Monday, June 19 for the community to offer feedback on the draft recommendation. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

The recommendation can be found at www.mt-pleasant.org/MMMFLA. Written comments may also be submitted to the Ad-Hoc Committee by mail to Ad-Hoc Committee on MMMFLA, 320 W. Broadway Street, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858; or by email to manager@mt-pleasant.org.

The committee was formed in April to further research the MMMFLA and make a recommendation to the City Commission for opting in to the act. A draft ordinance(s) is expected to be introduced in September.

Questions about the committee’s work may be directed to Jacob Kain, City Planner, at (989) 779-5346, or jkain@mt-pleasant.org.

5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

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Here are 5 things to watch at the June 12 City Commission meeting…

  1. Pedestrian lighting on West Broadway Street: The City received a $60,000 allocation during the spring Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal 2% request distribution to fund pedestrian lighting along West Broadway Street. The City Commission will consider two potential options for the utilization of these funds for the project.
  2. 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan: The proposed Capital Improvement Plan was received by the City Commission at the April 10 meeting. Following extensive review and feedback, the City Commission will consider approving the 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan with changes to the funding source for new sidewalks in 2018, which was recommended after a work session in May.
  3. Outdoor Dining Policy: The Commission will consider approving the amended Outdoor Dining Policy, which clarifies the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements, and states that on-street barrier free parking cannot be used for decks.
  4. City Assessor appointment: The City Commission will vote on the appointment of Chris Coucke of Coucke Property Services, LLC, as City Assessor. Chris is a Michigan Master Assessing Officer MMAO(4) which is the highest level of assessing certification. Chris would be responsible for all assessing responsibilities for the City, and would have office hours at City Hall on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contracting for assessing services is becoming more common throughout the state due to a limited number of certified assessors and because it provides more depth in the office.
  5. Statewide bicycle passing laws: The City Commission will consider authorizing the Mayor to sign letters to legislators that express support of having a statewide law that requires motorists to provide a specified minimum distance between the car and a bicyclist when passing.

To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for June 12, 2017, click here.

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

Mt. Pleasant City Commission Nominating Petitions due July 25

Nominating Petitions for the office of City Commissioner are available at the City Clerk’s office at 320 W. Broadway Street in Mt. Pleasant. The City Clerk’s office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Completed Nominating Petitions may be filed with the City Clerk from Monday, June 26, through Tuesday, July 25 at 4 p.m.

The election will be held Nov. 7, 2017. Two City Commission positions are available for the term Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2020.

The terms of current Commissioners Jim Holton and Mike Verleger expire Dec. 31, 2017.

 

Consumers Energy employees beautify Mt. Pleasant; Present $1500 grant to City

More than 160 Consumers Energy employees gathered at the Borden Building early Wednesday to present the City of Mt. Pleasant with a $1,500 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation to enhance and maintain local park facilities. The group then spent the remainder of the morning beautifying several public spaces in Mt. Pleasant.

The volunteers completed staining projects, spread wood chips and raked pine needles at Chipp-A-Waters, Island, Mill Pond, Mission Creek and Nelson parks, as well as at Riverside Cemetery.

“Mt. Pleasant is extremely grateful for both the generous $1500 contribution from the Consumers Energy Foundation, as well as the willingness of so many Consumers Energy employees to spend the morning doing volunteer work in our parks,” said City Mayor Kathy Ling. “During a time when all cities are struggling to continue to provide services to residents with fewer resources, the work being done by these volunteers will be an enormous help in keeping our parks special places. We hope these volunteers from around the state will come back to Mt. Pleasant sometime in the future and enjoy our parks with family or friends.”

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy, giving Michigan cities, towns and neighborhoods the extra support needed to build communities that they’re proud to call home. The foundation provides grants and mobilizes volunteers to strengthen local education, social services, the environment, and community, economic and cultural development.

Grand Opening for Timber Town 2.0 is June 9

Thanks to the community’s outstanding support, the City of Mt. Pleasant is ready to unveil the Timber Town 2.0 playground! The grand opening will take place at Island Park on Friday, June 9 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Timber Town 2.0 is a one-of-a-kind, universally accessible play structure at Island Park that replaced the original 1994 version of the playground. With the generosity of several community members, businesses and organizations, the City of Mt. Pleasant reached its $156,000 fundraising campaign goal for the playground project earlier this year. In May, hundreds of volunteers assisted with the playground’s construction and installation.

“The Timber Town 2.0 project is an amazing example of what a giving and collaborative community we live in,” said Rick Ervin of the Timber Town 2.0 Citizens’ Committee. “From the initial design phase of the playground to the community-wide build, people of all ages and backgrounds have made an impact on this project. We can’t wait to see the reactions of the families who will enjoy this space for years to come, and to celebrate everyone’s hard work!”

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5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

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Here are 5 things to watch at the May 22 City Commission meeting…

  1. Historic Preservation Improvement Awards: The Historic Preservation Improvement Awards are presented each year to honor exterior improvements to residential and commercial property in the City of Mt. Pleasant in four areas – Preservation, Rehabilitation, New Construction or Downtown Historic District Choice. The Historic District Commission will present the annual awards to Art Reach of Mid-Michigan for the rehabilitation of its lower front façade, and Rubble’s Bar for the rehabilitation of its entire front façade.
  2. Special Olympics Michigan Week: Special Olympics Michigan has been a part of the Mt. Pleasant community since 1972, and has positively impacted the lives of its athletes and their family members, as well as provided opportunities for inclusion, health screening and lifelong fitness. In honor of the State Summer Games on June 1-3, Mayor Ling will proclaim May 28 through June 3, 2017 to be Special Olympics Michigan Week, and will extend best wishes for continued success to organization, the volunteers and the athletes.
  3. 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report: The 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has been finalized and will be presented to the City Commission by the audit firm. View the report here.
  4. 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan: The proposed Capital Improvement Plan for 2018 through 2022 was presented to the City Commission in April. A public hearing will be held to receive public input on the proposed plan. See the proposed plan here.
  5. On Street Barrier Free Parking Downtown:  As requested by the Isabella County Human Rights Committee, the City Commission will consider budget amendments for the cost of constructing two on-street barrier free parking spaces downtown. The spaces would be located on Broadway near the intersection of Broadway and University, and on Illinois near the intersection of Illinois and Main.

To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for May 22, 2017, click here.

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

City amends outdoor burning regulations

The City Commission recently approved an updated outdoor burning ordinance effective May 24, 2017. The ordinance clarifies the options for outdoor cooking, allows for special event bonfires with a permit and a fee, and allows outdoor recreational campfires that meet specific requirements.

Outdoor Cooking: For the purpose of outdoor cooking, fires of propane, charcoal or woodchips are allowed on private property without a permit. The fires must be contained in the appropriate metal, brick or other fireproof container designed for cooking purposes.

Recreational Campfires: A recreational campfire is a small fire used for warmth, cooking and/or leisure. The burning of propane or natural gas in a recreational outdoor portable fire pit, or other free standing container designed for outdoor fires is allowed without a permit. Additional regulations include:

  • The fire container must be at a one-family or two-family dwelling
  • The fire container cannot be on a balcony or deck
  • The fire container must be 20 feet from any structure, combustible material, lot line, roadway, alleyway or fence
  • At its largest point, the fire container must not exceed 3 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 3 feet tall
  • The fire container must be UL certified and installed according to manufacturer’s recommendations
  • The fire container must be made of non-combustible materials
  • Burning of yard waste, leaves, trash, refuse, building materials or other materials is prohibited
  • Fires are prohibited during times of high fire risk or burning bans

Other types of outdoor fires, such as bonfires (large fires fueled by wood or burnable waste), ground fires or other similar fires are allowed only with a permit and payment of a fee ($65 for permit, plus $145/hour if standby personnel are required).

Please note, a bonfire is not equivalent to a recreational campfire, and permits are not issued for wood/waste-burning recreational campfires. Permits must be requested at least 10 days in advance. Contact Fire Lt. Randy Keeler at (989) 779-5122.

To see the full outdoor burning ordinance, click here.

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Intersection at Washington and Michigan to become four-way stop

Tall way stop signo improve safety for both pedestrians and motorists, the intersection at Washington and Michigan streets will be converted from a two-way stop to a four-way stop on Wednesday, May 17.

The conversion was recommended by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) following a safety review of the City’s local road system, conducted through MDOT’s Local Safety Initiative program. The recommendation was considered and approved by the City’s Traffic Control Committee.

Community members are urged to use extra caution at the intersection as drivers and pedestrians become accustomed to the new four-way stop.