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.

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.

Temporary Closure of Broadway Street

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the changes in current business operations, the Mt. Pleasant City Commission recently adopted a resolution temporarily authorizing outdoor business activities. These activities include waiving certain standards and fees for outdoor dining, tent and merchandise display permits. Therefore, beginning June 12 – September 30, 2020, Broadway Street between Main and University Streets will be closed for restaurant and merchant use.

To allow for proper social distancing, merchants will be able to utilize the space directly in front of their business 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.

Even though this street closure has the possibility of lasting until September 30, 2020, staff will review the continuation of this outdoor dining and merchandising option every two weeks.

If you have questions, please contact Michelle Sponseller, Downtown Development Director at msponseller@mt-pleasant.org or (989) 779-5348.

City of Mt. Pleasant Provides Outdoor Business Activity Options

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the changes in current business operations, the Mt. Pleasant City Commission recently adopted a resolution temporarily authorizing outdoor business activities. These activities include waiving certain standards and fees for outdoor dining, tent and merchandise display permits.

The resolution adjusts City policy as follows through September 30, 2020:

  • To allow for social distancing, the use of private outdoor parking areas, lawns, or other open spaces for sales, service, or other types of work which would normally be required to occur within an enclosed building will be permitted. Certain standards will still apply.
  • Fees will be waived for Outdoor Dining and Merchandise Display licenses. These licenses permit dining or merchandise sales on adjacent sidewalks or on-street parking spaces.
  • Outdoor Dining License eligibility can be expanded beyond Downtown Mt. Pleasant. Businesses without on-site parking areas would have the opportunity to use adjacent on-street parking for dining or merchandise sales.
  • Fees will be waived for tent permits when associated with a business otherwise operating within an enclosed building. These permits can be issued beyond the normal 30-day limit.
  • Staff will have the ability to authorize Outdoor Dining and Merchandise Display Licenses to accelerate the approval process.
  • Alcohol service in outdoor areas will be subject to the satisfaction of certain requirements and approval by the Director of Public Safety.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for businesses large and small,” said City Planner Jacob Kain. “Recognizing that business-as-usual is not possible in many instances right now, this resolution will help support our local business community create a safe environment for their employees and customers as well as operate in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines.”

For more details visit http://www.mt-pleasant.org/departments/division_of_community_services/downtown_development/

Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market Introduces New Safety Guidelines

Due to COVID-19, the Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market has transitioned from a community gathering shopping experience to a transaction based In-and-Out Market. The market will follow recommendations from federal, state and local health officials to assure a safe environment for both shoppers and vendors.

Please note the new guidelines for the 2020 Farmers’ Market:

  • A limited number of people will be admitted to the market at one time.
  • If you do not want to wait in the admittance line you may reserve a 20-minute shopping time in advance by visiting:  www.mt-pleasant.org/farmersmarket; or calling 989-779-5330.
  • Attendees must wear a face mask.
  • Individuals should maintain 6 ft. social distancing between each other.
  • Follow one-way foot traffic patterns. There will be a designated entrance and exit.
  • Only one person per household/party should visit the market.
  • No pets.
  • Shop quickly, with a shopping list.   
  • Do not touch products. Vendors will select and bag purchases for you.
  • Use credit/debit cards, food assistance tokens or exact change. Change will not be given.
  • Preordered and prepaid orders are eligible for Curbside Pick-Up. In the future a list of participating vendors can be found at: www.mt-pleasant.org/farmersmarket.
  • Public seating areas will not be available.
  • Wash all produce before consuming.
  • If you are not feeling well, stay home.

The 2020 Farmers’ Market is scheduled as follows:

Thursday Market (Island Park): June 4 – October 29; 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Saturday Market (Town Center/Downtown): June 20 – October 10; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

COVID-19 and City of Mt. Pleasant Services Update (5/8/2020; UPDATED 5/12 and 5/18/2020)

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Mt. Pleasant continues to follow recommendations of federal, state and county health officials while still providing vital City services.

  • Therefore, through May 28, 2020 the City is following Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order 2020-77, and is continuing its level of building closure and only providing critical services at this time. This includes: police, fire, airport operations, water, wastewater, limited street services as well as limited construction permitting and inspection services.

Other City staff will be monitoring emails and phone calls and will attempt to answer urgent inquiries.

City Parks

City parks are currently open, but park restroom facilities are closed as well as Island Park’s Skate Park and Hannah’s Bark Park. 

Trash/Recycling (Updated 5/12/2020 and 5/18/2020)

City trash pick-up is still taking place.

Recycling

The City of Mt. Pleasant has contracted with Republic Services to conduct a one-time curbside pick up for recyclables. This collection will take place on your regularly scheduled recycle pick up date during the week of May 18, 2020. Please place your items at the usual pick up point (curb or alley) by 7:00 a.m. on your usual scheduled pick up day. All City recycling guidelines are still in effect.

REMINDER: Recycling should NOT be placed in plastic bags or in oversized/appliance-size boxes. Boxes 24” x 36” will be collected, if they are not too heavy and can be picked-up by recycling staff.

For detailed information visit:

https://mpcityblog.com/2020/05/12/special-one-time-recycling-collection-for-city-of-mt-pleasant-residents/

Recycling will remain suspended after this one-time pick-up. Further announcements regarding the opening of the Isabella County Material Recovery Facility, will be made when information becomes available.

Recycling fees were waived on the April and May utility bills due to the Materials Recovery Facility being closed.

As a result of building closures, the City has temporarily suspended the direct sale of recycling bins, City trash bags and tags. City trash bags and tags are available at Meijer and Ric’s. Individual tags are available at GreenTree Grocery.

Large Item Pick Up

Large item pick-up is now reinstated. Tags can be ordered online. Once payment is received your tag will be delivered to your door.

http://www.mt-pleasant.org/residents/online_service_center/

Second Spring Leaf Collection

Since landscaping companies are now operating, a second leaf pick-up for May 11, 2020 has been scheduled. Please note all leaves must be out and ready for pick up by 6 p.m. on May 10. There will be one collection through each neighborhood starting on May 11.

Public Meetings

The City of Mt. Pleasant will host its public meetings virtually as allowed by the Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order. Citizens may watch these meetings live on Spectrum Charter Channel 188, webstreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/MtPleasantMi/ or via Zoom. Any citizen desiring to make a public comment must email their comments on agenda items to comment@mt-pleasant.org.

-Virtual City Commission meeting will take place on May 11, 2020 at 7 p.m.

-May 12 Historic District Commission is cancelled.

-May 14 DDA meeting is cancelled.

-May 14 Airport Advisory Board meeting is cancelled.

-May 18 TIFA Board meeting is cancelled.

-Virtual Parks and Recreation Commission meeting will take place on May 19 at 6:30 p.m.

-Virtual Police and Fire Pension Board meeting will take place on May 21, 2020 at 8:15 a.m.

-Virtual City Commission meeting will take place on May 26, 2020 at 7 p.m.

-May 27 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting is cancelled due to lack of action items.

Event Cancellations

Federal and state health officials are mandating all events be cancelled or postponed to stop the gathering of people, of any size. This guidance has caused the cancellation of the following to date:

-PEAK activities cancelled until at least June.

-Farmers’ Market cancelled through the month of May.

-City of Mt. Pleasant park shelter rental reservations are cancelled for the duration of Governor Whitmer’s Stay at Home Executive Order.

Payments and Building/DPW Permits

Citizens can make payments via mail (320 W. Broadway Street), the City’s Drop Box located outside of City Hall, or online at www.mt-pleasant.org.

Building Permits can also be electronically submitted by visiting www.mt-pleasant.org. Inspections will be scheduled once the City receives the proper recommendations from federal, state and local health officials. If needed, virtual inspections can be conducted through Skype or Zoom.

COVID-19 Resources

The City will continue to monitor this situation and be guided by information provided by the Central Michigan District Health Department https://www.cmdhd.org/novel-coronavirus, the State of Michigan https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, and the Center for Disease Control & Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Information Updates

Information will be updated and shared via the City’s website (www.mt-pleasant.org), Blog (mpcityblog.com), Facebook and Twitter accounts, MACTV Charter Spectrum Channel 188, and the Community Information Phone Line (989) 779-5320.

Small Business Relief

Are you a small business impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak? If so, you may be eligible for a grant or low-interest loan. Refer to these links for more information.

https://www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options

Stay the course. Wear a face mask.

In addition to continuing our social distancing practices of keeping a 6 ft. physical distance between ourselves and others, all individuals 2 years of age or older, who can medically tolerate it, must wear a cloth face mask. This mask must cover their nose and mouth when out in enclosed public spaces which includes stores and workplaces. Surgical and N95 masks must be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders. Thank you for doing your part to beat COVID-19.


For more information regarding the use of face masks visit:

• Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-70

http://www.michigan.gov/whitmer

• CDC Face mask FAQ: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Summary of Minutes of the Mt. Pleasant City Commission Meeting – April 27, 2020

Summary of Minutes of the electronically conducted regular meeting of the City Commission held Monday, April 27, 2020, at 7:00 p.m.

City Manager Ridley announced Interim Director Jason Moore as the new Division of Public Works Director.

Received petitions and communications.

Approved the following items on the Consent Calendar:

1) Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held April 13, 2020.

2) Authorized amendment to construction engineering and design services contract with Rowe Professional Services Company for 1MG Reservoir Bypass Project and budget amendment on same.

3) Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Resolution authorizing the approval of a contract for partial reimbursement of funds for 2020 M-20 (High Street) Pump Station Rehabilitation Project.

4) Warrants and Payrolls.

Approved the resolution regarding recreational marijuana establishment license deadlines as presented. (CC Exh. 2-2020)

Conducted a work session on potential options for local relief to City residents and businesses due to COVID-19.

Adjourned the meeting at 8:20 p.m.