City parks director receives top state award

Chris Bundy

Chris Bundy, director of parks and public spaces for the City of Mt. Pleasant, is the 2018 recipient of the Park Resource Leadership Award.

Presented by mParks – Michigan Recreation and Park Association – the award is among the highest of individual honors granted by the statewide organization and recognizes professionals who demonstrate outstanding contributions in the area of maintenance practice, equipment management and resource development.

Chris has served the City for nearly 30 years, beginning his career as the director of recreation, and later assuming the role of director of parks and public spaces.

Throughout his tenure, his leadership has resulted in extensive growth and improvement within the City parks system. Chris was instrumental in the original build of the Timber Town playscape at Island Park in 1994, as well as the rebuild of the playground in 2017, working with the volunteer committee to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and coordinate hundreds of volunteers.

In 2009, he led the design and construction of the Access to Adventure Trail, which is part of the GKB Riverwalk that connects five of the City’s parks along the Chippewa River.

In 2013, Chris spearheaded the Green Maintenance Bike Initiative, reducing the use of motorized carts and introducing bicycles with trailers for the daily maintenance tasks in City parks. This effort produced a significant cost savings, reduced noise and air pollution, and gained statewide recognition.

“The list of opportunities and facility improvements Chris has made is extensive, but more impressive is his ability to plan, maintain, and think to the future sustainability of projects that will impact future generations,” said City Recreation Coordinator Steve Hofer.

Chris has also dedicated much of his career to preserving the community’s natural resources, specifically the Chippewa River and the riverbank corridor. In 2016, Chris worked in coordination with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe to obtain Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds to improve the corridor connected to City park lands. These efforts protected much of the riverbank during the flood in June of 2017.

“Chris strives to set a good example and be an out-of-the-box thinker,” said City Manager Nancy Ridley. “He is most certainly deserving of recognition for the tremendous support and exemplary leadership he provides for all things related to parks and recreation in our community.”

Chris was honored at the 2018 mParks conference earlier this month. He is also the 1994 winner of the mParks Recreation Leadership Award.

Award recipients are selected based on their development of innovative programs and services, community affiliations and volunteer experiences, contributions to the profession, and more.


mParks created the video below as a tribute to Chris!

5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

Here are five things to watch at the Jan. 22 City Commission meeting:

  1. Material collection licenses and penalties: In January 2017, the City Commission approved ordinance changes that restricted the hours of operation for refuse collection in certain zones, as well as provided penalties and allowed for an exception process. As part of the approval, a one-year sunset clause was added to the ordinance. Since then, the changes have had the desired positive impacts on the adjacent residential neighborhoods. The sunset clause must be removed in order for the law to remain in effect. The City Commission will hold a public hearing on the removal of the sunset clause and consider its approval.
  2. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) bottles: A sole source purchase for 44 SCBA bottles will be considered.  This purchase will replace the carbon fiber bottles used by the fire department, which have a March 2018 expiration date, with new aluminum bottles that do not have expiration dates.
  3. Tree trimming and removal: A bid recommendation for F & K Tree Services to complete the necessary tree trimming and removals within City Right-of-ways during 2018 will be considered.
  4. Proposed character-based zoning code and map: The City Commission will consider the approval of the proposed zoning ordinance and related zoning map. To see more information about the draft character-based zoning code, click here.
  5. Patrol vehicle camera systems: Several years ago, the City purchased and installed cameras in the Police Department’s patrol vehicles. Central Michigan University Police Department (CMUPD) was using the same equipment vendor, so the City entered into an agreement with CMUPD to share one system. As part of the agreement, the cost of future hardware replacements would be split evenly between MPPD and CMUPD. The hardware is now in need of replacement and the City Commission will consider the recommendation to approve the cost of the shared purchase.


To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for Jan. 22, 2018, 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.

Summary of Jan. 8 City Commission meeting

The video of the Jan. 8, 2018 City Commission meeting is available here.

Below is the Summary of Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., in the City Commission Room.

1. Commissioner Lents was elected Mayor for 2018.

2. Commissioner Madaj was elected Vice Mayor for 2018.

3. Set time and day of regular meetings.

4. City Planner Kain gave a presentation on the upcoming 2018 Citizens’ Academy.

5. Received petitions and communications.

6. Approved the following items on the Consent Calendar:

  • Minutes of the regular meeting of the City Commission held December 11, 2017
  • Receive proposed ordinance to amend Title V, Chapter 50, Section(s) 50.12 and 50.99 of the Mount Pleasant City Code regarding material collection licenses and penalties and set a public hearing for January 22, 2018 on same
  • Resolution in support of Final approval of Traffic Control Order #1-2018
  • Resolution in support of Final approval of Traffic Control Order #2-2018
  • Resolution authorizing MDOT contract for reimbursement for the 2017 Tree Abatement project
  • Appointments of City Officials to applicable City boards and commissions for 2018.

7. Held a public hearing and passed, ordained and ordered published Ordinance 1032, an Ordinance to amend Title XIII, Chapter 132, Section(s) 132.03, 132.04 and 132.06 of the Mount Pleasant City Code regarding the purchase, consumption, and possession of alcoholic beverages by minors, furnishing or using fraudulent identification, and license sanctions, and to repeal Title XIII, Chapter 132, Section 132.07 of the Mount Pleasant City Code regarding preliminary breath tests.

8. Approved amendment to Motor Pool Budget for the replacement of a snow plow.

9. Approved Appointments to various City Boards and Commissions.

10. Approved proceeding with drafting of the general framework of ordinances with regard to MMMFLA leaving open issues for discussion and scheduling a work session at the earliest available time.

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

12. Adjourned the meeting at 8:34 p.m.

3 Ways to Spark Holiday Cheer in Mt. Pleasant This Year

As fall leaves turn into winter flakes, bundle up, grab your friends and family, and head to downtown Mt. Pleasant! These upcoming events are guaranteed to warm your heart and spark holiday cheer throughout the community.

Christmas Celebration

From Friday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 2, visit downtown Mt. Pleasant to feel the holiday spirit at the annual Mt. Pleasant Christmas Celebration. A community tradition for 24 years, this event offers a variety of activities for the whole family, including a sing-along and tree lighting ceremony on Friday, and hot-off-the-griddle pancakes with Santa and the lighted parade on Saturday.


New this year, the parade will feature a contest with winners selected for “Most Lights,” “Most Creative/Best Craftsmanship” and “Most Holiday Spirit.” Among the winners, one will be named “Best in Show.” To be eligible, parade applications must be submitted to City Hall by Nov. 30, 2017. Find the parade application here.

For a list of activities throughout the two-day celebration and additional information, please visit the City’s blog here.

Santa’s House

Santa Claus is coming to Downtown Mt. Pleasant!  Visit Santa and the North Pole at Town Center, on the corner of Main and Broadway streets, this Holiday season.


Bring your letters to the bright red mailbox and make sure Santa hears your Christmas wishes. Listen to Holiday music and have the yearly conversation with the big guy, himself. Santa Claus is available for free visits through Christmas, and photos are welcome.

When will you be making your way to the North Pole?

Santa’s Hours 2017
Friday, Dec. 1 ~ 5 – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 2 ~ 3-9:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3 ~ 12-4 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 8 ~ 5-8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9 ~ 12-4 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 10 ~ 12-4 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 15 ~ 5-8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16 ~ 12-4 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 17 ~ 12-4 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 22 ~ 5-8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 23 ~ 12-4 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 24 ~ Off to Deliver Toys!

25 Days of Christmas

Dec. 1 isn’t just day one of the Mt. Pleasant Christmas Celebration, it’s also the first of the 25 Days of Christmas downtownThroughout the month of December, this holiday calendar will bring special attention to each day leading up to Dec. 25.

You’ll have dozens of reasons to #makedowntownyourdestination this holiday season as you’re welcomed with lively decorations, holiday-themed activities, and can’t miss promotions. The Christmas Tree at Town Center, Holiday Light Curtains and lit trees along the sidewalk set the stage to brighten even the chilliest of days.

25 Days of Christmas Facebook Event Cover Photo reduced

With confirmed participants, including the gang at the Bird Bar & Grill, the Broadway Theater, Guys and Dolls Photography, and Art Reach, local businesses will continue to release promotions and activities from now through Dec. 25.

For all of the “25 Days of Christmas” details, click here!


5 things to watch at the next City Commission meeting

Here are five things to watch at the Nov. 13 City Commission meeting:

  1. Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting: The City Commission will receive the announcement that the City of Mt. Pleasant has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the 30th consecutive year. Presented by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), this award is the highest form of recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting.
  2. 2018 Annual Operating Budget: A public hearing will be held on the proposed 2018 Annual Operating Budget. To see the proposed budget, click here.
  3. TIFA Plan Amendment: A public hearing will be held on the amendment to the Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) plan to add fire safety grants as an eligible project. 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.
  4. Proposed Zoning Ordinance and Map: A public hearing will be held on the proposed zoning ordinance and map. To learn more about the proposed character-based code, including a link to FAQs, go to
  5. Barrier Free Parking Signs Downtown: The City Commission will consider the final approval of placing barrier free parking signs at several locations downtown Mt. Pleasant to identify the barrier free parking spaces added earlier this year. 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.

To see the full City Commission agenda and packet for Nov. 13, 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.

3 Reasons Why the Mt. Pleasant Airport is a Community Asset

Active since 1940, the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport is administered as a department within the Division of Public Works of the City of Mt. Pleasant. Covering an area of 344 acres, the airport is categorized as a General Utility Airport with two available runways.

Highlighted in this month’s “Why MP,” check out 3 reasons why the Mt. Pleasant Airport is a community treasure.

1. The City airport adds millions of dollars to the local economy each year.

1935 – First Airplane to Visit Mt. Pleasant

Close to 1,300 aircraft utilize the airport annually, bringing visitors to the Mt. Pleasant area who stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants and patron local businesses. As a result, nearly $8 million of revenue is added to the community each year!

“When the doors open on the plane, I rarely know who’s going to be on the other side,” said Airport Manager Bill Brickner. “People use the airport for a wide variety of reasons, from selling wares and delivering emergency parts, to transferring prisoners. Even celebrities use our airport.”

Corporate aircraft are among those that use the airport regularly, serving as a means of transportation for several companies, including Morbark, Bandit Industries, Delfield, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Meijer, Walmart, Kay Jewelers and Harley Davidson – just to name a few!

2. It serves as a resource for community safety and emergency services.


Used for the U.S. Military, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State Police and Medi-Vac flights, the City Airport offers a quick and efficient method of transportation for those in emergency situations. With on-call staff members and a 24-hour phone line, emergency personnel rely on the airport in times of need.

Most recently, the airport housed airplanes that helped people in the paths of the hurricanes Harvey and Irma flee Texas and Florida.

In addition, the nonprofit organization, Wings of Mercy, uses the Mt. Pleasant Airport to provide free air transportation to distant medical centers for those with serious or rare illnesses in need of specialized care. Wings of Mercy connects those who can’t afford the financial burden of commercial flights with volunteer pilots who can get them there.

3. It offers educational and engaging events to promote aviation to all ages.  

Young Eagles Day

The Airport plays host to events organized by Chapter 907 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), a group of aviation enthusiasts who plan events tailored to engage community members of all ages in hopes of sparking interest in aviation.

This year alone, the EAA’s Young Eagles program has provided free airplane rides to approximately 120 kids between the ages of 8-17. “With each flight lasting about 20 minutes, local kids love the opportunity to fly over Mt. Pleasant and potentially their houses,” says Brickner.

Another EAA-hosted event, “Wings & Wheels,” takes place on Sept. 16. For details, check out the Facebook event page here.

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EAA Chapter 907 – With a team of only 5 individuals making up the staff at the airport, the EAA loves to volunteer their time and effort to ensure the future of aviation is as bright as ever.

For more information about the Mt. Pleasant Airport, contact Airport Manager Bill Brickner at (989) 444-1996 or

To learn more about the local chapter of EAA, go to

Police cars, fire trucks and more at Public Safety Night on Aug. 19

Public Safety Night 2016

Area families are invited to join local public safety officers downtown Mt. Pleasant on Aug. 19 for Public Safety Night. Beginning at 6 p.m., stop by the City Hall parking lot (320 W. Broadway in Mt. Pleasant) for the following:

  • Pleasant Police Department – Patrol vehicles, Youth Services Unit Trans Am and motorcycles
  • Pleasant Fire Department – Fire engines
  • Isabella County Sheriff – Car seat compliance checks and a motorcycle safety simulator
  • Patrol Units from the police departments of Central Michigan University and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
  • Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – Truck, ATV and boat
  • Mobile Medical Response (MMR) – Ambulance
  • Local township fire departments – Fire engines
  • Isabella County Central Dispatch
  • And more!

As a preview for the Movies by Moonlight showing of “Rogue 1: A Star Wars Story” at dusk that evening, Public Safety Night will also feature special guest appearances by “Star Wars” characters!


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.