Tobacco-free parks approved by city commission

A pedestrian lighting project is being considered by the city commission that would cover one side of Douglas, University, Franklin and Lansing streets.

The total project cost is estimated at $309,000.

The city would cover 30 percent of the cost while property owners would pay 70 percent.

“Having things like lighting and trash cans are things that the city can do to help with the density in an area, so I think this is one step to help make sure the city’s infrastructure is appropriate for the decision that the city and planning commissions have been making,” said vice mayor Allison Lents.

Mount Pleasant resident Tim Driessnack said the cost of the project isn't equal to the benefits.

If the lights are for safety, there are other areas in the city to put the lights, such as areas where there have been vehicle accidents, he said.

"I don't believe there is justification for such a large percentage to be paid for the property owner in M-2 when the city pays 100 percent in the R-2 area," he said in an e-mail to the city commission. "We already pay much higher non-homesteaded property taxes."

Tobacco-free parks

The Mount Pleasant city commission unanimously approved the installment tobacco-free regulations near children's play areas and fields within Mount Pleasant city parks.

Tobacco and tobacco products banned would include traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chew, pipes, cigars and hookah.

While a date of enforcement hasn’t been set, the policy recommendation was approved and the Parks and Recreation department will now begin to develop a plan for implementation.

“I’m very much in favor of this, not only in parks, but in our Veteran’s Memorial Library,” said commissioner Lori Gillis. “You’ll see someone smoking in front as children are working in the library.”

The Parks and Recreation Department will install tobacco-free zone signs where required.

The policy was recommended by the Parks and Recreation commission Jan. 26. It was unanimously approved to forward the policy for consideration at tonight's meeting.

“During the summer, if we get reports that this isn’t working, we can take the time to ramp it up if need be,” said commissioner Tony Kulick.