City Commission addresses safety concerns, TimberTown 2.0 during Monday meeting
After a Sacred Heart Academy crossing guard was seriously injured this month when he was hit by a car, the Mount Pleasant City Commission wants to improve pedestrian safety.
Parents urged the city to make school crosswalks safer and prevent future accidents during the public comment portion of Monday’s commission meeting. Joe Olivieri was one of the parents who asked for action.
“The fellow that hit him said ‘Sorry, I never saw him’,” Olivieri said. “It’s a tricky intersection (and it is) dark this time of year. We want to get the situation resolved before a kid gets hit.”
City Manager Nancy Ridley said she appreciates the community’s input and officials have already been looking into making improvements after the incident took place. No plan is drafted yet, but one is in the making for all local schools.
Parents suggested adding yellow school signs with lights to roads surrounding the only two non-public schools left without them. They also suggested better lights and vests for the guards might make them more visible, as well as signs and lights for the crosswalks.
Successful Fundraising for TimberTown 2.0
With one more meeting left in the year on Monday, Dec. 12, commissioners are busy approving other items and preparing the city budget for the 2017 year.
One of the biggest budget successes was getting the funding for TimberTown 2.0, a large scale playground scheduled to be built in spring 2017.
The Mount Pleasant community has donated and fundraised more than the original goal of $50,000. Coupled with a $50,000 match agreement and $75,000 from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe as part of the two percent agreement, the community has raised more than the amount needed for the high-end remodel.
The commission voted to allow the extra funds left over to be set aside and used in other remodeling projects. For this purpose, the remodel is now budgeted for $351,500.
“This will still leave us with enough funds to look at any additional enhancements the community is interested in,” Ridley said. “We will deal with those another night.”
Community boards split, budgets and contracts approved
City commissioners voted to approve splitting up the Tax Increment Finance Authority Board and Downtown Development Authority board. Each board will have nine members, with seven crossover members.
The boards are designed to focus specifically on their area of the community. Crossover members are designed to help the two boards communicate effectively while being split.
Other items passed by the commission include a labor contract with the Mount Pleasant Association of Fire Fighters and the purchase or lease of property for easement control of airspace.
A contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation was approved to use their local bridge funds to pay for the majority of refurbishes on a bridge along Pickard Road. The decking on the surface will be re-done to it’s original size, and the lanes re-striped.
Concern for local affairs went beyond local government for some at the meeting Monday night.
Ling intends to sign an open letter to Congress after a city resident on behalf of the Citizens Climate Lobby, which requested the City Commission’s support. The letter calls lawmakers to take action against climate change.
“I shared that with the commission and asked if there were any strong objections, and there were none so I intend to sign that,” Ling said. “Thank you to the Citizens Climate Lobby for bringing that to our attention.”