City Commission discusses Chippewa River, approves several city projects at May 11 meeting
A study done by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe showed there is still E. Coli present in the Chippewa River, presented by Water Quality Specialist Carey Pauquette at the May 11 City Commission meeting at City Hall.
The annual water quality assessment showed the North Branch of the river has the highest presence of E. Coli.
Pauquette said the research focuses on several designated uses for the rivers, including aquatic life, human health and recreation.
"We are not meeting any of the designated uses, so we have a lot of work ahead of us," she said.
Although E. Coli, sediment and nutrient loading are common problems seen with the Chippewa, Pauquette said studying the bug populations shows the river habitat has improved because the bugs living there are not tolerant of polluted conditions.
"Certain species of insects will live in certain areas because they're tolerant of pollution, and others won't because they're not tolerant," she said.
"There organisms will not live in polluted water."
Pauquette offered tips to the public for keeping the water more clean, including picking up after dogs, educating others on the issue, reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides on lawns and avoiding dumping in storm drains.
The commission discussed the 2014 abatement report from the Middle Michigan Development Corporation in the area of job creation. There were eight abatements issued to five companies during last year. Of these, 89 jobs were created by the companies, 83 of which came from Dayco Corporation.
Several items were approved by the commission:
- The commission approved a Second Memorandum of Understanding for archaeological study between Mount Pleasant, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and Central Michigan University. This would allow CMU to conduct a follow-up assessment on the Mount Pleasant Regional Center, where they believe they can find more foundation from the former boarding school. The university must show their findings to the commission.
- The addition of a water feature in Hannah's Bark Park. The Friends of the Dog Park has raised more than $7,000 to complete the project. The cause of concern was the maintenance cost of the water feature, adding $200-$400 in expenses for the park. The project would include a handicapped accessible drinking fountain and dog-watering fountain.
- Resolution to approve amended language of Article XIV, Section 5 of the City Charter. This recommendation changes the number of terms an appointed member can serve on a city board to four consecutive terms instead of two, as allowed by the current charter. A similar ballot was proposed for unlimited terms in 2012, which failed. The new resolution will be on the November ballot.
The City Commission is holding a special meeting Tuesday, May 12 to discuss mosquito control programs.