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Commissioners approve cost split for light installation and alley renovation

Mount Pleasant City Commission discussed street lighting and alley reconstruction at its May 10 meeting. 

The discussion was about whether the 70/30 cost split between property owners and the city should be changed so that the city pays more than 30 percent.

The commissioners voted 7-0 to change the cost split to 50/50.

Cost of lighting and alley reconstruction

Commissioners discussed the 2022-27 Capital Improvement Plan, specifically the Special Assessment Policy considerations for installing street lighting and reconstructing alleys.

The areas addressed would be the alleys between Michigan street and University avenue and University avenue and Franklin street, and lighting on Illinois street from Main street to Fancher street, said Mount Pleasant Mayor William Joseph.

City Manager Nancy Ridley pointed out that the alley between Michigan street and University avenue was last updated in 1970. There are no records of the last update to the alley between University and Franklin.

In previous years, the cost of these updates has been a 70/30 split between property owners and the city. The commissioners discussed whether it is fair to require property owners to pay 70 percent of the cost.

“A 70/30 split is just not fair,” Commissioner Petro Tolas said. “I know I’ve heard comments that a lot of businesses use alleys. They use alleys for deliveries, but we have to have the alley for fire protection, we have to have it for police protection, it’s owned by the city.”

The capital cost for the 2022 lighting project is $120,000, according to the Capital Improvement Plan.

The renovations for the two alleys will cost a total of $274,000. The Michigan street and University avenue alley will cost $126,000 and the University avenue and Franklin street alley will cost $147,000.

Vice-mayor Amy Perschbacher said both the city and property owners benefit from increased safety due to street lighting. 

“I think there’s a better split for the city and the residents because of the fact that we’re both benefiting equally in this,” Perschbacher said.

The commission agreed that the cost should be a 50/50 split because both owners and the city benefit from pedestrian lighting and alleys. Both the city and property owners will pay $60,000 for the lighting updates.

Other Business

  • The commission passed an ordinance to amend Chapter 97: Parks and Recreation 7-0. The amendment to the park rules included a provision to prohibit animals in the cemetery.
  • A budget amendment of $7,200 was passed 7-0 to hire an intern to assist with dispersing grant money for neighborhood improvement. The intern will work 20 hours per week through the end of December.
  • The commission moved into closed session to discuss pending litigation regarding recreational marijuana licenses.