Commissioners approve pedestrian lighting, submit requests for Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe allocations

Mount Pleasant City Commission Zoom meeting on Sept. 27, 2021.

Mount Pleasant City Commission discussed pedestrian lighting resolutions and determined their requests for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal 2% allocations at its Sept. 27 meeting.

The commission also dealt with several public comments regarding the recent recreational marijuana dispute. The decision to allow more recreational marijuana dispensaries in Mount Pleasant was removed from the Nov. 2 ballot on a technicality, effectively taking away concerned voters' voices.

Pedestrian Lighting Resolutions

Two pedestrian lighting resolutions were debated by the commission. Resolution #3 calls for the installation of pedestrian street lights on Illinois Street between Main Street and Fancher Street. Resolution #4 would approve an Oct. 11 meeting for a public hearing on the matter of Resolution #3.

Concerns were addressed regarding the placement of the light poles and the possibility of becoming obstructions. Ridley reminded commissioners that the foot-candle lighting was highly recommended by staff who visited after dark.

“The poles will allow for proper snow removal, but small adjustments are still very possible through working with business owners,” Ridley said. “We can also add shields to the lights if that’s needed.”

However, Commissioner Mary Alsager argued against the necessity for lighting. Commissioner Petro Tolas agreed, citing the unwarranted costs for local property owners.

“I did not visit at night, but I visited during the day and the nice lighting that’s on Broadway and Michigan makes sense to me, but not any farther away from downtown,” Alsager said.

Despite the disagreement, the resolution passed in a 5-2 vote, with Alsager and Tolas being the dissenting votes.

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal 2% Allocations

The commission also submitted their personal recommendations for the Fall 2021 Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal 2% allocations. Each commissioner submitted their top five priorities.

The highest priority item was the East Digester Rehabilitation within the Public Works Department. The $250,000 project is considered critical and was submitted by six out of seven commissioners.

Two projects under Public Safety also received four submissions each: 800 MHZ radios and the Aerial Fire Apparatus Purchase. The 800 MHZ radios project is a critical priority coming in at $111,299. The Aerial Fire Apparatus is considered a high priority with a $450,000 cost.

Other common submissions included Airport Operational Funding, Channel Grinder Rehabilitation, and Clarifier Rehabilitation.

The commission’s recommendations will be sent to the Tribal Council for consideration of apportionment.

Marijuana Dispute

The commission received several complaints addressing the public’s lack of choice in increasing recreational marijuana dispensaries in Mount Pleasant.

The topic was nonexistent on the agenda, but citizens came forward to discuss it during unrelated public hearings.

One community member said he was “heartbroken and shocked” at the outcome of this legal battle. He warned the commission the city could potentially be losing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in their refusal to fight this decision. He expressed his concern for small businesses and said “the city would be lost” to major corporations.