By DAVID GREEN
Complaints about unshoveled sidewalks will result in a visit from a local landscaping company and a bill for the work done.
Council voted Monday to hire T&R Total Lawn Care to remove snow from walks that aren’t cleared in accordance with a city ordinance. T&R will charge $16 for each walk cleared. New bids will be taken at the start of each winter season.
A bid was also received from R&W Nursery and from one individual, Loyd Bell, Sr.
City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said he thought the city might have concerns about liability insurance with the individual. He favored the flat rate offered by T&R rather than that of R&W varied with the number of walks cleared and the length of the walk.
Before council voted on hiring T&R, police chief Larry Weeks asked if council was moving toward a process for handling complaints.
Complaints will be directed to Vanderpool,he was told, who will verify that the problem exists before contacting T&R.
“Are we going to do this just on a complaint basis?” asked mayor Doug Erskin.
Councilor Tracy Schell said she favored that approach unless someone wants to drive around town looking for violators. She also suggested that no anonymous complaints should be taken.
Art Erbskorn, chair of council’s Public Works committee, favored a complaint-driven approach because city workers would be busy clearing streets and parking lots.
Council member Keith Pennington suggested that the committee could examine the policy before next winter to determine if the complaint method is the best approach or if a change is needed.
GRANT—Councilors voted to accept a grant from the Michigan DNR that would allow the fire department to purchase two radios, face masks and grassfire brooms.
POLICE—Council’s Finance and Legal committee was named as the city negotiating team to work on the police union contract.
DEFICIT—Council approved a deficit reduction plan for the Town and Country Festival committee to meet a requirement from the state treasurer’s office.
Due to the timing of the festival, expenses are generally recorded in one fiscal year and revenue comes in a few weeks later in the next fiscal year. This results in a temporary deficit.
A deficit of about $9,000 showed in last year’s audit.