2009-08-15 / Top News

City Council Accepts $800 Bid for Island Police Vehicle

By Kerri Jo Molitor

The new ordinance to ban franchises and similar "formula" businesses from Mackinac Island was introduced at the city council meeting Wednesday, August 12, and will be voted on at the next meeting August 26.

Council also made plans to post all of its ordinances online, sold one of its old police vehicles for $800, and declined a request from a resident to remove city trees that block the view of the water.

The city zoning ordinance amendment that will ban franchises defines a formula business as "a retail store, restaurant, hotel, or other establishment that is required by contractual or other arrangements to sell only standardized services or products, or adopt standardized methods of operation, décor, uniforms, signage, architecture, or other features virtually identical to businesses located in other communities."

Exempted will be existing businesses and formula businesses that originate on Mackinac Island.

Council will publish new ordinances and amendments online at the Web site www.municode.com, instead of printing a supplement to its ordinance book. The cost of printing by Municode was $2,273.90, compared to a cost of $400 to publish them on the company's online site.

Councilman Mike Hart said putting the ordinances online seemed like the sensible thing to do and Council will wait until the budget is better to put the ordinances in the book.

The city has not updated either the book or the Web site since 2004, when Municode codified all of its ordinances.

Joseph Causley of Hessel was the successful bidder for the city's 1993 Ford Explorer, which once served the Mackinac Island Police Department. He bid $800, highest among four bidders.

Other bids were from Joseph Shcwaert of St. Ignace for $500, Kelly Bean of Mackinac Island for $450, and Candi Smith of Mackinac Island for $100.

Council denied the request of Ronald House to remove two spruce trees in front of his house so he could better see Lake Huron. Mr. House lives in the East Harbor Condominium development adjacent to Mission Point Resort. The trees are on city right-of-way between the condominiums and the resort.

In other business Wednesday, county 911 coordinator Bryce Tracy told Council that a transmitter that burned out Tuesday, August 4 was caused by a short in a jumper cable both problems have been repaired.

"These things happen in radio networks, due to age, to anything," Mr. Tracy said. "We do have glitches. Technology is only as great as the human beings made it, as great as the maintenance on them."

The costs of the repairs will be paid by 911, he said, but Councilman Dan Wightman said the city wants to have the best technology available, no matter who pays the cost.

"We will make sure that it is up and running as good, if not better, than before," Mr. Tracy assured him. "We will take care of that."

Mr. Hart said he is at fault for not calling a meeting of the Historic Preservation Committee, which is supposed to be studying the continuing degradation of historic structures and the resulting threat to the city's status as a national historic landmark community. In response to a letter Council received from the Planning Commission asking for an update on the committee's work, he said he will set up a meeting within the next three weeks. The Planning Commission offered assistance to the committee, if it is wanted.

City Attorney Tom Evashevski updated Council about the lawsuit seeking resolution to the Websters' unfinished home in the Annex. The Websters have filed the cash bond for $30,000, he said, which will prevent further city action until the Court of Appeals hears the case. Mr. Evashevski said he had not been notified about a hearing, but assumes he will be soon.

Photographer Steven Blair sent a not of thanks to the city for repainting the trash cans on the sidewalks dark green, which he said blends nicely. He had complained earlier this summer that city trash cans, which were painted blue, were unsightly, especially in photographs.

Alderman Armin Porter said he noticed the sidewalk in front of the Big Store is in bad condition and hoped it would be looked at by a committee. Mr. Hart asked also that the city send a letter thanking Ben Nye for his efforts to clean up the alley that starts between the Yankee Rebel and the Mustang Lounge.

The Council waived the fee for the Mackinac Island Community Foundation to use Community Hall Thursday, August, 13, for its annual Community Celebration to thank those who have participated and donated to community events throughout the year.

Two off-Island business licenses for Photography by Paquette and Chambers Homes, LLC were approved by Council. Two temporary motor vehicle permits were approved for Mission Point for semi-trucks to fill their propane tanks on Tuesday, August 18 and Tuesday, August 25.

A temporary trailer permit was granted for Chip Hannabass to transfer a small boat from the East Bluff to the Arnold Dock Thursday, August 20. A temporary trailer permit was also granted for a material lift to install new solar panels to the roof top of Lake View Hotel on Squires Lane. The permit was granted on the condition that the trailered implement be used the night of Thursday, August, 13, at 9 p.m. so it would not interfere with dray and carriage traffic.

A permit was granted to George Yshinski of the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club for the annual race around the Island September 12.

The next regular meeting of the Mackinac Island City Council will be Wednesday, August 26, at 6 p.m.

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