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MP city council approves first reading of snow removal, sign ordinance amendments

Council approves purchasing agreements for two properties

The Mt. Pleasant City Council approved the first reading of two amended city ordinances and approved purchasing agreements for two properties during the city council meeting on Wednesday, April 10.

The first ordinance approved was an amendment to how the city enforces and can ticket property owners for not clearing their snow in a timely fashion.

The amendment to the ordinance requires property owners to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks quickly and allows the city to charge for services, hire a contractor and remove the snow and ice themselves if it is not done. It is modeled after a current ordinance, which requires grass taller than six inches to be mowed and allows the city to mow the grass if property owners do not.

While the council approved the first reading of the ordinance, city administrator Brent Schleisman said the second reading will “bring new language” taking into consideration the possibility that cold temperatures may prevent the removal of snow and ice.

“Short and sweet, you can’t melt ice when it’s 20 below zero,” Schleisman said. “The intent is to make it not slippery. Try to treat it with cat litter, sand, ice melt, whatever you can. The (first reading) was too specific. We’ll make that correction and bring it back for a second reading.”

The council also approved an amendment to the Sign Ordinance, which would allow more square footage of signage for strip malls. Jack Swarm, building and zoning administrator, sand that the current sign ordinance caps the amount of signs per property.

“It works well with single businesses, but if you put up a strip mall on a lot it might have three or four businesses,” Swarm said.

The amendment increases the amount of allowed signs on a property for strip malls.

“Strip malls are coming, probably, and I want to be ready when they do,” Swarm said. “I want to welcome them to the town with an ordinance that’s ready to go.”

The council also approved two purchase agreements. The first was for 1.3 acres of ground in the 500 block of North Lincoln Street.

The city needs this ground to construct a wetland to help improve water quality and control stormwater runoff, Mayor Steve Brimhall said. The city is purchasing the land for $41,000.

The land is part of a project which has received a $100,000 grant. The wetland needs to be constructed by June 2020.

Purchasing the land was “the last hurdle before we get into the design, plans and get under construction hopefully this fall,” Schleisman said.

The other property purchased is a house in the 300 block of East Madison Street. The land will be the future site of a new parking lot for Cottrell Gym and the Library and Civic Center. The house was $25,000.

Schleisman said the house is immediately adjacent on the west side of the gym parking lot. The entire parking lot needs resurfacing because it is not in good shape, Schleisman said.

The cost to repave the parking lot is not funded yet, Brimhall said.

The next Mt. Pleasant City Council meeting is Wednesday, April 24, at 5:30 p.m.