Council Capsule: October 13, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 8:36 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

Present: Mayor Nathan Triplett, Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Councilmembers Kathy Boyle and Susan Woods.

Absent: Councilmember Ruth Beier.

A new park downtown? East Lansing’s downtown “No Name Park”—sometimes called the “Faces and Fountains Park”—is not currently an official park of the City of East Lansing. But that may change next week when City Council votes on whether to pursue a plan to officially convert the small green space at the northeast corner of Albert Avenue and Abbot Road to a City park. Read our special report.

Ordinance being changed to legally simplify deer culls: With plans in place to start killing deer in East Lansing starting late next month, City Council will be voting in November to change an ordinance to support the plan. We have a separate report on this, also covering the big discussion of the deer culls at Council. (All public comments this week were directed to this issue and so are covered in our separate report.)

Parking garage advertising contract being renewed: City staff member Caleb Sharrow told Council that staff wants to renew an agreement with Adams Outdoor Advertising for lighted ads inside the Charles Street and Division Street parking ramps. This involves a three-year agreement worth $1,500 per year to the parking system. He said it lights up dark corners of the parking garage with ads. (You can see the City memo and read the agreement.) Council will approve this agreement on their consent agenda next Tuesday.

Active military housesitting: City Housing administrator Annette Irwin presented to Council proposed changes to a City ordinance to allow active duty military personnel exceptions to the City’s rules about house-sitters. Irwin said this will help accommodate East Lansing homeowners who are called away for military service. She estimates this change will apply to very few houses. (You can read her memo and the proposed ordinance changes.) The issue will be discussed at a public hearing at City Council’s meeting next Tuesday, October 20.

Soccer complex grounds maintenance contract: At City Council’s meeting next Tuesday, Council will approve a Grounds Maintenance Agreement for services provided at the East Lansing Soccer Complex and Hannah Community Center Soccer Fields by Hundred Acre Woods, Inc., of Williamston, Michigan. The agreement is for $84,360 for the year. (You can read the City memo on this and see the agreement.)

Director of Parks and Rec Tim McCaffrey told Council that Hundred Acre Woods was the only company to respond to the call for bids and that they have performed very well for the City, doing work in a “professional, timely, and courteous manner.”

Northern Tier Trail spur: The owners of The Rocks, a new rental apartment complex on Chandler Road in Bath Township (just north of the City line) has asked to pave and landscape a 1300-foot-long, 60-foot-wide stretch of land that belongs to the City of East Lansing, running from Chandler Road to the Northern Tier Trail. (See map.) The owners of The Rocks had wanted to buy the land, but instead the City is now poised to give them permission to pave the trail spur to give access by emergency vehicles to the back of the property. The City memo on the proposal raises pros and cons on the proposed agreement.

Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris asked if the business had illegally cleared the land, and whether litigation on the matter was pending. City Planning Director Tim Dempsey said there was no litigation pending. The proposal will be presented and voted on next week, October 20, at City Council’s meeting. [See an update on this story here.]

Reports: Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris spoke to working with the interfraternity council and the importance of helping the Greeks have a more positive image with residents of East Lansing. She said she wanted Council to develop ways to have more positive give-and-take with the sororities and fraternities. City Manager George Lahanas encouraged people to donate blood at the library this Wednesday.

 

This week’s East Lansing City Council meeting was a work session, which means it was not videotaped or broadcast. You can listen to an audiotape by clicking here.

Reminder: You can communicate with Council in person at its weekly meetings or write to Council directly at council@cityofeastlansing.com. You can speak or write on any issue involving the City, not only what is on the published agenda.