From the MP City Council MeetingWritten by Theresa Rose on May 26, 2016
The Mt. Pleasant City Council voted five to one to not vacate the 600 block of South Jackson Street. St. Alphonsus Catholic Church requested the vacation. Closing the street would have allowed the church to make an offer to purchase the right of way and build a parish activities center. The planning and zoning commission did not recommend vacating the block. It is unusual for the city council to approve vacating a street, especially a street that is still in use. One concern in closing this block is the relocation of utilities. The council also discussed the possibility of creating an unwanted precedent. However, Council member Kent White, who was the lone no vote, said the council should be able to individually consider each future request for vacating a street.
On the recommendation of the P&Z, the council did approve the site plan for the new Pleasant Manor Care Center.
The first reading of an ordinance to increase solid waste recycling and administrative fee passed. The fee would increase 10 cents. The city wants to pass along an increase from Des Moines County Regional Solid Waste Commission.
The council passed the first reading of an ordinance to limit parking to 2 hours between 6 am and 6 pm for three parking spots in front of the commercial building at 204 S. Jefferson.
The Council voted to allow the Chamber to block off the parking spaces on the south edge of Central Park during Rock Around the Block. The event organizers plan to have a Farmers Market on the three nights of the summer concert series.
Three contracts with Norris Asphalt were approved. The contracts total approx. 116,000 dollars. This if for asphalt overlay of seven residential blocks. The streets to be overlayed are North Van Buren from Madison to Saunders, North White from Henry to the railroad tracks, East Saunders from Main to Adams and East Monroe from Hamilin to Walnut. The street department also reported that new chip and seal surface will be applied to Irish Ridge Road, Yocum Lane and Mill Street. Jones Contracting is paving Mapleleaf Drive today from the west side of the Cherry Street intersection to the new pavement on the west side of Grand Avenue.
The Mt. Pleasant Family Aquatic Center will open on Memorial Day for the season. Friday the stoplight one block north of the pool will change from flashing yellow to regular operation. Drivers are urged to be aware they will have to stop when the light is red.
Park and Recreation Director Gary Grunow noted that the pool would have normally opened Saturday but he’s currently short staffed. The aquatic center relies on teenagers to work as lifeguards and is currently certifying about 13. However, between June 1 and June 8 a majority of the staff will be taking part in the Mt. Pleasant High School Music trip. Anyone interested in becoming a life guard should contact the Mt. Pleasant Park and Recreation Department.
Grunow also reported that two ash trees in Central Park are dead due to the emerald ash bore. Six others are showing signs of infestation. The city will do what is possible to try and save the trees.
June 8 at 5:30 pm was the time set by the council for a public hearing on a proposed rezoning of a 10 acre property at the intersection of East Linden Drive and Iris Street. The owner, Lex-Lin properties requested a change from Agriculture Reserve to General Retail and Service. However, nothing has been planned for development of the property.