2006-02-11 / News

Island City Council Rejects DNR Land Swap Proposal

Council Addresses Island-wide Speed Limit Issue
By Karen Gould

During a brief 25-minute Mackinac Island City Council meeting Wednesday, January 18, Council unanimously denied a proposal from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to swap land at Mission Point with the city.

Alderman Mike Hart, who made the motion to deny the swap, said, “We’re holding it because it’s an asset to the City and we’re uncomfortable surrendering that asset at this moment.”

The property owned by the City is in the center of a parcel owned by the DNR, which runs from the head of the bicycle trail to the boundary by the city’s water filtration plant. The DNR would like to trade the City’s land in the middle for a piece near the water plant.

City Treasurer Rick Lin, after speaking with Kerry Wieber at the DNR, wrote in a memo, “The suggestion is that this is one of several proposals the DNR is making statewide to achieve continuity in their parcels.”

Mr. Hart said the city does not know if the DNR has any plans for the city parcel, other than to consolidate its holdings.

In other action, Council passed a resolution proposing a 20-mile-per-hour snowmobile speed limit on Mackinac Island State Park land. The resolution was presented to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, which meet Friday, January 27, in Lansing. Mayor Pro Tempore Armand “Smi” Horn represented the city at the meeting.

The speed limit inside the city limits is 20 miles per hour, while the speed limit on state park roads is 35 miles per hour. Council discussed the issue December 21, noting the need for a uniform speed limit and that 20 miles per hour is an appropriate and safe speed for all of the Island.

Council placed on file a letter from Mackinac Island Carriage Tours attorney John Dennany of Gaylord requesting its usual 55 general sightseeing licenses, six hourly drive carriage licenses, 12 taxi licenses, and five dray licenses. Council will take up the issue at its annual licensing meeting Monday, April 17.

Sightseeing Carriage Tour rates also will increase from $18 for an adult ticket to $19. Tickets for children ages 5 to 12 will remain at $8 and tickets for children younger than five will continue to be free.

Council approved a temporary trailer permit to move a 50-foot lift by a dray along Main Street from the Lilac Tree Hotel to St. Cloud Place for roof repair.

Council also approved a resolution requested by the Liquor Control Commission to transfer a liquor license from the French Outpost to Grand Hotel.

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