2013-09-06 / Top News

Eight Chief of Police Candidates to Interview

By Stephanie Fortino

Eight city police chief candidates have told the city they are interested in being interviewed, the Mackinac Island City Council was told Wednesday, September 4, and will be scheduled as early as next week, with at least one candidate to be interviewed the week after.

Council members also learned that the legal review of Union Terminal Piers property will be completed this month, the contract for winter ferry service is being reviewed, and invasive weeds along the shoreline will be treated with herbicides this fall, and Mayor Margaret Doud appointed four architects and engineers to the Construction Board of Review, to which people will appeal building code decisions made by the city.

The city’s Public Safety Committee will serve as the interview panel for police chief candidates, and committee members, who met earlier Wednesday, are completing a list of questions.

Police Chief Jim Marks will officially retire October 5, but is in the process of moving off the Island. Corporal Kenneth Hardy was named by Mayor Doud as interim chief until a new chief is hired and moves to the Island. Mr. Hardy will receive a $2 per hour pay increase.

Attorney Dennis Cawthorne is nearly ready to present the report of his investigation of dock ownership and possible options the city could take to acquire the Coal Dock and Arnold Dock. The council could see it as early as its next meeting in two weeks, Mayor Doud said, after it is reviewed by city attorneys Tom Evashevski and Michael Cavanaugh and Historic District Commission attorney Gary Rentrop.

The findings could also be reviewed first by the council’s Legal Committee of Jason St. Onge, Anneke Myers, and Dominic Redman, and Mayor Doud said a special council meeting could be called, if necessary, although no date was set.

The Transportation Committee will be meeting soon to discuss the terms of the winter passenger service contract with Arnold Transit Company. City attorney Mr. Evashevski told the Town Crier that a draft contract has been circulated to city officials but has not been made available for public review.

The contract will include provisions to protect the city if service is not adequate.

Armand Horn, general manager of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, wrote the city to thank it for the opportunity to also bid on the five-year winter service contract and to say Shepler’s would submit another bid in the future.

“At the very least,” Mr. Horn wrote, “it must be reassuring for the Island residents to know that there is another company that has an interest in providing transportation in the winter months.”

Invasive plants on the shores of Mackinac Island will be treated with herbicides starting as early as September 5 and continuing until as late as October 11, the city learned from a notice distributed by Mackinac Island State Park manager Sue Topham.

Non-native Phragmites populations have been identified at nine spots, including near Hennepin Point by the old power and water station, Lakesshore Nature Trail, also on the west side of the Island, and Radisson Point below the Stonecliffe developments.

The reed is an aggressive invasive species and has the ability to dominate shoreline ecosystems if left unchecked.

Staffers from the Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District will administer the herbicide designed specifically for treating aquatic plants that emerge from the water, including invasive cattails and Phragmites.

Treatment sites will be posted and should not be used for swimming until one day after treatment.

Mayor Doud reappointed James Granger of Granger and Associates in Cheboygan and appointed Richard Clements of The Architect Forum in Mackinaw City, city architect Richard Neumann of Petoskey, and alternate Ryan Johnston of Johnston Engineering in Petoskey to the Construction Board of Appeals under the advisement of building inspector Dennis Dombroski.

The City of Mackinac Island enforces its building code and the Construction Board of Appeals is required by state law to provide an appeal process for decisions made locally. Any rulings must follow the state building code, and Mr. Dombroski recommended professional architects and civil engineers because they are familiar with the law.

Two members appointed to the board in 2011 no longer work in the area, said Mayor Doud, and the new appointments bring the board up to date.

The board has not met for several years.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will repair M-185 in September, before fiscal-year funding expires September 30. Areas to be addressed in the Mission District include sections of roadway near Ste. Anne’s Church and the Inn on Mackinac.

Reith Riley, the company working on other paving projects for Grand Hotel and the city, will be the contractor for the MDOT projects.

The city council took no action on a letter from Clark Bloswick promoting the establishment of a city transportation authority to obtain an ice-capable ferry for use in the winter and to take advantage of federal fuel subsidies and other benefits.

He asked the city to schedule another information session on such a plan.

“Certainly the winter transportation will not improve unless the city wants it to and takes some action,” he wrote.

He proposed that ferryboat franchise fees be designated for improving transportation.

In its continuing efforts to design a Web site, the city will investigate new avenues and, at the recommendation of the council’s Finance Committee, the council resolved to pay $989.50 to Mackinac Design, owned by Mary McGuire Slevin and John Slevin, for its work so far to create a site.

While the city appreciated the work, Finance Committee members felt the city should go in a different direction. The design of the proposed page was beautiful but not functional for a municipality, they said.

“We would like to see the bill paid so we can move on,” explained committee member Kay Hoppenrath.

The city hopes to use the work as a baseline for future Web site designs.

The Mackinac Island Fire Department secured an $800 grant from the Enbridge Safe Community Program to purchase an oil spill containment floating system, called an oil absorbent boom. The Enbridge Energy Company sponsored the grant and gives funds to emergency responders throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Two temporary motor vehicle permits were issued to Grand Hotel for the removal of the Masco Art Collection at the end of September. Another two were approved for the construction of the new Richard and Victoria Riel residence at Stonecliffe, starting November 4 for six days. Mission Point Resort received two temporary motor vehicle permits for a propane delivery from British Landing.

Belonga Plumbing was issued two temporary motor vehicle permits, one for testing for a future water main extension on Scotts Cave Road between British Landing and Silver Birches, the other to repair a sewer leak at Pam Amitai’s home.

City council also approved an on-Island business license for Bayview Bed and Breakfast.

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