2016-07-23 / News

Police Department Upgrades Computers; City Drone Fee Set

By Stephanie Fortino

The Mackinac Island Police Department will upgrade computer software and server for $15,830. The computer system failed in late June, and the city council approved the upgrade Wednesday, July 20.

The department will pay $7,500 to Core Technology of Lansing to install the new system and another $5,000 for a year of support and maintenance. A Dell server will cost $2,700, plus $630 to install.

Officer Andy Dziobak is overseeing the software update.

The city council established a $25-per-day drone permit fee, recommended by the Finance Committee. Chief Brett Riccinto will review drone applications before they go to the city council for approval.

The Mackinac Island State Park Commission charges $75, but committee member Andy McGreevy said charging another $75 would be too expensive for some people. The same fee is charged for personal and professional drone use.

The city may require drone operators be insured for liability, but such a provision would have to be established by another ordinance, said city attorney Tom Evashevski.

The committee also discussed Mackinac Marine Rescue’s grant. Last year, the city accepted a $10,000 grant from Enbridge Energy to help fund the new rescue boat and establish the program. In a recent public relations push, Enbridge used the donation as part of its promotional efforts, Anneke Myers said. In the future, she wants the city to consider not accepting grants from Enbridge to avoid being used as a promotional tool.

“Do we really need their money?” she asked.

Sam Barnwell, who oversaw the establishment of Mackinac Marine Rescue and solicited the funding for the boat, said he is willing to take any donations to offset costs to the city.

“We’re not political,” Mr. Barnwell said. “We’ll take any money from anybody to be prepared.”

He agreed, however, to look for other grants.

The city council also permitted Mackinac Marine Rescue to buy $5,097 worth of radio equipment using its grant.

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