Monday, April 14, 2014

Bridgeport Township DDA Board Meeting April 9th, 2014

Not all the microphones were on for the DDA board members and some of the comments are very hard to hear.
The agenda for this meeting included items about donation requests from the community, a request for funds from the Bridgeport Historical Society, plans for beautification in Bridgeport, important issues with “The Rock” located near I-75 here on the Dixie Hwy, the proposed canoe launch, plans for future snow removal on DDA sidewalks, the Great Lakes Discovery Center, landscaping for the historic bridge. They also discuss the plans that the Speedway Gas Station has for its location.  They went into a closed session to discuss a possible future land purchase, I have no details on that.
Discussion on donation requests begins at 2:49 in the video.  DDA coordinator Steve Dobis feels that the DDA is not a bank and he would like to have input to the board on the donation requests from the community.
Discussion on the beautification plans for Bridgeport begins at 6:13 in the video and goes on until 42:43. Bridgeport plans will be similar to Birch Runs.  Bridgeport is talking about putting up to 200 flower pots along the Dixie Hwy from Bearcat Blvd to State St.  Costs could range up to $12,000 for these plans.  Discussion also includes who would be watering these pots.
Discussion on “The Rock” begins at 42:48 in the video.  Turns out the Bridgeport Rock was placed on MDOT property and there is an issue with ownership of the rock and liability issues with it.  MDOT says it was not approved and there was no permit for it.
Discussion on the Bridgeport Historical Society request begins at 51:45 in the video.  The Historical Society is requesting $6,238 for needed repairs to buildings in the Historical Village.  The DDA coordinator recommended giving them $2,000 but the board did agree to give them $3,100.
Discussion on the proposed canoe launch begins at 1:04:45 in the video.  They are waiting on the closing on the property donated by DDA board member John Hoffmann, and the survey is done on the properties but they are waiting on the water levels to recede to put the survey stakes down and to finalize the draft.
Discussion for the snow removal on DDA sidewalks begins at 1:06:30 in the video.  They are looking at purchasing equipment for the removal of snow on the sidewalks within the DDA district.  The price for this equipment would be around $33,790.66, but they will still be looking at what other districts are doing and getting more quotes on equipment.
Discussion on the Great Lakes Discovery Center begins at 1:16:40 in the video.  They will be exchanging land that is owned by Bridgeport Township along Fayette Street with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This land will become part of the Great Lakes Discovery Center.
Discussion on the Historic Bridge landscape begins at 1:21:59 in the video.  They will be taking bids for landscaping and cleaning around the bridge area and the former B&S Heating property.
Discussion on two properties located in Bridgeport begins at 1:23:08 in the video.  The properties discussed are located at 4274 Dixie Hwy and 6001 Dixie Hwy. 
They agree to go into a closed session at 1:26:00 into the video.  They return from the closed session and agree to approve what was discussed in the meeting. 
They discuss a few items at the end of the meeting such as their alliance with the Birch Run Chamber of Commerce.  Also discussed is the plans for the Speedway Gas Station near I-75, and also any possible plans for the former B&S Heating property that sits next to the Historic Bridge.

I am wondering why we are trying to imitate Birch Run or any other township?  Why can't we be Bridgeport, why can't we be unique?  What do we have here in Bridgeport that makes us unique? We have the Cass River, The Historical State Street Bridge and the Historical Village.  What does Birch Run have?  A large shopping mall and the traffic problems and the crime that come along with it.  Seems like Birch Run should be trying to imitate us :-)
Beautification is a nice idea, flowers are always a thing of beauty, BUT, I think the Historical Village does more to have a positive impact on our community and attract people to come here.  I would rather see those thousands of dollars proposed for the flower pots spent on our Historical Village
And now to the snow removal.  Posted right on Bridgeport Townships website and always posted on the community billboard every year in front of the fire station, are the rules for snow removal from sidewalks in our community.  Here are those rules copied directly from their website:
"ATTENTION - Sidewalk Ordinance
As a property owner in Bridgeport Township, it is YOUR responsibility to have your sidewalks clear of snow and ice.
Section 28-21 of the Township Sidewalk Ordinance states: "All property owners and occupants of real property fronting upon a Township sidewalk shall keep such sidewalk free from all ice, snow, grass overgrowth, earth and other substances or debris. Owners and occupants shall have a period of twenty four (24) hours to remove such ice, snow, earth, grass overgrowth, and other substances or debris after deposit thereof."
"Any owner of any such premises who shall allow any such sidewalk to remain in disrepair or in a dangerous condition shall be responsible and liable for injuries and damages arising out of the disrepair or unsafe condition of said sidewalk, provided that such condition constitutes a condition for which liability otherwise exists under Michigan Law. Such owner shall further indemnify and reimburse the Township for any and all liability, costs and expenses which the Township might incur as a result of any such defective or dangerous sidewalk."
Violators will receive a Municipal Civil Infraction  THIS IS THE ONLY NOTICE YOU WILL RECEIVE"
I say why not just enforce your own codes and save the $33,000 of taxpayer money to use for a better project?

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