Reed City City Council approves ordinances, discusses drone issues

Reed City Council members and and city staff continue to express concerns about the four-way stop at U.S. 10 and Old U.S. Highway 131. Michigan Department of Transportation officials were asked to look into the dangers of the intersection and placed a flashing sign for the westbound lanes. City council members have requested MDOT also place a sign for eastbound lanes. (Pioneer File Photo)

REED CITY — A trio of ordinance adoptions by the city council members in Reed City will allow property owners to utilize special use permits to convert single-family homes into rental properties.

According to Ron Howell, city manager of Reed City, council members approved the ordinances during Tuesday’s meeting to allow residents to apply for a special use permits to convert the dwellings into rental properties.

Howell noted the ordinances will take effect once they are published by the city clerk.

HOWELL

In other action from Tuesday’s meeting, Howell said city council members continued their ongoing discussion with Police Chief Chuck Davis about drones and his concern for residents’ privacy.

“Council members had current copies of Federal Aviation Administration rules and advisories about drones to look at,” he said. “The city attorney said it wouldn’t be necessary for the city to have an ordinance for drones as the State of Michigan is still working on it.”

The concern, Howell said, isn’t so much about usage as it is about privacy.

“The city attorney noted whether it’s a peeping Tom or a drone with a camera, they’re both the same — it’s invasion of privacy, and the state law is pretty clear about that,” he said.

Howell also noted city council members continued discussions about driver safety at the intersection of U.S. 10 and Old U.S. Highway 131. The city manager said officials previously contacted the Michigan Department of Transportation about their concerns, and the state department took a closer look and placed a highly-reflective flashing sign for the westbound lanes leading to the intersection.

Howell said the Reed City Police Department has continued to monitor the intersection and raised additional concerns with early morning eastbound traffic.

“(The police department) found drivers coming around the curve didn’t realize it was a four-way stop until it was too late, with some of them just blowing through (the intersection),” he said. “It was recommended by (Davis) and council to ask the state to consider adding an additional flashing light sign for the eastbound lanes.

“It really is a request for (MDOT) to look at the eastbound traffic again. If we can prevent one death or serious injury, that’s the whole point.”

In other action from Tuesday’s meeting, Howell said council members:

• Approved a resolution to accept grant funds for new voting equipment which complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act;

• Discussed members getting email accounts and laptops or tablets so meeting packets can be completed and sent digitally;

• Continued to explore the feasibility of a dog park. Howell said council members have researched area dog parks, and are inviting someone from Big Rapids to discuss the efforts behind the Brutus Dog Park.

“What we’re finding, when I looked into it, it’s really quite a social deal,” Howell said. “People bring their pets down and visit with each other. The practical and serious side of it, most of these dog parks are operated and maintained by a very strong group of volunteers, who end up making it work.”

• Davis’ concern about underage youths obtaining vaping devices as well as the introduction of illegal chemicals into the devices. Howell said communities throughout the state are taking a look at ordinances. Council members asked Davis to bring the subject back to their next meeting and work with the local school to address the issue.

“We thought the nicotine issue was addressed well on a nationwide basis when the states sued the tobacco companies,” Howell said. “Now, nicotine is creeping back in to the teenage group through vaping. The police chief and council members would like to try to address that.”

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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