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Houghton to survey residents

September 15, 2011
By GARRETT NEESE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - A survey coming soon to Houghton residents will be used to collect feedback as part of an update to its master plan.

In the survey, which will be mailed out this week, residents will be asked to rate different aspects of life in Houghton, including transportation, culture and city services. The surveys should be returned by Oct. 15.

As an incentive, 100 people who complete the survey will be chosen at random to receive a $25 certificate for Chamber Bucks.

Article Photos

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
City of Houghton Police Chief John Donnelly gives his monthly report at the city council’s regular meeting held Wednesday evening.

"We really want to try to get people to say how they feel about the city, what direction we should be going, what's important for citizens," MacInnes said. "Hopefully we'll get a nice cross-section of the community."

Steps after the surveys include analyzing the results and having round-table discussions with neighborhoods.

"I think this is a really good tool for us," MacInnes said.

MacInnes hopes to have the plan completed and updated in 12 months.

In other action, the council:

held a public hearing for a Rural Development grant application for a police vehicle. The $17,000 grant will be matched with $25,500 from the city. The $42,500 cost also includes equipment. The all-wheel drive vehicle will replace the department's older Ford Expedition. No action was required by the council.

as the Zoning Board of Appeals, unanimously denied a request for an off-site parking variance at 804 E. Houghton Avenue. A vote of a parking variance for 406 E. Houghton Ave. was tabled.

heard a report from Public Works Director Mark Zenner. Crews have been working on docks in the city; the next phase will be at the dock in front of the Medical Arts building. Storm sewer structures have been installed by Martineau & Morris on Sharon Avenue to prevent flooding at Albion St.

heard a report from Police Chief John Donnelly. Since the previous meeting, there have been 216 complaints, 27 misdemeanors, five felony arrests, 33 civil infractions and 10 city tickets. The department will receive $10,000 in grant money for extra patrols. The department should be receiving new guns by the end of the month.

heard from MacInnes that the city did not receive a grant for a bridge over Huron Creek. The city will re-apply for another grant to fix the erosion problem at Huron Creek behind Walmart.

discussed upcoming monitoring for the Safe Routes to School program. Monitoring will be done on Sharon Avenue at Military Street, Dodge Street and Portage Street, and at Bridge Street and Jacker Avenue.

discussed road paving for the fall. Sections to be paved are: East Lakeshore Drive, from the intersection of Lake Street 185 feet west; Lake Street, from College Avenue north 170 feet; Ripley Street, from South St. north 118 feet; E. South Street, from Portage Street east 315 feet; Portage Street, from South Street north 352 feet; Ruby Street, from Pearl Street west 36 feet; Pearl Street, from Houghton Avenue north 295 feet; five spots of shoulder areas on Pearl Street; Hubbell Street, from Seventh Avenue north 500 feet; Blanche Street, from Seventh Avenue north 500 feet; East Street alley, from Seventh Street north 500 feet; and Old Montezuma from Ripley Street west 70 feet. About 2,070 feet of Portage Street north of Sharon Avenue will be done in the spring; work will include a curve realignment and the addition of a 6-foot paved shoulder.

Money for the work will come from the local street fund; if necessary, up to $50,000 will be transferred from the major street fund.

approved amendments to the water service and sewer treatment agreements with Portage Township.

scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 28 on an ordinance regulating the height of towers, such as an antenna, satellite dish or wind generating device. Under the ordinance, towers would not be able to exceed the maximum structure height in any zoning ordinance. Also the height must not exceed the distance from the tower base to the property line.

scheduled a public hearing of the Rental Housing Board about 113 W. Houghton Ave. for Sept. 28.

approved a resolution supporting the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance as the U.P. Collaborative Development Council lead entity.



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