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Do the time, pay the fine

Hancock City Council updates parking fees

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette A two-hour parking sign is seen in Hancock. The city council updated parking fines at Wednesday’s council meeting.

HANCOCK — The Hancock City Council approved updated parking fees at its meeting Wednesday night. 

Most fines are $20 or $10, and in most cases doubled from their previous amount. Some, such as parking for a prohibited purpose, went from $5 to $20. 

Of infractions with fines above $20, three were tripled: Blocking an emergency exit (now $75), blocking a fire escape (now $75) and parking in a handicap zone (now $150). Parking in front of a hydrant during a fire while unable to move the vehicle remains a $500 fine, while parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant stays at $50. 

Earlier this year the council approved an amendment to the city charter allowing updates to parking fines to be made by a vote of the council without requiring the charter to be amended.

The new fines will take effect Friday. 

The city is also moving closer to finding a replacement for retiring Police Chief Wayne Butler. Seven people applied, and four were interviewed, City Manager Mary Babcock said. Second interviews will hopefully be conducted Friday. A decision could be made next week on which candidate to bring to the council. 

“We had some great quality candidates that seem like they’re very excited about the position, so I’m looking forward to making the hire and bringing them on board,” Babcock said. 

Babcock also discussed plans to add a school resource officer who would work with Hancock Public Schools. The city attorney has yet to weigh in. Butler has also been gathering data from other Michigan communities that have added school resource officers.

Police will start giving out fliers Friday to inform residents about a millage proposal that would fund a new officer. The 0.8-mil, 15-year levy is on the Nov. 8 ballot. It would raise an estimated $100,739 in its first year.

In other action, the council:

•Approved buying a 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD for the Department of Public Works for $46,215 from Keweenaw Chevrolet.

•Approved a Bill Siler Contracting quote for $53,500 to blacktop Water Street.

•Approved the second payment of $4,720 to MJO Contracting for Department of Natural Resources trail drainage improvements.

•Heard a public comment suggesting the city draw more traffic to downtown by adding a wayfinder sign similar to the one in Ishpeming or by blocking entry to U.S. 41 from White Street. Councilor John Haeussler said White Street was not engineered for the level of traffic it sees, leading to higher repair costs for the city. However, Michigan Department of Transportation approval would be required. Another resident suggested getting google Maps to depreciate White Street, which is currently the top suggested route when coming from Houghton to further up the Keweenaw.

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