New Parking Rules In Muskegon May Keep Buildings Standing

Andrew Trzaska | October 26, 2010

Muskegon’s downtown may see looser parking restrictions in the coming months in a move that may preserve some of downtown Muskegon’s historic buildings. At Tuesday’s meeting, Muskegon’s City Commission unanimously approved an amendment to the city code that would relax parking restrictions specifically for small businesses that choose to inhabit existing properties.  City Clerk Ann Marie Becker said that it this hopefully will keep businesses owners from razing old structures to build new ones.

With the end of the year approaching, two tax-related proposals went up for vote at the meeting.  The city voted to enter a contract with Insource Solutions Group to acquire eTax withholding software for the City of Muskegon.  The eTax tool will allow businesses to submit W-2 forms make their municipal withholding payments electronically.  It will also allow employers to print out withholding booklets from the City of Muskegon’s website.

Furthermore, the city voted to continue its Individual Income Tax Return Donation program.  When taxpayers donate their refunds, they are distributed to community organizations to help fund their efforts.  The three programs benefiting from this year’s Individual Income Tax Return Donation program will be Lakeshore Trail Improvements, Muskegon Recreational Center, and Downtown Main Street.  463 persons donated their tax refunds last year for a total of $2,386, and the city hopes to increase that number this year.

Public Safety

The winds that blew as high as 70 miles per hour on Tuesday caused some safety issues on the beach, according to Muskegon Police Chief Anthony Kliebecker.  He reported at the meeting that a segment of the beachfront road from Beach Street to the wastewater treatment facility was closed today due to blowing and drifting sands.  Several cars were stranded along Pere Marquette beach, and Chief Kliebecker urged citizens to stay away from the beach.

“As much as people want to see the power going on… as much as you want to be there, please stay away.”

Chief Kliebecker also informed the council that fire and police readiness during the storms would be heightened, with six fire trucks ready for action and increased cooperation between the Muskegon Police Department and neighboring departments.  He stated that power outages could be possible as the winds were expected to peak on Wednesday at 80 miles per hour or more.

Housing & Infrastructure

The Housing Board of Appeals had one property on the agenda to recommend for demolishing.  The City Commission concurred with the Housing Board’s findings that 1554 Pine Street was “unsafe, substandard, a public nuisance” and that it should be demolished within 30 days.  Collection of bids for the demolition was authorized with the vote.

The City Commission also authorized a contract with MDOT to replace four traffic signals on Laketon Avenue.  The intersections at Hoyt, Wood, Getty and Roberts will be replaced, with the Wood intersection gaining a left turn movement detection technology.  The other three would be upgraded so they are easier to see, creating safer intersections.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst