BRIDGMAN – Stop signs and pedestrian safety were the hot topics at the July 1 Bridgman City Council meeting.
Mayor Vince Rose and City Manager Juan Ganum assured the council and residents that new, more visible stop signs on all four corners of the Lake and Church Street intersection will be ordered very soon. The corner has been the subject of numerous complaints concerning drivers who either don’t see or ignore the four-way stop.
The council also revisited the issue of pedestrian safety and adequate signage for the designated crosswalks in the Lake Street business district. Council members suggested different options for making the crosswalks more visible, including painting them a solid lime green. Rose said he had thought of bright orange striping for Bridgman Bees.
Ganum said the city received an engineering estimate for crosswalk modifications including curb cut-outs for accessibility that totaled $60,000-plus. He also said that an order for green pedestrian crosswalk signs had not been fulfilled and he was looking for a new vendor.
“We don’t do a good job with what we have in place. We need to do what we can right now and then expand,” Council Member Rick Fuller said, noting that the current crosswalk designations are not very visible.
Ganum said the city will experiment with colored striping and additional signage until a permanent solution is found for pedestrian crosswalks on Lake Street at Mathieu, Maple and Pine Streets.
Police Chief Daniel Unruh raised the issue of solicitations at intersections by community and charitable institutions. He asked that the council pass an ordinance that will allow the city to maintain a safe environment while supporting community groups.
Requirements Unruh would like to see enacted include: organizations requesting permission for these solicitations obtain a $500,000 liability insurance policy and agree that the city is not liable for any accidents that might occur; solicitors be at least 18 years old and wear visible safety vests; solicitation not be done in rain, snow or ice, and such activity limited to the Lake Street and Red Arrow Highway intersection.
Although no action was taken, council members’ remarks supported with Unruh’s approach.
The council adopted a resolution opposing state legislation (HB4046) that would strip local government of the power to regulate short-term rentals. Rose noted that Bridgman has one of the strictest ordinances which only allows for rentals of six months or more in residentially zoned areas.
In other business, the council set a public hearing for Monday, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. to establish a Commercial Rehabilitation District at 4707 Rambo Road. Establishing the district will allow B&L Information Systems to take advantage of tax incentives associated with its planned expansion doubling its size to 18,800 square feet. The firm provides software for metal casters.
The Bridgman City Council also:
• Approved an agreement with Berrien County Road Departments for $40,000 to sealcoat and fog seal Gast Road north of Lake Street and Rambo Road;
• Approved a proposal from ARS Services for $13,700 to repair and reseal the parking area and drive around the Public Services Department building;
• Approved a special events application from Council Member Sarah Buist for the Bridgman Royalty Color Run on Aug. 31 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.;
• Adopted a resolution endorsing the Berrien County Non-Motorized Trail Vision.