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Ludington City Council looks back and forward at goal planning meeting

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The Ludington City Council held a special meeting yesterday. Goals from the last meeting, which occurred in 2014, included developing a special events policy for 2015, public infrastructure funding,  rental inspections, and assessing city walkability regarding motorized, non-motorized trails and sidewalks. Infrastructure and walkability were identified as goals that were still in progress. City council members and department heads went onto discuss the progress of their work and how to increase city revenue. Communication with the public was a concern brought up frequently; a newsletter was suggested to inform the public of ongoing city council matters. Some members cited concern at the current projects slated, suggesting rolling back plans for the west end project. Maintenance costs were also brought up as an expense, with council members concerns about not only upcoming projects, but also with existing structures such as roads or bathrooms. Police Chief Barnett and City Manager John Shay explained that the largest expense is personnel costs in the form of wages and benefits for city workers such as police officers and DPW workers, many of which already took a pension cut in the last year.

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John Shay further explained ideas brought up at the December 2016 meeting to increase revenue, including the highly debated possible beach parking fees. He clarified that this was no proposal, but rather an idea that was being research by the council. He also explained what other cities have done to implement parking fees, including implementing the fee only on a seasonal basis from Memorial day to Labor day and only from 10:00a.m. until 6:00p.m. Councillor Winczewski  then moved to review the current ideas for goals and come back together to formally set which four the council would like to focus on during the year.

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Then, the meeting was opened to public comment. Although many were expecting to hear about beach parking, it was maintenance costs and water bottles that arose as a theme. Diane Sealoff, a 4th ward resident, focused on the ongoing water costs that will be incurred by the new Splash Pad to be built at Copeyon Park, which by her calculations would reach into the millions. Others focused on the lack of good paying jobs in the area, talking about how many are struggling in their minimum wage jobs with the increasing costs of living. The council was encouraged to focus on bringing good business into Ludington in order to encourage economic growth. A final suggestion to the council was to think bigger, suggesting that they sell the idea of a millage to the public in order to properly support all city departments.

Ludington City Council special meeting tonight

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The Ludington City council will be holding a special planning meeting to discuss the progress of past city plans and what the council hopes to accomplish in the upcoming few years. Items of discussion will include keeping the beach fiscally sustainable through possible fees, and other projects and proposals. City Council members and department heads will be in attendance at tonights meeting to hear public feedback. The special city council meeting will occur tonight in the basement conference room in City Hall at 5:00pm.

Huizenga works for small businesses

Yesterday, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 1343, the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act. This legislation allow small businesses to compete with larger companies by reforming SEC Rule 701 which places burdensome federal filing requirements on employee compensation packages. By lifting the threshold, small businesses will be able to offer employees more compensation options in order to better retain and attract talent. “By increasing Rule 701 to the threshold of $10 million, it will give private companies more flexibility to attract, reward, and retain employees.” said Representative Bill Huizenga, “This simple change would allow companies to offer twice as much stock to their employees annually without having to trigger additional disclosure information to investors about compensation packages that include securities offerings.” H.R. 1343 passed with a vote of 331 to 87.

Ms. Wheelchair Michigan jams for accessibility

Ms. WheelChair Michigan Jamie Spore is working to expand accessibility throughout the lakeshore starting with a fundraiser. All Access Jam: A progressive concert for an accessible community will occur on Saturday April 15th 5:00pm -8:00pm throughout downtown Ludington.

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All proceeds from the event will be used to establish the Accessibility for Mason County Fund.  Future projects include: the construction of wheelchair-accessible swings and other adaptive playground equipment, the establishment of accessibility awareness events, and the construction of other accessibility-related structures, such as ramps. The evening will include performances by  Adam Knudsen, Chad Rushing, Mike Lenich, John Merchant, Dean Dostal, Joey Mankus, Jason Hargreaves and Andy Thomas.

Spectrum receives Healthgrade award

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital is a recipient of the Healthgrades  2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award.

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This award recognizes Spectrum among the top 10% of all short-term acute care hospitals reporting patient safety data. “Two of our primary focus areas are patient safety and patient experience,” said Randall L. Kelley, FACHE. “The fact that our hospital has achieved this recognition for the second straight year is highly significant. It demonstrates that our medical and clinical staffs are not only successfully implementing our safety protocols, but also consistently applying them over time.”

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