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Township sets blight rules for final OK

ALPENA TOWNSHIP –A pair of proposed ordinances in the Charter Township of Alpena geared toward addressing blight and building safety are slated to be voted on at the township Board of Trustees meeting at the end of the month.

But a third ordinance regarding rental inspections will be sent back to committee for further consideration.

The three ordinances were introduced last month with the intent of replacing Ordinance No. 135, which was passed late last year but faced stark criticism from residents.

An ad hoc committee made up of private and government officials was formed and the three proposed ordinances were born from that committee.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the trustees discussed the ordinances and decided that ordinance No. 137 and No. 138 will be advertised and voted on at the June 24 meeting.

It will be up to the ad hoc committee to make changes, if they are needed, to ordinance No. 139.

The main issue with that ordinance, according to Trustee Steve Lappan, is that some of the items listed for inspection in the ordinance may not be in line with the code standards that the township is considering.

“There was simply too many areas that I and others were uncomfortable with, and some that weren’t really understood by people,” Lappan said. “So, basically, we are going to go back to the drawing board.”

Township Supervisor Nathan Skibbe also addressed several concerns about portions of the other ordinances that came up during public comment.

Resident Larry Clark asked that the board add wording that was more direct about buildings that have peeling paint and lawns that have long grass and tall weeds. Clark said both of those issues can be considered blight.

Skibbe agreed, but said sending the other two ordinances back for rewording would require the entire process to begin again.

“Ordinances can always be amended down the road,” Skibbe said. “If it becomes a problem, we can make changes, as needed.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpeanews.com.

In other business

The Alpena Township Board of Trustees on Tuesday also:

∫ voted to purchase a compactor for $1,789.

∫ hired Goodrich Paving to reseal the parking lot at the township offices, at a cost of $2,175. It also hired S&B Striping for $525 to paint new lines on the parking stalls in the lot.