Dodd sees need for more handicap parking spacesPublished 9:59am Tuesday, January 26, 2010
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
“We need more handicap parking downtown,” Second Ward Councilman Jim Dodd brought before City Council Monday night.
Dodd said there is one such space in front of Caruso’s, one in front of Dowagiac District Library and two behind Zeke’s.
“Some of (his constituents) feel when they go downtown, there’s no place to park,” Dodd said. “They’ve got to walk quite a ways.”
From the audience, First Ward resident Ron Leatz complained about sidewalk snow plowing.
“In January, I probably have more black snow on my property than I have white snow,” Leatz said. “The piece of equipment you bought last year to plow sidewalks is plowing up yards. I didn’t feel too bad when they got about half of my Main Street, but then they came back and got all of my Michigan Avenue side.
“When they’re off the sidewalk 18 inches, you might as well take a John Deere tractor with a plow from one of these farmers. I don’t know if the city’s going to put it back, or whether I’m going to have to put it back. I didn’t tear it up.”
Council also heard from Howard Hall about a parking ticket he received downtown. Paid within 48 hours, he would have owed $9; within seven days, $13; or “thereafter,” $17.
“We were in the process of moving,” Hall said. “We thought we’d get caught up on our bills and come in and pay the city $17.
“What it doesn’t say is that if you don’t pay it by a certain amount of days – and nobody knows how many days that is – it turns into a state ticket and goes to $69. So we got a $69 parking ticket in the mail. Thereafter should mean thereafter. I don’t think that’s fair to me or to anybody else who might be visiting our town.”
Hall’s Dowagiac Informer wants to host a townhall meeting – perhaps in the form of an online Web page chat.
“To make sure it’s fair, people would have to sign up a week in advance and turn their questions in,” he said. “I can set the Web page so people visiting the chat would not be able to type anything. The only people who would be able to type would be the councilmen. I would cut and paste the question in, that way you wouldn’t be blindsided by questions you wouldn’t be able to answer.
“Another way would be a conference call. I think it would be a great thing for the community. A lot of people who have questions either can’t or don’t come to the meetings. It would be fair because you would have the questions in advance.”
Hall, “a little upset” at being passed over for an appointment to the board developing the master plan turning Russom Field baseball diamonds into a multi-use complex shared by the city and Silver Creek Township, asked Mayor Don Lyons to consider him for Dowagiac District Library’s board.
“The library does a lot of youth activities. I’ve got somebody coming to the next (Russom) meeting to talk about a disc golf course that could be put in at no cost to the city. They have one at Lawless Park they just redid. Over 400 came into the area to play that tournament,” Hall said.