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City Council clips

By Judy Reed

You make a difference!

The Cedar Springs City Council handed out recognitions last Thursday evening, in the form of their “You make a difference!” awards.

Mayor Charlie Watson presented former Deputy Chief Marty Fraser with the award for 31 years of service on the fire department, and Fire Chief Jerry Gross presented him with a special plaque that held his badge.

“Thank you,” said Fraser. “I enjoyed what I did, but it’s time for younger blood take over.” Fraser said he missed it for a bit when he first retired last year. “But after listening to the scanner, not so much,” he quipped.

“Make a difference” awards were also presented to Eagle Scouts Levi Velting and Scott Stockreef for the community work they did for their Eagle projects last year. Stockreef took down the bleachers at Morley Park, and Velting made foundations to put the Veteran flags in at East Nelson Cemetery.

Public lot for overnight parking

City of Cedar Springs residents upset about a parking ordinance banning them from parking overnight on any city street or between the sidewalk and the street were given a temporary alternative at last week’s City Council meeting, when the council voted to temporarily allow overnight parking in the old community building parking lot at the corner of Elm and Second Street until June 1. There normally is no overnight parking in the public lots either.

Many of the residents say they live in older homes that were built when not as much parking space was needed. Stewart Maynard, who lives on E. Ash, said he travels for a living, and none of the people he knows in other towns have such an ordinance. “My neighbor put his house up for sale over this. He needs on street parking. I need room for three cars, and I made room for two. I may have to sell, too,” he remarked. He said he thinks the ordinance will negatively impact property values.

City Councilor Ronny Merlington noted that he doesn’t think the street parking ordinance is broken. “The parking ordinance on Main is old, so this shouldn’t take anyone by surprise. As for the easement between the sidewalk and street, I don’t think we have the right to give those away,” he said. He also pointed out that single and multi-family dwellings must provide off-street parking. “This ordinance was not sprung on the people, it went on for months.”

Earla Alber told the council that most of the citizens have read the new ordinance but didn’t think it applied to them, because they appeared before the council four or five years ago and got permission to park in their front yard.

By offering a temporary solution of allowing overnight parking in the public lot, the city expects residents to be able to comply with the street parking ordinance by June 1.

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