BRIDGMAN — In the event a medical emergency in Bridgman requires a helicopter transport, Bridgman now has a designated landing zone.
On Monday the city council OK’d an agreement with Haymarket Beer Co. to designate a helicopter landing zone on its property near Church Street in case of emergencies. The city agreed to provide the proper helicopter pad markings, maintain and plow the driveway up to the landing zone and purchase a wind sock every three to five years. The agreement formalizes the use of the landing zone and makes the coordinates available for maps and emergency dispatch. The site was previously used by the Michigan State Police.
In other business the council also adopted a mailbox replacement policy to reimburse 100 percent of the cost of repair or replacement of a mailbox damaged by the city’s snow removal equipment. The mailbox must conform to the U.S. Postal Service guidelines for mailbox installation, and the owner must inform the city of the damage prior to repair or replacement and provide receipts for the costs. The city will inspect the mailbox to be sure it was not previously damaged or deteriorating, was set back the proper length and that damage was caused by snow being thrown by the plow.
Also, the city’s representative on the Medic 1 Ambulance/Community Emergency Service Board, Bill Boyd presented the background to the service’s three percent ($900 increase) to the city, the first in 14 years. Boyd explained the increase reflected the 3 percent wage increase negotiated for union employees and also given to non-union employees.
Boyd also detailed the board’s switch to lower cost gas-engine vs. diesel ambulances, scheduled vehicle replacements and gave examples of the difference between billed costs and lower reimbursements to the service by Medicare and Medicaid.
Bridgman is one of 18 area municipalities served by the Medic 1 board. Council member Stacy Stine pointed out that Bridgman paid a higher per capita cost than the original founding municipalities and suggested that might be something for future discussion.
During discussion of City Manager Juan Ganum’s written report, the council offered several possible alternatives to solar-powered stop signs at Church and Lake Streets, one of the city’s busier intersections.
Saying she was not comfortable with the $5,000 cost, Trustee Jan Trapani asked, “Where do we curb our spending? These options are wonderful to consider but we have to be good stewards of our money.”
“I agree with what you are saying, but as one who was almost hit at that corner recently, I think something should be done at that corner,” said Trustee Linda Gedeon Kuhn.
Council Member Rick Fuller asked Police Chief Daniel Unruh to provide some statistics about the traffic incidents at city intersections and suggested forming a committee to review information on such proposed expenditures and recommend priorities for budgeting.
“Just like at home, our budgets should be based on needs, not wants,” Rose said.