ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph City Commission is moving its next meeting up on the calendar to this coming Monday, with the session to consider a grant agreement for a harbor development project, along with a study session to discuss community issues, including low-speed vehicles.
The meeting is being set because commissioners and staff members are expected to be at a state conference the following week, when the meeting would typically be held.
Commissioners are expected to vote on a grant agreement between the city and Berrien County for the construction of a small dock along the riverfront, near the former site of the water tower, and the use of the seawall at the Inn at Harbor Shores for water-based business. The agreement, which includes a 20-year lease between the city and county, has to be forwarded to the state by Sept. 20.
Berrien County has been approved for a $132,500 Department of Natural Resources Waterways grant to construct harbor transportation facilities at four locations – at the Inn at Harbor Shores; in St. Joseph on the north side of the St. Joseph River, across from the Upton Arboretum; on county property below the courthouse; and at Cornerstone’s boat launch on Riverview Drive in Benton Harbor. Cornerstone Alliance will be providing $150,000 in matching funds for the project.
The study session will include a discussion of shore protection in the Lions Park Drive area, where there are several planned or contemplated projects, and discussion of requests for consideration of regulations to allow use of golf carts on public streets and to attempt to expand the usability of low-speed vehicles.
Joe Allen, the owner of Scooter Joe’s Rentals, and Harbor Shores officials are requesting that St. Joseph lower the speed limit on the Bicentennial Bridge, between Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, from 40 to 35 miles per hour, that would permit the use of low-speed vehicles on that roadway. The petition also asks that the leaders in St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and Benton Township authorize the use of golf carts on their public roads.
No vote on these issues is expected, and the session will allow for the presentation of information and discussion with residents.
Contact: jmatuszak@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @HPMatuszak