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Houghton Holds Joint Meeting Of City Council & Planning Commission

Wednesday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, which made it an appropriate day for the Houghton Chief of Police to give his 2018 report to the city council.

Chief John Donnelly said the department answered 3,117 calls for service during the year, which led to 32 felony arrests and 227 misdemeanor arrests, issued 180 civil infraction tickets, and policed 346 vehicle accidents.

Donnelly said the total number of calls answered was actually down from recent years though they had roughly double the number of felony arrests.

The Chief said records from two decades ago show the number of calls were on average 500 fewer per year, with felony and misdemeanor arrest numbers being similar to today and there were about 100 fewer accidents.

Donnelly attributed the drop in accidents to the great job road crews do in sanding the roads.

In other business, at a joint meeting of the Houghton City Council and the Planning Commission, both bodies adopted the Recreation Plan after no comments were made during the public hearing.  The plan is part of the revised Master Plan and must be sent to the state of Michigan.

The City Council approved the sale of a parcel of land to Meijer, Inc. for $200,000 as part of the location for their new store.

The council also approved a resolution for the Public Participation Plan, which is required for designation as a Redevelopment Ready community from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  The plan states that the city will continue its practice of seeking public input and encouraging citizen participation during planning and development projects.

And finally, Houghton City Manager Eric Waara said he will introduce an ordinance at the next council meeting to opt out of the new law permitting recreational marijuana businesses.  A public hearing will be scheduled on the ordinance at a later date.

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