BELDING — Several Belding area residents voiced concerns about a variety of items at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Otisco Township resident Jeff Hunter voiced his displeasure with the current state of the remains of the Belding Bros. clock tower, which currently reside in the Central Riverside Park parking lot.
“In light of the recent events of our wonderful (Whites) Bridge getting burned down and the Greenville Recreation Club (storage shed) getting burned down and the vandalism at Lightning Bend (Park), what are you guys doing to take care of and protect these rooftops out here?” Hunter asked. “I don’t think you’ve done enough to protect it.”
Hunter also asked council members to look into why the city chooses to spend funds to put fluoride into the city’s water.
“In all your discussions, you still don’t talk about things the city can live without,” he said. “Why do you still spend some $30,000 in putting fluoride into the city water?”
Hunter also asked what happened to the Good Neighbor award. The most recent award was given on March 19.
“If you have someone to nominate, Jeff, I suggest you nominate them,” Scheid replied.
Council members did not reply to Hunter’s other points.
Belding resident Sandra Blount asked council members to reconsider how they inform residents of policy changes to city ordinances, after explaining her complaint of receiving a citation (warning) for leaving brush in her yard after brush pickup had passed.
“As a taxpayer I would consider it an honor if I received a letter whenever there was a policy change,” she said. “If you’re going to do something, I want to know about it, send me a letter.”
Blount said she doesn’t believe she should have to read about policy changes in the newspaper, online or at the library.
“I shouldn’t have to have the responsibility of making time in my day to read it on the Internet, Facebook or otherwise,” she said. “The city has a financial obligation to me as a taxpayer … to know of the workings of this city.”
Councilman Tom Jones said he believes sending out a newsletter, as the city has done in previous years, is too expensive of an option.
“Trying to notify the populous of Belding about any of these changes, unless we basically sent out newsletters again or postings every time we have a meeting, it’s going to drive up our tax dollars,” he said. “You were complaining about the brush pickup and the schedule. We could do what Greenville did and eliminate brush and leaf pickup altogether,”
In the middle of Jones’ response, Blount stated, “Or I could move.” She then stood up and proceeded to walk out of the room.
Councilman Joe Feuerstein said he agrees that Belding residents need to be informed.
“I think people should know what’s going on,” he said. “We don’t have many people come to the meetings here, though I’d like to see the place full. I don’t buy the paper and I don’t have Internet, and I know others don’t either. We’re here and we should be keeping people informed of what we are doing, otherwise we aren’t doing our job.”
Council members agreed that the public needs to be informed of city decisions, but that bringing back the community newsletter and sending it out after each meeting would be too expensive.
The city currently delivers a city calendar to Belding residents, which lists dates for services such as brush pickup.