Mount Clemens City Commission expands social districts

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published July 27, 2022


MOUNT CLEMENS — The Mount Clemens City Commission met on July 5 and unanimously supported a social district permit for Gumbo’s LLC.

Six of the seven commissioners were present, with Ronald Campbell excused from the meeting.

Mount Clemens adopted a social district in the spring of 2021 after the state approved the zones permitting the consumption of alcohol on public property. The Oasis Social District covered Abbibo and Cellar 104 in what outgoing city manager Donald Johnson said was a “very successful” program.

“We had absolutely no problems because of it,” Johnson said. “The sheriff’s department reported no incidents. I know it was very successful for the restaurants that participated, particularly for Abbibo — especially since they were close by where we did the concerts.”

With the city’s support, the application goes to Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Liquor Control Commission for final approval.


Cairns Center lease agreement
A lease agreement for the Cairns Center was approved unanimously July 5, with TCB Youth Mentoring leasing the facility until the city has a recreation coordinator and is able to resume operating the center.

Under the new agreement, the center can only host “recreational and education activities,” though Johnson mentioned the city should look into allowing the center to host events like funerals and weddings as a long-term goal.

“It has been awesome to see the strength and power of our city services and our community come together and work together,” Thomas Barnes, TCB X, said during the late-meeting public comment.

TCB is leasing the facility for $1, and either party can terminate the agreement with a 90-day notice.

Johnson updated the commission and said that 11 applicants for the recreation coordinator position were invited for first-round interviews, with only five attending. Three applicants have been invited for a second, in-person interview the day after the meeting.

Interim City Manager Gregg Shipman informed the commission at the July 18 meeting that a contingent contract was extended to one of the applicants.


Water ordinance amendment
The commission also approved by a vote of 5-1 the first reading of an amendment to the city water ordinance prohibiting cross connections as per Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy mandate.

“[Cross connections are] situations where the water lines can be ultimately connected to the sewer lines,” Johnson said. “A common thing where this may happen is if somebody has a hose and they leave the end of it in a swimming pool. Under certain circumstances you can siphon water from that pool back into the water system. … That can actually introduce sewage water into the water supply system.”

State-certified inspectors will make sure residences have backflow preventer devices and will fine properties that do not have one. Commissioners expressed dissatisfaction with the measure — Denize Mentzer referred the fine as a “hidden tax” and voted against the amendment — but it was approved for later discussion because it was state-mandated.

The second reading of the ordinance was approved as part of the consent agenda at the July 18 meeting.


Dangerous animals ordinance
The first reading of a dangerous animals ordinance, which establishes processes for identifying and handling potentially dangerous dogs, was also approved on July 5.   

The second reading was approved as part of the consent agenda at the July 18 meeting.