In a meeting on Monday night, the Mt. Pleasant City Commission voted in favor of allocating $600,000 in funds to the local Partners Empowering All Kids Program or PEAK programs, as well as tendering a contract with The Isabella Corporation worth $132,880 for sidewalk projects.
The funds allocated to the PEAK program, an afterschool program, will go toward childcare staff bonuses, field trips and supplies. The sidewalk contract focuses on fixing up sidewalks across the city, as well as altering a walkway near Mt. Pleasant High School.
The PEAK program
Mt. Pleasant’s PEAK keeps schools open until 6 p.m. on school days, providing care and entertainment for participants. PEAK also runs during the summer, turning local schools into community centers for school aged children.
“This is a great program. It is absolutely needed,” said City Commissioner Maureen Eke at the meeting.. “It is necessary, it helps, it works.”
Administered by the City of Mt. Pleasant Parks and Recreations Department, the PEAK program has existed in the community for over two decades.
“PEAK fills the crucial after school gap for working families with educational and social enrichment activities,” said Mt. Pleasant City Commissioner Elizabeth Busch.
Although federal funding for the program ended in 2005, the City of Mt. Pleasant, local donations and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe have kept the program running. More information about the program can be found on Mt. Pleasant’s city website.
“I think it’s great,” said Ryan Colores, an employee of the program. “We worked through the pandemic. I think we deserve a bonus.”
Discussed in a prior meeting, the sidewalk project took its next step toward realization as the city commission voted to approve a contract with The Isabella Corporation, a local company.
The project will look to fix walkways near the downtown area of Mt. Pleasant. With multiple events and the opening of GreenTree Cooperative Grocery, an increase in foot traffic is likely.
A budget amendment was also made to the project – the commission approved $27,510 unanimously to cover unexpected expenses from the project.
Another area of focus brought up in the discussion of the sidewalk project was a walkway near Mt. Pleasant High School, on the north side of Preston Street and Crapo Street. An unofficial path cuts through the high school’s property.
“It gets used all the time,” said Hailey Damman, a student at the high school. “I’m not sure why there isn’t a sidewalk there.”
The path is especially frequented during sporting events, band practice and other afterschool activities.
“I’m very familiar with that location,” said Commissioner Busch, an employee at Mt. Pleasant High School, at the meeting. “It’s definitely an area of concern. When we have sporting events, it’s a mess.”
The meeting opened with a short discussion of masks for commission meetings, making it clear it was up to the individual commissioners and attendees whether they followed the mask suggestion.
The final section of the meeting was a discussion about the philosophy of the city government, focusing on how the departments of the city should interact with each other, and how the city should focus on representing the beliefs of its constituents.
Future meetings of the city mission can be found on the Mt. Pleasant City calendar.