Battle Creek City Commissioners will vote Tuesday on an ordinance that could pave the way for shared electric scooters, or skateboards in the downtown area.   The idea is that they help to reduce pollution and traffic.   Right now, the alternative transportation devices are not allowed on city sidewalks in the Central Business District.

City Attorney Jill Humphreys Steel said the city has been contacted by Bird Scooters for several years, encouraging the city to allow them to bring their shared scooter program to Battle Creek.   Other Michigan cities, including East Lansing, Lansing and Ann Arbor have allowed the scooters.

If approved, the ordinance would require scooter companies to apply for a license, pay fees and operate within certain rules.  Shared electric scooter rentals would be handled through Bird’s App.

Bird had a partnership with Ann Arbor but it was not renewed in 2019, with one city official saying the company didn’t like being regulated.   Ann Arbor then went with Ford-owned Spin Electric Scooters.

Here are some other things on the agenda for the Tuesday May 4th Battle Creek City Commission Meeting.

Tax Break Hearing for Fort Factory Cosma

A tax break for Cosma Casting Michigan on Clark Road is being considered, as the company plans to expand and add jobs.   A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the Battle Creek City Commission meeting to get your input.  The company is seeking a 12-year tax abatement that would save them about $1.5 million, but would still have them paying about $1.8 million.   The company expects to create 68 jobs within two years of the completion of their expansion project and says they expect to retain 300 jobs as a result.  The company at 10 Clark Road North provides a comprehensive range of body, chassis, and engineering solutions to global automotive customers.  Their high-pressure aluminum castings are targeted to manufactures of lighter vehicles with reduced environmental impact.

Traffic Roundabout Considered in Fort Custer

Commissioners will also be asked to approve a traffic roundabout in the Fort Custer Industrial Park, at Skyline Drive and Hill Brady Road.  The Battle Creek Air National Guard (ANG) Base is planning a relocation of the main gate and upgrades in the fiscal year 2023. The project would connect the new gate access to the intersection of Skyline Drive and Hill Brady Road along the vacated portion of Skyline Drive.

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New Marijuana Grow Facility

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, commissioners will consider rezoning property at 306 Stringham Road to allow for a marijuana grow facility.  SC Distribution, LLC, of Warren, Michigan plans to develop the vacant two-acre property at 306 Stringham Road, and build a 10,000 square foot facility to grow marijuana.  The business would employ two or three people, but the company says they could expand to 10 workers.    The business would not be a retail center, and would only grow cannabis.

If you’d like to attend the online meeting, you may participate by calling the Zoom meeting at the following telephone number: 312-626-6799. You’ll be prompted to enter the meeting ID number: 993 5594 9198 and will be placed into a virtual “waiting room” until it is your time to speak during public comment.

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