Friday, October 28, 2011

Police Coverage

This year the Village Council has been examining the current level of service provided to the community from our local law enforcement agencies.  One thing that is clear to the Village is that for the most part the community feels very safe, and that there is not a current need for a major increase in police presence.  When the community was surveyed on this topic over 91% of our residents stated they felt safe or very safe in their respective neighborhoods during the day.  That number dropped slightly to 77% when asked about their feelings after dark.  In both cases the next largest response was "neither safe or unsafe."  Those responding that they felt unsafe to any degree was less than 1% during the daylight and less than 4% after dark.

The Village also has reviewed data from Isabella County Central on the calls for service from the village in recent years.  That data has been converted into a graph which is shown below.

The data has also been broken down to compare Lake Isabella with both state and national crime data for our most common offenses.  In all cases it shows that Lake Isabella has a below average crime rate.  That data set is shown below.  While Lake Isabella is below both the state and national averages for our most common incidents one problem can be seen in the data.  That is both the state and national averages have been trending down over recent years while Lake Isabella's has been trending up. 

In light of this trend, and also the frequent concerns of our residents regarding traffic speed, and community policing needs the Village has drafted a simple Request for Proposals.  This RFP has been submitted to the Sherman Township Marshal, Isabella County Sheriff, and Michigan State Police and is due back by next Friday.

Local law enforcement agencies have been hit very hard in recent years due to budget reductions.  All local agencies have been asked to do more with less.  The Village realizes that this places an incredible demand on the services from our local law enforcement agencies.  Demands which ultimately lead to less time they can for regular patrol and community policing in our community. Based on the data we received and reviewed, we feel that one way to help reverse the trendline of recent years is a very moderate and visible increase in law enforcement presence.

The Village Council is looking to do a three-year trial of what impact increased law enforcement presence has.  This will be done at no additional cost to our residents.  If the Village Council opts for some type of additional police presence the data for the three year period would then be reviewed against the data from previous years to see what the impact was and what the needs of the community are at that point in time.  If none of the responses to our RFP fall within the financial ability of the Village, the Village Council is open to considering other options to increase police presence.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anyone Missing a Black Lab?

Today our Code Enforcement Department responded to a call regarding a stray dog.  We found this lovely young Black Lab near Bundy Drive and Lincoln Drive.  The dog appears to be very well groomed and friendly.  She was found without a collar or any tags, as such we have taken her to the Isabella County Animal Shelter.  If you know of anyone missing a friendly dog, please let them know.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A brief statement regarding the Village's position on the Lake Isabella Dam.

The Village of Lake Isabella does not have a formal position on drawing down the lake to help control weeds. We respect the role that the LIPOA has in managing the lake and have no desire or intention of interceding on that issue.

Until just recently the Village had never seen any of the inspection reports on the dam.  Frankly, no concerns had been voiced to the village regarding the dam or the use of the dam once the sluice gate was repaired in 2007.  The Village is not the owner or operator of the dam, and is not party to the regular 3 year inspections that are conducted.

After reviewing the materials forwarded to us, which we have placed on our website for public review, the Village Council feels that there is a duty on the part of the Village to ensure the public’s health safety and well being is accounted for in the DEQ permitting process. It is for that reason, and that reason alone, we have brought these matters to light, and sincerely hope to partner with the LIPOA in addressing these concerns so that all residents of Lake Isabella, and those downstream outside of the Village, have the best possible level of protection.

We have no fears that there is an immediate failure risk to the dam, but have a duty to ensure that the dam can properly function as designed in the event of an emergency. We are offering the use of our engineering firm at no cost to the LIPOA in addressing these concerns, and are open to ways in which may partner together if repairs or modification to the dam are required.

It is our hope that all stakeholders involved in the care and operation of the dam can work together to addressing these concerns which have recently come to light.  The Lake Isabella Dam is the most vital piece of infastructure in our community and we feel that all stakeholders have an obligation to the community to maintain it in the best possible condition.