By Pat Maurer
Clare City Commissioners unanimously approved a temporary traffic control order Monday that will place a stop sign at the railroad crossing where a Clare woman was seriously injured when her vehicle was hit by a train recently.
City Manager Ken Hibl said the temporary order is pending a study of the crossing by the railroad to see is there will be recommendations for tree and shrub removal along the tracks and if a stop sign should be placed there permanently.
Kristine Hubel, 42, was crossing the railroad tracks westbound on Dunlop Street December 27 when she was hit by a Great Lakes Railroad Train traveling northbound. Hubel was taken to Mid Michigan Medical Center – Clare by Mobile Medical Response ambulance service. She was later transferred to MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland by MMR for further treatment.
According to family members Hubel is doing well.
“It is the only crossing in town without a stop sign,” Hibl said at the City meeting Monday evening. “The only marker is the railroad crossing sign.”
Commissioner Jean McConnell questioned why the City even needed the study. “Why can’t we just order a sign be placed there?” she asked. Hibl responded that it was more of a matter of courtesy to have the study done, and said that the Commission would make the final decision.
Commissioners also approved a special recognition for the life of Clare businessman Bob Allen, who died in an accident in December. His wife Sue Allen accepted the honor and a standing ovation by Commissioners and audience members.
Planning Commission Chair Dave Prawdzik made a presentation to the Commission outlining the “overall accomplishments of the Commission in 2011. He said the board recommended seven site plans during the year and studied several ordinance changes and a proposed ordinance dealing with medical marijuana. Three of the four ordinances reviewed by the Commission were approved by the City, he said.
He said the Commission will be looking at future plans for the City and working on the Railroad Depot project, which he said is “now progressing good.” He added that he would like to have a joint strategic planning session with the City Commission.
Other business at Monday’s Clare City meeting included:
*A report from City Treasurer Steve Kingsbury that the City is “right on track for the first half of the year;” comments on the broad band progress and a recent “white paper” on that project and a potential grant for the Rail Trail.
*A report from City Manager Hibl that the Horizon Advanced Care site plan has been approved; progress on moving the war memorial at the cemetery and a Waste Water Treatment Plant project update. Hibl said the Depot project is going “very slow,” but there is a lot of “grass roots support.”
*The Commission held the first reading of a proposed ordinance amendment to correct errors in other ordinance changes and comply with the Planning Enabling Act.
*Marcie Klaus, candidate for Probate Judge in the coming election, introduced herself to the Commission.