Bi-path could see improvements

ALPENA – The City of Alpena and the Alpena Rotary Club are looking for ways to improve the bi-path. Plans are being made that could see the installation of mileage signs, as well as informational signs that could steer people from out of town to local attractions. The popular trail is used for walking, running, biking and rollerblading.

During Monday’s Alpena Municipal Council meeting Councilman Shawn Sexton also shared concerns from residents about the lack of light in one section of the bi-path. He said the strip from the beginning of the cemetery to 11th Avenue is darker than other areas and could be a safety concern. City Engineer Rich Sullenger said improved lighting for that section of the bi-path has been something his department has wanted to get done, but a lack of infrastructure and funds have caused it to be put on the back burner.

“It has been a target project for a long time, but the problem is there is no conduit or wiring in there,” Sullenger said. “I would have to go back and do another estimate together, but for one pedestrian light it is about $2,000 when you figure in the base for the light and to have it installed.”

The council discussed other options, which included the installation of solar lights, which are becoming popular in other communities and come at much lesser cost.

The council tabled the issue.

In other business:

the council voted to appoint Meg Richey to the Downtown Development Authority for a four-year term.

Duffy Gorski made a presentation to council about runoff from the city’s storm system draining into Thunder Bay. The council is going to have staff investigate the cause and could take action at a meeting in the future.

Don Gilmet gave a report to council on the rental inspection ordinance and why the city can inspect rental units. Several tenants and landlords were in the audience challenging the city’s right to do so.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689.