Sault Ste. Marie will soon be rolling out a new mobile app that allows downtown patrons to pay for parking meters with their smartphone.
Users just download the app (the name will soon be released) and type in a code listed on the decal of the meter. A credit card or bank account can be linked with the app. The rate will be the same as using coins, but for those using credit cards, a fee of $00.35 will be added. Change can still be used on the meters.
Justin Knepper is the Downtown Manager of the Sault Downtown Development Authority. He said the upgrade will help tourists who visit and the employees who work downtown.
“We have over 470 meters in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, close to over 5,000 employees, half a million tourists that come into Sault Ste. Marie each year, and so the meters really help us make sure that our shoppers and our tourists have a place to park.”
Knepper explained how he is hoping this app will make things more convenient for downtown shoppers.
“You park at a meter and not have to worry about rushing back immediately or forgetting about it and getting a ticket, it gives you that option to be right on top of things and make sure you’re taking care of your business in the most efficient way possible. We hope that it will provide a really great convenience factor.”
The app and meters are expected to be upgraded by August.
Gladwin county officials said the county has struggled with internet access barriers for years. Now they have been awarded the latest Michigan certified connected status.
The status means the county met internet access goals and offers a variety of service providers to 95 percent of the county.
Officials said even though Gladwin is certified, they will keep improving broadband access. They said they are working on overcoming physical barriers like valleys and a scattered population. Continue reading →
Ending Michigan’s film incentive program could be part of a solution to close a large hole in the state budget. A new bill in the state House would end Michigan’s film credits in October. Continue reading →
Police officers in Bay City will start off the new year wearing body cameras for the first time, as part of a 90 day pilot program.
The body-worn cameras will be used in an effort to increase transparency within the department. The department will be testing camera systems from at least two different vendors.
Michael Cecchini is the Public Safety Director for Bay City.
He said use of the new cameras will be part of each officer’s daily routine.
“You’d have a policy that directs the officer to turn the camera on anytime he’s out for investigation or contacting a citizen, and then that interaction is recorded and then at the end of shift downloaded.”
Cecchini said the cameras would be switched on for things like traffic stops, field interrogations, or whenever an officer is dispatched to a call.
He said body cameras have been proven effective in studies conducted by the National Institute of Justice.
“Which indicates that the use of body worn cameras reduces citizens complaints by 40%. There’s a University of Cambridge study that indicates the the use of body worn cameras reduces incidents of use of force by officers by 57%.”
Cecchini said body-worn cameras are becoming highly sought after systems for their low-cost and effectiveness.
Following the trial period, Cecchini said a recommendation will be made to the City Commission to either purchase the equipment, or discontinue the program.