Scottville commission to survey residents about future of alleyway.

June 16, 2015

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

SCOTTVILLE — The Scottville City Commission is going to ask residents along an unimproved  dead end alley what they would like to see the city do with the alley. The decision was made Monday during the commission’s regular meeting. It was a follow-up to a concern raised by owners of a home on Scott Street, who said a neighbor at the end of the alley was over-stepping his authority to make changes to the alley. See previous story here.

The city commission was asked a few years ago to have the city abandon the alley. However, a gas main exists under it and therefore commissioners at that time did not believe the city should allow the gas main to be under private property.

City Attorney Tracy Thompson said state statute does not address regulation of roads and alleyways. He said the commission has three choices on what to do with the alley: It can choose to abandon the alley but keep an easement, allowing it to maintain the gas main; it can close the alley to vehicular traffic; it can do nothing.

Mayor Dick Mackey suggested the city contact the residents who live along the alley — which is located between First and Second streets and runs west from Thomas Street — and ask them which direction the city should go.

City Manager Amy Williams said the city cannot currently stop people from driving up and down the alley, even though it is all grass. She said the city can stop people from parking vehicles in the alley, however and she has been in touch with Jim Stieger, the homeowner who has allegedly been making the changes to the alley and allegedly parking his vehicles in the alley.

The residents along the alleyway will have until July 6 to respond to the survey. They will also have the opportunity to attend the July 6 city commission meeting and express their opinions.

Thompson told the commission that it would be setting a precedent in how it handles the alley and it should consider how it will handle future alley issues.

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