The Bay City Navigator - Your insight into the City of Bay City

City website on-line January 2017

The City has partnered with Civic Plus to develop an entirely new website. The City’s Information Technology Department has been working for a number of months with City department staff to ensure website content is up-to-date and relevant. Check out the new website at

The new site provides quick and easy access to popular information such as bill paying, commission agendas, news and events as well as key departmental information while providing an updated user-friendly feel. 

New features include the ability to sign up for news and events via email and also features a new mobile app request track to replace FixIt Bay City. This website keeps the information you need at your fingertips!  

snow covered street and cars

Commission adopts a Major Snow Event Ordinance

The City’s Major Snow Event Ordinance Section 102-88 is designed to keep streets open for emergency travel during snow events and to keep streets safe and passable once the weather has lifted.  This can be a difficult challenge in a city as densely populated as Bay City.  Declaring a Major Snow Event triggers the requirement that all cars parked on the roadway be removed in advance of major snow accumulations so that the plows can do their work.  The City has identified a number of parking location options during the Event for those with limited or no off-road parking.  Maps and their locations can be found on the City’s website at 

A Major Snow Event is generally declared prior to the start of a predicted storm of six or more inches of snow/sleet.  The enforcement of parking restrictions will eliminate impassable streets and snowed-in parking that constitute a major hazard to residents, businesses and, above all, first responders to Public Safety and medical calls. 

After the initial notice of a Major Snow Event has been given, a motor vehicle parked on any roadway within any designated area must be removed in accordance with the following schedule: 

1) Within two (2) hours for any motor vehicle parked on state trunk lines (state highways) and streets designated as major streets by the City’s street plan; and
2) Within eight (8) hours for any motor vehicle parked on streets designated as local streets by the City’s street plan. 

Per the ordinance, vehicles not moved will be subject to ticketing and towing. Ticketing and towing will begin immediately after the time period has elapsed.  Towing may be necessary before the snow hits the ground to ensure streets are fully accessible for the plows. 

NOTE:  For this first 2016-2017 snow season Public Safety will focus on education and no vehicles will be towed.  However, depending on the situation citations may be issued if a parked car is creating an unsafe condition.  Questions regarding the Major Snow Event Ordinance may be directed to Public Works at 894-8311. 

City Manager Rick Finn

From the City Manager

We’ve had a successful year in 2016 with the completion of many projects and also by collaborating with our community partner – Bay County.

One such project was the successful launch of the GIS (Geographical Information System) Web Viewer -- a web application that was built for public use.  The City did not have a GIS Web Viewer available for its staff or citizens and the County’s GIS Web Viewer was insufficient and in need of replacement. 
The collaborative GIS Web Viewer provides all government agencies, citizens, and businesses in Bay County with valuable geographic data resources in one location.  The Web View link is available on both the City and County’s webpage. 

Another collaboration is the participation of the City (by holding a position on the Board) with the Bay County Land Bank Authority to address the problem of blighted properties.  The Bay County Land Bank Authority was created for the purpose of dealing with unique property issues or to dispose of properties that may not sell at public auction.  The Land Bank Authority has since shifted their policies to encourage economic and community stabilization and to effectively intervene much earlier to acquire abandoned and damaged structures so they can be quickly demolished. 

Controlling the future use and improvement of properties is consistent with the strategies that were presented in the housing study to City Commission on August 29, 2016.

These are just a few examples of the partnership with Bay County; working collaboratively to make Bay City the place people want to visit and residents want to stay. 

Railroad Crossing Blue Sign
Source:  Michigan Railways Association -

Have you noticed the blue signs?

he next time you travel by a railroad crossing, notice the blue sign attached to the rail equipment on the side of the road.   This sign has important information on it – including the railroad company’s emergency phone number and crossing location.

The Federal Railroad Administration requires railroads to install signs at or near highway- rail grade and pathway crossings with telephone numbers the public can use to alert railroad companies to unsafe conditions.

Railroads now operate Emergency Notification Systems (ENS) by installing clear and readable signs with toll-free telephone numbers at crossings so the public can report unsafe situations and for railroads to respond to malfunctioning warning signals, vehicles stalled on the tracks or other emergency situations.  Depending on a railroad’s operating characteristics, calls may be received through a 24-hour call center, or for smaller railroads, through an automated answering system or third-party telephone service. 

Upon receiving a call, the dispatching railroad is required to contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing, inform local law enforcement to assist in directing traffic, investigate the report or request that the railroad with maintenance responsibility for the crossing to investigate the report.  If the report is substantiated, the railroad is required to take certain actions to remedy the unsafe condition. 
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