City pulls in reins on charitable solicitations



GRAND BLANC — The Grand Blanc City Council is tightening up the guidelines for charitable solicitations in public places.

Amendments to the city’s solicitation ordinance will limit charitable collections to one intersection at a time, and one charity per day. The changes also give police Chief Brian Lipe the authority to approve the location based on public safety.

“With those changes, even though our residents are generous in nature, I think this will allow us to still allow our residents and visitors to give to these charities but not be to the point where it’s annoying and almost to the point of harassment,” Lipe said.

Charities still may seek donations for three consecutive days twice annually.

Lipe recommended the amendments after the public safety committee reviewed the ordinance.

“A few years ago, the state created a law allowing charitable organizations to be in controlled intersections, in the roadway, trying to collect funds,” Lipe said. “So, we don’t have a choice to disallow that, which is fine with me, but they do give us the option to limit it somewhat.

“(The city) created an ordinance in 2017 to address these collections in the street. Since then, we’ve learned some things. We’ve had organizations wanting to staff, basically, every intersection … all during the three-day timeframe. We didn’t have anything in the ordinance to address that.”

Having charities stationed at every corner in a city that spans less than four square miles can become annoying to citizens, Lipe said.