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Manistee business closing, says new bird feeder ordinance is for the birds

MANISTEE — A controversial ordinance over bird feeders is causing a local business to shut its doors.

The only federally licensed gold shop in Northern Michigan, The Gold & Silver Exchange, is in the process of moving out of downtown Manistee over a recent bird feeder ban that was put in place for the downtown area.

Co-Owner Nikki Bromley said they felt they had no choice.


“We have no desire to leave. The city has forced this on us because how can we stay here? After 13 years of bringing in business and doing good things for this city and for them then to show us their love by giving us a $500 ticket for a bird feeder, just one bird feeder,” said Bromley.

Bromley said they don’t want to leave but they are done battling with the city over an ordinance they placed on the books back in February that bans bird feeders in Manistee’s downtown.

The city said the ordinance was put in place because of complaints that the bird feeders were getting in the way, creating litter and even attracting birds into nearby businesses but Bromley said they got a lot of support to reverse the ordinance.

“After letting the council know we had over a thousand signatures plus that we’re against the bird feeder ban. We ask that they look at these names in numbers and reconsider the ban, and they said they had no interest in looking at it,” said Bromley.


Bromley said despite the ordinance, they kept the feeders up, even fighting the city in court over a $500 fine.

She said they lost but the fine was reduced down to $125. Since then, the bird feeders have come down to avoid more fines, but Bromley feels they are being singled out by the city.

“We couldn’t afford $500 a day. There’s no point of accruing $500, especially when they tell you we’re going to be watching and we’re going to make sure we give you those tickets.,” said Bromley.

9&10 News contacted the city for comment, but they declined our request for an interview.


Bromley’s not sure yet where they will relocate to, but they have received invitations to take their business elsewhere in Manistee County.

“They came down and said, you can have as many bird feeders as you want. We would love your tax dollars. Please consider moving to Parkdale now that’s right outside, but still considered in Manistee and they are welcoming us,” said Bromley.

She said they are considering moving there but no matter where they move, they plan to take the bird feeders with them.

“We will put up as many bird feeders as we possibly can to make up for this downtown area being angry at one,” said Bromley.

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