01-03-2019 News and Newsmakers of 2018 revisted

News and Newsmakers

of 2018 revisited

By Angela Stair

 In the first weeks of the New Year it is an annual tradition of the Tri-City Record to recall the headline stories of this past year.

 Following the News and Newsmakers feature, the Record will publish noteworthy stories and photos from the Press Box columns of 2018.

 Complete pages of each issue are archived at www.tricityrecord.com. They are also available for viewing on the Coloma Public Library website resources in newspaper archives at colomapubliclibrary.net.

JANUARY

Bids opened for Paw Paw River County Park in Watervliet, lowest estimate is over budget

The bids for the future Paw Paw River County Park were opened before the Berrien County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee at their Thursday, January 18 meeting, coming in a bit higher than what was budgeted.

The Commission received six bids with quite a variation in the highest to the lowest bid. The highest bid was $886,994 vs. the lowest at $646,321. The Finance Committee approved the referral of the bids to staff for review and approved the lowest bid if it meets all the specifications and requirements of the project.

Parks and Recreation Director Brian Bailey said that the bids would be turned over to architect M.C. Smith for review and he would present the findings of that review back to the Board of Commissioners. They will check references and other projects that the lowest bidder has worked on in the past.

With the budget being $556,000, the Board will have to consider some options for handling the difference. There are some parts of the project that could be cut to get to the budgeted amount or the County could consider finding an alternate funding source for the balance.

The funding for the project came about by Berrien County receiving a $296,000 grant from the State of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, $300,000 from Berrien County, and a generous $25,000 donation from the Friends of Paw Paw River County Park.

The park development includes approximately 20 acres on the east side of M-140 with one mile of Paw Paw River frontage, directly across the river from Hays Park. The plans for the park include improvements to the river frontage, a pedestrian bridge connecting to the island, mature trees on the island and recreational opportunities.

By the end of the month, the Board was told that the lowest bidder does in fact meet all the specifications and requirements according to M.C. Smith, their architect.

OTHER JANUARY NEWS

Issue #1, January 4, 2018

 Run, Frosty, Run is Saturday. Walkers and runners alike will lace up their shoes for the 2018 Run, Frosty, Run 5K event in Watervliet.

 PLAY BALL… Miss Blossomtime Kaylee Chapin throws out the ceremonial first pitch to open the Watervliet Recreation Council baseball season at Hays Park.

 Coloma Miss and Mr. Pageant is this Saturday, January 6. The community will roll out the red carpet with “50 years of the Coloma Glad-Peach Festival,” their theme.

 Lakeland welcomes Lillian Helton as First Baby of the New Year.

 Keeler Township schedules Parks Public Hearing, eyes regulations to limit bubblers.

Issue #2, January 11

 Coloma Township officer becomes accident victim on “Death Trap” highway. Patrolman Wes Smigielski sustained injuries when his parked police vehicle was struck by a semi on I-94 that was going too fast for conditions.

 Micah Saxe and Derek Plitt are crowned Coloma Royalty.

 Hagar Township moves positively into the New Year.