Hartford Township hosts a hero
By Jon Bisnett The first meeting of 2018 for the Hartford Township Board on Thursday, January 11 led off with a special recognition of Nicole Burrows’ quick thinking action to alert the sleeping occupants of the December 3 blaze at 65266 Red Arrow Highway. Four members of the Hartford Joint Fire Department including Chief Robbie Harting and Captain Mike Chappell were on hand to present Burrows with a plaque to commemorate her lifesaving action. (Picture on front page)
A WISH COMES TRUE…9 year old Zoe Phillips of Hartford is having the time of her life at Disney’s Give Kids the World Resort. A celebatory parade was held Sunday in downtown Hartord, waving and sending love to Zoe as they head to Florida. Thank you to Make-A-Wish and several local residents for making this happen. Zoe is the daughter of Augustine Contreras and Jason Phillips and has a little brother Zayne Phillips. In early January a Bowling Fundraiser was held at Coloma Lanes in Coloma. 100% of all monies donated with lane sponsors, silent auction, bake sale and bowling went to Zoe’s family to help financially as they begin this next phase of treatment. Zoe was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma back in August of 2016. In September of 2017 Zoe completed her last treatment and in November 2017 Zoe and her family were told her cancer had came back in her brain.
Guests Annie Brown of South Haven visited on behalf of Van Buren Senior Services seeking a resolution of support for two measures that will appear on the August ballot. Senior Services seeks a .25 mil renewal and in a separate measure seeks an additional .25 mil to address the revenue needs to properly service a growing base of clients in the county. The year 2017 saw some 5,250 individual seniors who sought some level of assistance amid 188,350 separate occurrences, reported Brown.
Sheriff’s Department Van Buren County Sheriff Deputy Phil Scuiletti logged 1,694 miles and reported 154 calls in December including 10 Property Damage/Personal Injury Accidents and 10 Criminal Complaints. Scuiletti issued 10 citations for the month and made 13 arrests including four felonies.
Road Commission The Van Buren County Road Commission representative Rick Boze told residents that county plows are all out in full force. The fleet has 32 trucks with three new trucks on the way. New Superintendent Greg Brooks has joined the VBCRC along with Andy Abbott who will serve as the county’s Permit Officer. Boze reported on the county’s snow plowing activity during the days surrounding New Year’s Eve, during which South Haven alone received over a foot of lake-effect snow. Boze stated the tab for those days over the holiday weekend comes out to $91,984.84 in man hours, fuel and salt. Fire Department Hartford Fire Chief Rob Harting reported 42 calls for the month of December. Due to weather, 11 were auto accidents of which only four had injuries. Twelve calls were for medical services while four structure fires and two brush/woodland fire calls required HFD services. Chief Harting was proud to report recent survey work by the Insurance Services Organization, ISO, has upgraded the HFD performance rating class to ISO 4/4Y from the prior 5/8b. The amended rating places HFD in the top 18% of all departments in the State with only 37 receiving a higher mark, the majority of which are urban locals with hydrants throughout. The new ISO rating officially goes into effect April 1. Property owners are encouraged to contact their insurance carriers for potential premium savings.
Treasurer’s report Treasurer Steve Starner provided a written report of bills for the month of December totaling $47,069.06; $6,238.32 of which accounted for payroll. Zoning Administrator Jim Lechenet reported renewals of permits for the three wrecking yards in the township. The contractor addressing the blight at the Auction Barn on Red Arrow Highway has been hampered by the heavy snowfall, but is making solid progress. A citation will be issued at a 62nd Street property in the coming week for building without a permit. Old business Township Supervisor Ron Sefcik reminded that Medic 1 Ambulance service will cease on March 31. Understanding that the City of Hartford is in the process of contracting with Pride Care Ambulance, Sefcik sought volunteers to join him for a committee to initiate negotiations with Pride Care to provide service to the township. Treasurer Steve Starner and Trustee Kurt Dow will work with Sefcik to contract with Pride Care. Sefcik reports contact from a local farmer who has expressed interest in leasing township property adjacent to the hall. The parcel located west, northwest is approximately 9 to 10 acres and needs first to be cleared of brush and trees before it could be farmed. DEQ prohibits burning of debris at the site. Trustee Dowd pointed out that the land should be cleared and maintained regardless of a lease opportunity and suggested getting quotes for cleanup and removal or chipping of debris. New business Board approvals were extended for: Revisions to Township Assessor Employment Agreement as recommended by the MTA; registration expenses for Michigan Association of Townships training at Western Michigan University for February 28; 2% franchise agreement with Comcast; Resolution 1801 – Accepting Federal Poverty Guidelines; Resolution 1802 – Supporting the Michigan Economic Development Corporation approval of a $136,000 low interest loan to property owners for environmental study work to be performed in accordance the Industrial Park Project Plan. Having no new business, Supervisor Sefcik adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m. The board meets next at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 9.