01-18-2018 Spaulding re-elected president of Watervliet school board; committee selections made; Wat

Spaulding re-elected president of Watervliet school board; committee selections made

MOVING OUT… Not a good sign to see on Main St. in the City of Watervliet, this U-Hall Truck was necessary to get Jennifer Moore and the Back on the Rack store moved out by her approaching midnight deadline. (TCR photo by Annette Christie)

By Kristy Noack The Watervliet Board of Education met on January 8 with plenty of business on tap. The board opened with an organizational meeting which saw the re-election of incumbent board president Bill Spaulding. Andy Bodfish was elected as the vice president. Matt Clay will perform the duties of secretary and Marilyn Barchett will act as the treasurer. The board will continue to hold their monthly meetings on the second Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the middle/high school media center. In the final act of the organizational meeting, committee assignments were made. Barchett will head the Negotiations/Personnel committee with Troy Boone and Clay as members and Ted Tees as the alternate. The Auditor/Finance committee will be helmed by Spaulding with Clay and Barchett acting as members. Eric Laws will fill the role of alternate. Spaulding will chair the Superintendent Review committee and will be joined by Boone and Laws. Clay will be the alternate. Bodfish will lead the Capital Projects committee. He will be assisted by Tees and Boone with Clay as the alternate. Bodfish will also chair the Board Policy Review committee. Barchett and Laws will be members, and Clay will act as the alternate. The Curriculum committee will include Clay, Laws, and Bodfish. Board pays bills Superintendent Kevin Schooley reviewed the budget and the general fund bills. Expenses in the amount of $1,204,969.55 were approved for payment. Of that figure, $755,957.88 was related to payroll expenses. Other expenses included $46,170 for 54 kids to attend Van Buren Tech Center. Another $31,958 was paid to cover the cost of tuition for 30 students who are dual-enrolled at Lake Michigan College. January is Board Appreciation Month, but the super stars were missing from the meeting One of the highlights of the school year, for board members at least, is the January meeting. January marks School Board Appreciation Month, and board members are typically feted with kind words, tokens of appreciation, and even a special number performed by students. This year the board received several gift cards presented by the principals of North Elementary, the middle, and high schools. As part of the Watervliet W-A-Y program director Dave Kindt said, “Thanks to the support of the board, we have the resources to provide a quality education.” Attesting to that fact was CJ Whitaker, a December graduate of the W-A-Y program. Whitaker stood before the board and said, “I didn’t do so well in the high school. The W-A-Y program, without it I wouldn’t have graduated. Thank you for funding that.” According to Kindt, 90 students have graduated from the W-A-Y program with their high school diploma in the past six years. Superintendent Schooley said, referring to the board, “You get involved, roll up your sleeves. You put in a lot of time. Thank you all for your service to the students of Watervliet.” Typically, the highlight of Board Appreciation Month is the students of South Elementary. Each year, the youngsters put on quite a show for the board. This year, however, the little ones were noticeably absent from the meeting. That was due to school being cancelled due to inclement weather. . Other business included contract extension and trip request The board approved extending a probationary teaching contract to Kirk Shafer to fill the Industrial Arts/Woodshop class. Mr. Shafer is the brother of Karl Shafer, the former instructor. Another former instruction, Mike Waite, has been overseeing the class while the district searched for a replacement. Waite and Kirk Shafer, who started January 9, will work together for about two weeks before Shafer takes over. The board also approved an overnight trip request proposed by senior class advisor Karla Liles. Liles requested the board approve an overnight trip from Watervliet High School to Airway Lanes in Kalamazoo for post-prom activities. Bus drivers have volunteered to drive and chaperone students and the senior class will undertake some fundraising activities to help offset the cost of the trip. The request was unanimously approved.

Watervliet Township approves restricting storage container use

By Annette Christie The Watervliet Township Board voted to approve an amendment to the zoning ordinance, at the recommendation of the Planning Commission. This follows a public hearing held on the subject held on Tuesday, December 5 and the first reading at last month’s meeting. The change is referring to the definition of an accessory structure and what is an allowable accessory structure. Accessory structures of conventional wood frame, post/frame, or masonry brick or block type construction or prefabricated sheds, meeting the requirements for size and location of this ordinance, will be permitted in any zoning district. The amendment prohibits shipping containers, truck trailers or any enclosed cargo space, either attached to or off of a truck or vehicle chassis will not be permitted in any zoning district. Shipping containers will be permitted for office space or for storage of materials or tools for the duration of any construction project but must be removed at the end of the project. The board approved bills in the amount of $94,165.28. Supervisor Dan Hutchins told the board that he spoke to Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey about their police services. When the one of the officers that are assigned to Watervliet Charter Township are absent due to vacation or training in other areas, Hutchins was seeking a replacement to fill the absent shift. In his discussions with Bailey, they agreed that the shifts will be covered by another deputy with no additional expense to the township. The next meeting for the board is Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. They will hold a budget special meeting on March 21, 2018.