02-22-2018 Girl Scout asks for dog park in Coloma Twp.; Bainbridge prepares for end of fiscal year;

Girl Scout asks for dog park in Coloma Twp.

By Annette Christie In an attempt to obtain her Girl Scout Gold Award, Coloma Township resident Caleigh Dahn has asked the Coloma Township Board for their help in establishing a dog park in the township’s Washington Park. Dahn presented her plan at the Coloma Township Board meeting held Wednesday, Feb. 14. Dahn would like to establish the park in the green space at the corner of Becht and North Coloma roads. She would like the name to be “Amicus Dog Park”; amicus means companion in Latin. The slogan will be “A Park for Paws” in which she hopes to create an atmosphere for the park and for those that enter. Her target fundraising plan is to raise between $8,000-10,000. She plans to approach service organizations, local businesses, Coloma School District, Watervliet School District, and will work on personal fundraisers to raise the funds. Her timeline for the project is as follows: Through April 1, present to organizations including visibility at several local parades and festivals; fundraising through May 31; seek approval of the building plan, build the park; all with a grand opening of early August. Dahn is asking for four things from the township: Designated land at the site, continuous maintenance after the park is established, approval for the name, logo, and slogan, and hookup for water lines for the water fountains. She said the total size will depend on how much land the township is willing to be used for the dog park. Individual members of the Coloma Township Board expressed some concerns. Treasurer Jim Fulton suggested that the township should check with their attorney on the legal aspect, and the insurance company for liability. One of the members questioned the proposed 6’ high chain link fence and how unattractive that would be. Dahn responded that trees and foliage were planned for the perimeter to make it more pleasant. Fulton also said he would like to see how this works on the township’s parks plan. Trustee Bryan Duffield, who sits on the township’s Parks Committee, said that they have reviewed it and the biggest concern is the large area. “We still want to look at how this all fits in with the plan. Maybe better suited behind the ball fields,” Duffield said. Dahn said they had looked at that area but was afraid that people would not be able to see it back there. Duffield assured the board that the Parks Committee was in favor of the dog park just not sure of the location. The Township Board concurred that they were in favor of the project just not sure where to put it.

Other business The board voiced their concurrence for the 4th annual Color Me Cured event to be held May 19 at the Coloma High School football field. Cindy LaGrow speaking on behalf of her daughter Maurissa LaGrow (the organizer), said that last year the event raised $8,000. She said they recently made a check presentation to the Coloma Softball program for $1,000. LaGrow said that more than likely all

of the proceeds will go back to the community from this year’s event. Rick Rasmussen with “Friends of the Paw Paw River” spoke to the township board about the ongoing efforts to keep the Paw Paw River between Watervliet and Coloma clear of debris that would prevent outdoor enthusiasts from using it. Rasmussen said, “The potential here is great we just need to maintain that.” Rasmussen said he will be asking the townships and cities to look at their budgets to see if they can help to maintain this. Rasmussen said ideally he would like $5,000 from Coloma Township and Watervliet Township as well as from the cities. He said the funds would be put in a pot. If it is not used it would flow through to the next year. Rasmussen assured the board that the funding would only be used on the portion of the river between County Line Road and Bundy Road, about 12 miles. Treasurer Fulton asked about how the funds would be controlled. Rasmussen said he envisioned that someone from each municipality would be involved. Supervisor Ken Parrigin said he was 100% in favor of the donation to the project out of next year’s budget. In other business, the board discussed the rates for starting a new water service to a residence. Fulton said he would like to see it be more like time and materials. “We need to charge for the township employees as well,” Fulton said. The rates for starting a new service have not been upgraded since 2008.

Bainbridge prepares for end of fiscal year; OKs cost of living raises

By Angela Stair The Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees held their regular meeting on Monday, February 12. The call to order was given and the traditional ringing of the old school house bell seven times began the 7:00 p.m. meeting. The Board spent a large portion of their meeting preparing for the end of their fiscal year, March 31, 2018 and their 2018-2019 fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2018. The first resolution approved by the Board was the setting of the monthly board meetings as required by law. All meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. and are held at the Township Hall at 7315 Territorial Road. Regular Township Board meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month and are as follows, April 10, 2018, May 8, 2018, June 12, 2018, July 10, 2018, August 14, 2018, September 11, 2018, October 9, 2918 November 13, 2018, December 11, 2018, January 15, 2019, February 12, 2019 and March 12, 2019. Planning Commission meeting dates for 2018-2019 are May 21, 2018, July 16, 2018, September 17, 2018, November 19, 2018, January 21, 2019, and March 18, 2019. The planning Commission must meet at least four times per year. The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet annually, on the 3rd Wednesday in January for an Organizational Meeting. All meetings are at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Hall.

2% cost of living raise is approved Township Supervisor Bill Hodge announced a 2% cost of living raise will be given to the officials and employees of the Township with the Board’s approval. The Board approved the following salary, hourly and per diem rates for 2018-2019. Supervisor $15,892, Clerk $16,620, Treasurer $17,000, Trustee $1,435, Trustee per meeting $81, elected officials – other meetings for 1/2 day $40, for full day $80. Other rates approved: Board of Review, Board of Appeals, Construction Board of Appeals, and Planning Commission are all $72 and all Board Chairman are $92; Election Commission Board $72; Secretary/Clerical $14.83; Deputy Clerk, Deputy Treasurer and Deputy Supervisor $14.83; Ordinance Enforcer $17.95; Election workers $12; Election Chairman $14.83; Receiving Board $14.83; Assessor Salary $21,640; Building official $4,080; Cleaning $14.83; and Secretary for Appointed Boards $54 first two hours. The Assessors, Building Inspector, Building Official, Electrical Inspector, Mechanical Inspector, Ordinance Officer, and Plumbing Inspector all had to submit Renewal Letters. Contracts needed approval by the Board, which they proceeded to do. Fardello’s Mowing out of Coloma had to submit a bid for mowing and a cemetery mowing services contract for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and the Board approved them. He will provide summer mowing and trimming as needed or requested at the three cemeteries, the Township Hall and ball field. Supervisor Hodge presented the Board a Proposed Budget for 2018-2019 to go over before next month. Other business Supervisor Hodge informed the Board and public that they are still working on setting up a meeting about the Dakin/Peters Drain. Because of the high cost of the work the Drain Commission is proposing, the Supervisor said he is concerned and wants to ask what is being done to help defer costs to residents and the Township. He reassured the public that when the meeting will take place will be well publicized and all those that would be affected by the work and cost will be contacted by the Township so they can attend if they want to. The Michigan Township Participating Plan notified Supervisor Hodge that they have approved the Grant Request for the amount of $5,000 from the Risk Reduction Grant Program. The grant requires work to be completed within a six-month time frame for it to be paid. Supervisor Hodge said he had submitted the quote received from Indiana Electronics & Communications for $4,800 to install the four-camera system for security of building and personnel. He said that would fulfill the requirements the grant needs. The estimated total cost of the project, including smoke alarms, carbon dioxide alarms, and breaking and entering alarms among other things, come to a total of $12,110. The Board had approved the funding amount of this project in the amount of up to $8,500 at their November 2017 meeting. They would also pay a monthly monitoring fee of $40 and ongoing maintenance cost.

Server quote Clerk Patty Hiler-Molter had checked with J.P. Gillen & Associates for a server quote. Their present server was installed in 2013 and the estimated cost to bring it all up to date would cost $10,850. She spoke with them on the phone for some time, trying to get a better price and approached another company to see what kind of a quote she could get and admitted she is more confused than she was. Clerk Hiler-Molter said she would not give up on seeing if they could do better somewhere else, but admitted it’s hard to sort it all out. The Board agreed with her assessment and told her to take her time researching. She hopes to have more information by next month.

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