02-27-2020 City of Coloma to re-visit recreational marijuana issue, opted out in 2019; New provisi

COLOMA CELEBRATION… The Coloma St. Pat Committee invites community members to participate in the Saturday, March 14 evening lighted parade at 8:30 p.m. in downtown Coloma. Parade applications are available at Coloma City Hall or call Chana Kniebes at 757-2457 for more information. There will be prize money for parade categories and cookies and cocoa after the parade at the Fire Station courtesy of the Ladies Auxiliary. Coloma’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration offers a fun day with a 5K Run/Walk in the morning, Coloma Public Library Book Sale, North Berrien Historical Museum children’s program and Irish Stew Dinner at Coloma United Methodist in addition to the Lighted Parade. Pictured in the Committee photo are Marsha Hammond, Kandyce Hays, Ross Streu, Fire Chief Mike Mattix, Susie Moser and Chana Kniebes, not pictured is Sandra Kraemer.

City of Coloma to re-visit recreational marijuana issue,

opted out in 2019

By Nancy Albright On February 24, the Coloma City Council approved a motion to investigate the issue of bringing recreational marijuana to town. Feelings are mixed. Commissioner Jason Hicks stated that marijuana is a commodity in demand and that it could help increase Coloma’s tax base. Commissioner Fred Reeves said there are several recreational businesses near Coloma, and that Coloma Township is entertaining the possibility of a recreational facility. Reeves also raised the concern that if Coloma were to opt in, it may be difficult to opt out. Coloma opted out of recreational marijuana in 2019 because the state did not have all the regulations in place. Now that regulations are established, the commission agreed to collectively review the attorney’s written statement that was provided to each council member and revisit the issue going forward. Vietnam veteran’s event in the works The city unveiled plans on January 27 for a spring celebration honoring the service of Vietnam veterans, planned for Saturday, May 9 at 3:00 p.m. The event is a homecoming to thank Vietnam vets the way they deserved when they returned from duty in the wake of opposition to the war. The commission emphasized that the event is also meant to celebrate the service of ALL war veterans that have served in the U.S. military, and all vets are invited to walk in the parade. Medal of Honor recipient PFC James McCloughan of South Haven will speak at the rededication of the Vietnam War Memorial in Baker Park following the parade through downtown Coloma. The city will hang banners from the light posts along the parade route honoring several local veterans and Coloma FOP Lodge 147 will host a dinner. Officials will also read the names of forty area vets classified as Missing in Action in Vietnam at the rededication of the memorial. Several area American Legion and VFW posts are already involved, including Bangor and Legion Post 49 in South Haven. “We have had a good reception from area veteran’s organizations and so far we anticipate a large crowd,” said Commissioner Fred Reeves. Reeves also reported that he has spoken with U.S. Representative Fred Upton’s office and that they have requested a formal invitation to participate in the event. The city asks that residents spread the word. To participate in the parade or help in some way contact Coloma City Hall, (269) 468-6606. To make a donation, please visit Edgewater Bank in Coloma, 167 N. Paw Paw St. The city will donate leftover funds to a local or national veteran’s organization. News from the library The Coloma Public Library, 151 Center St., will host a fun night of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) exploration on Wednesday, March 18 at 6 p.m. The library invites school-age kids to learn about invisible ink, virtual reality, merge cubes, Google Cardboards, Bristlebots, and the 2020 Census. The program will be taught by volunteers from the Coloma High School National Honor Society. Call (269) 468-3431 or visit colomapubliclibrary.net for more information. Coloma resident Harold Bragg commended the library on the success of the President’s Day program. “There was no school that day and the library had a full house. It was the place to be.” News from City Hall The city approved a motion to explore the possibility of selling water in bulk to Coloma Township. The township would then bill its customers for use. The city plans to meet with Berrien County Community Development Director Dan Fette and the Department of Environmental Quality as part of the investigation. Coloma City voting equipment has been tested for accuracy and passed the inspection for the Presidential Primary vote on March 10, 2020. The March Board of Review has been rescheduled from March 9 to March 11 and the winter tax deadline is extended to February 29, 2020. The council approved the rate of pay for census workers in the amount of $12 per hour. The next Fire Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at Station #1, 170 Washington St. Pride Care Ambulance Services responded to nine calls in the month of February with an average response time of nine minutes.

OFFICIAL OPENING… Watervliet Township Clerk Patt Bambrick and James Brobyn, CEO of parent company American Fiber, share ribbon cutting honors at Compassionate Care By Design community open house Feb. 21.