03-12-2020 Spring into Coloma’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration this Saturday, March 14; Bainbridge T

ANNUAL EVENT… The Hartford Chamber of Commerce hosted over 60 local business people and numerous Van Buren County officials at its annual banquet held at the Van Buren Sportsman’s Club in Hartford on Feb. 27, 2020. County Commissioner Mike Chappell served as master of ceremonies. Speakers included 26th District State Senator Aric Nesbit (shown here) and Zack Morris, the Executive Director of Market Van Buren. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)

Spring into Coloma’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration this Saturday, March 14

By Nancy Albright Birds are chirping, we gained an hour on March 8, and the sun is warm. What could be better? Well . . . how about celebrating St. Patrick? “We love this time of year and the St. Patrick’s Day Lighted Parade in Coloma because we feel it’s the kickoff to spring,” said North Berrien Community Development’s Chana Kniebes. “The event grows each year and it’s our first chance to get out and enjoy the spring,” said Coloma’s Mayor Pro Tem Marsha Hammond. “We’re amazed at the crowds and grateful for everyone’s support.” Follow the traditional green stripe down the center of Paw Paw Street to downtown Coloma on Saturday, March 14 to see the Window Display Contest and much more. The best display will net one lucky winner $150 in free advertising in the Tri-City Record. The North Berrien Historical Museum, 300 Coloma Ave., will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day kid’s event from 1–3 p.m., and browse thousands of titles at the Coloma Public Library’s St. Patrick’s Day Book Sale from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., 151 W. Center St. The Coloma United Methodist Church, 144 S. Church St., will be serving an Irish Stew Dinner from 5–7 p.m. that includes stew, salad, roll, dessert, and beverage. Take out is available. Dinner donations go to the church’s general fund. Many downtown restaurants will also feature Irish-theme fare. Enjoy Live Radio Remote at Subway, 152 N. Paw Paw St., from 6–8 p.m., and top off the day with the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Lighted Parade starting at 8:30 p.m. from the Coloma Fire Station, 170 W. Paw Paw St. Follow the parade back to the firehouse and enjoy cookies and cocoa during the awards ceremony. Hard work pays off: Win a “pot of gold” Last year the parade had 30 entries and there’s plenty of room for more this year. Work hard on your parade entry and you may just win a “pot of gold” or gift certificates from local businesses. The Chamber will award prizes for Best Float, Best Marching Unit, Best Costumed Individual, and Best Decorated Vehicle. Parade participants were awarded over $1,200 in gold coins and prizes in 2019! Parade applications are due on Thursday, March 12 and available for download at coloma-watervliet.org/calendar. You can also pick up an application at the Chamber, 142 Badt Dr., or Coloma City Hall, 119 N. Paw Paw St. Call (269) 757-2457 for more information. Registration will be accepted right up to parade time, but the Chamber prefers that participants pre-register. 5K Fun Run/Walk–Dogs too! Join SWMI RACERS for the dog-friendly 5th Annual St. Patrick’s 5K Run/Walk hosted by the Coloma Lions and LEO clubs. The event begins at 9 a.m. and starts, and finishes, at Coloma Charter Township Hall. Proceeds benefit Animal Aid of Southwest Michigan. Register online at runsignup.com/colomastpatricks5K. Online registration closes Thursday, March 12 at 11:59 p.m. Early Packet Pickup is Friday, March 13 from 5 – 6:30 p.m., Coloma Charter Township Hall, 4919 Paw Paw Lake Road. Late registration begins at 8 a.m. on race day. Almost 120 people are already registered, and the organizers expect close to 200 participants on race day! Email racers@swmiracers.org for more information. Irish Americans in Michigan Kids ages 6–12 can learn about the history of Irish immigration to the United States and the roles Irish Americans played in Michigan at the North Berrien Historical Museum, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., 300 Coloma Ave. The wee folk will use a quill to fill out a simulated historical citizenship document and be part of an interactive assembly line to learn what it feels like to be an Irish American laborer in one of Michigan’s automotive factories. Kids are invited to decorate their own rubber-band car with shamrocks and will receive a goodie bag to go. The program is free, but the museum urges you to RSVP soon due to limited supplies and space. Please call (269) 468-3330 or email peter@northberrienhistory.org to reserve your child’s spot today.

Bainbridge Twp. officials approve 2020-2021 Budget

By Angela Stair The regular March meeting of the Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees was held on Monday, March 2 instead of March 9; due to the election on Tuesday March 10 and the need to have the area set up and ready for voters. After the approval of the consent agenda the meeting was suspended and an open Public Meeting was called by Township Supervisor Bill Hodge to discuss the Truth in Budgeting and the Budget Appropriations Act. Copies of the 2020-2021 budget were made available, and are available at the Township Hall during regular business hours. Revenues expected of $452,940.00, consist of property taxes, licenses, state revenue sharing, interest, special assessments, and other misc. revenues. Expenses remain pretty stable and are expected to total $452,940.00. Capital Outlay budgeted at $10,000.00 for the year is based on the anticipated phone system upgrade and building signage. Road contribution to County Road Department is set at $64,000.00. Electric and heating were budgeted at $3,500.00 each, based on prior year usage. Board approval of 2% salary increases were factored into the budget. Assumptions are made that market remains stable, and all inflows of revenues me