80th birthday open house for Pat Snow Pat Snow has been a lifelong member of the Coloma community and will be celebrating her 80th birthday on March 23, 2019. She has been a realtor for Tala Real Estate in Coloma for 35 years and is still going strong! She is a lifelong active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet. Pat’s children and their spouses are Robert and Kim Molter, George and Dina Molter, Gina and Patrick O’Brien, Lisa and Lindy Dolezan, Donna and Jim Strouse, Dana and Chris Nosich, Peter Molter and Natalie Contreras; she has 15 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
N.B. Historical Museum to host program about the House of David, March 19
Founded in Benton Harbor as a religious society in 1903, the House of David has long been the subject of urban legends and tall tales. In an effort to dispel some of these mistruths, three representatives of the House of David will team up at the North Berrien Historical Museum, 300 Coloma Ave. in Coloma on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. to present the numerous fables and misrepresentations of the House of David dating back to the 1920s up to the present. Brian Ziebart is a trustee, archivist, and historian for the House of David and has spent more time with their collections than anyone else. Debbie Boyersmith is the preservationist for Eden Springs Park whose family was part of the House of David for many years. Ron Taylor is a trustee, archivist, historian, and the museum director whose family joined the House of David at Sydney, Australia, in 1919—100 years ago. The presentation will take on three aspects of the falsehoods circulated and widely accepted: present day publications and broadcasts, Eden Springs Park’s many recognized features and entertainments, and a review of a twisted legal history that spanned a decade before the State Supreme Court overturned the several lower court decisions. But the legends have never died. The three speakers hope to make the presentation both entertaining and educational.
As a reminder, the North Berrien Historical Museum will also be hosting the St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, March 16 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. This program designed for children is in collaboration with the Coloma-Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce as part of their St. Patrick’s Day event the same day. Both programs are free. No RSVP is required. For questions, please call the Museum at (269) 468-3330 or email email@example.com.
ROTARY SPEAKER… Chief Boatswains Mate Grant D. Heffner (right), the Officer in Charge for the local U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Station in St. Joseph, was the guest speaker at the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27. He is shown here with Jordan Ness, Rotary President. Heffner gave a fascinating account of the role of the USCG in maritime law enforcement. He takes his responsibilities very seriously as the coast guard because they are the only federal entity here locally that can enforce federal law. Native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Heffner is happy to be back in his home state. He has spent the last 16 years stationed in various ports all over the country and abroad. His postings have included places like Traverse City, Michigan; Petersburg, Alaska; SW Asia; Miami Florida; and Charleston, South Carolina. His work varies in each of his units including but not limited to fisheries enforcement, search and rescue, ice cutting, and drug enforcement. Paw Paw Lake Rotary meets Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet.
Bainbridge sets new salaries
By Teresa Smithers After lively discussion at their last meeting, the Bainbridge Township Board met Monday, March 11, to adopt resolutions to establish annual salaries as follows: Township Supervisor salary at $16,369; Clerk at $17,119; Treasurer at $17,518; and Trustee at $1,478 ($81/per meeting). The Board also voted to approve the contract with Scott Anderson as Property Tax Assessor with an annual salary of $22,289. His term will begin April 1, 2019. The Board voted to renew the contract with David Dent as Ordinance Enforcement Officer for another year at $18.49/hour, effective April 1, 2019. Other business A public hearing was held on the proposed budget. A property tax millage rate of 1mill for township operations to be levied to support the proposed budget was the subject of the hearing. The proposed budget is $420,370 in revenues with expenses being the same.
Pride Ambulance reported nine calls in the month of February, one of which was a priority call, with an average response time of nine minutes. Feeling that it is in the best interest of the Township to have a policy regarding property exemptions, a resolution was also adopted for the “policy and procedure for the granting, auditing and removal of property exemptions.” Road repairs are being scheduled with the Road Commission.
Coloma hires new Deputy Clerk
By Teresa Smithers The Coloma City Commission met on Monday, March 11, with all Commissioners present. Commissioners voted to hire Rachel Edwards to replace Roseanne Clements as Deputy Clerk/Treasurer. Edwards will start April 1, 2019, at a rate of $16.50/hour. Commissioner Linda Freitag reported that Edwards was the most qualified of all the applicants and is very personable. She has accepted the position.
City prepares to renovate Randall Park To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Randall Park, the City of Coloma and the Coloma DDA are planning to give the park a much-needed facelift. Improvements will include an upgraded superior non-toxic mulch made of virgin rubber to place around the playground equipment, new steel picnic tables, new landscaping, sealing of wood structures, repair of playground equipment, new water fountain, resurfacing of crumbling walking paths, and lighting and security cameras. A goal of June 21 (the first day of summer) has been set for a ribbon cutting and dedication. To achieve this goal, the City needs volunteers and donations. The City asks for any and all donations, in-kind contributions, group/club sponsorships and volunteers. Workdays will be announced soon. For more information or to donate, stop by the City office or contact Commissioner Marsha Hammond at 352-497-7125. Marijuana ordinance public hearing Although a public hearing regarding marijuana Ordinance #2019-2 was on the agenda, no one appeared to speak about it. There were questions as to whether or not it had been announced in the newspaper, and some confusion about the legality of voting on the ordinance before holding a hearing, so the Council did a re-vote on the ordination after calling the hearing. Other ordinances Coloma resident Bill Smith asked for an update on the pole barn in Lions Park. Commissioner Hammond advised him that the request to remove the pole barn is in Representative Kim LaSata’s office at this time. “LaSata’s office assured us that they would let us know something when they know,” she reported. Coloma’s open-burn ordinance was addressed again as Coloma resident Sieg Freitag returned to the council to see if a decision had been made on granting an open burn permit to Jerry Street to burn debris on his parcel of land, as requested at the Feb. 11 council meeting. Commissioners advised that they had talked to their attorney about granting a variance, but had been advised not to. The Fire Chief, too, advised against open burning. As a result, the request was denied. “We only want to clean up our city,” Freitag commented, “but I see the message you are sending here.” “There is more than one way to clean up our city,” Commissioner Jason Hicks responded. “Burning is not the only option; you have other options.” Although open-burning is forbidden within the city limits, closed-burning, or burning in a container, is allowed during specific hours. Commissioner Hicks requested a change to the hours for permitted closed burning from noon to 8:00 p.m. to now be 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Coloma now has an Ordinance Enforcer to see that ordinances are followed. This includes the ordinance on front lawn parking. Commissioner Fred Reeves noted with approval that the police are giving full coverage and are very active in the city. “They’re doing a great job,” he said. Financials Commissioner Freitag reported that Accounts Payable through February 28, 2019, was $74,659.84; Payroll was $32,559.97, for a grand total of $107,219.81.