03-30-2017 City of Coloma approves budget; Van Buren Technology Center students compete in Business

City of Coloma approves budget

By Christina Gelder

A new budget was approved by the Coloma City Commission at their Monday, March 27 meeting. The new fiscal year begins for them on April 1. The 2017-2018 budget approval came after amending the 2016-2017 budget and transferring some funds to different categories.

The 2017-2018 budget has the General Fund with $756,665 in revenue, $743,583 in expenses; major streets revenue of $155,111 and expenses of $15,511; local streets revenue of $34,070 and expenses of $38,142; water and sewer revenue of $800,493 and expenses of $777546.

Request to keep chickens

Valerie Krause, of Coloma Avenue, attended the meeting to request permission to keep three chickens on her property. She had purchased the chicks after putting an offer in on a house outside the city limits but that deal fell through. She is prepared with fencing and a coop. Krause also provided a letter to the commission from her closest neighbor stating that she was not bothered by them.

After being assured that she would not keep any roosters, the commission voted to give permission for her to keep the birds. The ordinance concerning chickens state only that permission must be received from the commission.

Sidewalk troubles

Neighbors Frank Ambler and Fred Reeves both of Harriet Street were also at Monday’s meeting. They came to ask about the sidewalks that run in front of their properties. Both homeowners feel that the sidewalks are a hazard that opens them up to injury and possible lawsuits. The request of the men was to have them repaired or to be able to remove them completely and plant grass.

Commissioner Marsha Hammond told them that any sidewalk work is a 60/40 split with the homeowner and they would be responsible for 60% of the cost. Due to the fact that there is not a lot of foot traffic on the sidewalk, and it is not complete (only a section of the street), they are leaning more towards taking them out. Mayor Jim Polashak said that someone will come out and take a look at the situation and get back to them.

In other news Mayor Polashak was sent a certificate of appreciation for taking some time to visit with and read to children at Coloma Elementary for March is Reading Month. The commission also received a thank you letter from the St. Patrick’s Day committee for their donation to that event.

Aaron Nance

Van Buren Technology Center students compete in Business Professionals of

America State Leadership Conference; four qualify for nationals

 On March 16-19, 2017, thirty-five students from the Commercial Art, Cyber Security & Computer Network Technology and Software Engineering programs at the Van Buren Technology Center participated in the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. BPA is a student organization with over 43,000 students in 23 states. This three-day event included 65 competitive events, 12 professional development sessions, a full assembly general sessions, election of state officers, college fair, a formal dinner and dance, and various other activities.

The following four Van Buren Technology Center students were recognized for their accomplishments at the DeVos Place on Sun­day, March 19: Jacob Brink – Bangor High School, Cyber Security & Computer Network Technology 5th plac