04-11-2019 Coloma begins spring cleaning, DPW will collect trash April 22-25; Hartford Public Librar

BENEFIT FUNDRAISER… Coloma City Commissioner Kent Churchill, with his grandson Eli. Churchill––a 30-year veteran of North Berrien Fire Rescue––has suffered two strokes and is now unable to work. A buffet supper and silent auction to help Churchill with medical and living expenses will be held at Fire Station #1, 170 Washington St., Coloma on Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Call North Berrien Fire Rescue at (269) 849-3409 or City Hall at (269) 468-6606 for more information.

Coloma begins spring cleaning, DPW will collect trash April 22-25

By Nancy Albright Spring has sprung, and the City of Coloma begins sprucing up this month. The Randall Park renovation project is underway, and Mayor Pro-Temp Marsha Hammond reported at the Coloma City Council monthly meeting on Monday, April 8 that eight new picnic tables have been installed under the Randall Park pavilion. “We are making headway with donations for the project and would like to purchase four more tables.” A volunteer work day is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, 2019 beginning at 9:00 a.m. “We are grateful for any help we can get, even if just for a couple of hours.” said Hammond. Spring Cleanup will take place from April 22-25, 2019. The Department of Public Works will pick up refuse on the north side of Center Street on Monday and Tuesday, and the south side of Center Street on Wednesday and Thursday. Garbage bags, brush and leaves, tires, paint cans, driveway sealer, refrigerators, air conditioners and computers are not eligible for pickup. Visit berriencounty.org/recycle for collection sites and dates to dispose of hazardous waste. Hydrant flushing begins on Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 11:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m., and will take place every second Thursday through October. Department of Public Works Supervisor Rob Burkholder warned residents that they may experience rusty water until a few gallons have flushed through the system. The council approved the quote from Quality Paving in the amount of $126,100 to repair West Street. The company will address potholes, curbing and the adjustment of 13 manholes and shut-offs. Safety first The Coloma Fire Department responded to a fire at 190 W. Logan St., where a resident was burning refuse in the backyard in an open container. Article II of the city Fire Prevention and Protection Ordinance states that burning anything but leaves requires that the incinerator be covered with an arresting screen or similar device to prevent the spread of fire. Open burning constitutes a civil infraction and fine. According to Fire Chief Mike Mattix, the resident was advised to extinguish the fire and complied with the request. Mattix also reported that the process to conduct commercial and residential rental inspections is currently in the investigations and negotiating phase, and he is dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s before beginning inspections. Commissioner Linda Freitag reminded residents that the next Fire Board meeting will take place at North Berrien Fire Station #1, 170 Washington St., on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 7:00 p.m. In need of helping hands A benefit for Coloma City Commissioner Kent Churchill will take place at Fire Station #1 on Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Churchill––a 30-year veteran of North Berrien Fire Rescue––has suffered two strokes and is now unable to work. Those who cannot attend the event and would like to donate funds to help with Kent’s medical and daily living expenses can do so at Honor Credit Union. Kent will receive funds directly from the Benefit for Kent Churchill Account. According to the City Council, “Kent has a big heart and would do the same for anyone. Thanks in advance for your kindness during Kent’s difficult time.” Call North Berrien Fire Rescue at (269) 849-3409 or City Hall at (269) 468-6606 for more information. Law enforcement Coloma Chief of Police Wes Smigielski reported that the police department will finalize plans with Coloma Township and Coloma Community School Superintendent Dave Ehlers to hire Dan Stuglika as the district’s new School Resource Officer in May. “This is Dan’s forte. He is already fully trained, and we plan to provide him with additional training,” said Smigielski. Since the beginning of the school year the department has resolved three drug cases, one for selling narcotics and two for possession. Smigielski also informed commissioners that $7,000 worth of merchandise was stolen at the beginning of April from the Coloma DVD Digital Vaper Den, 172 N. Paw Paw St. Officers worked with Berrien County detectives to apprehend juveniles that were involved in the robbery, as well as two adult suspects that are currently being held. “Some people don’t realize that we regularly monitor social media, and with the help of the detectives were able to resolve the case quickly.” Commissioners commended Smigielski and his department for their good work.

Hartford Public Library – Vanderlyn Community Center obtains

$400,000 grant to add to $1,300,000 commitment

By Jon Bisnett The Hartford Public Library – Art & Bonna Vanderlyn Community Center is moving forward thanks to a $400,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced on March 28, 2019 among over $28 million in grant awards for some 233 humanities projects across the country. Of those awards, six totaling $1,296,999 were awarded in the State of Michigan. The Vanderlyn Center project finds itself among very good company in the way of other Michigan NEH grant recipients which include the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, and the Henry Ford Museum. The local project will repurpose the idled Red Arrow Elementary School site on Red Arrow Highway into