Coloma City property taxes for 2018 will increase by Headlee allowable amount
By Lynn Mainwaring-Attila Coloma city property owners will have a slight increase in their taxes for 2018 according to action taken by the Coloma City Commission at its regular meeting held Tuesday, May 29. Morphing into public meeting mode, the commission received no comments from the assembled. They then agreed to take advantage of the Headlee Amendment and levy a slight increase in property taxes for 2018. The Commission approved an increase of 0.2939 mills to its operating millage. This will bring the amount collected for operation back up to 16.5349 mills. Mayor Jim Polashak pointed out this was the maximum allowed by the Headlee. The 1.73 percent tax increase will raise $9,808, split up over about 800 properties. The year’s operating revenue would have decreased by 3.53 percent over last year’s operating revenue if not increased. Commissioner Jason Hicks cast the lone nay vote for the slight increase. He commented, “Just for the record, I think it’s ludicrous the State dictates how we raise taxes.” Seeking Beauty An agreement was made for the city to join forces with the Downtown Development Authority for the purpose of grant writing. The unanimous vote allows Commissioner Marsha Hammond to become a part-time project coordinator. She will help apply for grants and organize beautification projects. She will be a contract employee and work a limited amount of hours for one calendar year. The DDA will pay her $5 per hour and the city will pay her $15 per hour. “Ticked” about tall grass Commissioner Hammond announced the city would be taking a “hard line approach” this year when it comes to yard maintenance and lawn mowing. She pointed out the unusually heavy tick population has prompted concern. “We’re taking a stand” she emphasized. Current ordinance requires grass to be no higher than six inches. When a yard goes beyond this requirement, the property owner will be tagged. If prompt action is not taken, the city will mow the grass and the property owner will be assessed $200. Other business Commissioners agreed to allow Chemical Bank to install a handicap accessible ramp to its entrance. Hammond pointed out the ramp would consume sidewalk space; however, there will still be room for everyone to get by. The commission agreed to pay the monthly bills. The commission is still seeking a part-time ordinance officer. The recent agreement with Coloma Township did not work out. The purposed position would be part-time, contracted with no benefits.
Farewell celebration for Michael Zehner June 23
On Saturday, June 23 the VFW Post 1137 in Watervliet is hosting a farewell celebration for Watervliet resident, Michael Zehner. The public is invited to attend and wish Michael farewell as he moves from his hometown of Watervliet. He will be moving to Texas to be near his sister. Last year he had the honor of being the Grand Marshal of the Watervliet Grand Parade during the Independence Weekend Celebration. Michael has an infectious laugh and a bright smile. He makes others feel better about themselves just by being in the same room with him. Michael will be missed. The farewell will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at the post located at 8777 Red Arrow Hwy. in Watervliet
Watervliet Pharmacy opens doors with Pharmacist “Dr. Rama”
By Lynn Mainwaring-Attila The highly anticipated Watervliet Pharmacy opened its doors Tuesday, May 29. Former Coloma Rite Aid pharmacist Ramakrishna “Rama” Reddy Burramukka has come onboard as the head of a professional and caring staff. Watervliet has been without a pharmacy for more than four years.
Dr. Rama hails from India, a graduate from the College of Pharmacy in Manipal, India. He also earned a Masters of Business (Operations Management) degree in Australia in 2001 and served the community of Coloma for 13 years, as a pharmacist. According to Alona Hayden, publicity manager, Dr. Rama was inspired to become a pharmacist by Dr. Anji Reddy, founder of Dr. Reddy’s Pharma of India. Reddy is a world leader and supplier of affordable generic medicines. Dr. Reddy’s mentor is Mother Teresa. She was born in Macedonia, dedicated her life ministering to the destitute and dying in the slums of Calcutta India as a nun, and was later proclaimed a Saint by the Catholic Church. She once said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Dr. Rama enjoys serving the public as a pharmacist, “I enjoy taking care of people with their medication questions and improve their quality of living. Being a pharmacist, I can make a difference in the community. My biggest challenge is to bring effective pharmacy care and cost effective services to everybody who lives in the community.” After serving the community for more than a decade, Dr. Rama has gotten to know many local residents and their healthcare needs. “Being a community pharmacist, I enjoy helping patients find cost effective solutions and assist with their personnel care,” he stated. “My goal is to keep the community happy and healthy. I would like to thank the community for giving me the opportunity to serve as a pharmacist.” Watervliet Pharmacy, conveniently located next door to the Side Track restaurant, is a full service pharmacy that is dedicated to the complete care of the community. Special services include free delivery within a twenty-five mile radius of the store and free bubble packaging of monthly medications aiding patients with medication compliance. Also, Medication Therapy Management will be offered which includes blood pressure screening, over the counter recommendations and complete patient monitoring. In the near future, immunizations will also be offered. Pharmacy owner is pharmacist and businessman Dr. Bhavesh Patel DPM. He is dedicated to small communities offering the quality care of an independent pharmacy. He owns several throughout Michigan including Mike’s Pharmacy in Morenci, Park Street Pharmacy in Kalamazoo, Richmond Drug in Bear Lake, Corner Drug in Elk Rapids, Medical Commons Pharmacy in Sturgis, Miller Pharmacy in Union City and Lamour’s Village Drug in Athens.
MILITARY LOGOS INSTALLED… Logos of all the U.S. military services were installed in Coloma Thursday morning of last week. The logos of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard were created by Coloma High School student Rudolf Davis (pictured above). Davis, a 10th grader, said the project was actually started the previous year by senior Josh Sprague in the welding class, but was not completed. Welding class instructor Chuck Luchies credited Davis with doing the majority of the work this year including finishing the design and cutting out the logos to make them “work for the city”. The logos join a world globe created previously by the CHS welding class and installed at the Laura Baker Park on Paw Paw Street. Mayor Polashak said the works were welcome additions to the park. He said there was some thought of relocating the Vietnam and World War II memorials from across the street to the park in the future. On hand to participate in the installation were (pictured below from the left) Marine Veteran Don Burleson, Public Works Supt. Rod Burkholder, Mayor Jim Polashak, Police Chief Jason Roe, and County Commissioner Jim Vollrath. (TCR photos by Karl Bayer)
Paw Paw Lake Rotary making a difference
Over the years the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club has met at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet and both the hospital and the Club have benefitted. The Club was the original sponsor of the hospital’s Par Course and as the hospital seeks to revitalize the course Rotary has stepped up with donations to the hospital’s foundation. This past April in collaboration with Watervliet High School students, hospital staff and foundation members the Club planted the first of twenty two trees lining the two quarter mile tracks to mark Earth Day. In addition to being a supporter of the hospital, the Club is also working with the Watervliet Public Schools (WPS) currently on two fronts; first, by starting an Interact Club at WPS. Interact Clubs bring together young people 12 – 18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of “Service Above Self” and finding out how serious leadership can be seriously fun! The second initiative is the Rotary Student Mentoring Program. Since 1905 the 1.2 million member Rotary Organization has worked towards the common goal of providing relevant services to the world. In 2007 the Rotary Student Program launched a valuable service to communities with Rotarians helping young people connect with professionals in their dream careers. By helping students connect with business professionals students gain insight into their dream careers and communities grow through new connections.