06-15-2017 Eckoffs celebrate 60th wedding anniversary; Final cost of the East St. Joseph Street proj

Eckoffs celebrate 60th wedding anniversary

 Larry and Mary Lou (Arent) Eckoff will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on June 22, 2017.

Larry and Mary Lou were high school sweethearts at Coloma and graduated in 1953 and 1954, respectively.  After their marriage in 1957, they owned and operated a fruit farm in Coloma until they retired in 2001.

They have three daughters: Janet (William) Peart of Davisburg, MI, Judy (Steve) Alspach of Chicago, IL, and Diane (Jeff) Simon of Goshen, IN; five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.


Final cost of the East St. Joseph Street project discussed at Coloma commission meeting

By Christina Gelder

Commissioner Marsha Hammond presented two invoices from the E. St. Joseph Street project at the Monday, June 12 meeting of the Coloma City Commission. She is hoping that they will be the final invoices but was unable to say that with surety, it is not uncommon for little things to arise later on big projects like this.

The invoices due were $38,403.43 to MDOT and $19,145.00 to Merritt Midwest for engineering services. They were approved to be paid.

The total cost for the project ended up being $920,772.43, MDOT paid $350,000.00 of that making the city’s portion $570,772.43. Most of the city’s share was used for MDOT invoices and engineering fees. Commissioner Hammond said that the project was finished early, a little less than they had expected overall and looks great.

North Berrien Historical Museum ribbon cutting

 Kristen DeHaan, Director of Programs & Outreach for the North Berrien Historical Museum attended the meeting to invite everyone to the unveiling of their newest permanent exhibit. The museum is very excited to be opening the Southwest Michigan Crate, Basket, and Veneer Machinery Collection.

This exhibit is comprised of equipment that was made locally from 1890 – 1950 and used by Monte Packaging Company to manufacture agriculture packaging. The ribbon cutting will be held on Saturday, July 1 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

DeHaan also gave a quick overview of other projects and events going on this summer. These include a photography contest, kid’s programs and their typical lectures on the third Tuesday of every month.

Requesting ordinance changes

 Coloma property owner Bob Howell attended the meeting to thank Mayor Jim Polashak, Commissioner Hammond and Public Works Supervisor Rod Burkholder for helping him deal with a lot of brush he had cleared from one of his properties. After making large piles to burn the brush he was actually ticketed as being in violation of the burning ordinance. The city was able to come to an agreement and help him get the wood chipped instead of either party needing to haul it off which would have taken a lot of resources.

That sparked a brief discussion about changing the burning ordinance in town. Resident Sieg Freitag brought up the time limits on the current burning ordinance and said that it does not allow for families to use burning pits after dark on summer nights.

In defense of the ordinance Commissioner Smith said that when it was written fire pits were not a thing that many people had or desired. Commissioner Jason Hicks also clarified that Mr. Howell’s acreage is certainly a different story then someone who has limited space in their yard and would be close to buildings. Howell asked that the commission look at maybe specifying those differences within the ordinance.

A meeting of the ordinance committee was called by Commissioner Hicks for Monday, June 26 at 7:10.

In other news, Commissioner Kent Churchill was praised for his dedication in planting several thousand gladiolus bulbs around the city. About 6,000 were donated and Churchill took it upon himself to make sure they were planted. He credited Karla Smothers and Tony Postelli for helping him get it done.

Commissioner Julie Smith wanted a reminder to be sent out that garage sale permits are $3 and available at City Hall. It was also mentioned that there is a limit of two sales per year, the commission was unsure if residents realize this.

FLOWERING…Watervliet Public Works Supervisor Jeff Allen places one of many flower planters along Main Street last week. The downtown beautification project was funded by the DDA with the support and assistance of the Flower Basket on Main Street and Silverstone Gardens nursery on M-140. Main Street merchants have been asked to water the planters near their businesses..


3 Church rummage sale

 Three area churches will hold a joint rummage sale this June.  The sale will be Thursday, June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday, June 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The sale will be on the grounds of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, corner of Church and Leedy streets in Coloma.  The other churches participating are Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ, Watervliet and United Methodist Church of Coloma.  Don’t miss this big sale!

Free seminar to discuss treatment options for foot pain

 Community members are invited to join foot and ankle specialist, James Maskill, DPM, for a free educational seminar titled, “Getting Back on Your Feet.” The seminar will take place on Tuesday, June 20, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Center at Lakeland at Meadowbrook, located at 2550 Meadowbrook Road in Benton Harbor. During the seminar, Dr. Maskill will discuss treatment and prevention options for all types of foot and ankle injuries and disorders including flat feet, high arched feet, bunions, hammertoes, and arthritis.

“While foot pain can be caused by a number of conditions, including injury and overuse, when it begins to interfere with your normal activities, it’s time to seek medical advice,” said Dr. Maskill.

Preregistration is encouraged; walk-ins are welcome. For more information or to register, call (269) 927-5361 or visit www.lakelandhealth.org/footpain.

Senior Services

Hartford United Methodist Church

425 E. Main Street

 Monday, June 19 Coffee & Conversation, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; LUNCH served at 12:30 p.m.; Cards, 1:00 p.m.; Bingo, 1:15 p.m.

Tuesday, June 20 Coffee & Conversation, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; LUNCH served at 12:30 p.m.; Euchre / Hand & Foot, 1:00 p.m.; Computer Help /

Knitting & Crocheting, 1:30 p.m.

Friday, June 23 Coffee & Conversation, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; LUNCH served at 12:30 p.m.; Cards & Games, 1:00 p.m.

Food Trucks are back!

Van Buren Senior Services is pleased to offer several food trucks for the remainder of 2017. The time is 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Wednesday, July 12, Senior City, 10781 76th Street, South Haven; Wednesday August 9, the Lions Club, 277 CR 665, Paw Paw; Wednesday, October 11, Hartford UMC, 425 E. Main, Hartford; Wednesday, November 8, Senior City, 10781 76th Street, South Haven; Wednesday, December 13, Lions Club, 277 CR 665, Paw Paw

Please come prepared for the weather. Please bring water to drink during the hot weather. If you have any questions, please call Apiffany Ryno at 269-637-3607.

All seniors, age 60 and older, residing in Van Buren County are eligible to participate in these programs and activities.

Any questions or comments, please contact Senior Services Paw Paw office at 269-655-8000. Rides are available through Van Buren Public Transit with no less than 24-hour advance notice at (269) 427-7921.

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