DONATION FROM PRIDE CARE AMBULANCE… Hartford Fire First Responders Steven Fry and Brandywine Harting demonstrated the department’s new LUCAS device for township and city officials at their respective meetings this week. The Swedish-made LUCAS chest compression device was provided at no cost to HFD by Pride Care Ambulance, recognizing that local first responders are often first on the scene. The device which carries a $16,000-plus price tag provides precise and continuous chest compressions for cardiac patients during CPR without tying up and physically exhausting the responder. The high-tech electronics incorporate Bluetooth technology to allow adjustments to controls from a special smart-phone app. Chief Robbie Harting says he is pleased to have yet another tool in the bag along with the Automatic Electronic Defibrillators already in service to help provide even better emergency care to area residents and credits Pride Care Ambulance for following through on their commitment to work as partners with the department’s first responders. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)
GOT YOUR DUCK RACE TICKET? WBA Duck Race ticket chairperson Arica Angelo (center back) was out distributing more race tickets Tuesday with special helpers. They are pictured outside the Record office with WBA Festival volunteer (left back) Amy Loshbough, TCR Managing Editor.
Hartford City approves medical marijuana dispensary application 42 page Med+Leaf application now goes to state
By Jon Bisnett It has been well over a year since Med+Leaf began the application process, but at the June 25 business meeting the Hartford City Commission unanimously approved the application paving the way for the first medical marijuana related business within city limits. Doug Von Koenig, senior member of the Med+Leaf ownership team, commented by thanking the Commission for working through the process and reminded them of his personal promise made several months ago to do all in his power to be the “best darned small business” in town. Legal issues with the city’s ordinance over Med+Leaf’s preferred site at 11 West Main, lead eventually to a lease of property at 307 W. Main adjacent to the east end of the Family Dollar store. With local approval secured, Med+Leaf now can submit to the State of Michigan. Alex Von Koenig says the initial application is 42 pages. Current backlog at the state level is in the neighborhood of 4-6 months. Realistically Med+Leaf hopes to open sometime around the end of the year.
It is worth noting that throughout the application process and the prior adoption of the ordinance that allows medical marijuana related businesses, local opposition was minimal. Immediate Past Mayor Ted Johnson and Commissioner Terry Tibbs voiced opposition to any aspect of marijuana related business. Although Tibbs did round out Monday’s unanimous vote, he did make a statement to say, “I want it understood that I still am personally totally against this, but at the same time recognize my duty as commissioner to vote in the affirmative since Med+Leaf has satisfied fully all the requirements of the ordinance as adopted by the city.” Road Commission Public Information Meetings Larry Hummel of the Van Buren County Road Commission visited to promote the 3 mills being sought on the November ballot for Van Buren County road repair. The Van Buren County Road Commission is hosting Public Information Meetings regarding the proposed new road millage on the August 7, 2018 primary ballot. The next meeting will be held at the Van Buren Conference Center, 490 South Paw Paw Street, Lawrence on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Communications City Hall closed Wednesday, July 4; last day to register for August Primary is Monday, July 9; Hartford Community Kayak Paddle Saturday, July 14 at 10:00 a.m.; Local Officials Meeting with State Representative Beth Griffin on Monday, July 30 at VBISD Conference Center.
New Business Unanimous approval of Truth in Taxation 2018 Millage Rate: To NOT accept the Headlee Rollback and set millage at 12.140 City Charter, 1.4941 Fire Extra Voted, and 1.7419 Wastewater Extra Voted; Audit Proposal from Hungerford-Nichols not to exceed $19,750; 2017/18 Fiscal Year Budget Amendments as presented. Resolution 2018-006: Accepting 2018-19 Fiscal Year Budget as presented. Having no further business, Mayor Hall adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m.
Honoring America, celebrating freedom, and having fun in Watervliet
By Kristy Noack
Watervliet will kick off the 4th of July holiday early this year, as the city’s Independence Day festival begins Friday, June 29.
New activities join the old favorites as the festival is back bigger and better this year. Watervliet Business Association member Amy Loshbough is promoting some exciting new events in the form of a downtown carnival, Paw Paw River Float, and cutest baby contest. Also new are Family Drive-in Movie Night and the Great Lakes Rodeo Cowgirls show on the old Paper Mill property north of town!
Complete schedule of events are peppered throughout downtown on business windows and in the pages of the Tri-City Record. Additionally, local businesses are busy selling duck tickets for $5.00, which will continue until early Sunday afternoon. Be sure to pick up your tickets today! Top prize is $1,000 and the holders of 30 of the fastest ducks will win a prize.
BIG BEN & THE BURLY BOYS… will be the featured band after the fireworks on Saturday, June 30. Band members (from the left) are Kenny Roe, Ben Farac and Isaiah Roe. Ben & Isaiah played together in high school and have added Isaiah’s younger brother, Kenny. Playing and singing everything from classic rock to today’s hits, you won’t be sorry you stuck around!
In addition to locations along Main Street itself and its sidewalks, the hot spots for the festival include Main Street tent, the Watervliet Airport, Library Park, Hays Park, North Elementary School, and Ma and Pa’s Campground.
The Main Street tent will host a variety of events and is located in the public parking lot on Main Street at First Street.
The Watervliet Airport is located at 8560 Airport Drive just north of the city. Library Park is situated in front of the Watervliet District Library at 333 North Main Street.
Hays Park sits just north of town as well at 700 North Main Street, while North Elementary’s site is at 287 Baldwin. Ma and Pa’s can be found at 5355 North M-140. “Old Paper Mill property” is the vacant lot across from Hays Park on M-140.
Friday offers fun for youth and adults
The festival fun begins Friday at 3:00 p.m. when the carnival opens in downtown Watervliet in the south portion of the Family Dollar parking lot. Committee member Mary Spaulding’s hard work has led to the return of the carnival, which had been absent for several years.
Friday night’s entertainment will also feature the youth parade, with entries lining up on Pleasant Street, the Little Red, White and Blue and Baby Independence contest at Main Street tent, Elkhart Garden Tractor Pull on Pleasant Street, decorated golf cart contest and parade which takes off from North Elementary School, Independence Pro Wrestling at Main Street tent, and a Family Drive-in Movie Night showing of the movie “Cars” outdoors at the old Paper Mill property across from Hays Park. Popcorn will be provided by our Watervliet Wesco, free to all movie goers!
If you think Friday is busy, just wait until Saturday! The day is chock full with fun events. There is really no reason to stay home! The weather will be beautiful, so make the most of the day and head down to the festival.
Exercise, eat, play and cars all on Saturday
The fun begins with the Gene Bednarowski 5K walk and run at North Elementary. Post race, whether you were a participant or a cheerleader, stop by the Watervliet Fire Department for their always delicious pancake breakfast.
The little ones will enjoy the activities available in Kids Zone. There will be a climbing rock wall, inflatables, train ride and face painting for youngsters of all ages. The best part is the activities are free!
The car show honoring veterans returns this year. Vehicles of all makes and models will be hoods up at Arclight from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Your food options are limitless this festival weekend. Be sure to visit a local restaurant or hit up food vendor row which will be located on the east side of the Family Dollar parking lot. The carnival area will also feature a food vendor or two.
If you want a great tasting steak, get yourself over to the airport for their annual steak fry from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. While at the airport you can watch the planes fly in, meet with pilots or just check out the machines as the fly-in will continue all weekend.
It’s a grand old parade for a Grand Old Flag
The grand parade, with longtime local resident and city employee Mark Bolin as Grand Marshal, will line up at the old high school property located at the southwest corner of Red Arrow Highway and Main Street and wind its way downtown at 1:00 p.m. Awards will be presented at the Main Street tent immediately following the parade.
Saturday’s entertainment continues all the way until dark
Stay downtown all afternoon to meet local queens and kings, see some speedy cars courtesy of Hartford Speedway in Library Park. Watch the Great Lakes Rodeo Cowgirls give a demonstration on horse. The second and final wrestling event bell will ring at 3:00 p.m. at the Main Street tent. You definitely don’t want to miss this high-flying action; it was a highlight from last year’s festival.
Head over to Ma and Pa’s for the Blue River Float at 3:00 p.m. Enjoy some relaxing time floating down the Paw Paw River on one of our many natural attractions in Watervliet.
Don’t miss the cardio drumming or kids foam pit also downtown. Beer and bags tournament is brought back from last year with a few changes! This year Arclight Brewery is hosting this ever popular event. For $25 registration fee your team can compete for four tickets to a Cubs/Tigers game. You can register the day of the event. There will be plenty to do in town Saturday!
The evening entertainment will feature the 4×4 Mudd Run at the old Paper Mill property (vacant lot across from Hays Park) from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Watch as trucks, quads and power wheels kick some mudd, and battle for first and second place trophies!
The Hooterville Hitters take the field against the House of David Echoes at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Hays Park. Stop by for some vintage base ball action.
The always popular, festival favorite, huge fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 10:30. Hays Park and the lot across the street are ideal locations to view the colorful nighttime display. If you’re not tuckered out from the day’s activities and want to put on your dancing shoes, Big Ben and the Burly Boys will have you rocking with live music at the Main Street tent following the fireworks.
Rise and shine Sunday for the Red, White and Blue excitement in the air and on the ground
Get up early Sunday for the Watervliet airport breakfast and fly-in which continues from 7:00 a.m. until noon. A community worship gathering will take place under the Main Street tent at 11:00 a.m.
The airport is the place to be at 1:00 p.m. for the ping pong ball drop, a favorite activity of the kids. A plane flying overhead dumps hundreds of ping pong balls onto the field and kids race to collect the balls which each feature a prize.
The three-day festival concludes Sunday with the always exciting duck race at Flaherty Park. The ducks hit the water at 2:00 p.m. Be sure to get to the banks of Mill Creek early to watch the little quackers enter the water; it is truly a site to behold. A thousand yellow rubber ducks will drift their way down Mill Creek into a chute where potential winners will be cheering them on.
Be sure to visit any storefront on Main Street or facebook.com/Watervliet for the latest and greatest schedule. It gives complete information including start times and sites of each activity.
Pay tribute to our nation by donning your red, white, and blue and waving the American Flag this weekend as Watervliet celebrates our great United States this weekend. Stop by the city’s annual Independence Day weekend celebration!
Decorated Golf Cart contest and parade returns to Watervliet’s 4th of July celebration
A new event during last year’s Watervliet Independence Weekend is returning this year. The Decorated Golf Cart Parade will be held Friday, June 29 immediately following 6:30 p.m. judging of the decorations portion of the event. No registration necessary for the contest and parade allowing any golf cart or side-by-side vehicle to be entered. Bonus to all the fun is a $50 cash prize to the top decorated vehicle.
To participate have your vehicle decorated and at North Elementary School on Baldwin prior to judging. The parade will begin at the school and wind throughout area neighborhoods. The colorful carts will head down Forest Beach Road, Huntoon Avenue, Riverside Drive, downtown, Silver Terrace, and end at the Main Stage on Main Street. It’s quite a route and parade organizers are hoping for an even better turnout of entries and spectators along the route!