LEARNING CENTER OPEN HOUSE AND RIBBON CUTTING… Youth Development Company (YDC) Coloma Learning Center Program Director Christina Saldana, Board President Angelica Gallegos-Dickeron, and Brook Blanchard, Executive Director of the YDC/PAL, cut the ribbon of the new Learning Center location at Curtis Drive and Paw Paw Avenue in Coloma while fans and patrons cheer them on. Dozens of families showed up at their Open House on June 27 to tour the facilities and hear about the program. The YDC is now open and registering children 6 weeks to 5 years in their summer learning program, as well as enrolling students up to 12 years in this year’s after-school program. (Photo courtesy of Tabetha Berry)
PVC pipe dream comes true for Watervliet
By Joshua Coffin Watervliet City Commission met at Watervliet Fire Department for their monthly business meeting on Tues., July 7, 2020 with precaution face masks in full effect. The meeting was led by City Manager Tyler Dotson to decide and discuss citywide updates and maintenance. The Citywide Asset Management Plan (CAMP) was a focal point of the meeting. The CAMP’s intentions are in the interest of economical and efficient efforts with the goals to improve roads, waterlines, address Lead and Copper Mandates by the State of Michigan, among other improvements all as one. According to Dotson, the CAMP could potentially save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, “because we’re realizing savings and doing projects simultaneously at one time, instead of a relatively hodgepodge approach. That is the investment that this body and this city have taken. We’re already realizing the fruits of those efforts,” said Dotson. As forward progress in the Citywide Asset Management Plan, Frank LaPierre and Sam Leatch of Wightman+ presented information regarding the replacements of water pipes the Lead and Copper Mandates by the State of Michigan, requiring the city to replace any lead pipes, as they present potential issues in the water supply. To address the state mandated pipe updates, the City Commission was presented with the two options of either Ductile Iron Pipe Water Main or PVC Pipe Water Main. Ductile Iron, being the more substantial and easier to maintain material, would cost the city $424,985.50. On the other hand, the PVC Pipe Water Main, which is more cost effective but tougher to maintain, would cost $377,596.00. City Commissioner Luke Strunk motioned to approve the PVC option. In a unanimous vote, the Watervliet City Commission chose to go with the PVC Pipe Water Main option, costing the city $47,362.50 less than the ductile iron option. City updates The old Catholic church at 204 Crescent St. has most likely sung its last song. It has been recognized as not only a blight issue but a public safety issue as well. Dotson implied that is it abundantly clear that the owner has no intention of improving the current state of the building. At this point, the city does indeed have the right to demolish it, with an estimated cost of $30,000-$40,000 to tear down the rundown church. The money will have to come out of the general fund for the time being but be returned through taxes on the property. If the taxes are not paid, the county would seize the property. It is the city’s priority to see the money returned. Commission voting has yet to take place on the church. The Watervliet water tower was approved to receive a well earned cleaning with a budget of up to $4,200. This would be for a power washing of the exterior of the tower. City Manager Tyler Dotson has two estimates from Fedewa Inc. and H2O Towers for the cleaning. Though Fedewa Inc. gives a lower estimate, they are unable to provide a cleaning in 2020. Dotson believes it to be in the city’s best interest to contract with H2O Towers as soon as possible. “This gives me the flexibility to make sure we can get this done as soon as possible.” The commission approved the maximum of $4,200 for the cleaning. In addition to the exterior, The Watervliet water tower’s interior was also approved for its routine inspection. The City Commission approved the cost of services to not exceed $4,000. To add to the list of city updates, the City’s vactor truck has gone several years with only moderate maintenance and is in need of repair. The vactor truck is primarily used to assist in the suction of clogged sewer lines as well as soil removal in sensitive areas. Being that it is a very important piece of material according to Dotson the proposal was approved to not exceed $5,000. Approvals The Watervliet Public School System’s School Resource Officer Agreement expired after its three years at the end of the 2020 school year. The City Commission agreed to renew the widely supported agreement. The School Resource Officer will work directly with the school from the last planned school day prior to the COVID-19 shutdown and will continue through the 2022-23 school year. Due to the current shut down from COVID-19 and the financial impact it has caused, Tyler Dotson asked for the City Commission’s approval of the updated agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers. The agreement calls for the City to pay an additional $.30 for each hour paid to the Operating Engineers Local 324 Pension Fund. This will last until November 30 and will impact the City Works department with the updated agreements made with the I.U.O.E. The City Commissioned voted and approved the updated terms.
THESE KUTE KIDS ARE… Annibelle “Anni” Elliott Cole (left) and Madison Olivia Cole, they are 12 and 16 years old. Their siblings are Riley and Caelyn Cole and Emberly and Sophia Tarantino. Proud parents of this house full of girls are Marc Cole and Wendy Tarantino, of Coloma. Loving grandparents of the sisters are Jan Moore, Cathy Cole and Kurt Riemland.
Managing withdrawals carefully can protect retirement income Throughout much of your working life, you contribute to your 401(k), IRA and other investment accounts to help ensure a comfortable retirement. However, once you do retire, you’ll need to shift your focus somewhat from building these investments to using them – in other words, you’ll have to start withdrawing from your portfolio to meet the costs of living. How can you be sure you’re not taking out so much that you risk outliving your resources? First of all, you need to establish a proper withdrawal rate – the percentage of your portfolio’s value needed for one year’s worth of retirement expenses. Ideally, if you were to stick with this rate, your portfolio would last as long as you do. Your withdrawal rate should be based on a number of factors, including your age, amount of assets, portfolio mix and retirement lifestyle. A financial professional can help you determine the rate that’s right for you, but it’s important to understand that this rate is a starting point since you will want to review your withdrawals each year to ensure they are still appropriate. If the financial markets performed smoothly and predictably, year in and year out, any adjustments you make would likely be more modest. But, as you know, and as we’ve all been reminded the last several months, the markets are neither smooth nor predictable. Rather than constantly trying to change your withdrawal rate and spending in response to movements in the markets – which may be challenging if you have grown accustomed to a certain standard of living – you might be better off adopting a more conservative rate at the beginning of your retirement. For example, if you are in your mid-60s, you could start at a withdrawal rate of about 4%, which also assumes an increase in withdrawals (a “raise”) of approximately 3% each year to incorporate inflation. By starting at a more modest withdrawal rate, you would have some flexibility for those years in which the market drops significantly. And you could increase your chances of extending the lifetime of your portfolio. But even if you started out with a conservative rate, you may need to review it during periods of extreme market movements. If, for instance, your portfolio were to fall 20% in one year, the 4% you had planned to withdraw would actually become 5% because you’re taking out the amount you had planned, but now it’s from a smaller pool of money. If this happens, should you consider making an adjustment? There’s no easy answer. The amount you withdraw from your portfolio has a major impact on how long your money lasts. You’ll improve your likelihood of success if you are able to be flexible and make some spending adjustments – spending less on some of your discretionary items, for example, or not taking a “raise” until your portfolio recovers. Importantly, your financial advisor can help run different scenarios to determine if adjustments need to be made to ensure you remain on track In any case, think carefully about your withdrawal rate. By managing it carefully, and reviewing it over time, you can take greater control over your retirement income. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC