07-18-19 Drain Commissioner vows to fix Coloma Township drain; Proposed dog park may be looking for

Drain Commissioner vows to fix Coloma Township drain;

Proposed dog park may be looking for a new location

By Annette Christie The Berrien County Drain Commissioner and a representative from B & Z made a presentation on July 10 to the Coloma Township Board with regard to the ongoing struggles with the Kelly Drain. Christopher Quattrin said that workers were currently cleaning out the drain and removing some trees left there after power line clean-up. Quattrin said his office is working on a remedy to get the water to move where they want it to move using a road ditch, catch basin, and a pond. “The problem is getting the water to the drain,” Quattrin said, adding, “We have a solution.” The solution, Quattrin pointed out, depends on how the township and the residents do this, as a petition project or easements from property owners and for them to work with them. He noted that the latter option will save money. “We need a commitment from these people, if not, we have to go to a petition,” Quattrin said. One resident that is on the Kelly Drain told Quattrin, “I’m one of the guys who you need an easement from, where do I sign.” The gentlemen said that he and two others that live on the drain were all in agreement with the easement solution.

Parks and Recreation Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Tony Bertuca told the board that everything was going really well over at Washington Park. “The park gets lots of use,” Bertuca said. He noted that next week work was going to begin in the Paw Paw River to clear it for use. They have brought in some more sand for Helen Park, and are planning on the addition of a metal picnic table at that location that will be cemented in. Bertuca suggested that the township get working on updating their parks and recreation plan. It will expire in December. The renewal will be a five-year plan. He spoke to Cindy LaGrow with LaGrow Consulting and obtained a quote to complete the plan. Bertuca said it would cost the township $6,500 for her to update the plan and that she would include writing the township’s grant in that price. Bertuca told the board, “With her being in the community, this would be a good thing to do.” Trustee Bryan Duffield, who also sits on the Parks and Recreation Committee added, “Whether you need it now or not, it is important to have it updated, I don’t want a gap in the plan.” The Coloma Township Board approved hiring LaGrow Consulting to update the township’s plan for $6,500.

Dog Park Bertuca said that he is working with another community on moving the dog park, a project started by Caleigh Dahn for her Girl Scout Gold Star Project. Dahn had raised the funding to create the dog park with fencing, benches, trash cans, and supplies; however, the project never moved forward with the Coloma Township Board and ultimately Dahn had to walk away. Bertuca would not identify what community he was working with; however, it was discussed at a Watervliet City Commission that they were looking into it. Dahn placed a recent post on her Facebook page describing where it was at: “Hello friends and supporters of Amicus Dog Park: It has been more than enough time since our last update and we are happy to announce progress! As of now, all of the donations, both physical or monetary, have been given to the Coloma Township Parks Committee lead by Tony Bertuca. As I am going off to college next month, I thought it would be appropriate to do so. I have been told that Amicus Dog Park will most likely be moved in the area, may also have an opportunity to grow to an acre, and may be completed as soon as this summer! I am looking forward to these changes and hope you are too. For further updates and questions, I would direct you to attend both Coloma Township Parks Committee and Board of Trustee meetings or contact Parks Chairman Tony Bertuca. I hope this update finds you well and I look forward to seeing your pups enjoying the community we all do! Thank you for all of your support and love over the past two years. Many of you have impacted me more than you will ever know. All the best, Caleigh Dahn”

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