07-19-2018 Watervliet Paper Mill Reunion hosted by the North Berrien Historical Society at vacant si

Watervliet Paper Mill Reunion hosted by the North Berrien Historical Society at vacant site

Organizers of the Watervliet Paper Mill reunion call the event at the vacant mill site a success. Former mill workers, families and friends were invited to wander the site on M-140 Saturday where several canopies were erected denoting various functions of the paper making process that occurred there. Paper production ceased in 1994 and the 300,000 square foot building was demolished in 2002. Saturday’s reunion drew a total of 175 visitors. Smiles, handshakes, and hugs were exchanged.

REUNITING… Former paper mill employees at the North Berrien Historical Society Watervliet Paper Mill reunion Saturday. The well-attended reunion was held at the now vacant paper mill site with various tents set up at key locations with displays and speakers noting the activity that occurred there.


The North Berrien Historical Society would like to thank the Watervliet Fire Department, the Watervliet District Library, the City of Watervliet, and all of their incredible staff, board, and volunteers for their support in making this event so special to so many people. For those who were unable to attend the Mill reunion and/or program, please feel free to visit the North Berrien Historical Museum and view the new Watervliet Paper Mill exhibit during Museum hours, Tues-Sat 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please contact the Museum with any questions at (269) 468-3330 or info@northberrienhistory.org.

Fireworks, golf carts, speed limits, and more discussed at Watervliet Twp. meeting

Annette Christie The Watervliet Township Board and those in attendance discussed many issues plaguing residents, some with ways to solve the issues and some without, at the monthly board meeting on July 16. Fireworks Berrien County Sheriff Deputy Guy Puffer, who is one of two deputies to patrol Watervliet Township provided his monthly report and then answered questions about what could be done to resolve the concern of some residents. Puffer was asked to clarify the law about the use of fireworks around the holidays. Puffer said that the law allows residents to set off fireworks the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday. He noted it is not just July 4th, but all national holidays. Supervisor Dan Hutchins said this year it seemed like it was a 10-day period where fireworks were being set off. Trustee Bob Wallace stated that it was probably due to July 4th being on a Wednesday and some residents celebrated the weekend before and the weekend after. Puffer said if police are contacted when residents are setting them off outside of that legal timeframe, they will go to where the complaint is, and when it happens, they will talk to the residents and seize their fireworks. The fireworks are then disposed of by the Sheriff’s Bomb Team. Puffer reminded those in attendance and the board that if they are not contacted, there is nothing they can do to make it stop. Golf carts on the roadway A resident also asked Puffer about the legal age to drive a golf cart. Puffer said the law states that the driver has to be 16 and a licensed driver and must be traveling on roads where golf cart use is allowed. If he was to catch an individual driving a golf cart that was not of legal age and not licensed, he would likely ticket the parents for allowing the child to drive their golf cart. Puffer repeated that their office can only do something if they are contacted and it is referred to them to handle the problem. Hutchins reminded those in attendance that it is important not to wait to call the township hall or the police office after the fact. “Call the police if you see it,” Hutchins said. Huntoon and Forest Beach speed limits Recent speed limit change on two roads in the township was also a topic of discussion. Berrien County Commissioner Dave Vollrath confirmed that the Board of Commissioners voted Thursday night to approve the traffic control orders setting new speed limits for Huntoon Avenue and Forest Beach Road. Vollrath explained that while the vote was not unanimous, it did pass. He said he voted in favor of it because if the board did not approve the speed limit as it was determined by a Michigan State Police / Berrien County Road Department Traffic Control Study, then it would be 55 mile-per-hour until they were able to sort it out. “I think 40 mile-per-hour is pretty fast on that road, but I couldn’t see putting it back to 55,” Vollrath said.