THIS KUTE KID IS… Ava Thomas (and Rosie), a 5th grader at Watervliet North Elementary School. Ava is a straight A student who is passionate about basketball and softball. She plays on the Lakeshore Pirates travel softball team. She enjoys hunting and fishing, hanging out with her friends and family and playing with her pups. She is a sweet and sassy girl but definitely has a big heart. Ava is the daughter of Dennis Jr. and Kassie Thomas, Benton Harbor. She has one brother, Jacob and three fur siblings, Elvis, Rosie and Presley. Ava will be 11 on July 25. Happy birthday!
Keeler Township buys into continued lake improvements; R.C. works overtime
By Kelsey Griffith The Keeler Township Board held their general meeting and Weed District Public Hearing on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, amongst a socially distanced, masked crowd at the Keeler Township Fire & Rescue Department. Weed District Public Hearing During the public hearing, a representative of Round Lake reviewed the nature of the Round Lake Weed and Aquatic Plant Control Special Assessment District and the necessary five-year re-assessment before introducing Veronnica Kenreich-Towne, a lifelong Sister Lakes Resident and Lakes Project Manager of Restorative Lakes Science. Restorative Lakes Science, the contract company, aims to reduce the prevalence of two major invasive species present in Round Lake through lake mapping and targeted treatment. Noting improvements in overall lake quality and invasive species reduction by Kenreich-Towne, as well as the affirmations of Mark Pajakowski, president of the Round Lake Improvement Association, the board unanimously decided to continue forward with the five-year plan. At most, the assessment is estimated to cost $25,000 per year with the money to be collected as necessary and only to be used for weed control and aquatic lake management. The public was to be notified of the continuation through proof of mailing by July 22, 2020. Van Buren Road Commission & County Commissioner Rick Boze of the Van Buren County Road Commission served as one of two guests of the board. Boze reported on the storms in late June and the havoc they wreaked, praising the outstanding job of the Road Commission and the Sheriff’s Department in coordinating joint cleanup efforts around the county. Boze made special mention of the tenacity of the Commission employees, describing the conditions under which the employees showed up for work – parking three to four blocks away, walking to the Commission building, cutting their way out, and working long, laborious hours to ensure community members and visitors alike had safe passage on county roads. Boze also discussed the application of sealant coats around the area, acknowledging the start of the process began on July 7, 2020, in Bangor Township. Notices of work should be received by homeowners prior to the process taking place on their road and residents who are looking for more information are encouraged to visit the Road Commission Facebook page or call in with questions. Cross pipe replacement of the piping between County Road 690 and Keeler Township Boat Launch on Little Crooked Lake was also a topic of discussion. The estimated cost of the replacement is $90,000-$100,000 and the Commission has asked the Township to match funds, as they will be doing a sizeable amount of work on the township’s lot and boat ramp. Following discussion, the township moved to contribute ten percent towards the total project funds, up to $10,000. Mike Chappell, Van Buren County Commissioner, also served as a guest of the board. Chappell relayed the latest resolution passed which brings county salaries nearer to those of surrounding counties’ elected officials. Chappell went on to discuss the continued split of the sheriff’s department’s contract and the addition of a non-voting member. Zoning The Zoning Board met recently to discuss a variance for outdoor music as well as a potential language change in Accessory Building Requirements, which will be reviewed at the Zoning Board’s next meeting. Section 3.11 A 6 & 7 of the Agriculture Accessory Building requirements were also discussed at length. The proposed change to the section would bring the township in step with numerous others. Currently, according to Michigan law, in order to build a farming operation accessory, only to be used for farming purposes, a building permit is not required and building of structures can commence with the purchase of a zoning compliance permit. The board cited concerns in not being able to easily discern whether or not structures are being utilized for agricultural production and purposes alone. This concern moved members to discuss the adoption of a letter of understanding to ensure truthful structure use under the zoning requirements. No decisions were made and the issue will be taken up at the August meeting. Planning Commission Planning Commissioner Bill Bloom’s resignation was received and accepted with regret by the board. They are now seeking an enthusiastic applicant for the open seat. Interest can be expressed during attendance at a township meeting. Triathlon canceled Due to COVID-19, nearly 100 runners slated to take on the Sister Lakes Triathlon will be receiving refunds on their price of entry. Originally scheduled to take place in mid-July, the Triathlon has been added to the growing list of COVID-19 community event casualties. Despite COVID being discussed as the culprit, board members also mentioned difficulty in recruiting the necessary numbers of volunteers to run the event
What should you do with an inheritance? If you were to inherit a large sum of money, what would you do with it? The question may not be hypothetical, especially if you are in the millennial, Gen X or Gen Z demographic groups. That’s because the baby boomers – often referred to as the richest generation in history – are poised to transfer some $30 trillion in assets over the next few decades, according to the consulting firm Accenture. Of course, this is a “macro” figure, and everyone’s situation is different. Furthermore, since baby boomers are living longer, more active lives, the total amount passed on may end up being considerably less than the estimate. Nonetheless, you may well receive a medium-to-large inheritance someday, and when that day arrives, you’ll need to decide how best to use your newfound wealth. Your first move may be to do nothing at all. Generally speaking, you have enough time to decide how to handle the various elements of an inheritance, although if you are inheriting an investment vehicle such as an IRA or a 401(k) plan, you will eventually have to make some decisions about liquidation or withdrawals. (And since these accounts may carry tax obligations, it’s a good idea to consult with your tax advisor fairly soon after you receive your inheritance.) But if a big part of your inheritance simply consists of cash parked in a bank account, there’s nothing wrong with moving the money into a cash management account at a financial services company until you decide what to do with it. However, after some time has passed, you may want to put your inheritance to good use. If you’re already working with a financial advisor, you might want to get some guidance on how to use your new assets to strengthen your existing investment strategy. Do you have any gaps in certain areas? Can you use the money to help diversify your holdings? Diversification can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses, but it can help reduce the impact of volatility on your portfolio. And, of course, if your inheritance is large enough, it may permit you to “max out” on your IRA for years to come, and possibly free you to have even more of your salary deferred into your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement account. Plus, you could use the money for other long-term goals, such as funding a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan for your children. You also might use part of your inheritance to donate to the charitable organizations you support. Due to recent changes in tax laws that caused many people to stop itemizing their deductions, charitable groups are in more need of support than ever. And last, but certainly not least, take this opportunity to review your goals. Is your inheritance large enough for you to adjust your planned retirement age? And if that age may indeed change, what about your other plans for retirement? Will you now be free to travel more or pursue other hobbies? Will you even need to modify the way you invest for your new reality, possibly by taking a less aggressive approach? Again, a financial professional can help you answer these questions. Someone thought enough of you to leave you a valuable inheritance – so use it wisely. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC