07-25-2019 Vacant lot purchased by Watervliet DDA for possible community pavilion downtown; Dog pa

FAIR FUN… Michigan Monster Truck Shootout, held Wednesday, July 17, at the Van Buren Youth Fair, was one of several grandstand acts during the fair’s week-long run. At the conclusion of the monster trucks show, a balloon from Michigan Cloud Balloon (shown in the background) provided tethered rides that were originally scheduled for Monday night. (Photo courtesy of Paul Garrod)

Vacant lot purchased by Watervliet DDA for possible community pavilion downtown; Dog park relocation talks continue

By Annette Christie

On July 18, 2019, Watervliet City officials finalized a land purchase with the assistance of DDA funds. Earlier in the month, the Watervliet City Commission gave the approval to move forward with the purchase of property right next to the city parking lot at 390 N. Main Street for the purchase price of $18,895.75.

At the DDA meeting held the evening of the closing, Watervliet City Manager Tyler Dotson said that many ideas were discussed including but not limited to building a pavilion that could be used as a farmer’s market, and could be used during city sponsored holiday events such as the Christmas and Independence Day festivals.

While the discussions are in the very early stages, the DDA has expressed excitement over the purchase and all its possibilities. At the City Commission meeting where the action was taken to authorize the purchase, DDA Chairperson Kristi Noack told the City Commission that this is their first major project and they do have a plan in place that follows up from work already done by a Steering Committee. “I feel good that we are going to start and finish this project,” Noack said.

Watervliet City Dog Park

At the July 2 Watervliet City Commission meeting, Dotson told commissioners that they were approached by Coloma Township about becoming home to a dog park. Also in the very early stages, the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee is now discussing this subject.

Coloma Township Parks and Recreation Committee Chairperson Tony Bertuca said that they have offered all of the equipment that they have to Watervliet City if they are interested including but not limited to trash cans, benches, a water fountain, and fencing to close the dog park in.

The Watervliet City Parks and Recreation Committee is looking at potential locations, locations that have all the necessary components such as land, parking availability, and water service. “They are looking at locations that will serve a need now and in the future,” Dotson said.

It is expected that once a plan has been put together by the committee, it will be brought to the City Commission for approval. “We are not in a hurry, we want to do it right,” Dotson said.

The next regular City Commission meeting will be held on August 6, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

The Dog Park that was or wasn’t to be

Coloma resident and Girl Scout Caleigh Dahn had a dream to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award for a dog park creation project. Her dream was to raise the funds for and build a dog park in a neighborhood like what Washington Park in Coloma Township had to offer.

Dahn first went to the Coloma Township Board in early 2018. Dahn’s plan was to build a dog park on a part of the township’s Washington Park. The township acquired it from the Coloma School District for the purposes of continued public use of the property. The dog park project was approved by the Coloma Township Board in early 2018. They told Dahn she could start the fundraising an