07-26-2018 Planning Commission halts progress on Amicus Dog Park  in Coloma Township, Grand Opening

Planning Commission halts progress on Amicus Dog Park  in Coloma Township, Grand Opening moved to October; Township Trustee & Parks Chairman Matt Moser resigns

By Annette Christie The Coloma Township Planning Commission has halted the completion of a dog park that was to be located at Washington School Park. The Amicus Dog Park was the brain child of Caleigh Dahn, a Girl Scout who is creating the park as her Gold Award Project. The Coloma Township Board approved the idea in early 2018 following a presentation by Dahn and a commitment to raise the $10,000 needed to build the park. She was given the go ahead and went on to raise over that amount. At their June meeting, the Coloma Township Board learned that the Planning Commission had identified a glitch in the system and stated that a special land use permit would be required for the dog park. In addition, this could also affect the baseball programs that also use Washington School Park. The township did file the permit request with the Planning Commission and it was discussed at their July 17 meeting but was not resolved. The public hearing that will accompany the request will not be held until the August meeting, weeks after the Grand Opening was scheduled to occur. Ultimately the township board would be the body approving the special land use permit. The glitch on not obtaining a permit affects the ball fields that have been on the property for years, as the township did not seek a special land use permit for them when they assumed the property from the school district. Dahn posted on the dog park’s Facebook page that they were informed on Friday, July 20, 2018 that they had to stop construction and wait for the zoning issue to be resolved. She said that they needed a special land use permit, something which all parties involved missed in the planning process. Not to be discouraged she wrote, “Please come and give your support for this project at the public hearing that will be held at the Coloma Charter Township Hall on August 21, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.” Confident that she will receive the permit needed, she has re-scheduled the grand opening for October 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Trustee resigns Coloma Township Trustee Matt Mosher who also serves the township as the Parks & Recreation Committee Chairperson has stepped down apparently due to this controversy regarding the dog park. On July 19, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. Moser authored a letter of resignation from the Coloma Township Board and all other committees that he is currently on. He would not comment further. Efforts to obtain the minutes from Coloma Charter Township Planning Commission or any other communications regarding the dog park had not been acknowledged by press time.

Pre-register now for Fitness & Fun Fair to benefit Berrien County RAD program

On Saturday, September 29 Women are RAD Fitness & Fun Fair is being held at St. Joseph High School from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event consists of fitness classes in yoga, Tai Chi, kickboxing, Pilates, HIIT, Zumba and Zumba Strong. Spa services from local specialists for donations include beauty tips, massage, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy and manicures. Local vendors will have concessions for soft drinks, baked goods and more. Cost to attend is $20 for early bird registrations and $25 at the door. To attend without participating in the fitness classes, the cost is $10. Everyone in attendance will have a chance to win fabulous prizes and more! Go to Facebook or eventbrite.com and search for Women are RAD to register, call 269-759-9377 or email Deputy Kelly Laesch at klaesch@berriencounty.org. There are special gift bags for the first 100 tickets purchased. Sign up now! Proceeds from this event will benefit the Berrien County Rape Aggression Defense Program which offers free courses to women 16 years old and over.

Free financial screenings available Community members are invited to attend a free, 15-minute financial screening with a Patient Financial Advocate at Lakeland Health. Advocates can help determine eligibility for medical financial assistance and answer questions about enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Screenings will be held at the following dates and time: Saturday, August 4, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Center for Outpatient Services, Pharmacy Conference Room; Friday, August 10, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet, Classrooms B and C; and Friday, August 24, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. again at the Center for Outpatient Services, Pharmacy Conference Room. “We encourage patients who may be putting off surgery or an imaging exam such as a CT or MRI, due to cost, to meet with one of our financial advocates who can discuss coverage options as many times patients don’t know what’s available to them or what type of assistance they may qualify for,” said Jenna Howard, Manager Admitting and Registration, Lakeland Health. For a full financial screening, participants will need to bring paycheck stubs, ID, tax return, and latest bank statement. Preregistration is encouraged; walk-ins are welcome. To schedule a 15-minute time slot, call (269) 556-2810.

Learn to live well with heart failure Lakeland Health will offer “Living Well with Heart Failure,” a free class for community members about congestive heart failure (CHF), a chronic condition characterized by the heart’s inability to meet the blood flow needs of the body. The program will take place on Tuesday, August 7, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in Classroom B at Lakeland Hospital Watervliet located at 400 Medical Park Drive. Participants will learn to identify common causes and symptoms of heart failure, as well as new daily routines that can dramatically improve one’s quality of life. Preregistration for the class is required; call (269) 556-2808 or (866) 260-7544.

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