08-13-2020 Old Catholic church demolition approved by Watervliet City Commission

REALTORS GIVE SUPPORT… A check from the Southwest Michigan Realtors Association for $5,000 was presented to North Berrien Community Development on Aug. 11, 2020 to go toward a Coloma DDA Project, a Boulder sign that will be LED lighted for information in Baker Park. The project is slated to be completed at the end of August. In the picture is (from the left): Mary Watkins, First American Title, Stevensville; NBCD Treasurer Linda Freitag; Coloma DDA Coordinator Marsha Hammond; Patty Lauten, Coldwell Banker R.E. Group, Edwardsburg (2020 Association/REIS President); Community Development Coordinator Chana Kniebes; Mikki Swisher, American Homes R.E. of Coloma; Kristen Walton, American Homes R.E. of Coloma; Carolee Dalrymple, Pier Realty, Galien (2020 Chairman of Public Relations Committee).

Old Catholic church demolition approved by Watervliet City Commission

By Joshua Coffin

The Watervliet City Commission held its regular meeting virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 due to the recent executive order Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed extending Michigan’s COVID-19 emergency and disaster declaration through Sept. 4. The meeting was led by City Manager Tyler Dotson.

204 Crescent Street demolition

Since 2012, the city has been dealing with the old Catholic church and the attached home located at 204 Crescent St. in the City of Watervliet. In April of 2017, an action and failure citation to the court was issued to which the judge ruled that the owner was guilty of maintaining a dangerous building and that the building was to be demolished within 30 days. The judge also granted the city the power to demolish the building at its own expense.

Since then, there have been more efforts to demolish the building. The building continued to be ignored and the situation saw no progress. The city will now perform an asbestos inspection. At this time, there are reasons to believe that there is not any based on the age of the building.

If the structure is down before Nov. 1, it will be able to be put on the winter tax rolls. Dotson suggested that the city act as quickly as possible to be able to be reimbursed the money spent on the demolition of the church in a much more timely manner than if it were to be pushed back any further. The demolition is estimated to cost $40,000.

The city commissioners came to a split decision on the issue in a four to three vote to push forth on the demolition of the church. Because of the divided vote, Dotson decided to just go forward with the asbestos inspection to be certain the formal process is going the right way. He noted that he will most likely come back to the commission with further details on the project.

South Watervliet Drain Project

More progress on the South Watervliet Drain Project was made during the meeting on Monday. As a part of this process, city manager Tyler Dotson recommended the city commission approves a tax resolution for the project. The resolution he suggested approves the undertaking for the South Watervliet Drainage District. Steven Burke from Municipal Financial Consultants, Inc. (MFCI) presented information regarding the necessary process. The purpose of the resolution is so that the bonds that will be sold on behalf of the drain district can comply with a federal rule with which the city must abide. The goal of the bonds that will be sold is to capture the lowest rate for