08-16-2018 Keeler Twp. Board gets road millage update; County will again seek voter approval in Nov.

Keeler Twp. Board gets road millage update; County will again seek voter approval in Nov.

By Annette Christie Keeler Township officials learned that Van Buren County is going to take another shot at a new road millage during the November election. Van Buren County Road Commissioner Rick Boze told the board at their August 14 meeting that it was voted on at a special meeting of the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners and they got it in before the deadline. Boze said that they have been discussing a couple of options and may have considered changing it some had it not been for the urgency to get it approved before the deadline. Boze said that the ballot initiative for the August primary only lost by 10% and with that much money for the first request they decided they would try it again. Voters will once again be asked to approve a 3-mill County-Wide Road Millage for the next 12 years. It is expected to raise $8.2 million for primary road improvements. The Van Buren County Road Commission maintains 1,330 miles of road. The primary roads consist of approximately 350 miles. There are currently 235 miles of primary roads in “poor” condition. The goal for this millage will be to reach an overall average rating on the primary road system. The plan would be to touch the entire primary system with some form of treatment to prevent further decline and hold as many miles in “good” condition as possible over the life of the millage. While some residents may think that the changes put in place by the new road funding by the Michigan Legislature in 2015 should be enough to fix roads, the reality is that only a portion of that is coming back to the counties. If the millage is passed, every cent of what is raised will go right back into the roads in Van Buren County. It will not go for any pieces of equipment, etc.; it will all go directly back into the roads. The current 1-mill levy in Van Buren County has been in place since 1978. Also, most of the townships have their own road millage. The Road Commission uses the funding from this levy to leverage Federal and State funds to do larger, more expensive road and bridge projects. Without the current 1-mill levy, the county would not have these necessary local funds.

Other business The Keeler Fire Department has a good/bad problem in that with all the recent additions to the staff in the department, as well as some that are in training, the department is in need of additional gear storage. The board approved the funding for another gear rack with the concurrence of the department. For the month of July the department responded to 20 calls. The Planning Commission continues its work on the sign and solar panel ordinance. It will hopefully be presented to the board for their action at their September meeting.

Paranormal investigators visit Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club, share results of studies of  unusual events in area locations

Carl Wickett from Michigan Paranormal Research Organization (MiPRO) and his team were guest speakers at the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club. They are a group who seek to find explanations to unknown or unusual events that occur throughout the southwestern corner of Michigan. They have conducted investigations on local homes, businesses, and cemeteries looking for explanations to strange activities.

ROTARY GUESTS… Carl Wickett (left) of MiPRO, paranormal investigation organization, explains a piece of equipment used by his team to members of the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club, as Chet Baranski of MiPRO looks on.

MiPRO is a not-for-profit organization that strives to provide the most detailed and thorough answers to burning questions. Generally, they attempt to disprove any event through scientific means before they label it as “paranormal.” The team goes into each investigation with this effort in mind and tries their hardest to provide the best possible service available. They use many different types of equipment during an investigation such as the zoom voice recorders which records sounds and different frequencies, a REM Pod that uses a mini telescopic antenna to radiate an independent electromagnetic field around the device, a Spirit Box which is a radio tuner that scan through every frequency at variable rates and direction, and FLIR infrared temperature guns and flare cameras which records temperatures. Several voice recordings were shared from investigations in the area, such as the Van Buren County Museum, the Bangor Library, the governor’s mansion in Marshall, the Morton House in Benton Harbor and the Kalamazoo Air Zoo plus several more. Additional recordings can be heard at their website, www.miparanormal.com. The investigations usually take about two hours to complete and then several weeks to analyze the findings. The findings are given to the client to make their own assumptions as to what made the sounds heard. They go into an investigation with about 10 team members. They will also do investigations as fundraisers for local groups. Paw Paw Lake Rotary meets Wednesday’s at 12 noon at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet.