08-22-2019 Watervliet Township Board allocates funds for dry hydrants on Paw Paw Lake shore; LaSata:

2019 AWARD WINNERS… Coloma Lions Club presented annual awards to deserving members at a recent picnic. Pictured (from the left) are: Lion Matt Moser (Lion of the Year), Lion Bennett Leedy (Distinguished Service) with Lion Dale Kreitner – Secretary Coloma Lions Club.

Watervliet Township Board allocates funds for dry hydrants on Paw Paw Lake shore

By Annette Christie The Watervliet Township Board decided to allocate funds for dry hydrants on Paw Paw Lake at their Monday, August 19 meeting. Though they had taken action prior to do the same, the project for installing dry hydrants never got off the ground. Trustee Joe Stepich refreshed the board on the subject. The Paw Paw Lake Association and Watervliet Charter Township both had approved $500 each for every dry hydrant installed on the lake on the Watervliet Township side. The original plan was that the residents near the locations would divide the balance of the cost amongst themselves, given that they should receive insurance savings due to the location of a water supply near their homes. That never moved forward. Dry hydrants are used to supply water for fighting fires. A dry hydrant is usually an unpressurized permanently installed pipe that has one end below the water level of a lake or pond. When needed, a pumper fire truck can be filled by using the water from the lake. Stepich said that there have been 10 possible locations identified on the Watervliet side of the lake. “Fire lanes at road end would be the preference,” Stepich said. The subject came up due to one of the locations needing some repair to the sea wall and so while it was being repaired it would make sense to install the dry hydrant at the same time. Stepich proposed that the township use dollars in the public safety fund to finance the installation of the dry hydrants, with the Paw Paw Lake Association and the fire department assisting financially. “This is a public safety issue,” Stepich said. The township is saving money as their ambulance service is now free to the township so Stepich suggested that this project would be an appropriate and proper use of those funds of approximately $22,000. This particular location is expected to cost approximately $3,800 for the sea wall repair and $15,000 for the dry hydrant installation. Stepich said that it is roughly 175’ from the road to the lake and the piping will have to go out into the lake, below the ice line, as well as accompanying a sea wall and a drain that they have to deal with. The other three locations being considered are at the public swim platform, public boat launch, and between the Bundy residence and his neighbor on Shore Drive. While Stepich was looking for an approval to move forward with all of the locations, some of the board was interested in looking for additional vendors and quotes for the work. For now, they did approve the specific property that was discussed, located next to the Spessard property. Stepich explained that it was the intent of the installations to provide water so that no residence was more than 1,000 feet from a water source. It will be close to that when it is all said and done, and homeowners should see a reduction in their property insurance as a result of it. In other business, the board approved a policy regarding building department refunds. Clerk Patt Bambrick explained that her office has about 10 pages of old permits that have never been cleared. A building permit stays valid as long as work continues and inspections are being completed. It is specified now that building permits expire within six months of the date that the permit is issued if the work has stalled or never started. The next regular meeting of the Watervliet Charter Township Board is September 16 at 7:00 p.m.

Coloma Lions Club Awards presented at Family Picnic

At the recent Coloma Lions Club Family Picnic, awards were presented to two outstanding members of the Coloma Lions Club. Lion Matt Moser was named Lion of The Year and Lion Bennett Leedy was presented with The Distinguished Service Award. Lion Matt has been a very active member of not only the Coloma Lions Club but has been very active in the Coloma community as well. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Coloma Lions Club. Lion Bennett Leedy also serves on the Board of Directors and has been a long time member of the Club serving in many capacities. It is important to know the recipients are selected by a committee of the last three members who have been presented the individual awards. The annual Family Picnic is becoming a low key annual event of celebration of the past year’s activities by the Lions Club. This event was held in the pole barn of President John Sternaman and his wife Kim and this year it was a hamburger – hot dog type cookout with many dishes to pass. The Coloma Leo Club also joined in the celebration. The Leo Club is made up of junior and senior high school students from both Coloma and Watervliet. The Leo Club sponsors the St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run and Walk in conjunction with the Coloma Lions sponsored St. Patrick’s Day Lighted Parade which is becoming a large early spring celebration.

Coloma library has successful Summer Reading Program

On Friday, Aug. 16, the Coloma Public Library wrapped up the 2019 Summer Reading Program season with a fun carnival theme party. The celebration was kicked off with a special storytelling performance by former Coloma school librarian, Kathy Yonker. Readers of all ages enjoyed activities including crafts, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and games in the courtyard off the Children’s Area. Participants who read throughout the summer were entered into grand prize drawings for Kindles and other prizes. The numbers of summer reading registrations grew this year with 239 children, 29 teens, and 70 adults participating. The Coloma Public Library will continue to expand the program and is already looking into next year’s theme which will be “Imagine Your Story”. Summer Reading Programs are meant to be fun and entertaining, but there is a real educational benefit as well. Research has shown that children who remain engaged in reading activities are less likely to experience “summer slide”, which is described as a lapse in academic proficiency that can occur over the course of the summer. One mom took the time to share with library staff that her son’s participation in the program turned him into a confident reader. She said that her son is now looking forward to the start of school so he can tell his teacher about the books he read. The Coloma Public Library wishes to thank several local organizations that generously donated to support the Summer Reading Program. Thank you to McDonald’s of South Haven, Bangor, Coloma, and Benton Harbor; Dairy Queen of Coloma; Michigan Pizza Hut, Inc.; Moore Theatres (Loma); Soulard’s; and Chili’s.

LaSata: New legislation aims to preserve, protect Michigan water quality

A comprehensive bipartisan legislative plan to improve testing and reporting of water quality in Michigan was introduced on August 20, announced Sen. Kim LaSata.

A primary component of the package is LaSata’s bill that would require periodic testing of water for lead at child care facilities, colleges and universities, hospitals, nursing homes, and adult care facilities.

“The health and well-being of residents in Southwest Michigan and throughout the state is my top priority,” said LaSata, who introduced Senate Bill 395 in the package. “My bill and the others in this plan build upon the investment and action that have already been taken to improve and protect the quality of our water.

“Michigan is defined by its water, both literally and figuratively. With this plan, we are going above and beyond to help prevent another Flint water crisis and to ensure contamination is identified and remedied quicker than ever before.”

Additional requirements in the plan to improve drinking water quality include: The creation of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Commission to study environmental threats of lead poisoning to children’s health and to review and recommend improvements to the lead poisoning prevention program; a comprehensive lead and copper analysis report at least one year prior to any change in water source; reforming the emergency manager law into a three-person financial management team and prevent it from changing a public drinking water source without public approval or from making changes affecting public welfare, health, or safety when cost is the primary factor; granting the state auditor general authority to access and examine electronically stored and confidential information; requiring lead service line disclosure statements in all rental contracts; and requiring transparency in water utility ratemaking, billing, and shutoff practices.

The proposal builds upon action taken in recent years by legislators to address water quality issues throughout the state, including lead in Flint’s municipal water system, and in numerous communities dealing with PFAS groundwater contamination.

State funding dedicated to address the water crisis in Flint over the last three years totaled $577.8 million. The state dedicated approximately $90 million on clean water programs, including addressing PFAS, in the current fiscal year, and the Senate-approved fiscal year 2020 budget included nearly $190 million for clean water programs and PFAS response.

“I am committed to doing whatever I can to ensure Michigan’s water is clean and its people are healthy,” LaSata said.

SBs 201 and 404 were referred to the Senate Oversight Committee, while SBs 395–403 were referred to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. Companion measures, House Bills 4751-4769, were previously introduced and referred to the House Government Operations Committee.


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