08-24-2017 North Berrien Historical Museum hosts historical kayak tour of Little Paw Paw Lake on Aug

North Berrien Historical Museum hosts historical kayak tour of Little Paw Paw Lake on August 30

 Calling all kayakers! Enjoy a relaxing evening with the North Berrien Historical Museum and Sarett Nature Center on a beautiful historic kayak tour of Little Paw Paw Lake on Wednesday, August 30 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

PAW PAW PADDLE… 28 kayakers took to the Paw Paw River at Hays Park in Watervliet last Wednesday morning for an up close and personal look. Lead by State Senator John Proos and State Representative Kim LaSata the group was comprised of legislators, DNR officials, and County officials. Following the 2-1/2 hour paddle to Coloma, where they exited the river at the Public Works landing downtown, the group had a luncheon at The Friendly Tavern. Bob Wilson, Executive Direc-tor, Michigan Trails and Greenways said the message to the group was to help highlight all the great work being done by local volunteers and profession-als to help build the state’s wa-ter trail system and at the same time emphasizing the impor-tance of the state being a part-ner. For more information on the Paw Paw River Trail visit www.pawpawriverwatertrail.org or Facebook page Paw Paw River Water Trail. Questions should be directed to Southwest Michigan Planning Commission at 269-925-1137 x1521. (Photo courtesy of Rick Rasmussen)

Learn about the natural wildlife and vegetation of the lake as well as its history. Meet at the museum and ride over together to the lake to begin the tour.

This activity is recommended for ages 10 and up. Kayaks and equipment are available to rent for $15 per person. Participants may bring their own kayaks as well for no charge.

Please call the museum at (269) 468-3330 to reserve your place by August 29. For more information, contact the museum at (269) 468-3330 or kristen@northberrienhistory.org

Berrien County Board of Commissioners announces Public Hearings concerning Road Commission

 The Berrien County Board of Commissioners gives notice of the following public hearings to discuss the possible transfer of powers, duties, and functions that are otherwise provided by law for the appointed Berrien County Road Commission to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners.

The public hearings will be held at the following times, dates, and location: Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners’ Room at the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main Street, St. Joseph.

Bainbridge audit for last fiscal year reflects increase in net position; Trustees award contract for furnace repair

By Angela Stair

The Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, August 14. A representative from Kruggel Lawton CPA gave a presentation to the Board for approval of the audit of the Township’s 2016-2017 fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2017.

A financial highlight the auditor spoke of, was that the Township’s combined net position increased $76,284 or 4% from a year ago—increasing from $1,893,320 to $1,969,604. The part of net position that can be used to finance day to day operations, increased for governmental activities. The current level of unrestricted net position for governmental activities stands at $1,616,421 or about 356% of current year expenses. This is well above the targeted range set by many township boards of three to six months operations.

Net position is the difference between the Township’s assets and deferred outflows of resources, less liabilities and deferred inflows of resources, which is one way to measure the Township’s financial health, or position. Over time, increases or decreases in the Township’s net position is an indicator of whether its financial health is improving or deteriorating, respectively.

The Board approved the audit report and it will now be sent on to the State as required.

Notice of board openings

Township Supervisor Bill Hodge announced that they are looking for two people from Bainbridge that is interested in working on the Board of Review. They need a new member for the Board as Larry Smith left. They also need an alternate member for the Board of Review.

If you are interested in serving your community by filling one of these positions, contact the Township at 269-468-8040.

Supervisor Reports

Scott Anderson, assessor, reported that he has been able to progress with fieldwork, in keeping up with the 20% requirement set by the State Tax Commission and has completed approximately 115 properties to date.

Supervisor Hodge relayed the reports he received. Ross Rogien reported five permits for the building department, totaling $704.50. Rod Wilder of the building department reported two permits totaling $360.00.

The Plumbing Department report from Ken Benjamin indicated two permits for a total of $379.00. The Electrical Report from inspector Ron Ketelhut noted two permits totaling $418.00. The Code Enforcement officer, David Dent reported ten violations for the month of July.

Pride Care reported there were a total of sixteen calls in the month of July with an average response time of 7:34 minutes. The Sister Lakes Fire Department reported 18 total calls with an average response time of 9:53 minutes. Five were in Bainbridge Township. Bainbridge response time was 8 minutes or less.

Furnace repair, Police Report, and Other Business

Supervisor Hodge presented the Board with the two estimates received for the repairs needed on the old furnace. Advanced Heating of Michigan, Inc. of Bridgman submitted an estimate to replace the evaporator coil for $920. Blue Mechanical Contractors Inc. out of Watervliet submitted an estimate of $921, but also submitted an option to just remove the coil and install a drain pan and replace the coil for $440. After discussing the two bids, the Board approved the Blue Mechanical Contractors Inc. bid of $440 and not to exceed $700.

Deputy Von Koenig of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department reported on the Department activities in Bainbridge Township for the month of June. There were 29 complaints worked, 18 tickets issued and seven arrests made in the Township. Of the 29 complaints, four were accidents, traffic and one larceny.

The Board approved the payment of bills in the amount of $121,561.26, payroll in the amount of $7,862.00 and payroll taxes in the amount of $1,716.44 for a total of $131,139.70.

Supervisor Hodge and Treasurer Nancy Weber will sign the agreement, approved by the Board, between the Township and the Berrien County Board of Commissioners for the purpose to provide Tax Processing Service which will utilize BS&A application and software.

J.P. Gillen & Associates, Inc. recommended paying for a program that would have someone check out their computer system on a monthly basis. The Board discussed the recommendation and agreed to put it on hold until next meeting when they could have some figures in front of them to consider.

Hartford police chief reports arrest of woman on four counts; potential buyer of Huffman building has 30 days to present action plan

By Nancy Albright

At the August 21, 2017 Hartford City Council Workshop Police Chief Tressa Beltran reported that 38-year-old Hartford resident Jodi Lynn Burfield was arrested by the Tribal Police for the crime of striking the A&B Packing building located at 415 West Main in Hartford.

Tribal officers confirmed arrest warrants were in LEIN prior to apprehending Burfield on August 6, 2017 without incident while she was sitting on the patio at a residence located at 58788 Mshike Trail in Hartford.

Burfield had four warrants issued on her: Operating while License was Suspended, Second or Subsequent Offense Notice; Operating a Motor Vehicle without Security; Reckless Driving; and Failure to Report an Accident.

1 East Main demolition on hold

Hartford City Manager Yemi Akinwale reported that he is currently working with a potential buyer of the Huffman Furniture building in downtown Hartford and that the buyer has 30 days to present a plan of action in writing to acquire the building and bring it up to code for use. If no response is received within the 30-day timeframe the city plans to proceed with asbestos removal procedures and ultimate demolition.

City street improvements continue

Residents living on Bennet Street between Hopkins and East Main and on Mary Street from Elmwood to Beechwood have sent several complimentary messages to City Hall voicing their appreciation of the work done to repave the streets. Also, a new drain has been installed on Bernard Street to prevent standing water.

Prior to completing the Spaulding Street project, power lines and a few telephone boxes will have to be relocated. The city also plans to add necessary sewer lines within the project area prior to completion.

Due to limited funding, the city will continue to make needed improvements to city streets one at a time.

Hartford Chamber of Commerce to host After-Hour event

The Hartford Chamber of Commerce and the City of Hartford will host an After-Hour event on Thursday, August 31, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.

The event will include a light meal and is intended to enable the Chamber to reestablish its base and strengthen its goals of providing the Hartford community with new business opportunities.

Guest speakers will be Michigan State Representative Beth Griffin, and Tamara Davis, Regional Director for the Small Business Development Center at Western Michigan University. Both plan to talk about programs and legislations that affect existing businesses and help entrepreneurs to start-up new businesses in the community.


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