Coloma UMC celebrating 175 years; Community open house Sept. 21
“Remember, Rejoice, Reach Out” The Coloma United Methodist Church is celebrating their 175th Anniversary as a Methodist congregation this year! To mark this occasion the following events and festivities have been planned: Sunday, Sept. 15 at 9:45 a.m. – An Old Time Hymn Sing; Saturday, Sept. 21 – An Outdoor Community Open House Party from 1 to 4 p.m. They are hoping for good weather so this event can be outdoors with food, history, games, music, and time capsule burial; Sunday, Sept. 22 at 9:45 a.m. – A Covenant Renewal Service. All are invited as they look forward to celebrating this anniversary with community members! The beginning of the Coloma United Methodist church goes back to 1844 in a log house west of the present church site. They called themselves the “Mt. Hope Class” which was part of the Silver Creek Circuit of Methodists. In 1859, they started holding worship services in the newly built First Congregational Church. Methodists held services there until 1879 when their first church building was constructed next to the Congregational Church. Over the years, there have been several additions and remodels to the building. Many pastors have come and gone. As a congregation they remember and rejoice for the many blessings bestowed upon them. Praise God! They invite all to come and celebrate with them! The Coloma United Methodist Church congregation is known for their community involvement. Hope Resources started as a food pantry at the church in the 1970s. It is still housed in their building and serves over 350 people a month. It will soon be moving to its own building allowing for expanded services! Kids Hope is a mentoring program partnering their congregation with Coloma Community Schools. Mentors meet one-on-one with students in the elementary school once a week for an hour. Prayer Partners provide support behind the scene. Other fun activities are planned throughout the year. They have a “Backpack for Kids” program which supplies food for 15-20 students from Watervliet and Countryside schools. This provides them with food every weekend for the school year. They charter Boy Scout Troop #696 which meets in their building as do several other scout troops. Plus, there are AA meetings three times a week in the building. They are sometimes referred to as the “Bell Tower” church. Their bell tower was erected in 2013 as a sign of unification with the Watervliet United Methodist Church. The Watervliet church closed its doors in 2011 and joined with Coloma to become the NEW Coloma United Methodist Church. Each of the churches bells hang in the tower along with a third bell symbolically called the “Unity Bell”. They still have ecumenical services/suppers with the neighboring United Church of Christ, joint Sunset Services with Riverside United Methodist Church on Wednesday nights throughout the summer and they participate in the Glad-Peach Festival – a sponsoring member for over 20 years. Worship services are at 9:45 and 11:15 on Sunday mornings. ALL are welcome to join in worship and service!
13TH WAY GRADUATION… Watervliet High School W-A-Y program hosted a graduation on Wednesday, August 14 for six of its students. There were several dozens of family, friends and relatives on hand to join in the celebration. The graduation on August 14 puts the number of WAY program graduates at Watervliet to over 120! Graduates pictured are (from the left): Cassandra Kimbro, Alana Burnett, Juan Garcia, Natalie Harris, Jessica Gearhart, and Hannah Meader. The staff of WAY expressed how proud they are for each of these graduates. Their hard work and dedication have helped them reach the pinnacle of the K – 12 part of their educational journey. They wish them all the best of luck as the graduates move forward with their lives and enjoy the next chapters.
Hartford poised to expand cannabusiness licenses; City eyes potential $250,000
in permit fees and taxes
By Jon Bisnett Veteran Commissioner Frank Dockter reported on the formal recommendation of the city’s committee to review the Medical Marijuana Ordinance at the August 26 City Counsel business session with a proposed expansion of licensing opportunities. Dockter, who reminded all that he personally had been opposed to any cannabusiness in the city when discussion began over two years ago, now recognizing the benefits of the emerging industry spoke to the committee’s findings recommending four additional Class A Grower’s Licenses, two Class B, and four Class C. Michigan Grower’s Licenses are incremented as 500, 1000 and 1,500 plants respectively. Additionally, the committee would propose five additional Processing Licenses and three more Provisioning Centers. The existing ordinance allows only one of each category. The recommended amendment will come for a formal vote at the September business meeting and if passed will become effective immediately. During discussion, only Commissioner Terry Tibbs expressed a dissenting opinion. Commissioner Dennis Goss ran some round numbers of permit fees and taxes on proposed new grow operations predicting somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000 of potential new annual income to the city. Hartford’s first provisioning center is set to open this fall. Med+Leaf is engaged in the final stages of construction, slated to open October 1 at their location of 309 West Main Street. The expanded ordinance would allow a proposed $2 million dispensary/growing operation to be located on property spun-off from the site of the Hartford Speedway. Another concern wishes to locate a dispensary at the former Krenek building on Main Street, along with additional office/retail space at the site. The most aggressive project proposal is that from Lake Grown Organics Cannabis who plans to purchase nine acres of city-owned vacant land west of Marion Street to build a $7 million state of the art grow and processing operation encompassing three Class C Licenses to produce 4,500 plants. Communications Potential incumbent Dennis Goss chose not to file a petition for office, leaving an open seat for Commissioner in the upcoming November election. Goss went into office as a write-in candidate. His replacement will be subject to the same process.
Guests/Public Comment Planning Commission Chairman Tim Kling was present to verbally reinforce his board’s recommendation to approve a zoning change request for 430 North Center, stating his committee’s vote had only one dissenter, who in fact welcomed the proposed housing project, but felt the action was “spot zoning,” later debunked by legal review. Bill Mears of Pride Care Ambulance visited, commenting on a discussion that occurred earlier in the week regarding mutual aid from Covert Ambulance. Mears detailed the mutual aid process and noted that since January 1, Covert had been called in just twice when Pride Care units were otherwise occupied. Data Mears presented showed Pride Care had served a 4-1 ration of mutual aid to Covert in the prior year. Summing up the discussion Mears said there is simply no way to prevent mutual aid situations as no one can predict when multiple dispatch calls will occur. Covert has their own ambulance with only one unit and had expressed concern on the subject in a letter to the city. Mears again reiterated that there is no fix, mentioning that if Covert ever experience a major event, Pride Care could potentially put at least five units on site in short order and as many as 15 in the event of a major disaster. Only Commissioner Tibbs was generally unsatisfied and expressed concern that he didn’t want to see the city get a letter again next year. Minutes & Reports archived Departmental Reports for July and minutes from the August 19 Workshop and July 22 Business Meeting were approved and archived.
Old business Under old business, the first reading of the amended Medical Marijuana Ordinance was read into record. A unanimous approval was given to an extension of the Medical Marijuana permit to Med+Leaf through November 25. New business Commissioners gave formal approval to the appointments of Chris Portello of East Street to the Fire Board and Ann Burch of Olds Avenue to the open seat on the Library Board. Unanimous approval was given to the rezoning request for property located at 430 North Center Street from single-family residential to multi-family residential, paving the way for development of a proposed multi-unit complex of market-value apartments. The council also approved a new contract with Indiana and Michigan Power to update street lights to new LED bulbs throughout the city.
Resolutions and Amendments Resolution 2019-009 Authorization of Implementation to receive Certification as a Redevelopment Ready Community from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation was approved. Exemption of property taxes and application was approved. Sewer Use Ordinance Amendment and Tax Exemption Ordinances both received their second official reading. Having no further business, Mayor Rick Hall adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m.
Sept. 5-8 “ANTIQUE ENGINE & TRACTOR SHOW” at Michigan Flywheelers Museum, 06285 68th Street, South Haven. Cost is $7; children 12 and under are free with paid admission. Watch for more information on www.michiganflywheelers.org or Facebook. Friday, Sept. 6, 5-6 p.m. “SOUP & SALAD SUPPER” at North Berrien Senior Center, 6648 Ryno Rd., Coloma; menu includes soup, salad, bread, dessert and beverage; public is invited. Cost for adults is $5; $3 for children up to 12 years of age; and free for children under three. Proceeds go to the H.O.P.E. Resources Food Pantry. Hosted by First Congregational UCC – Coloma. Saturday, Sept. 7, 9 a.m. “PAW PAW LAKE ASSOCIATION MEETING” at Watervliet Township Hall, 4959 M-140. Members and guests are invited. Saturday, Sept. 7 “FALL INTO AUTUMN FESTIVAL” at Sarett Nature Center, 2300 Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor. Family friendly events all day including nature hikes, wagon rides, crafts, music from Campfire Stu, face painting and more! Check out www.Sarett.com for more details. Sunday, Sept. 8, 9:30 a.m. “CONSIGNMENT AUCTION” fundraiser at Michigan Flywheelers Museum during Antique Engine & Tractor Show. For auction information, contact Mike at 269-369-9500. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 11 a.m. “PATRIOT DAY SERVICE” at Veterans Park in downtown Watervliet. Saturday, Sept. 14, 9a.m.-3p.m. “YARD SALES” at Van Buren County Museum, 58471 Red Arrow Hwy, Hartford. Rain or shine. Spaces available for rent at $20. Call 621-2188 Saturday, Sept. 14, 5 p.m. “END OF SUMMER DINNER” at Twelve Corners Community Church, 3902 Hicks Ave., Benton Harbor. Fundraiser event includes complete dinner (suggested price $8/plate) and a raffle. Proceeds go to building fund. Saturday, Sept. 14, 5-7 p.m. “SWISS STEAK DINNER” hosted by Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet Auxiliary at North Berrien Senior Center, 6648 Ryno Rd, Coloma. Tickets: $10/adults, $5/children under 7; available from Park Bench Gift Shop in the Hospital, N.B. Senior Center or from any of the Auxiliary volunteers. Sunday, Sept. 15, 9:45 a.m. “OLD TIME HYMN SING” at Coloma United Methodist Church, 144 S. Church St. Public is invited. Saturday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. “FESTIVAL OF FAMILIES” hosted by Berrien RESA at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds, Berrien Springs. Visit www.berrienresa.org for more information. Saturday, Sept. 21, 1-4 p.m. “175 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE” at Coloma United Methodist Church, 144 S. Church St. Public is invited; event includes food, history, games, music and time capsule burial. Saturday, Sept. 21, 5-8 p.m. “BBQ FUNDRAISER” at Coloma Rod & Gun Club, 6145 Angling Rd. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance at the club’s Glad-Peach Festival booth, at the clubhouse or by phone to 944-6464. Kids 5 and under are free. Proceeds go to playground fund. Kids games, marshmallows and bonfire at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, 9:45 a.m. “COVENANT RENEWAL SERVICE” at Coloma United Methodist Church, 144 S. Church St. Monday, Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m. “CLIMATE PREP WEEK PROGRAM” at Watervliet District Library, 333 N. Main St. Free program open to the public. Call 463-6382 for more info.
Watervliet Public Schools Calendar of Events
Thursday, September 5 HS & MS Cross Country at Van Buren Fairgrounds, Teske Invitational Meet, 5:00 p.m.; Varsity & JV Volleyball at Galesburg-Augusta, 5:30 p.m.; JV Football, Home vs. Saugatuck, 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 6 Varsity Football at Saugatuck, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 7 Watervliet Varsity Volleyball Tournament at WHS, 8:00 a.m.; HS & MS Cross Country at Centreville Invitational Meet, 8:30 a.m. Monday, September 9 MS & HS Student Picture Day; Playgroup in South School Gym, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; Varsity Boys Soccer at Saugatuck, 5:00 p.m.; Board of Education Meeting, HS Media Center, 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 10 JV Volleyball at Paw Paw, 5:00 p.m.; Varsity Volleyball at Paw Paw, 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 11 HS & MS Cross Country at Coloma SAC Jamboree, 5:00 p.m.; MS Football, Home vs. Coloma, 5:00 p.m.; JV Volleyball at Michigan Lutheran, 6:00 p.m. Thursday, September 12 7th grade White Volleyball at Bridgman, 5:00 p.m.; 8th grade White Volleyball at River Valley, 5:00 p.m.; JV Football, Home vs. Parchment, 6:00 p.m.; Varsity Boys Soccer at Delton Kellogg, 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 13 North School Spirit Day; Varsity Football at Parchment, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 14 7th & 8th grade Maroon Volleyball at Comstock Invitational, 9:00 a.m.