09-13-2018 Bainbridge Twp. Board told that petition involving zoning ordinance is invalid; issue of

ISABELLA BULTEMA of Watervliet is shown with her Champion Dahlia that she entered in the Berrien County Youth Fair. She also received Reserve Champion for her Wildflower Arrangement, ages 5-12; Honorable Mention for her single color photo size 8 X 10, ages 5-13; and Honorable Mention for her black and white series, ages 5-13 in addition to many other awards. She is the daughter of Keith and Cindy Bultema.


KAMERON BULTEMA of Watervliet is shown with his Champion snap together construction project, ages 5-13, that he entered in the Berrien County Youth Fair. He is the son of Keith and Cindy Bultema.


Bainbridge Twp. Board told that petition involving zoning ordinance is invalid; issue of Dakin & Peters Drain ongoing

By Angela Stair The Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on Monday, September 10 at the Township Hall. Township Clerk Patty Hiler-Molter said the petition that had been received at the August Board meeting, that was circulated by Diane Baker for a referendum to Ordinance 49Q (the Bainbridge Township Zoning Ordinance), was found to be invalid due to not enough legal signatures.

After the petition was received, each of the names had to be validated, as to being a Bainbridge resident, registered to vote in Bainbridge Township, authentic signature, etc. Enough signatures were invalid that it dropped the total signatures below the amount that was needed to continue processing the petition.

One drain fixed, and one not The Township Board has been wrestling with two drains that needed work done on them. The work that was being discussed for the Potes Drain #41 has been dismissed. Some miner work was completed on it and the problems that had been occurring are cleared up. The Dakin & Peters Drain however, is still a problem. Township Supervisor Bill Hodge said he has some real problems with the work that is to be done on the drain. He said one of the main problems is that he cannot get answers from the Drain Commissioner on a total cost for the project among other things. The petition the Commissioner wants the Township to sign says in part “…proposed maintenance and improvement is necessary for the public health, convenience or welfare and is further necessary for the protection of public health in Bainbridge Township.” Supervisor Hodge said the Township has not received a call or letter from the Health Department saying this is a problem; they have not received one complaint about septic tanks overflowing, contaminated water or wells. Hodge says he does not see this big of a problem in the Drainage District. He felt if the Board signed the petition it would be like giving the drain commission a blank check. The Board discussed the problems and solutions suggested for the Dakin & Peters Drain and agreed with the Supervisor that they have not gotten the answers to many questions they have asked. The Board tabled the decision to sign the drain petition until they get more answers.

Other business The Sister Lakes Fire Department sent their township report for July. They had a total of 12 calls and only one was for Bainbridge Township. That was an EMS assist and was answered in 3:42 minutes response time. The Board approved the paying of bills in the amount of $48, 560.07, payroll in the amount of $9,778.54 and liabilities in the amount of $1,757.20. They approved the payment to Heaven Scent for the monthly cleaning and window washing, inside and out, in the amount of $695.00. The Board also approved the payment of $1,225.00 for the purchase of a new computer for the Deputy Clerk. Clerk Hiler-Molter said the old computer was costing too much to keep it working and it was not up to date enough to do some of the work that it was needed for. The Board approved a donation of $800.00 to the Watervliet Recreation Council who in return continues to provide recreational facilities and programs to the residents of Bainbridge Township. Officer Ryan Sullivan representing the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office attended the meeting and gave the activity information for the Sheriff’s office in Bainbridge for the month of July. There were 39 complaints worked in the Township, a total of two tickets were issued and one arrest was made. Of the 39 complaints, there were seven traffic accidents, two assaults, two disorderly conduct and two burglaries – forced entry.

Hagar Twp. provides tax  relief in return for Dicastal Logistics Group $7.5 million investment in new business

The formerly idled APL complex located at 4412 Coloma Road is alive and well in the hands of Hagar’s newest business, Dicastal North America Logistics Group. Visiting the Hagar Board at their September 10 monthly meeting was the new DLG Coloma Operations Manager Don Ingersoll. No stranger to the facility, Ingersol spent seven years working in the same capacity for former owners APL. In a public hearing that followed at 7:15 p.m., the Hagar Board gave unanimous approval of an Industrial Development Certificate at the site, providing tax incentives to help offset building significant redevelopment costs. Cornerstone Alliance representative Katherine Tilley who worked with DLG to present the case for the IDD predicts an investment of $7.5 million as the DLG transition takes place along with as many as 100 jobs created at the facility. Trustee Andy Ulleg commented, “With the potential of a hundred jobs this is by far the most significant employer to come along as far back as I can recall. This is a big deal and we welcome them.”

Berrien County Sheriff Deputy Ashton delivered the numbers for August activity in the Township which showed 43 complaints resulting in just one arrest. No recent activity has shown any particular pattern to be aware of other than common sense to lock your homes and vehicles, while also being vigilant to report any unusual activity.

Supervisor’s Report Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio reports a communication from the Michigan Townships Association urging a resolution against pending legislation that will negatively affect local control of tax assessments. The Michigan Municipal League has also aligned with MTA against the measure. In a unanimous vote the Hagar Board approved the resolution. Pursuant to needed repairs on Duncan Road, Hagar will cover $7,000 expense with a match from Benton Township. The Downtown Development Authority commitment of up to $350,000 in drain work may not be enough says Berrien County Drain Commissioner and Wightman & Associates. Complications to the proposed project may run well over initial estimates. Further research as to a solution is warranted. DiMaggio recalled his afternoon on the Riverside Paddle from Becht Road to Coloma Road. The 2-hour kayak trip down the Paw Paw River gave a good picture of what conditions of the waterway are currently. DiMaggio described several spots with some “head knocker” branches that impeded travel and suggested that the township consider a budget item for the coming year to address maintenance up river from the new kayak launch scheduled for construction in 2019.

Clerk’s Report Clerk Sarah Rodriguez reminded residents of the upcoming November election and as always is looking for new election workers.

Treasurer Treasurer Marlene Davis reported August expenses of $87,919.22 with several notable expenses including over $18,000 on phone and security system for the hall, an $11,000 share of road repairs, over $3,300 in “free” landfill passes and over $3,000 in capital improvements of fencing on township properties.

North Berrien Joint Fire Supervisor DiMaggio reported 21 runs for the month of August with 10 in Hagar, six in Coloma Charter Township and five in the City of Coloma.

Building Inspector Inspector Butch Kelly issued just six permits totaling $90,000 for the prior month. Kelly noted the former Lake Michigan Breeze property has been sold and the new owners are busy with repairs, working towards a spring opening. A new zoning map was presented by Kelly, who applauded the work of the Planning Commission in updating and cleaning up discrepancies. Unanimous board approval was given to the new map. New business Concerns with drainage and washouts at the road edge of Momany Road have prompted contact with the County Drain Commissioner. More information should be available in October. Having no further business DiMaggio adjourned the board at 8:38 p.m. with the next regular monthly meeting of the Township Board to be held 7:00 p.m., Monday, October 8, 2018.

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