09-17-2020 Hartford Township to hold special meeting for PFAS update

Hartford Township to hold special meeting for PFAS update

By Anna Layer At a meeting lasting less than fifteen minutes on Thursday, Sept. 10, the Hartford Township Board announced an upcoming special meeting for an update to the ongoing PFAS situation. The special meeting is scheduled for Sept. 24, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. and will be held via Zoom. Abonmarche, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will be in attendance. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals that have been used in many consumer and industrial products, such as non-stick cookware, waterproof fabrics, and firefighting foam. In May of 2019, sampling results from the former Du-Wel facility, located at 520 Heywood Street, indicated that PFAS was present in the groundwater near the site. Based on those results, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department, began sampling residential drinking water wells near the facility. Additionally a Special Meeting will take place on Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom regarding distribution of the Master Plan, for a period of public comment. Login information for both meetings will be shared once received.

Designated Assessor Action taken by the board saw approval of the Designated Assessor Interlocal Agreement. Each county in the state of Michigan is required by law to have a designated assessor by the end of 2020. All assessors in the county were asked if they would like the position, and none did. The position fell to Anthony Meyaard, the current Equalization Director for Van Buren County. A majority of the local units were required to approve of the plan, which would place Mr. Meyaard in the position for the next five years as required by law. Charges for services will only be applied if a local unit decides, or if it is ordered by the State Tax Commission, for it to go to the Designated Assessor.

Ambulance & Fire Dept. reports An update from Pride Care for Hartford Township reported twenty-three calls with an average response time of 8:51. There were two calls with extended response times. One call was extended due to distance but the crew took the correct route. The other call was extended because the closest crew did not hear the tones. Pride Care states that, “The crew has been counseled in an effort to avoid any further incidents.” Hartford Fire Department reported fifty-one total incidents for the month of August, forty-two of which were rescue and emergency service calls. Other calls included two fires, downed power lines, carbon monoxide detector activation/inspection, and a good intent call. The next regular meeting for Hartford Township will be held on Monday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

Coloma Schools want face to face instruction

By Annette Christie The Coloma School Board meeting held on Monday, Sept. 14, continued the discussion about the re-openings of schools. All school principals reported that the return to school plan was working nicely, the kids are being cooperative and things are moving in the right direction. The board took action later in the meeting to declare that the face-to-face is their preferred method of educating students. They will re-visit that monthly. While the district joined others in hoping that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would waive student and school assessments as she did last spring, their efforts were denied. DeVos has stated that the waiver from assessing the students, as they just returned to schools since the March shutdown, was denied. Superintendent Dave Ehlers told the School Board that they will do as required with an assessment in the first nine weeks followed by a mid-year assessment. Planning future projects Ehlers asked for the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board and the Finance Committee to get together for some upcoming needs. The audit will be reviewed by finance, while building and grounds will be taking building-by-building tours for the purposes of planning future projects. Personnel The board honored Board “Secretary” Kim Sternaman who has worked for the district for 30 years. They hired a person to be a long-term substitute which means that a person, the same person, will report to the school each day to fill areas where substitutes are needed. If not filling in at a classroom, the individual will be assisting in various classrooms as needed. As sports have now gotten underway, the board renewed the athletic trainer services contract with Lakeland.

Hartford Schools anticipate additional federal funding for COVID-19 expenses

By Annette Christie The Coloma School Board meeting held on Monday, Sept. 14, continued the discussion about the re-openings of schools. All school principals reported that the return to school plan was working nicely, the kids are being cooperative and things are moving in the right direction. The board took action later in the meeting to declare that the face-to-face is their preferred method of educating students. They will re-visit that monthly. While the district joined others in hoping that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos would waive student and school assessments as she did last spring, their efforts were denied. DeVos has stated that the waiver from assessing the students, as they just returned to schools since the March shutdown, was denied. Superintendent Dave Ehlers told the School Board that they will do as required with an assessment in the first nine weeks followed by a mid-year assessment. Planning future projects Ehlers asked for the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board and the Finance Committee to get together for some upcoming needs. The audit will be reviewed by finance, while building and grounds will be taking building-by-building tours for the purposes of planning future projects. Personnel The board honored Board “Secretary” Kim Sternaman who has worked for the district for 30 years. They hired a person to be a long-term substitute which means that a person, the same person, will report to the school each day to fill areas where substitutes are needed. If not filling in at a classroom, the individual will be assisting in various classrooms as needed. As sports have now gotten underway, the board renewed the athletic trainer services contract with Lakeland.

Stolen motor vehicles & larceny from motor vehicles

Michigan State Troopers are experiencing an increase in stolen motor vehicle and larceny from motor vehicle complaints. They would like to remind the public that there are some specific actions you can take to decrease your risk of becoming a victim. Statistics indicate many of the vehicles that are stolen have been left unlocked with the keys in the vehicle, thereby making it very easy for someone to simply enter and drive away. By securing your keys and locking your vehicles you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a stolen motor vehicle and/or having personal property stolen from inside. Criminals typically look for the easiest and quickest way to commit their crimes. A surprisingly small number of vehicles are broken into by force as criminals actively look for those vehicles that have been left unlocked. Keeping outdoor lights on at night can be a deterrent and make it less inviting for criminals. Never leave valuable items unattended in your vehicle and if you are in a public area do your best to keep such valuables out of site by placing them in the trunk or utilizing compartments. Troopers are also urging drivers to never leave your vehicle running and unattended – even at gas stations or daycare facilities, etc.

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