09-21-2017 County Road 687 construction in Hartford Township nearing completion; Tri-City CROP Hunge

County Road 687 construction in Hartford Township nearing completion

By Nancy Albright

At the September 14 meeting of the Hartford Township board Van Buren County Road Commissioner Rick Boze reported that the northbound County Road 687 construction project is slated for completion by the end of September.

The delay is the result of a Verizon fiber optic line that the work crew severed by mistake.

Township Supervisor Ron Sefcik asked Commissioner Boze about funding for future township road projects. Boze told the board that currently many local roads are in good shape and that the city-wide millage and funds from licensing fees and the gasoline tax has generated enough funding to maintain local roads in their current condition for the next several years. The funds also allowed for the repaving of eleven additional miles of county roads in 2017.

However, for those county roads that are in bad condition the road commission is working to figure out how to fund improvements. At the present rate of available funding it is estimated that it will take 26 years to upgrade roads that need improvement, and that three additional mills could allow the county to repave these roads in twelve years to obtain a rating of eight or better out of a high rating of ten.

Hartford Fire Department has new Assistant Fire Chief

At Thursday evening’s meeting Hartford Fire Chief Rob Harting introduced newly promoted Assistant Fire Chief Kevin McGrew. McGrew has been with the Hartford Fire Department for eight years and was promoted from the rank of Lieutenant. Of McGrew Harting said, “We look forward to having Kevin as our Assistant Fire Chief and know he’ll do a really good job.”

Chief Harting also welcomed one new firefighter, Phil Garcia, who will begin training on October 2. Garcia brings the number of Hartford firefighters up to 18.

Chief Harting invited Hartford residents to the firehouse for the fire department’s Annual Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, October 1 from 7:00 a.m. to noon.

New cemetery signs in the works

New welcome signs will be posted at both Maple Hill and Pioneer cemeteries in Hartford at a cost not to exceed $1, 250.00. Each cemetery will post one sign at each entrance for a total of four signs.

Township Clerk Julie Sweet announced that as per Hartford’s Cemetery Ordinance, beginning on October 1, 2017 gravesite decorations may be removed. Winter decorations may be placed beginning on November 1, 2017 and removed on April 1, 2018. Summer decorations may be placed on May 1, 2018.

Clerk Sweet concluded the cemetery discussion by complimenting the work the Hartford Public Works Department did to clean up both cemeteries. “They did an amazing job.”

Township plans to post Buggy Crossing signs

Supervisor Sefcik told the board that a group of Amish families have recently purchased property in the Hartford area, increasing the current total of four families to eighteen. There has been a request to post Buggy Crossing signs near Red Arrow Highway and 62nd Street and at various points on County Roads 681 and 687. The timeframe for posting the signs has yet to be nailed down, but Sefcik thinks signs may be posted within the next couple of months.

Township grants funds to Ely Park Christmas Lighting project

The township granted the Hartford Lions Club’s request to fund advertising for this year’s Ely Park Christmas Lighting in the amount of $750.00.

Revenue Sharing Board appoints new member

Township Trustee John McClellan resigned his seat on the township’s Revenue Sharing Board after many years of service. The board appointed Township Treasurer Steve Starner to replace McClellan effective January 24, 2018.

Andy & Joyce Thomas celebrate 68th wedding anniversary Andy and Joyce Thomas of Coloma were married 68 years ago at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet, Michigan. Both turned 90 years old this year. A celebration was held at their home with family and friend to honor both events. Family attending were their son John and his wife Sue along with their grandson Ryan, his wife Noreen and great-grandson Liam Thomas. Recently a granddaughter, Lindsay and her husband Kevin Dodd brought the Thomas’ great-granddaughter Macy to visit them.


Tri-City CROP Hunger Walk – helping end hunger one step at a time

 Tri-City CROP Hunger Walk to be held on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Registration starts at 1:30 p.m. at Jollay Orchards on Friday Road in Coloma.

Looking to make a difference in our local community and in communities worldwide, the Tri-City CROP Hunger Walk has set a goal of eighty walkers and hopes to raise $8,000 to help end hunger and poverty through long-term sustainable approaches to significantly reduce or eliminate hunger. A portion of the funds raised here will return to be divided between HOPE Resources and Cooperating Ministries Food Pantry.

Over the past 36 years of CROP Walks in our area, over $200,000 has been raised for world and local hunger needs.

We once again join some 1,000 other communities nationwide in coming together in interfaith CROP Hunger Walks around the theme “Ending hunger one step at a time.” Through their participation our walkers and rockers are proclaiming their solidarity with the millions of neighbors around the world who have to walk to live – as well as with the millions served by local food pantries, food banks and meal sites here in the U.S. These local ministries share in the funds raised by CROP Hunger Walks.

From combating droughts in Nicaragua to providing agricultural training in Indonesia to sending aide to victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to stocking shelves in hundreds of food pantries across the United States, CROP Hunger Walks are fighting hunger.

Walkers can register the afternoon of the event or contact Ronda Kaucher at 269-468-3806.

Coloma Lions award members for their service

 At the Coloma Lions Family Picnic earlier this summer Lion Fred Zoschke, a 35-year member, and Lion Charles Abrams, a 50-year member, were presented with the Leader Dog for the Blind Bronze Founders Tribute Award in recognition for their long term service to the community.

Lion John Whistler was presented with The Lautzenheiser Fellowship Award as Lion of the Year for his willingness to accept his leadership as President for a two-year term.

COLOMA LIONS… with their plaques presented for notable service, (from the left) Lion John Whistler, Lion Dale Kreitner and Lion Fred Zoschke. Members Charles Ab-rams and Danny Duffield were not available for the photo.


Lion Danny Duffield was presented with the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his contribution to the success of the Coloma Lions Annual Super Bowl Raffle and Party.

Lion Dale Kreitner was presented with The Melvin Jones Fellowship being recognized for his continued service to both the Coloma Lions Club and Lions District 11-B-2.