09-27-2018 Watervliet City hears results of SAW Grant Asset Management Plan; groundwater flow into s

MUMS THE WORD…

By Bob Becker, DDA Chairman (Photos by Beth Wagner of B&B Outlet)


On a late summer evening volunteers planted mums purchased from Silverstone Nursery on Main Street as part of the Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) “Main Street Beautification Plan”. Volunteers included Tyler Cole, Rochelle and Mike Ulleg, Krista Krogel, Lisa Quiroz and Pastor Linda Jackson. Krista Krogel and Rochelle Ulleg are DDA Board members, Tyler, Mike, Lisa and Pastor Linda Jackson are among those who volunteered taking pride in their community. In all 14 mum plants were re-potted into the terra-cotta planters which had previously held summer flowers. This hard working group of volunteers worked efficiently by completing this task in less than two hours. Mike and Rochelle own Robert Michael Salon & Spa, Krista and Tyler are from the Flower Basket, Lisa is a partner at Some Things Different and Pastor Linda is an Associate Pastor from the River Church. Please be sure to thank these hard working volunteers for their handy work.

Watervliet alumnus Mary Ann Lord guest at Plymouth Congregational Church Oct. 7

Plymouth Congregational Church is honored to have Mary Ann Lord, graduate of Watervliet High School, share her mission work on Sunday, Oct. 7. She is currently working on Bible translation with Wycliffe Bible Translators for the people of Peru.

Going after tax scofflaws Berrien County Treasurer partners with Van Buren County Treasurer to continue assisting in homestead review process For the past six years Berrien and Van Buren counties have had an inter-local agreement for Berrien County Treasurer’s office to assist Van Buren County Treasurer’s office examine potential fraudulent homestead claims. During this time millions of dollars have been returned to public education for school in Van Buren County. With the success of the program both Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski and Van Buren Treasurer Karen Mc Kay ask both Boards of Commissioners to extend the agreement another six years, of which both boards have passed the new agreement. This agreement between Berrien County and Van Buren County is the only one of its type in the State of Michigan.

Van Buren/Cass District Health Dept. announces flu clinic schedule

The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department will start hosting flu clinics throughout the community now through November 14. The flu clinic schedule is available at vbcassdhd.org/flu. Individuals wanting the flu vaccine can visit any of the walk-in public flu clinics or schedule an appointment at the Dowagiac or Hartford Clinic by calling (269) 740-4155. Clinic hours in Dowagiac are the first and third Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Clinic hours in Hartford are every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. The 2017-2018 flu season saw elevated activity throughout Michigan and Van Buren and Cass County, including two (2) pediatric influenza deaths confirmed by MDHHS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation had some of the highest national hospitalization rates ever recorded. Van Buren/Cass District Health Department and MDHHS strongly recommend everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of flu illness. Vaccine is especially important for persons at increased risk for complications from flu, including children, adults aged 65 years and older, persons of any age with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women. Children less than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and need to be protected by vaccination of their close contacts, including parents, siblings, grandparents, child care workers, and healthcare personnel. To find flu vaccine near you, call your healthcare provider, the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department, or check the vaccine finder at vaccinefinder.org. For more information about the flu, visit vbcassdhd.org/flu.

“Chili Hop” Watervliet Airport Fly-in & 5K Run/Walk, Oct. 21

Community members are invited to enjoy the fall fly-in and 5K at the Watervliet Municipal Airport on Sunday, Oct. 21 beginning at 10 a.m. The Chili Hop 5K Run/Walk will begin at 10 a.m. sharp. Visit SWMI RACERS on Facebook for event information and to register for the 5K. Or for more information on the run/walk call 269-325-1135. The fly-in will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the Chili & Chili-Dog Lunch served beginning at 11 a.m. There is no charge for admission, parking and hay rides. Planes will be arriving throughout the event. Watervliet Municipal Airport is located at 8560 Airport Drive, one mile north of downtown Watervliet on M-140. Due to safety requirement no pets are allowed at the fly-in.

Appointment Committee selects Berrien County Register of Deed for remainder of current term

The Register of Deeds Appointment Committee announces it has appointed Lora Freehling, of Stevensville, to the position of Berrien County Register of Deeds in a unanimous decision. The Committee comprised of the Presiding Probate Judge, Mabel J. Mayfield, County Clerk, Sharon Tyler, and Prosecuting Attorney, Michael Sepic, is authorized by statute to fill the vacancy left by the untimely death of Lori Jarvis. The appointment is for the remainder of the current term ending December 31, 2020. She will begin her duties October 15, 2018. The Committee received 23 applications and interviewed four candidates on Monday September 17, 2018. In addition to Freehling, Stephanie Bean of St. Joseph, Lee Lull of Sawyer, and Rhonda Rockhill of Benton Harbor were interviewed. Freehling, a Graduate of River Valley High School and Oakland University, will have to run for election during the 2020 election cycle.

Watervliet City hears results of SAW Grant Asset Management Plan; groundwater flow into sanitary sewers is major problem

By Annette Christie The team from Wightman and Associates presented the results of the work that is being completed through the Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater (SAW) Grant to the City Commission at their September 25 Committee of the Whole meeting. Frank Rinaldi and Alan Smaka presented the preliminary Asset Management Plan that covered the sewer and stormwater part of the program. In addition, a preview of the Overall Capital Improvement Plan was also rolled out. The object of the SAW program was to assess the inventory, develop conditional assessments, establish level of service and develop a financial plan for the capital improvements needed in the city. Rinaldi said that the whole system has been videoed and all the manholes have been identified. “Overall the system isn’t too bad,” Rinaldi said. He reviewed the new mapping that is available of the sanitary sewer system that identifies the locations of assets. As he displayed some of the video work of the lines, Rinaldi pointed out that the system is in pretty good shape, but that roots have invaded some of the joints. He suggested that as they get the whole area videoed and logged they put two or three pieces of the repairs needed together and then present it as one job for a contractor to bid on. “Roots aren’t the worst problem that could happen, cracks are, they could lead to a collapsed pipe,” Rinaldi said. He noted that there are chemical treatment systems available to rid the lines of this intrusion. Rinaldi said the storm system is not in bad shape, the lines are not in bad shape but they are undersized in some areas. One of the biggest problems that the city faces is the infiltration. The City Commission will be doing a water meter and sewer meter audit, they will enforce the ordinances they have in place (updating the ones that are outdated), and possibly consider some surcharges or fines for households responsible for the infiltration. A few years ago the City was issued the $750,000 SAW Grant which carried a 10% match. They are now looking at options for the remaining $30,000. The City Commission also heard from representatives of Umbaugh with their recommendations for funding options for the capital improvements needed. At the next Committee of the Whole meeting of the City Commission, they will continue this discussion including the water system.

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