09-29-2016 Illegal dumping and decaying sewers get attention of City Council

Hartford City Council announces elementary school fundraiser

By Nancy Albright

At the City Council Workshop on September 19 the council announced that the Hartford Elementary Schools 6th Annual Healthy Hike fundraiser will take place at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October 7 at the Hartford High School track. The Hartford Parent-Teacher Organization organizes the event each year to raise money for school activities such as the Reading is Fundamental Program, Family Movie Nights, Santa’s Workshop, End of School Year celebrations and a teacher’s luncheon. Students solicit pledges over the course of two weeks then take turns walking laps on the track to promote a healthy lifestyle. The kids win prizes based on how much money they raised AND a chance to throw a pie at their school principal!  Community donations sponsor the event and if this year’s goal of $3,000 is met by local businesses the pledge money students raise will be used for future school projects like educational and fun assemblies, rewards for reading goals, and welcoming new kindergartners.  There are three donation levels: A Bronze level donation of $50 will be used to pay for student prizes such as wristbands and roller skating; Silver level sponsors donating $100 will have their business names listed on the back of event t-shirts; and businesses that donate $150 will have their business name listed on the back of the t-shirt as a Gold level sponsor, as well as the business name posted on local signs promoting the Healthy Hike.    If you would like to sponsor the event, make checks payable to Hartford PTO and mail to Hartford PTO, c/o Ed Dickenson, Red Arrow Elementary Principal, 15 South East St., Hartford, MI 49057. Contact fundraiser Chairman Ashley Sharpe at (269) 861-9673 with questions.

118 Michigan Avenue demolition project moving forward

  The City of Hartford and the Hartford Downtown Development Authority shared the cost of $3,415.00 to purchase the vacant property at 118 Michigan Avenue from Van Buren County earlier this year in order to use it for the expansion of Ely Park.  The City Council voted to pay Kalamazoo-based Martin & Associates, LLC $6,078.00 to remove asbestos from the building, which the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requires prior to demolition for environmental safety. City Manager Yemi Akinwale stated that, “I would like to have the building demolished before severe winter weather conditions set in to begin work to prepare the property for park usage.”

DDA addresses illegal dumping in South Parking lot

 Mr. Akinwale reported to council commissioners that the Hartford Downtown Development Authority has proposed adding a new camera to the city’s video surveillance system to monitor the South Parking lot in town. Cases of illegal dumping have resulted in a rodent infestation of the dumpster used by the businesses located in the south section of the lot. Chief of Police Tressa Beltran organized a jail crew to clean out the dumpster and remove the remaining garbage from the lot. The DDA asked Mr. Akinwale to solicit estimated costs to install the new camera so they can consider implementation of the proposal at the next DDA meeting in order to prevent illegal dumping in the area and eliminate the rodent problem. Hartford City Sewage System assessment reveals decaying sewer lines  Chris Cowgill of Wightman & Associates reported that a preliminary assessment of the Hartford City Sewage System has revealed that there are a number of concrete sewer lines that have deteriorated to the point where they are not holding water and should be replaced to prevent further compromising the sewage system. Mr. Akinwale is looking into sources of funding to complete the project and stated that it is possible funds could be raised through a rate increase, voted millage, or a combination of both. Mr. Akinwale told the council that repairs must be implemented within three years of the completion of the assessment. Mr. Cowgill told the council that the concrete lines will be made top priority for replacement.

JnK ribbon cutting

 Wednesday, October 5 at noon the Coloma Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce will do a ribbon cutting at JnK Gift Shop. The owners of the gift shop are Jeff Little and Kris Richardson. All are invited to attend this soft opening of the newest gift shop in Watervliet.  JnK is located at 8273 Arnt Blvd., Watervliet.

Blasting youth into Scouting – Ignite the FUN!

 Boy Scouts of America now offers more science, technology, engineering, and math-based programs to reach even more young people.  The Michigan Crossroads Council, Boy Scouts of America is inviting families in the southwest Michigan area, to register for Scouting from now until October 8 which will give them the opportunity to participate in an event on Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Watervliet Airport, 8560 Airport Drive.  The “Blast into Scouting” campaign is aimed at introducing families to the BSA’s positive and fun focused program called Cub Scouts, which is open to boys in first through fifth grade. In Cub Scouts, boys learn leadership and life skills while participating in adventures ranging from building pinewood derby cars and assembling robots to enjoying the great outdoors and helping others through its strong focus on community service.  “We know that our young people have a variety of extracurricular activities to choose from,” said Greg Dunn, Vice President of Membership for Michigan Crossroads Council. “While these activities, such as athletics, each address a specific area of a child’s development, Scouting provides programming that focuses on the total child. We offer age-appropriate activities at every level so that by the time a Scout leaves high school, they are prepared to lead and succeed.”  For more information, please contact Jane Parikh, MCC Public Relations Director, at (269) 275-3544.

Warming communities…one coat at a time

 The Coloma United Methodist Church is collecting coats and other winter items of all sizes and in good condition as part of the national One Warm Coat program.  They will be conducting their drive from September 20 through October 17 at the church located at 144 S. Church Street, Coloma.   Thank you on behalf of Riverside/Coloma United Methodist Churches’ Missions for donating to provide anyone in need with a warm coat, free of charge.  Distribution of the coats and other items collected will be on Saturday, October 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. To learn more about this drive and distribution, please call the church at 269-468-6062.  For more information on the national One Warm Coat organization go online to www.onewarmcoat.org.

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