09-29-2016 Watervliet Twp. Board votes for public road

COLOMA HOMECOMING 2016 CANDIDATES… pictured on Beach Day of Homecoming week vying for king are back row (from the left) Allen Yvinskas, Grant Kroshel, Zack Heater, Max Daniel and Kobe Hunter. In the front row and vying for queen are (from the left) Nathene Wendzel, Nicole Larson, Niki Bryant, Cassidy Fickett and Ryanne Wagner.

Coloma HS Homecoming 2016 activities

 The students at Coloma High School have an exciting week of activities surrounding Homecoming 2016.  The theme for this year is board games. In addition to that there is a dress-up theme for each day of the week, ending with Green and Gold Day on Friday.  A Pep Assembly is planned on Friday at 2:00 p.m. for grades K-12. This is going to be a huge event showing our COMET PRIDE.  And of course the band is going to get the crowd pumped up for this game!  There will be a parade downtown at 5:30 Friday. The entries will include the class floats.  The crowning of king and queen will take place during half-time. Following the game against the Fennville Blackhawks will be the Homecoming Dance to wrap up the fun-filled week.

Watervliet Twp Board  votes for public road

By Annette Christie

At their September 19 regular meeting the Watervliet Township Board voted to move a request forward to turn a private road into a public one.   The Board of Directors of the Deerwood Estates Association petitioned the Watervliet Township Board to accept Harlan Drive into the Berrien County public road system.  Deerwood Estates is a residential condominium association located on the north side of Red Arrow Highway.   Harlan Drive was constructed in approximately 2001 by the developer.  It is built to the standards of a public road and has all the requirements that would be necessary to be a county road. The road was resurfaced in 2014 and a crack sealing project was completed in 2015.  The request by residents points out that the residents of the association pay the 2 mill road assessment like all other Watervliet Township residents, however, they receive no benefit due to the road being private.    While the residents are seeking to make the road public, they do want to maintain some aspects of it themselves.  They would like to continue to fully fund their snow removal and keep that with a private company.  In addition, they would like to keep their street light system and fund it.  It is operated and maintained by Indiana Michigan Power and the residents are satisfied with that.  The residents also would like to keep the brick wing walls at the entrance of the development, already in place and within the right-of-way. “This contributes to the unique character of the development. We request permission to retain these walls and commit Deerwood Estates Association to fully maintain the walls and associated landscaping in perpetuity,” the petition states.     In a step necessary in the process, the Township approved the request and it will now go forward to the Road Commission.    To discuss a possible real estate purchase, the board went into a closed session.  Upon returning to open session, the board authorized Supervisor Dan Hutchins to negotiate the purchase of property.  While they would not go into location, purchase price, or any specifics on the property, Hutchins did say that the property would be for recreational purposes.  Hutchins alluded that the long term goal of the board was to develop a soccer complex within the township.  He said that would be only after receiving a lot of grant funding.   Hutchins told the board that the Dan Smith Road drain problem resolution was in the works.  He said that the Berrien County Road Commission went out for bid on the project. The lowest bid came in at $81,635.  The Township has been trying to work with homeowners plagued with this water problem annually.  This project should remedy it once and for all.  Hutchins said that three homes were inundated with water after the last storm.    The next meeting will be held on October 17 at 7:00 p.m.

Trick or treating times set for City of Coloma

By Christina Gelder

Halloween falls on a Monday this year so the City of Coloma voted at the Monday, September 26 meeting to schedule trick or treating over the weekend instead. Trick or treating will be held in residential parts of the City on Saturday, October 29 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  This will immediately follow the Halloween in the Park that will be held that same day from 3:00-5:00 p.m. The annual event that, years ago, replaced business trick or treating will include food, games, candy, and more.  New to the lineup, on the morning of October 29 there will be a Pumpkin Derby Race hosted by the Coloma Lions Club. Kits are available to purchase at City Hall for anyone wanting to try their hand at racing a pumpkin.

Employment agreement for Public Works Supervisor

 After consulting the City attorney, it was determined that an employment agreement needs to be drawn up for Public Works Supervisor Rod Burkholder. In the past, he has been under the same agreement used for the other nonunion employees of the City but it was recommended to change that. This new agreement will be pretty close to the same as the others and will change how Burkholder’s vacation time is calculated to make it consistent.  It seems there was a difference in how his vacation time was calculated versus the other employees. It was also approved to go back three years and recalculate his vacation time and pay him for the discrepancy.  In other news, the City is preparing for winter and has 200 tons of salt being delivered. Candidate for the 79th District State Representative Kim LaSata visited the meeting and said that she hopes they will vote for her in the upcoming November election. It was also approved to allow AT&T to move a pole and enclosure in front of Dairy Queen at the corner of E. St. Joseph Street and S. Paw Paw Street.


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