FIRE SAFETY AT REDWOOD… Hartford Fire Department Captain Mike Chappell (right) is joined by Fire Fighter Fil Garcia (center) and Chaplin Ryan Wenburg as they demonstrate Ladder 1841, otherwise affectionately known as the “Miss Bonna” during one their presentations to elementary students at Hartford’s Redwood campus celebrating Fire Safety Week.
Hagar tackles pending infrastructure projects
By Jon Bisnett
The Hagar board dealt with a laundry list of infrastructure issues and bids from township hall to Hagar Park and back again during the regular October monthly meeting on Monday the 8th.
Refinishing of the wood floors at the hall was awarded to Berry’s Hardwood Flooring of Coloma at a cost of $3,411.
Wiltse Fencing of Watervliet will install a new set of barrier gates at Hagar Park for a bid of $1,063. Wiltse will also install a chain link fence enclosing the smallest of the township baseball fields for use as an unofficial dog park at a low bid of $2,933.
One hundred feet of fence along Children’s Park will be installed by Fence Masters of Baroda for a cost of $3,640 to buffer patrons from what Township Infrastructure Specialist Dale Davis called a “big ol’ dog” residing next door.
Unresolved issues remain including a problem with parking lot drains at the hall sinking and a need for tuck-pointing of brick where the township hall addition meets the old part of the building.
Quality Asphalt did the work on the lot less than three years ago and will be brought in to look at the drains, hopefully to repair under warranty. Otherwise Davis has a bid from Fisher Construction to invoke a concrete based solution.
A previous tuck-pointing quote put the board in a state of “sticker shock” the result of which was inaction. Additional bids will now be sought and budget adjustments made to get the needed work completed.
Dave Vollrath reported the county has been through two weeks of budget hearings with all the various departments. Outlook is positive and nearing completion
with no real unexpected costs.
Commissioner Vollrath shared that the official opening of the new Berrien County Park in Watervliet saw more than 100 people much to his surprise on a weekday opening.
The park features walking trails, an island bridge, ADA compliant kayak launch and fishing on the river. As if on cue, a local angler pulled out a large salmon while the group toured the new facility.
Berrien County Sheriff
Deputy VanKampen delivered the numbers for September activity in the township which showed 52 complaints resulting in just eight arrests and seven tickets issued. No recent activity has shown any particular pattern however multiple incidents were logged at an address on Bansen Road which included two civil disputes, breaking and entering and a parental kidnapping.
Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio reports the Riverside Downtown Development Authority commitment of up to $350,000 for work on the Hampton Drain has fallen short as the project estimate is now $450,000. Further research as to a solution is warranted.
The DEQ has requested additional information in regard to the Coloma Road Kayak Launch site. While no major issues are anticipated, the project will certainly not commence until spring of 2019.
In response to residents, DiMaggio briefly described a potential long-range concept for a community walking trail, possibly from Fikes to Coloma Road ending at the Kayak Launch.
The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission has asked Hagar to consider an ongoing commitment of $1,900 annually for estimated cost of maintaining and clearing of the Paw Paw River from Bundy Road to the Coloma Road access. No action was taken.
Noting the muddy entry to the river along Bundy Road he experienced from the recent community paddle, DiMaggio brought up the thought that perhaps the township should consider a minimal purchase of land at the site to allow for paving and a small parking lot. The 2-hour kayak trip down the Paw Paw River up river from the new kayak launch should prove quite attractive and bring in visitors says DiMaggio, since he describes the paddle as a serene cruise with no houses, only untouched flora and fauna.
Clerk Sarah Rodriguez reminded residents of the upcoming November 6 election and gave notice that a conflict of the monthly Planning Commission meeting has been solved with that meeting to be held at the Public Safety Building since the hall will be in use as a polling place.
Pride Care Ambulance activity for the prior month included 13 Priority I runs at 11:15, 19 Priority II transports at 11:23 and three Priority III trips at 11:45.
Treasurer Marlene Davis reported September expenses of $52,436.35 with trustee Andy Ulleg expressing concern over AT&T charges totaling well over $1,000.
Clerk Rodriguez said she will be contacting AT&T to pursue a bundling of services to reduce the fee which she characterized as outrageous.
Beth Raiser reports the winding down of activity at Roadside and Hagar parks and hopes for winter that is kind to lake levels and beach erosion that has been an issue in recent years.
North Berrien Joint Fire
Supervisor DiMaggio reported 18 fire runs for the month of September with eight in Hagar, six in Coloma Charter Township and two in the City of Coloma.
A new Cadet Program is in the works with Chief Mike Mattix looking to attract high school age students to consider becoming fire fighters.
Inspector Butch Kelly issued just three permits totaling $113,450, including two new homes for the prior month.
Chronic drainage and washouts on Momany Road prompted contact with the County Drain Commissioner by Treasurer Davis who reports work is in progress. Residents should expect the road to be closed while a new drain tube is installed along with extensive grading and cleaning of existing drains. The work comes at no cost to the township. Supervisor DiMaggio added that conversations he had with project engineers indicated a project cost nearing the $1 million mark.
Treasurer Davis reports the infrastructure of the township website is totally antiquated and recommends a new website that is more user-friendly for updates. Bids will be sought.
Having no further business DiMaggio adjourned the board at 8:28 p.m. with the next regular monthly meeting of the Township Board to be held 7:00 p.m. Monday, November 12, 2018.
THE WINNER IS… Joe Engel in the Silverstone Gardens “Guess the Weight of our Big White Ghost Pumpkin” contest. Engel of Watervliet guessed 48.6 pounds and the actual weight was 48.8. A lot of people entered and several had guesses that were just 48 lbs. but Joe added the ounces and that made him the closest winner. He won a $25 dollar gift certificate to Silverstone and he takes home the giant pumpkin.