10-20-2016 Hartford City Council continues discussions regarding building conditions on Main Street

DOWNTOWN GOT A LITTLE MORE COLORFUL… for late fall thanks to Silverstone Gardens, which donated 20 potted mums to beautify Main Street. According to Bob Becker, chairman of the Watervliet Downtown Development Authority, the mums are part of a larger strategy to bring attention to downtown. “With the adoption of our downtown plan, we are working on a number of improvements, from lighting to crosswalks to events and retail development,” he says. “One of the things that are important is getting Watervliet involved, and thanks to Robin Sommers and Silverstone Gardens the down-town looks brighter and more festive.” Becker also thanked Krista Krogel at the Flower Basket and Mike and Kristy Noack from Jaden Photography for assistance with placement of the mums. Pictured is Janet Conrad from the Flower Basket watering the mums in front of the florist. (TCR photo by Karl Bayer)


Hartford City Council continues discussions regarding building conditions on Main Street

By Nancy Albright

At the Hartford City Council Workshop on October 17, the council addressed the condition of the buildings situated at 1 West Main Street and 3 East Main Street in Hartford and what is being done by the owners to remediate the structural problems that plague both buildings, potentially causing harm to residents walking down Main.  City Manager Yemi Akinwale has sent letters to the owners of both buildings informing them of current building conditions and what the city expects them to do to correct these issues. Mr. Akinwale is awaiting a response from both owners. If the owners do not respond within 30 days, the City Council will proceed with a hearing regarding demolishing the properties. The buildings have been in disrepair for some time and repeated efforts to work with the owners prompted Commissioner Dockter to comment that, “we need to sharpen our teeth and either get the buildings repaired or taken down.”  The council discussed options for the building at 3 East Main, which requires that safety measures be taken quickly for the protection of residents from falling bricks and consequences of birds that have taken residence in the building. Tentative agreement was reached to place barricades on the side street to block the awning where danger is most imminent.

Public Works Department works hard to repair city sewer lines

 Hartford Public Works recently replaced a collapsed sanitary sewer line on the last block of Mary Street, and repaired a water-main break at the corner of North Center Street and School Street. Both projects were completed quickly and the sections of the streets that were compromised repaved. Several council members thanked the Public Works crew for their quick response times, hard work and a job well done.  Mr. Akinwale has obtained an estimate in the amount of $63,100.00 to repair 330 feet of a collapsed sewer line along East Street from Linden to Oak that needs attention as soon as possible. The quote includes funds that will be allocated to repave the affected area after repairs have been completed. Work will begin on November 7.

Demolition of 118 Michigan Avenue scheduled for October 24

 Earlier this year the City of Hartford acquired the derelict building at 118 Michigan Avenue. Considered blight on the community as well as a safety hazard, the City voted to demolish the building and incorporate the lot into Ely Park. Asbestos removal, required prior to demolition, has been completed and demolition is scheduled for October 24.

MDEQ approves Wellhead Protection grant

 The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved the city’s grant request, awarding the City of Hartford $10,000. The city will proceed with the implementation of plans to update Hartford’s Containment Source Inventory, which constitutes an existing records review, a site survey and final report, as well as developing city management strategies and updating the Wellhead Protection Report once the official contract has been received from the MDEQ.

State of Michigan issues new emergency measures for children

 Medic 1 representative Pete Sinclair introduced Emergency Information stickers that are designed to be affixed to children’s car seats for use by emergency medical personnel in the event of an accident involving children to help medics provide better emergency treatment.  Information for each child includes the child’s name, parent name(s) and contact information, emergency contact information, physician information, allergies, and other medical conditions. One completed sticker should be affixed to the appropriate car seat the particular child will occupy. The stickers are provided by the State of Michigan and are currently in the testing phase. They are free and available at the Hartford Police Department. Please call (269) 621-4707 for more information.  Mr. Sinclair also reported that there is a new protocol that is being tested by the State of Michigan requiring all ambulances to be equipped with child restraints in order to secure children on gurneys to protect them from harm while receiving medical attention during transport to the nearest medical facility for treatment. The state will initially purchase the safety equipment and the city will be responsible for maintenance and replacement costs going forward. Restraints are currently being manufacturer-certified for use.

Hartford preparing for November elections

 In preparation of the November 8 General Election the City conducted a Public Accuracy Test of Election Equipment on October 18. Write-in candidates for city commission seats must file a declaration form by 4:00 p.m. on October 28, and absentee ballots are available at City Hall, located at 19 West Main Street in Hartford. Please call (269) 621-2477 for more information.  In other news, the council would like to remind residents that Trick-or-Treat in Hartford will be on Monday, October 31 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and that there will be plenty of police and fire department presence to help keep trick-or-treaters safe.  The City would like to remind residents that Leaves Pick-up began on October 17 and will continue until bad weather hits. City Commissioner Dennis Goss commented that, “both residents and the City are doing a good job to clear Hartford of unwanted leaves to help keep the city looking good.”

City of Hartford will donate to help fund Christmas in Hartford event

 The City Council discussed the donation of $1,000 to the Hartford Lions Club for the Christmas in Hartford celebration that will be held in Ely Park on December 10 to begin the holiday season. The council will hold an official vote on October 24 to finalize the donation.   The Lions invite all township and city residents to join in the fun. The event will feature a Chili Cook-off beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the park. Entries for the cook-off will be accepted between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m., and judges will announce the winners at 5:00 p.m. Judging will be followed by chili tasting for the public. The Lions request that all chili entries be brought to the park in crock pots or other type of slow cooker.  The Lighted Parade begins at 6:00 p.m. on Main Street. Parade line-up begins at the high school at 5:30 for floats created by Hartford schools, clubs, businesses and community members, and other parade entries. Lion Judy Sinclair said that, “as many lights as possible are welcome.”  The parade will be followed by Pictures with Santa at the Hartford Community Center, and holiday music will accompany the festivities. The backdrop of the celebration will be the grand Christmas tree in the park, decorated by Naylor Landscape Management from Kalamazoo.

Casino revenue-sharing nets tidy sum for City of Hartford

 The Pokagon-Hartford Local Revenue Sharing Board met on October 5 to distribute revenue from casino operations for the fiscal year. The City of Hartford will receive funds in the amount of $78,464.66.

New party store opening in Hartford

 The City Council approved the application by owner Raj Singh for a liquor license to open a party store located at 501 Main Street where he plans to sell wine, beer, packaged-liquor and snack items. Mr. Singh has acquired, and is currently completing renovations to the building. Mr. Singh plans to open the new business in time for the holidays.

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