WATERVLIET 4-H STRAIGHT SHOOTERS… go check out Coloma Rod and Gun Club’s 3-D archery range! Pic-tured are (from the left): Front Row – Julie Holtsclaw, Darlene Mattson, Maggie Avery and Maddy Swisher; Back Row – Chris Rogers, Aaron Andrasi, Herman Mattson, John Andrasi and Dave Foster! The Straight Shooters 4-H Club was greeted with open arms by Coloma Rod and Gun Club President Dave Foster and Vice President Chris Rogers! They took the Straight Shooters around the course giving them club rules as they went. Maggie, Maddy and Darlene all had a great time as did their leaders and parents. The 4-H kids and leaders agree they will be back next year! They think this is a great opportunity for the 4-H kids to get more exposure to 3-D archery.
Spaghetti Dinner & Silent Auction to benefit Haiden Edelberg family
Haiden Edelberg is an 8th-grader at Watervliet Middle School, recently diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). She is the daughter of Cory and Regan Edelberg of Watervliet. The spaghetti dinner and silent auction on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 4-7 p.m. at North Berrien Fire Rescue, 3061 Coloma Road in Riverside, will benefit her family to help cover medical and travel expenses.
The cost to attend the benefit is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 2 to 10 and free for children under age 2. Orders to go are available.
Auction items are currently being accepted. Please contact Tina Morris at 269-277-1418 or Kim Derrick at 269-408-6352 to donate or for more information.
City of Coloma seeking ordinance officer contract with Sieg Freitag
By Christina Gelder
The Coloma City Commission voted to go forward with hiring an ordinance officer at the Monday, October 23 meeting. Immediately upon opening the subject up Commissioner Julie Smith made a motion to hire Sieg Freitag as ordinance officer. That motion died for lack of a second and the discussion started.
Mayor Jim Polashak said that he thinks a contract needs to be drawn up by the city attorney before further action is taken. He said that they should know what they are agreeing to before voting.
Coloma business owner Tony Bertuca expressed his concerns for how the ordinances were being handled. He said after attending a separate meeting in the prior week he did not think they had determined Sieg Freitag to be the best candidate. The commission maintained that they had made that determination. He also expressed a concern for something said about the ordinance officer working with the City attorney to update ordinances. “I think we look and see how we are going to do that,” said Bertuca, “but that is up to you (the commission).”
Commissioner Smith responded, “We have ordinances. Some of these need to be updated. It would be logical for the ordinance officer to work on that.”
Later on in the meeting Commissioner Jason Hicks clarified that statement saying he believed there was a misunderstanding. He stated that there is an ordinance committee made up of himself, and commissioners Nate Clements and Julie Smith. “We will be the ones updating the ordinances, with the help of the City attorney and ordinance officer.”
Resident Fred Reeves asked the commission whether this would be an armed position. He said that in today’s world someone should not be sent to do the job without some type of protection. He also suggested maybe a letter being sent to all the residents to give them a head’s up that there is a new ordinance officer who will be enforcing the ordinances more diligently than in the past. These are the kind of details the city is still trying to work out.
Eventually a motion was made to offer the position to Sieg Freitag contingent on the acceptance of an employment contract drawn up by the attorney. That motion was made by Commissioner Hicks and seconded by Commissioner Smith. Commissioner Smith added that the attorney should be asked to handle that as soon as possible. The motion passed.
Clean audit opinion
Elizabeth Roose of Plante Moran was at the meeting to go over the city’s annual audit. She started by thanking the commission for the opportunity to serve them and giving credit to Roseann Clements and Maureen Saltzman for their assistance.
She announced that the city had again received a clean audit opinion which is the highest they can get for their financial statements. The net worth of the city ended up at around $5.2 million with some restrictions, such as money set aside for fire service, etc. the general fund balance was at $529,000 which the firm considered very healthy since it is several months worth of expenses.
Motion was made and passed to accept the report and the mayor thanked her for coming.
Owner of D.W. Hammond Chocolates, located in the downtown area is having neighbor troubles. The people involved with L.A.D.D., next door to him have consistently been using all available parking, all day, for his building. Unfortunately, because it is public parking they are not doing anything illegal. Commissioner Marsha Hammond said it was really more of a moral issue. She reminded the city that when they originally came to town an agreement was made with the Coloma United Methodist Church for the L.A.D.D. employees to use their lot Monday through Friday. In exchange for this solution the city paid to have the church lot repaved.
Mayor Polashak is going to see if he can get in contact with the powers that be for L.A.D.D. and resolve the issue.
In other news Commissioner Marsha Hammond is happy to report that disaster was averted during the recent heavy rains. She thanked several people for their help in dealing with a flooded drain and a sinkhole near the railroad tracks. She thanked the Public Works Department, Sieg and Linda Freitag, the North Berrien Fire Rescue Department, County Commissioner Bill Vollrath, County Drain Commissioner Chris Quatrain, AEP and CSX. Due to quick responses what could have been a lot worse was taken care of quickly. Mayor Polashak mentioned that Commissioner Hammond also did a great deal of work during the storm.
Coloma resident Bill Smith asked that the city’s checkbook register be made available for public viewing. He said that sharing the bills is the absolute minimum and he would like to know what he is looking at. This is something that according to Smith, other communities are already doing.