THIS KUTE KID IS… Anahi Amaya Oseguera; she is 3 years. Anahi loves makeup, playing with her babies, dressing up, and playing in dirt. She is a true girly girl. She has a big heart and is willing to help anyone out without being asked. Her parents are Adriana and Mario Oseguera from Bangor. She has two older brothers named Angel Julian Oseguera and Giovanni Mario Oseguera and a younger brother, Andres Emilio Oseguera. Anahi’s grandparents are Betty Posey and Adrian Bustos.
Upgrades, ordinances, and renewals voted on by Watervliet City Commission
By Joshua Coffin Watervliet City Commission met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. The meeting was held as a teleconference in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was led by Mayor David Brinker and City Manager Tyler Dotson to discuss and act on internal and external matters for the city of Watervliet. Veterans Park upgrades City Manager Dotson brought to the commission’s attention that Van Fox of Tri-City Village is looking to install a 70-foot flagpole in Veterans Park. The pole would yield a 30 foot by 20 foot American flag. With that, it would be part of an annual flag service program with the proper lighting for viewing standards. In addition to the flag, the park could see potential landscaping improvements to spruce up the area. Commissioner Jennifer Helms said, “I think it’s awesome. If you’ve ever seen the one that’s down at Belle Tire in Benton Harbor, it’s probably about that size and that’s just massive. It’s just cool to look at.” They are looking to start the project in early spring. South Watervliet Drain Project There has been substantial progress on the South Watervliet Drain Project. Dotson attends meetings every two weeks on site with drain commissioner Christopher Quattrin and Sam Leech of Wightman. As of Tuesday, the majority of the 36-inch storm sewer along Lucinda Lane has been installed. All of the 12-inch storm sewer crossings on Lucinda have been completed. St. Joseph Catholic Church has been fully reconnected back to the water system. The six-inch water main along Park Street and Lucinda has been capped. It is worth noting that a section of Park Street is being abandoned, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars of maintenance costs. There are still water main relocations, driveway culverts, as well as other efforts to be built; but overall, the project is really moving forward as the public is able to see each day. Power Ordinance The 30-year franchise agreement with Indiana Michigan Power expired as of February of this year and needed tending to at the city commission’s meeting. The new ordinance allows AEP and their contractors the right to acquire, maintain, construct, and operate in public spaces of the city to ensure the power system remains intact. The issue had its first reading at this meeting, but will be moved to be formally approved at next month’s meeting. The public will be notified on the changes as the topic progresses over the coming weeks. New Tri City Village ordinance At the meeting, the city commission approved a replacement of the existing Tri City Village ordinance. Because the Tri City Village offers services regarding senior housing and low income housing, they are eligible to receive a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). In short, this is a non-traditional way of collecting traditional payments. The current PILOT says that the Tri City Village will pay 4.5% of the annual shelter rents collected during the year, and then also allows the city to receive tax revenue. The new ordinance will replace the previous with up-to-date language and covers new legalities regarding PILOT. The approval of the ordinance will also allow the Tri City Village to move forward with nearly two million dollars worth of improvements. Paw Paw Lake Area Wastewater Treatment Plan Commissioner Duane Cobb discussed a memorandum of understanding regarding the payment process of Paw Paw Lake Area Wastewater Treatment Plan. Rather than an elongated process, the sewer board will be directly paying the sewer bills from now on. Nothing else changed regarding the payments such as price, just the process in which the payments will occur. Health insurance renewal The city commission approved the renewal of the city’s health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield. The insurance is set to cost the city $10,397 monthly, or $123,611.64 annually, a 4.86% increase from the previous year’s cost which was a smaller increase than what the city has seen from previous years. The cost of the health insurance does have the potential to increase or decrease. Either way, the city has budgeted for a higher increase than they are seeing. “I want to make sure that, within the budget of what we’re offering, that we’re offering services that are of value to our staff,” Dotson commented. If any changes come from the situation, Dotson will keep everyone informed. City Manager Report City Manager Dotson thanked deputy clerk Melanie Marvin, her election team, and city hall staff for putting on a very safe, efficient, and honest election. There were lines wrapped around the building most of the day. “It was a record turnout. We had 740 votes cast. That’s the highest that the city’s had in history back as far as I could dig,” said Marvin. The seasons are changing and the city’s winter equipment is officially primed and ready for the weather change. The next salt shipment is coming in, in the next few weeks. Finances The city commission approved invoices and expenditures for the month of October for accounts payable at $92,776.62 and payroll related spending at $49,780.94 for a total payment of $142,557.56 for the city.
Sat, Nov 14, 9am-3pm “FOOD DRIVE” to benefit HOPE Resources Food Pantry at Coloma Harding’s hosted by New Hope Community Church of Watervliet.
Sat, Nov 14, 7pm “VIRTUAL TRIVIA NIGHT” at Sarett Nature Center; call the Nature Center at (269) 927-4832 to reserve a space.
Tue, Nov 17, 8:30am “WPS FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE” virtual meeting via Zoom open to the public; email firstname.lastname@example.org for a link.
Tue, Nov 17 7pm “CARTER HOUSE” online video presentation on North Berrien Historical Museum Facebook page discussing history of Carter House and transformation into the museum; email email@example.com with any questions.
Fri, Nov 20, 3pm “CHILDREN’S CENTER DEDICATION” at the new Hartford Public Library, 12 Church Street. Public is welcome.
Watervliet Schools see continual change in the Age of COVID-19
By Joshua Coffin The Watervliet Board of Education met for their monthly meeting held as a teleconference, in response and caution to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The virtual meeting was led by school board president Bill Spaulding and Superintendent Ric Seager to discuss school board matters ranging from resignations and new hires to the drain project and budget audits. Donations The Watervliet Athletic Department and members of the board celebrated a few monetary donations at the meeting, one of which being a notable $10,000 from an anonymous donor. The money will go towards new wrestling equipment. The athletic department also received a few donations of $250 and $500 amounts. “It has been just wonderful seeing the outpouring of support, the outpouring of pride, and the care that people in our community and alumni take to support our schools particularly in these very difficult times. We wanted to … thank them for their generous, generous contributions to our school,” expressed Seager. Special Education Director Molly Van De Wege obtained a donation of 130 clear face masks from the Hearing Center in St. Joseph for school use. All staff members now have the choice to use one of the clear masks while working. These masks will be particularly helpful and important for many reasons. Young students as English language-learners or working with the school’s speech pathologists will be able to visualize mouth movements for their reading and speaking skills. In addition, students that are hearing impaired will have an easier time reading lips through the masks. It is overall believed that, because students will be able to see their teacher’s full face, the clear masks offer a more personal experience while still being conscious and cautious toward the pandemic. New hires Brandon Waggoner is being brought onto the Watervliet team as Director of Curriculum Instruction and Special Projects. He is currently the assistant superintendent for Online Learning and Innovation at Berrien Spring Public Schools. Watervliet also recently hired Elena Alvarado as the school’s English-Language Learners Migrant Aid. As a Watervliet High School graduate, Alvarado said, “I’ve always wanted to work as a teacher and give back in Watervliet, so this is a good opportunity.” She started working at the school during conference week, though the board officially welcomed her by approving her hiring at the meeting. Departures The board officially accepted Matt Clay’s resignation. Recently, Clay resigned his position as secretary of the Watervliet Board of Education making yet another board member exit following Andy Dehaven and Ted Tees. Clay has taken a job opportunity elsewhere in the country. Additionally, Joshua Soderborg, a fourth grade teacher at Watervliet North Elementary, accepted a job at Coloma Schools. He will continue at Watervliet through November 27 and will begin at Coloma Schools on November 30. The board accepted his resignation and is in the process of finding a replacement candidate. The board thanked all resignees for their contributions and hard work for the district. Board election The past election yielded some results for the school board as a quorum of the board was up for election, a turn of events that does not happen often. Bill Spaulding retained his seat on the board of education as president. Kim Adams, Brian Gruszczyk, and Wendy Hart all were voted onto the board after the election. Wendy Hart was a write-in candidate for the board as no one was formally running for the position on the board. She was originally set to replace Andy Dehaven in January, though Dehaven’s early departure caused a change in plans. At the Monday meeting, the board approved the immediate assignment of Wendy Hart to the board. In a similar process, Brian Gruszczyk was appointed the final open seat of the school board, filling Matt Clay’s position. Kim Adams is set to be appointed in January. Finances The school board approved the general funds of $2,445,137.26 for the month of September. The board also approved the bills of payroll of $480,260.97.
Food Drive Saturday at Harding’s
New Hope Community Church of Watervliet is holding a Food Drive on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 at Harding’s Friendly Market in Coloma. New Hope will be collecting non-perishable food items from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit HOPE Resources Food Pantry.
N.B. Historical Museum offers online video on Carter House, November 17
Every home has a story to tell and every story gives us clues to why and how things were done in the past. The North Berrien Historical Museum’s Carter House began as a simple farmhouse in the 1850s but evolved to meet the needs of its occupants. On Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m., the museum will post a pre-recorded presentation called “The Carter House & the Legacy of Preservation” on their Facebook page. In this video, Programs Director Peter Cook will use research, images, and objects from the collection to discuss the history of the Carter House. The program will also detail the transformation of the property into a museum while highlighting the legacy of preservation that the house and family farm has provided for northern Berrien County. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Protect your family from long-term care costs Like everyone, you want to remain physically and financially independent throughout your life. But if you lose some of this freedom, the last thing you’d want is to become a burden on your family. How can you keep this from happening? First of all, you need to be aware of the risk. Someone turning 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of eventually needing some type of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you face that 70 percent likelihood. In reality, you have either a zero percent chance of requiring long-term care (you’ll never need it) or a 100 percent chance (you’ll definitely need it). Nonetheless, if you think you’ve got that zero percent chance, you’re taking a gamble – and it could be a big one, because long-term care is expensive. The median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home is over $102,000, according to Genworth, an insurance company. Other long-term care services, such as those provided by a home health care aide, also don’t come cheaply. Furthermore, you can’t count on Medicare paying all these costs – in fact, it would probably only cover a small portion of a nursing home stay and provide limited assistance for home health care. So, if you were financially unprepared for the expense of long-term care, the burden might fall on your loved ones. This could be a big financial challenge, in two ways. First, if a family member had to become your caregiver, this individual might have to abandon a career, or at least substantially reduce their working hours. Not only would this result in a loss of income, but it could also lower the amounts that could be contributed to a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. Second, if your family members couldn’t leave their jobs or cut back on their hours, or they were simply unable to provide the type of long-term care you need, they might be forced to pay for a nursing home stay or home health care worker out of pocket. To avoid these outcomes, you have a couple of options: Self-insure – You could conceivably “self-insure” against the costs of long-term care by devoting a portion of your investment portfolio specifically to this purpose. However, if at some point you require admission to a nursing home, it may require a significant commitment of your resources. Purchase protection – Over the past decade or so, there’s been an increase in the types of long-term care protection vehicles available. These instruments vary widely in cost and in what they cover, but by choosing a protection option, you may greatly lower the financial risk you might face. By consulting with a financial professional, you should be able to find an arrangement that’s appropriate for your situation. Preserving your financial independence and helping protect that of your family should be a key financial goal. And you can make progress toward accomplishing this by recognizing the potential cost of long-term care and taking steps to deal with it. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones is a licensed insurance producer in all states and Washington, D.C., through Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. and in California, New Mexico and Massachusetts through Edward Jones Insurance Agency of California, L.L.C.; Edward Jones Insurance Agency of New Mexico, L.L.C.; and Edward Jones Insurance Agency of Massachusetts, L.L.C. Edward Jones, Member SIPC