11-16-2017 Watervliet Township Board wants public property to stay public; Watervliet Township Board

LANDED… Jennifer Tohtz of Hagar Shores lands a punch and kick against her Hungarian counterpart Betty Kovacs at the WAKO World Championship in Budapest Wednesday, No-vember 8. Tohtz won a bronze medal in the competition. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Watervliet Township Board wants public property to stay public

By Annette Christie

Following a special meeting held on Wednesday, November 15 to discuss the possible sale of a public park, the Watervliet Township Board seemed pretty determined that the public parks of the township should remain available for public use.

This is a continuation of a discussion that began at their regular October meeting when the board was presented with an unsolicited sales proposal for a piece of property off Elm Dr. which is owned by the township and is a township park.  James and Deb Denney had offered $15,000 to purchase the mostly unbuildable piece of property as they are in negotiations to purchase the adjacent property. The Denney’s, who have been owners in the area for over 30 years, are hoping to build their forever home in the township.

Supervisor Dan Hutchins said the township was gifted the piece of property in 1922 along with four other pieces of property. No matter what the offer was, Hutchins said that the legality of whether the property could even be sold would have to be investigated.

The township did hold a special meeting on October 25 about the subject. At that meeting, the board received written comments from one individual and heard from two others.  Following discussion the board decided to seek legal opinion on the status of Pomono Park as a buildable lot. They had set the 2nd meeting on the subject for Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

The subject was highlighted by two different groups on the social media platform of Facebook.  Some individuals, unknown whether they were residents of the township or not, seemed disturbed that the township would even consider selling a piece of property that was deemed public while other questioned the purchase offer of $15,000. Dee Hauf encouraged people to attend the meeting to voice their opinion.  Allen Reed wrote, “If you think public access is more important than another big house, and you don’t think public land should be sold for a mere fraction of its value, then please attend the meeting and voice your concern.”

Approximately 30 people attended the Wednesday morning meeting and all but the property owners who were selling the adjacent property and the buyers spoke in favor of selling the park.  All of the other attendees that spoke were against it.

While the township board did not take a vote the consensus of the six members present was that public land should remain public.  The board will seek assistance from their legal representation on how to secure the land so that it would remain forever public.

Watervliet Township Board discusses Medic 1 ultimatum

By Annette Christie

At a special meeting held on Wednesday, November 15, the Watervliet Township Board discussed the ultimatum they are being presented with from their ambulance provider and also received a proposal from another provider in the area.

The Medic 1 Board had given notice to Hartford Township and Watervliet Township that their ambulance service from Medic 1 will be discontinued effective July 31, 2018 unless something changes. Medic 1 was responding because the City of Hartford and the two townships joined the municipally owned ambulance service together, and the City of Hartford is discontinuing its service from Medic 1.

Medic 1 Board Chairman Pete Sinclair said that the two townships could either talk Hartford City officials into staying or come up with an additional $114,000 to fund what Medic 1 will be lacking from the loss of Hartford City.  If neither of those will work, then they can search for another provider. The three municipalities joined Medic 1 in 1988.  Currently, Watervliet Township pays approx