12-24-2020 The Stars and Stripes has a new look in Watervliet’s Veterans Park; New Coloma Township b

The Stars and Stripes has a new look in Watervliet’s Veterans Park

Working with Van Fox of MHT Housing, Tri-City Village owner, the City of Watervliet is in the process of revamping Veteran’s Park on Main Street. Phase 1 of the project was the installation of a 70’ flag pole with a 20’x30’ American flag with three separate lighting units being installed.

Phase 2 of the project will commence in the spring and will see a landscape overhaul yielding an even more appeasing look in the heart of the community. The exact design by the landscape artist needed to have the flag in place first.

After review of the design with the architect and Watervliet city public works supervisor Jeff Allen, it is city manager Tyler Dotson’s hope to bring a plan to the City Commission for approval. Dotson said they are expecting at least $30,000 worth of upgrades between investments from Vox and the City of Watervliet.

“This upgrade to Veteran’s Park is possible because of the generosity of a local business owner who recognizes the value and future potential of the community. The City takes pride in our parks system and it’s an absolute honor to be able to continue to recognize our Veteran’s in the heart of our downtown. Public-private partnerships like this are essential to future endeavors as we look to continue to update our parks and other public spaces around the City,” Dotson stated.

The former flag pole that was installed at Veteran’s Park to flag the American flag has been moved to replace the broken one at City Hall with hopes of fixing the broken one and potentially putting it up at the Public Works garage.

New Coloma Township board members take seat at the table

By Annette Christie

The new Coloma Township Board, following the results of the November primary election, held their first meeting Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2020. While a few of the faces were new, the agenda was business as usual.

Bryan Duffield, trustee and member of the Road Committee, stated that the yearly meeting with the Berrien County Road Department was held and they are awaiting the road improvement plan for next year. Duffield told the board that the township should be proud of the conditions of their roads as it is noticed by other entities and municipalities. The township does have a road millage that helps to support steady road improvements.

Police Chief Wes Smigielski gave his monthly departmental report. In the month of November the department made 21 arrests and gave 11 citations. He told the board that there is a 20-week delay for new Tahoe police vehicles, of which the department will be acquiring this year.

Duffield, who also sits on the Parks & Recreation Committee, stated that in the past the township has applied for a $50,000 grant for park improvements but it was denied. Being the winter, much of the work on parks is on hold and he suspects that future improvements will be considered after they see what shakes out of this whole COVID-19 pandemic.

He also brought everyone up to date on the Paw Paw Lake Improvement Committee for the special assessment district. Duffield said that the attorney that works with that group has advised that their work should be more in the lines of advisory vs. authority. Going forward in 2021, the township boards should expect to be more active in approving work and expenses paid for by the assessment district. The committee will then provide recommendation for township board approval.

Police Department employee Tracy Tavolacci asked to speak to the board about United Way. Coloma Township employees always have awesome participation in the campaign and have won many awards including being named the Small Business of the Year. Often, the township has 100% participation of employees. She asked for the board’s approval to continue hosting a United Way campa