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12-26-2019 Hartford Township confirms new Zoning Administrator

HIS KUTE KID IS… Kaylee May Findlay of Hartford. Her loving parents are Cheyenne Findlay, Noah Londowski and Lamar Clinton. Kaylee’s proud grandparents are Teresa Wise, Chuck Wise, and Michael Findlay.

Hartford Township confirms new Zoning Administrator

By Jon Bisnett At their final session of 2019 on Thursday, Dec. 12 the Hartford Township Board acted on the recommendation of the Planning Commission as they approved long-time resident Jennifer Meachum as the township’s Zoning Administrator/ Noxious Weeds Officer, filling the void created by the resignation of Jim Lechenet. Supervisor Ron Sefcik had covered the post in the interim, until a suitable candidate could be found. Guests Van Buren County Register of Deeds Paul De Young visited to present the board an archival map, he recently discovered, of the township. The map predates the modern 5-digit property numbering system indicating its age may date back to the 1940s. County Commissioner Mike Chappell reported three countywide millage requests that will be on the March 2020 ballot. (1) A Road Commission Renewal for .9769 mills. The current millage expires in 2019 and will fund ongoing maintenance, repair and reconstruction of public roads for 4 years. (2) A renewal of Public Transit funding in the amount of .2471 mills. Current millage expires also in 2019. The renewal would extend funding through 2023. (3) A new request in the amount of .10 mills over 4 years for Veterans Services, providing dedicated services to honorably discharged veterans in Van Buren County. Commissioners accepted a grant from the State Court Administrative Office for $716,795 to service the Specialty Courts of the county including Drug Treatment Court, Family Court, Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, Sobriety Courts and Recovery Courts for both youth and adults.

Sheriff’s Department Van Buren County Sheriff Deputy Chad Hunt logged 669 responses in Hartford Township for the prior three months, with a total of 2,424 calls year-to-date; noted as the 4th highest in the county. The VBCSD is offering Citizen’s Police Academy January 8 through March 1, 2020. Applications are available at Fire Department Hartford Fire Chief Rob Harting reported 33 township calls for the month of November including one building fire. Harting also announced a free smoke alarm distribution program slated to begin after the first of the year. A grant from the American Red Cross will fund the program available to all Hartford residents. Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Steve Starner provided a written report of bills for the month of November totaling $163,349.54; of that amount, $6,258.25 accounted for payroll. Old business Supervisor Sefcik gave on update on PFOS contamination, stating funding has been applied for and moving through the process in regard to 13 affected homes near the former Du-Wel Metal Products site. A Request for Proposal is being sought for Lawn Maintenance with a deadline for submission of January 30, 2020, with a February 6 date to award the contract. New business The Board gave unanimous approval to reappoint Dave Norden to the Road Committee. Additional quotes are being sought for cleanup of property located at 50541 County Road 687.

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A GOOD DEED INDEED… Van Buren County Register of Deeds Paul De Young brought an early Christmas gift to the December regular meeting of the Hartford Township board. During some routine housecleaning at his county office, De Young discovered an archival map of the township that predates the 5-digit street numbering system commonly used today. Guessing the map could be easily date back to the 1940s, Paul had it framed and presented it to townships officials. Pictured are (from the left): Trustee John McClellan, Clerk Julie Sweet, Supervisor Ron Sefcik, Register Paul De Young and Treasurer Steve Starner. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)

CMA to minister at Free Methodist Church in Watervliet on Sunday

The Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) will minister during the Morning Worship service Sunday, December 29 at 10:30 a.m. at Watervliet Free Methodist Church. The community is invited for this special service. Watervliet Free Methodist Church is located at 7734 Paw Paw Avenue.

Med+Leaf works to support local small businesses

By Teresa Smithers Earlier this fall, the City of Hartford stepped out and granted a permit to Med+Leaf, the city’s first medical marijuana provisioning center, even as neighboring communities opted out of the opportunity. Hartford’s hope is that increased tax revenue from Med+Leaf will allow the city to revive its downtown, while also helping to decriminalize activities around the medical help the plant provides. Med+Leaf opened in early November and owners Doug & Joelene VonKoenig and managers Alex VonKoenig and Janel Napier are hard at work to return Hartford’s vote of confidence by encouraging its clientele to shop in Hartford. When shoppers spend $20 or more at eight locally-owned small businesses – Kellogg Hardware, J&B Auto Body, El Supermercado, 7 West Hair Design, Hometown Video, Arrowhead Bar, Pro Slot, or Smith Indoor Garden Supply – and bring their receipt to Med+Leaf that same day, they will receive $5.00 off their purchase. It is Med+Leaf’s hope that working with the community will help to dispel misconceptions and perhaps lead to local expansion of the growing cannabis business community. Marijuana has been found to be effective at relieving symptoms of arthritis, Autism, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, HIV/Aids, agitation caused by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, nausea, seizures, and more. In order to have a medical marijuana card, a person must have an evaluation and certification by a physician. They can visit the State of Michigan online for more information at If their physician has an online account and they have no caregiver, they can actually apply online for same day approval. The U-Med Center in Sister Lakes is one of the closest medical doctor offices and Med+Leaf will provide a form to get $20 off an exam. Med+Leaf is located next to Family Dollar at 301 W. Main Street, Hartford, Michigan. Any locally-owned small business can partner with Med+Leaf by contacting Doug VonKoenig at or by calling Med+Leaf at 269-308-3111.


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