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Hartford Township going digital; board discusses routine business

The Hartford Township Board met on Thursday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. at the Hartford Township Hall. Van Buren County Commissioners and Public Safety were in attendance.

Public Safety reports

Hartford Fire Department shared that they will be hosting free community Hands-Only CPR and AED classes on March 1. The department plans to continue this community class if they have a significant turnout and interest. This initial run will be held in three 2-hour sessions over the day. Each session will host eight individuals. As of the Feb. 9 meeting, they only had a few spots left of the 24 they are offering.

There will be a new Van Buren Sheriff Deputy taking over the Hartford patrol, Deputy D. Thompson. The department had only a few things to report other than that and a few citations and ordnance enforcements that have come to light with the snow beginning to melt.

Commissioners’ reports

Van Buren County Road Commissioner Rick Boze announced that the Road Commission has hired the next Managing Director. Bret Witkowski is a former Berrien County Treasurer and Berrien County Commissioner. Witkowski joins Managing Director Dan Bishop, as he serves through the start of his retirement at the end of the month. Witkowski will be part time until March 8, when he begins his duties in full.

Finance and Human Resources Director, Linnea Rader will also be serving temporarily in the Managing Director role alongside Witkowski until he is full-time. Boze shared that the Road Commission has also approved the bids for Fuel and Asphalt, and they came in under expected.

Van Buren County Commissioner Mike Chappell shared that the Board of Commissioners renamed the board room, as requested by County Administrator Ryan Post, the “Donald Hanson Board of Commissioners Room” in recognition of Donald Hanson, upon his retirement from the board. Chappell also answered questions and will return to the board with more information about the ARPA funding and what the township is waiting on with the recent updates.

Committee reports

There were not many reports from committees. Road Committee was slow due to weather; road tour requests expected to come in as the weather improves. Treasurer Report was not received; but the board reviewed the Accounts Payable and Payroll with little discussion. No Cemetery Report updates. Planning Committee has a meeting scheduled for the 24th of the month. Interlocal Agreement is still under discussion, no further updates as of this meeting.

Tablet vs. paper

The Hartford Township Board discussed the use of Microsoft Tablets versus the redundant printing of papers; the minutes, the reports, the items that just need to be reviewed and are rarely looked at again in their paper-form. Calling on how Lawrence Township has used tablets for two years now, Hartford Township Supervisor Ron Sefcik recommended that the board consider the purchase of five tablets and their respective software and necessity bundles; they will be Microsoft Surface Pro 7 tablets.

The board passed the motion after a hearty discussion on what the undertaking would be and how the use would be more efficient and cost effective for the township in the long run; prior to purchase, the township planned to review if this could be considered under an infrastructure grant fund as well.

Next Township Board meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 9, 7:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the Hartford Township Hall. Regular meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month. Public is welcome.

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