The city of Sturgis will move its municipal elections to even-numbered years, following a unanimous vote taken this week by community leaders.
Starting Jan.1, the city will implement the even-year vote, as 2015 will not be an election year. Instead, the next vote to select city commissioners will be decided in 2016.
Consequently, current commissioners whose terms would have expired at the end of 2014 will serve 12 additional months. A public hearing on the matter Wednesday drew no comments.
City Manager Mike Hughes said the measure had been considered for a number of years. The appeal, he said, is an opportunity to improve voter turnout as well as saving money.
A few precincts in Sturgis have consistently seen the lowest voter turnout in the county, and Sturgis officials hope including city commission elections on the ballot with other races – including the presidential in 2016 – will yield a greater number of voters.
The Three Rivers City Commission last week passed an ordinance related to sidewalk snow removal.
The ordinance calls for the owner of a building or lot adjacent to a paved sidewalk to clear the sidewalk within 72 hours of a measureable snowfall. In addition, the ordinance requires sand or an abrasive to be applied if snow is too hard or if ice has formed on the sidewalk.
City manager Joe Bippus said a team of volunteers will be deployed to aid senior citizens or people who are handicapped and unable to do the clearing on their own.
A number of landlords and residents raised concerns about the ordinance, as the owner of multiple properties may have to hire the help to be done. In addition, there were questions about whose judgment would be cited to whether snowfall accumulation warrants removal, and who decides at what time a snowfall has concluded.
The city of Sturgis has reached an agreement to purchase the Wood Motel and its property.
Located near the high-profile intersection of Chicago and Centerville roads, the parcel is being acquired in part through a community development block grant, according to city manager Mike Hughes.
The city plans to demolish the single-level motel and, according to terms of the grant, leave the property vacant for five years.
The grant will pay 70 percent of the $93,000 asking price for the property, leaving the city on the hook for the balance of $27,900.
Hughes said the city would entertain proposals from prospective businesses interested in purchasing and developing the commercially zoned property.
With a forecast calling for more than four inches of snowfall, the city of Sturgis has declared a snow emergency.
The measure went into effect at 11 o’clock Tuesday night and will remain in place until routes are cleared between two successive street intersections.
The emergency means parking is prohibited on all city streets in order for plow trucks to safely and effectively remove snow accumulation.
The owners of vehicles parked on the streets while the snow emergency is in effect will be issued a $50 fine and be towed.
Three Rivers City Manager Joe Bippus and his wife, Cheryl, were crowned the winners of the inaugural Dancing With the St. Joseph County Stars event Friday.
Staged at Glen Oaks Community College’s Nora Hagen Theater, the fundraiser featured six teams. The couples and their respective coaches volunteered their time as part of the fundraiser to benefit the St. Joseph County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Second place went to Matthew and Jessica Mosher of Three Rivers, while Geoff and Stephanie Smith of Sturgis placed third. People’s Choice was bestowed to Constantine-area residents Mark and Marti Brown.
Event organizers said they were pleased with the turnout of more than 200 spectators and sponsors, who combined to help raise more than $4,500 for the Centreville-based agency.
The village of Centreville has announced it is seeking nominations for its annual Citizen of the Year recipient.
Candidates are typically chosen based on their community standing and involvement. Committee members ask that nominations also include details about organizations, hobbies and other factors to consider in selecting the citizen of the year.
Nominations should be made in writing and delivered to the village office by April 30.