Public input for decision

July 8, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Sturgis municipal officials are expected to ask the public for input on whether to sell a piece of park land.

Commissioners this week plan to consider ballot language authorizing the sale of Arthur Carls Park to Burr Oak Tool, Inc. The matter will be discussed at Wednesday’s city commission meeting.

City manager Mike Hughes said Burr Oak Tool has indicated it would like the property for potential future expansion. The land is north of its manufacturing plant on West South Street.

Sturgis’ City Charter requires that any sale of park property be approved by public referendum. In order to be place on the ballot for the Nov. 4 election, the commission must approve ballot language by Aug. 12.

Mutual-aid agreement

June 27, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Members of the Constantine Village Council voted to have the village participate in a 2014 St. Joseph County mutual-aid, police-assistance agreement.

The agreement is a collaboration among the St. Joseph County Sheriff ‘ s Department and agencies from Sturgis, Burr Oak, Centreville, Colon, Constantine, Mendon, Three Rivers and White Pigeon.

Village manager Mark Honeysett said neighboring communities have always lent assistance to one another, formally and informally. The agreement means Constantine may render assistance to any of the participating agencies under certain circumstances.

Honeysett, who also serves as chief of police, said the agreement states the requesting agency does not need to compensate the other responders, as the mutual advantage of the arrangement is adequate compensation, he said.

Grant awarded

June 20, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A grant awarded the past two decades to St. Joseph County through the Michigan Department of Corrections is being renewed for a three-year period.

At the request of District Court Judge Jeff Middleton, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday authorized Middleton submitting the Community Corrections Grant application.

Programs and administrative costs covered by the grant equal $103,000. Middleton said one-third of the grant covers the salary for Community Corrections administrator Nancy Pick. The balance is used toward a cognitive, group-based program as well as partial funding for the Day Reporting Center.

Middleton has sought renewal of the grant for 25 years.

Revised date and time

June 19, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has agreed to revise the date and time of its once-a-month executive committee meeting.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, commissioners settled on 8 a.m. the Wednesday before the second commission meeting of the month. The executive committee, which acts as a committee of the whole and discusses in detail items to appear on the subsequent county commission meeting agenda, had been meeting at 3 p.m. the Thursday before the second commission meeting of the month

To accommodate a commissioner who has a conflict with Thursday afternoons, the motion to move the executive committee meeting to Wednesdays was approved unanimously.

In other action Tuesday, the commission met in executive session for about 20 minutes to discuss property acquisition. No action on the subject was taken, however.

Developing river trail

June 18, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

A step toward development of a county-owned river trail was taken Tuesday.

Members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday agreed to fund $89,000 for services provided by Edgewater Resources.

Based in the city of St. Joseph, Edgewater Resources will work with the county in developing a riverfront master plan. An outline and scope Edgewater comprised for county officials shows a series of steps necessary to enhance for recreational purposes publicly owned lands along the St. Joseph, Rocky, Portage, Prairie, Fawn and Pigeon rivers.

In addition, the proposal calls for engaging private landowners in the development of integrated strategy for linking a future network of river way trails to existing regional trail networks, and connecting them to significant natural, cultural and historic resources throughout the county.

According to documents from Edgewater, development of the plan will require collaboration with the cities, villages and townships throughout the county, as well as coordination with the state to identify potential grant-funding sources.

Rifles for hunting

June 16, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Legislation by state Rep. Matt Lori allowing rifles to be used for hunting in the southern Lower Peninsula with special cartridges is now a new rule initiated by the Natural Resources Commission.

The NRC approved the order in response to a bill introduced by Lori. Rifles have not been permitted for hunting in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula because of safety concerns with the higher population density. Only shotguns, muzzleloaders and some pistols could be used in the sport.

Lori said the measure was critical because communities in Southern Michigan were losing hunters to Indiana, making those small businesses, sporting goods stores and lodging accommodations miss out on economic opportunities during hunting season.

Under the proposal, which will be on a trial basis until 2017, rifles that take .35 caliber or larger ammunition could be used in the southern zone as long as the cartridges used are straight walled with a minimum case length between 1.16 and 1.80 inches.

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