The Three Rivers City Commission has named Doug Humbert as the new superintendent of the Three Rivers Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The move by Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners came during last week’s city commission meeting.
Humbert replaces James Baker, whose last day is today before joining the wastewater plant operated by the city of Kalamazoo. Humbert is a 10-year employee of the Three Rivers plant and has served most recently as senior operator.
Baker has worked for the city since 2010.
Seventeen St. Joseph County employees were recognized Tuesday for reaching milestone years of service.
The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners acknowledged employees who had reached the 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-year plateau. The 25-year category featured three recipients: Det.-Sgt. Jim Hart, patrol officer Pete VanCamp and IT director Dan Wing.
The group of 20-year employees consisted of Mike Minger, Brad Balk, Sally Wickum, Vicky Anders, Lonnie Palmer and Kitty Buchner.
Concerns about the potential demise of the St. Joseph County Conservation District were raised during Tuesday’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners meeting.
In light of Monday’s 2014 budget work session, during which commissioners proposed not funding the conservation district, John Nelson addressed the five-member commission.
Nelson, vice-chair of the Conservation District Board, questioned why the district is also possibly being stripped of the seven annual river cleanup events and countywide irrigation assistance. If the budget is approved, the duties questioned by Nelson would fall to the county’s Parks and Recreation Department and MSU Extension office, respectively.
Commission Chairman John Dobberteen invited Nelson to attend an appeal session at 3 p.m. Monday at the courthouse.
Under the proposed budget, the $14,000 previously allocated to the district would go to the parks and recreation department to offset costs associated with the river cleanup.
The county’s 2014 fiscal year starts Jan. 1.
Three Rivers Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners last week agreed to two major purchases.
In advance of winter weather, the city commission approved the purchase of 5,000 pounds of road salt. The $24,000 transaction will call for 60 percent of the salt to be delivered ahead of the season and the balance will be shipped later in the winter.
Also, the commission agreed to buy a pickup truck that will be converted into a brush truck. The $24,000 Silverado from Vetter Chevrolet was conducted in tandem with the Lockport Township fire contract.
State Rep. Matt Lori has announced the Sturgis Neighborhood Program will receive a $30,000 grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
The grant, from the Housing Resource Fund, will be used to support general operating expenses of the organization, which serves residents of the city of Sturgis and the surrounding area.
Lori said the Sturgis Neighborhood Program serves to find housing and shelter for people who are having challenges. Lori said it helps keep families together and preserves communities.
MSHDA programs contribute to Michigan’s economic and social health by creating, enhancing and preserving housing for low- and moderate-income residents and by engaging in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities, Lori said.
State Rep. Matt Lori is urging a state Senate panel to consider legislation that will enable hunters to safely use rifles when hunting in southern Michigan.
Lori told the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee that allowing rifles using specific cartridges for hunting in the southern part of the state – now limited to shotguns, muzzleloaders and pistols – would be good for the sport and good for the economy.
House Bill 4283 would allow the use of a straight-walled pistol cartridge in rifles that can accommodate such ammunition. The pistol cartridges do not travel as far as conventional rifle rounds and pose less of a safety risk. The use of rifles in the southern part of Michigan is currently restricted because of the risk posed in more heavily populated areas of the state.
The bill would open the sport to more hunters who currently don’t hunt deer because of the strong recoil involved in using shotguns, Lori said.
The committee took the measure under consideration. The bill has already passed in the House of Representatives.