Caswell will not seek re-election

March 3, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

State Sen. Bruce Caswell announced he will not seek re-election later this year.

The 64-year-old Caswell said his tenure will end Dec. 31. He took over the position from Cameron Brown starting in January 2011.

Caswell, a retired superintendent of Pittsford Area Schools, had turned in his petition to run again. However, Caswell said he will withdraw his petition and let someone new step in to the seat.

The 16th State Senate District will be redrawn in 2015 to exclude St. Joseph and Lenawee counties, but add Jackson County. It currently includes and will continue to take in Branch and Hillsdale counties.

Mayors’ Exchange Day

February 25, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Members of the Constantine Village Council have agreed to participate in the 2014 Mayors’ Exchange Day.

Organized for the past 17 years by the Michigan Association of Mayors and Michigan Municipal League, the exchange will take place in May and involve Constantine Village President Pat Weiss and other municipal officials.

The exchange community has not yet been identified.

Council president Pat Weiss said last year’s pairing of Constantine and Blissfield was a fun and beneficial experience.

City officials from Blissfield took a walking tour of downtown Constantine, toured schools, the township library, local museum, American Legion Post 223, DPW, Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Vaupell Midwest Molding.

City Commission could approve ordinance

February 24, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Members of the Three Rivers City Commission could be less than a month from approving an ordinance regulating donation boxes.

Following discussion on the matter during Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners ironed out a few specifics to a draft ordinance presented Feb. 4 by city attorney Pat O’Malley. With the feedback presented Tuesday, O’Malley will make revisions and potentially have a final draft ready for first reading March 4.

According to terms of the proposed ordinance, the city would allow non-profit, local organizations to obtain a special-exception permit in order to keep a box anywhere in the city.

If an ordinance is approved, commissioners are expected to allow current boxes to remain in place for one year if they aren’t in compliance with the non-profit, local requirement.

Commissioners agreed “local” means St. Joseph County-based.

Possible snow removal ordinance

February 19, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The Three Rivers City Commission on Tuesday took a step closer to establishing a sidewalk snow removal ordinance.

After commenting on a draft prepared by city attorney Pat O’Malley, Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners directed O’Malley to document a small number of revisions and present a potential final draft at the commission’s March 4 meeting.

The issue resurfaced in January after it was brought to the commission’s attention that some students at Andrews and Hoppin elementary schools were walking in the street to and from school because sidewalks were not cleared in some areas.

Lowry and commissioners concurred that 72 hours is a reasonable amount of time to have a sidewalk cleared following the conclusion of a snow event.

Other matters, including absentee homeowners or a resident who is hospitalized during a snow storm were discussed. Commissioners agreed an absentee owner’s property must have snow cleared within 48 hours after a storm concludes.

Potential ordinance regulating boxes

February 17, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Three Rivers city officials are in the midst of working out a potential ordinance regulating collection boxes.

The matter was most recently discussed at the commission’s Feb. 4 meeting, when Mayor Tom Lowry indicated his preference for the boxes to be banned within the city limits. Lowry said the boxes take resources away from the community and do not provide a direct financial benefit to the city.

A preliminary draft ordinance was presented by attorney Pat O’Malley. His draft calls for regulating the boxes, as opposed to an outright ban.

The majority of commissioners indicated they would prefer to see local, non-profit agencies have preference to the placement of collection boxes in Three Rivers. Some of the current boxes are sponsored by for-profit organizations with no local roots.

For-profit organizations Better World Books and USAgain, and non-profit Planet Aid all have boxes in Three Rivers.

Amendments made to the budget

February 12, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

Two budget amendments were made at last week’s St. Joseph County Board of Commissioner’s meeting.

Commissioners agreed to a $4,030 adjustment from the county’s general fund for an animal-control shelter study. The study will focus on a needs assessment to be performed in coming months.

In addition, more than $11,200 was amended from the information technology improvement fund for the purchase of Ultra Books for the prosecutor’s office.

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