Repairing crumbling roads

March 13, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

St. Joseph County’s Board of Commissioners was asked to consider allocating funds to help townships repair crumbling roads.

Del Martin, a Fabius Township resident, urged the five-member panel last week to dedicate money from its delinquent-tax fund and spread the wealth to all 16 townships in the county.

Martin said a modest amount of even $50,000 to each township would cost $800,000, less than 10 percent of the money the county has in its delinquent-tax fund, he said.

Martin spoke during the public comment portion, a format in which commissioners typically do not respond other than to acknowledge a speaker.

Martin is the second person to address commissioners about the condition of county roads. Twice in the past six months, Florence Township Supervisor Gordon Evilsizor urged commissioners to consider allocations to repair or rebuild Constantine Road.

Seasonal weight restrictions

March 11, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The St. Joseph County Road Commission has announced seasonal weight restrictions are in effect on routes not designated all-season roads.

As a result, multiple-axle vehicles must reduce the weight of their loads and adhere to speed restrictions when traveling on non-all-season roads. The seasonal restriction does not apply to passenger cars or pickup trucks.

The measure is in place to prevent roadway damage during the early spring, freeze-thaw cycle that makes certain roads vulnerable to heavy loads and high speeds. The restrictions will be lifted at a date when temperatures are likely to remain above freezing.

The same restriction is in place in Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Berrien and Cass counties.

Bridge to be replaced

February 27, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

A detour was set up on Pulver Road last week, as crews prepare to replace the Rocky River bridge.

Located between Burlew Road and M-216 in Flowerfield Township, the bridge will be replaced this spring by Allegan County-based Milbocker and Sons. The same company will also be charged with replacing the Floating Bridge Road bridge, also spanning the Rocky River in Flowerfield Township.

The projects’ combined cost is $1.2 million. St. Joseph County Road Commission officials said the Michigan Department of Transportation’s local bridge fund will cover 95 percent of the expense.

Covered Bridge Days

February 27, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The 2014 Centreville Covered Bridge Days community celebration will remain at its familiar location downtown.

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners last week approved a request from Covered Bridge Days organizers to use the courthouse lawn to stage the annual event.

Approval was given for June 20 through June 22.

In an unrelated matter at last week’s meeting, commissioners gave permission to hire a new juvenile caseworker, as requested by 45th Judicial Court.

The position will be vacated in May with the impending retirement of Deb Sprinkle.

New position at sheriff’s dept.

February 20, 2014 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners has approved a new position at the sheriff’s department, where a diversion program is expected to better meet the needs of people requiring mental-health service evaluations.

During Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners approved the position of director of assessment. The specialist’s salary will come out of a $350,000 grant administered by the state to the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of St. Joseph County.

Sheriff Brad Balk said the grant will fund a pilot program considered a model for the state. It involves constructing two holding cells designated for law-breakers whose crimes may be attributed to mental-health issues. He said $150,000 of the grant will cover the costs associated with construction of the new holding cells.

The specially designated cells will provide the CMH director of assessment an opportunity to conduct evaluations on site or via satellite connection.

Marquette and Wayne counties also are included in the pilot program.

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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