Local News

Patricia Johns, Irving Township, Parks & Recreation Board member and long-time volunteer in Barry County, told the Barry County Commission during public comment Tuesday that she and her husband were moving to Colorado and she was resigning from the board.

Johns said it was her honor to serve on the board, helping and encouraging the commission to develop recreational activities to make Barry County a “recreation destination.”


“You have been relentless in making this county a better place,” Commissioner and Chair Ben Geiger said. He added that she was always pushing for recreation, “sometimes, three minutes at a time…You can leave knowing you will leave this county a better place.” Johns assured Geiger that, “there are more people willing to work to make this a better place to live.”


In other public comment, Charles Krammin and Sharon Ritchie both requested the commission appoint a Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate the Crooked Lake/Watson Drain problems and find temporary and permanent solutions to flooding.


Also, commissioners recommended approving:

* accepting a $6,000 grant from the Bissell Pet Foundation to continue the trap, neuter and release (TNR) program. Director Ken Kirsch the grant allows splitting it up with $4,000 going to TNR for cats and $2,000 used to spay and neuter dogs and cats of those with low income, one pet per family, Kirsch said


* contracting with the only bidder for carpet replacement to Lansing Tile and Mosaic for $17,700. The areas to be replaced are planning and zoning, clerk, accounting, register of deeds and treasurer, all 16 or 17 years old. The first floor hallway is still in serviceable condition. Funds will come from the $20,000 capital budget in the Building Rehabilitation fund, Building and Maintenance Director Tim Neeb said.


* signing a month to month contract for natural gas from Volunteer Energy for three cents under what Consumers Energy offers to its customers. Neeb said they have contracted with Volunteer Energy since 2014; that contract is expired in July. Neeb said either side in the agreement can leave the contract at any time.


*allowing David Shinavier to auction off a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe with 200,000 miles and a 2007 Dodge Charger with109,535 miles by sealed bids to the highest bidder. They can be seen at the Barry County Sheriff’s office.


* approving Administrator Michael Brown to sign an agreement with the MDOT to allow temporary ownership of a portion of the Paul Henry Thornapple Trail near Nashville in exchange for paving and grading of the trail to be used as a pedestrian walkway while the MDOT replaces the Quaker brook in Nashville.


* submitting a deficit elimination plan required by the state for any fund that shows a deficit. Brown said that fund accounting on the $43,000 price of a mini-grader purchased for the drain commission to be paid off over seven years was recorded entirely in the 2017 year, resulting in a deficit fund balance. Brown said he will submit a plan to the state, taking care of the technicality.


* approving Agriculture Farmland and Open Space Preservation (PA 116) for Buehler Brothers Beef in sections 5, 9 and 11 in Carlton Township.











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