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Local News

Grant would increase security in Barry County courts

Barry County courts will have increased security if a Risk Avoidance Program grant is awarded and the county commission authorizes supplemental funds from the diverted felon’s fund. Court Administrator Ines Straube told the Barry County committee of the whole Tuesday that the total cost of the upgrades would be $44.061.

 

If the grant is awarded, the request would be $29,520.87; if the $14, 540.13 grant is not awarded, her request is for the entire cost of $44, 061 to come from the diverted felon’s fund, she said.

 

District Court Judge Michael Schipper came to support the request and answer questions from commissioners. “Anytime we can make it safer for the people I’m all for it” he said. There have been instances in and around the courtrooms that required police intervention, and just knowing of the increased security also is a deterrent, he said. A good percentage of people coming to court are “frequent flyers” and will know of the increased security.

 

The funding would pay for two electronic imaging systems to scan purses, briefcases and other items the public carries when entering the Courts & Law and Barry County Courthouse, bullet resistant glass at public counters in the district and family court offices and video surveillance systems covering the county courthouse and Courts & Law buildings, sidewalks and parking lots.

 

When emotions run high, parking lots are very dangerous places, Schipper said, and he would like a record of what happens there.

 

Also Tuesday, the committee of the whole recommended approval of a resolution required to let the County Drain Commission exceed its $10,000 a year spending limit on maintenance of a dam.

Drain Commissioner Jim Dull said the rising water levels at Upper Crooked Lake have been a problem for several years with water going over the weir that should hold it, ruining new landscaping, flooding basements and causing loss of lake frontage.

 

“Complaints are coming from residents on all four sides of the lake… they definitely have a problem,” Dull said.

Dull said he has contacted engineer Brian Cenci from ENG, Inc. and attorney Doug Kelly from Clark Hill PLC to identify the problem and find a solution.

 

The committee also recommended approval of the renewal of a proposal from CBIZ Retirement Plan Services for $11,000 to complete the 2017 actuarial valuation of other post-employment benefits for the county. The fee is the same as last years.

 

Thornapple Parks & Recreation Commission member Catherine Getty was recommended for re-appointment to the Barry County Parks & Recreation Board for a three-year at its request.

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