Two Barry County citizens used public comment time Tuesday to question Barry County Commissioners, one on the flooding at Crooked Lake and the other on the Barry Eaton District Health Department budget.
Deb Englehardt, who is emerging as a spokeswoman for residents of the Crooked Lake flooding, said she hoped the commissioners would find their questions important enough to find answers for them before the end of the day.
She asked that they put fellow lake resident Sharon Ritchie on a proposed committee to address the flooding; what steps they are going to take to prevent the same type of flooding next spring; if there is any discussion considering on the future of the watershed; and if any short term solution to the flooding has been found.
She said she had heard there is a plan to drain six inches of water from the lake.
“That’s not nearly enough…when this started, we were told it would be a minimum of 24 inches.” If the situation continues as it has, if nothing is done, the flooding will go on into next year, Englehardt said. “That cannot happen.”
Jack Miner asked commissioners what they would do with $4 million dollars.
“What would you do if (Barry County Commission Chair) Ben Geiger told you that 64 percent of the county budget would be hidden from the public? That is what has happened.
“The Barry Eaton District Health Department draft budget hides all employee expenses from the public. $4.25 million dollars is being hidden from the taxpayers. It is time for you commissioners to start asking some questions,” he said. //
In county business, commissioners approved:
* accepting a $6,000 grant from the Bissell Pet Foundation to continue the trap, neuter and release (TNR) program.
* contracting with Lansing Tile and Mosaic for $17,700 to replace carpeting in several areas in the courthouse.
* a contract for natural gas from Volunteer Energy for several county buildings at three cents under what Consumers Energy charges its customers.
* temporary MDOT ownership for part of the Paul Henry Thornapple Trail near Nashville in exchange for improving that part of the trail.
* a deficit elimination plan for the drain maintenance fund and submit it to the state.
* an Agriculture Farmland and Open Space Preservation application for Buehler Brothers Beef in sections 5, 9 and 11 in Carlton Township.