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My Town: Ottawa County millage renewal up for discussion

My Town: Ottawa County millage renewal up for discussion

FERRYSBURG, Mich.—Voters may soon decide whether to renew a millage for the North Ottawa Council on Aging.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the Ferrysburg City Council will discuss and possibly vote on whether to add the proposed renewal to the August 5 ballot.  The proposal is for .2500 mills from 2015 through 2024.

The North Ottawa Council on Aging provides resources and support to seniors living in North Ottawa County.  Service areas include Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg, Allendale, Coopersville and Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Polk, Chester, Wright and Crockery townships.    

Monday’s meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Ferrysburg City Hall, located at 17290 Roosevelt Road.

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—The West Michigan winter is carrying on, even though the Ottawa County Road Commission budget has dried up.

The road commission says $2.6 million was budgeted for winter-related work on roads, but more than $3.4 million has already been spent this year. The Michigan Department of Transportation has also had its budget blown by the extreme winter conditions.  MDOT had budgeted $1.3 million for winter maintenance of state highways in Ottawa County; so far it’s already spent more than $1.7 million.

The Ottawa County Road Commission will review its budget plan in April and likely cut back some planned road improvement projects and other maintenance activities to balanace the budget.

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly three dozen West Michigan schools are getting a financial boost to help students learn outside the traditional classroom.

The Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs recently awarded more than $55,000 grants to 147 schools as part of its Arts & Culture Trek “Bus Grant” program.  Each school received up to $500 to help cover transportation costs for an arts or culture-related field trip through May 31.

 "These grants subsidize field trips across the state and expose thousands of students to arts, science and humanities experiences that enrich classroom learning.  Many of these trips would not have been possible in a year where most schools are continuing to cope with significant budget cuts," says Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Comstock STEM Academy (Kalamazoo)
  • Cooper Elementary (Kalamazoo)
  • Kalamazoo C

Ferrysburg to consider selling bonds to create more trails

Ferrysburg to consider selling bonds to create more trails

FERRYSBURG, Mich.—The City of Ferrysburg will consider selling bonds to support the building a new set of trails throughout the city.

The bond proposal will be presented during the city council’s meeting Monday, Feb. 3.   The proposal is still in its early stages; the council will consider scheduling a work session regarding the issue.

The trails would be non-motorized, meaning no vehicles would be allowed.

Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—  Before this weekend’s storm,  the Ottawa County Road Commission says it was already over 70 percent through its budget for the entire winter season.

That budget pays for clearing, sanding and salting roads.  During a typical year, the County Road Commission will use about 20,000 to 25,000 tons of salt and 14,000 to 18,000 tons of sand, leading to a bill that can total $2 million- $3 million annually.  As of Jan. 10, 2014, the Ottawa County Road Commission already blew through $1.85 million of its $2.6 million budget.  The cost of salt isn’t helping; the Road Commission says the price per ton has nearly doubled since 2003.

During winter, the Ottawa County Road Commission operates 62 snow plows out of four garages located in Coopersville, Grand Haven Township, Hudsonville and Holland Township.  It can take the team up to three days to clear all Ottawa County roads after a typical snow storm.

 

Two millages pass, one fails in Ottawa County

Two millages pass, one fails in Ottawa County

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.— A highly contested bond proposal for Spring Lake Public Schools is dead.

The measure failed during Tuesday night’s election, by a vote of 1,895 to 1,806. Under the proposal, the district would have borrowed $59.8 million from taxpayers to renovate school facilities, build a new elementary school and transportation building, expand the middle school, improve athletic facilities, fields and playgrounds and buy school buses.

Meanwhile, Grand Haven voters are giving the city the green light for a $7.1 million plan to fund infrastructure improvements. Tuesday night, city voters overwhelmingly approved the bond proposal, 986 votes to 491 votes.  The millage will be for .99 mills for no longer than 20 years. 

Voters also approved a ten-year tax hike to expand and maintain bike paths in Ferrysburg.  The new paths would be located along North Shore Drive and 168th Avenue.

Decorate your vehicle for St. Mary's 'Trunk or Treat' October 20

Decorate your vehicle for St. Mary's 'Trunk or Treat' October 20

SPRING LAKE, Mich.- Anyone wishing to attend the upcoming “Trunk or Treat” event at Saint Mary’s School  on Sunday, October 20 will be helping to support kids in the Tri-Cities region who need Catholic tuition assistance.

The event will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the school, at 421 East Exchange Street in Spring Lake.  Adults and kids from the area are invited to attend, dress up in Halloween costumes and decorate the trunk or lift-gate area of their vehicle or moped.  A prize will be awarded for the best decorated trunk.

Those wishing to attend are also being asked to bring candy and donate a kid’s gift or money to support the annual Unity Auction, which raises funds to make tuition affordable for kids who want a Catholic education.

Saint Mary’s School is accredited by the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS).