By Sue Moore
One of the two village deep water wells that serve nearly 3,000 residents, has recently been cleaned to allow increased production at an approximate cost of $30,000. The alternative would have been to look for another source of water at many times the cost of cleaning.
“This process has prolonged the life of the well for another ten years,” said Michael Williams, of Peerless Midwest, whose company was retained to refurbish the well. “This was a smart investment for the village. It was a gamble but we won,” he told the Vicksburg village council.
Steve Swigart of Michigan Township Services, who has been the building permit issuing officer for the village until a decision was made recently to hire another company, requested a reprieve from that decision. “I agree to accept the zoning enforcement and blight ordinance details for free in order to maintain my business with the village,” Swigart told the council. The decision was left to Ken Schippers, acting village manager to give Swigart six months to show what his company could do to improve services and take on this new responsibility. After that, he would either be retained permanently or the village would go elsewhere for these services, Schippers told the council.
The council discussed the cost overrun on Angels Crossing clubhouse of $550,000 that was budgeted to the $900,000 that was actually spent to build it. Funds for the overage apparently came out of other village accounts, they were told by Jenny McKillop, treasurer. It was her recommendation along with the audit firm, BDO to wipe the slate clean for 2014/15 on the transfer of interdepartmental funds.
A report on the potential of companies planning to expand in Leja Industrial Park was previewed for the council, since the land has been on the market since 2013. There is great potential, Bill Adams told the council for several of the current companies in the park to expand their operations.
Randy Smith, Brady Township supervisor, presented a long-awaited document from the South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority which updates the Articles of Incorporation that he said were developed fifteen years ago. “They haven’t kept up with the times, so the board has attempted to clean it up to make it reflect how we are operating today,” Smith said. “It is mostly clerical changes with the few substantive ones encompassing how the board of directors is constituted.”
All six taxing units of the authority are required to pass the changes, with all but one, having done so by July 1. They are Brady, Schoolcraft, Prairie Ronde, Townships and the villages of Schoolcraft and Vicksburg. Wakeshma Township’s board is set to vote on it at their July meeting he said.
President Bill Adams who sits on the fire authority board, said that they are looking at other opportunities to fund fire protection in south Kalamazoo County. A possible millage especially for police and fire, is one consideration. The concept is being kicked around, he said.
Lee Adams of the Kalamazoo County Brownfield Authority presented his work to the council on where the villages’ brownfield monies are and who is eligible to utilize them. The former paper mill has had a brownfield designation for parts of the property in the past. It is Adams recommendation to combine this with the other two village brownfields and let his department at the county level develop an overall plan for all three that exist now. A memo of understanding is being drawn up for the village’s brownfield committee to consider and bring to the council in the near future he said.