By Sue Moore
The Vicksburg Village Council dealt with expansion in the Leja Industrial Park at its April meeting.
Miniature Custom Manufacturing in Leja Park was granted a tax abatement for 12 years on its expansion plans in accordance with state law. The company has purchased the remaining two acres of property on the north side of the park and will start construction of a new building for its manufacturing plant. It expects to add 37 new jobs along with a pledge to help fix up the entrances of the Industrial Park to better showcase the development there. Co-owners Steve Shoemaker and Kevin Murphy were lauded by Joe Agostinelli of Southwest Michigan First for deciding to stay in Vicksburg rather than move to Indiana where a similar offer was made.
Village Manager Jim Mallery presented the council with a long research paper on the composition of the seven sub-units of government within the village. These commissions and boards play an important role in village government. They are populated by volunteers and make recommendations to the village manager who in turn takes them under advisement for action items for the Village Council.
This is in line with best practices as the village becomes a Redevelopment Ready Community program, he said. Vetting the members of the various sub-committees will now become the practice of the village manager by ensuring that each person appointed has knowledge of the duties and is a qualified candidate.
Trustee Carl Keller noted the recommendation to have a welcome packet for newly appointed members of each board or commission so they know what is expected of them.
In other business, Police Chief Scott Sanderson summarized the activities of his department with a report on its activities. He headlined the work his officers have accomplished, especially in “serving the community to reduce any fear of crime incidents and promote safety.”
He expanded on working with the youth of the Vicksburg community through the school resource officer, the summer youth programs, the National Night Out in August, the nightly business door checks, the neighborhood canvasses and the customer service checks.
The department responded to 1,527 calls for service in 2018, an increase of 51 over 2017. Criminal complaints totaled 305, a decrease of 30 from 2017. A total of 46 felony cases were logged, an increase of six from 2017, and 223 misdemeanor cases, down from 295 in 2017. The department logged 95 traffic related complaints, 889 non-criminal complaints, 213 citations issued and assisted other jurisdictions 223 times.