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Vicksburg sidewalk removal required tree removal

By Jef Rietsma

Trees along downtown Vicksburg sidewalks were cut down because the sidewalks must be removed as part of the coming water and sewer infrastructure project, Vicksburg Village Manager Jim Mallery said at a March village council meeting.

New trees will be planted.

The manager responded to social media posts questioning removal of the downtown-area trees. He said the village gave public notice as far back as January that the trees would be coming down at the onset of the infrastructure work.

“Once this project gets downtown, all of the sidewalks eventually are going to be dug up and those trees appropriately had to come down before April 1,” he said. “On a positive note, there are going to be trees downtown, in a downtown that is going to be as progressive as any small village downtown is currently.”

“Every tree that came down was connected to the infrastructure project,” he said. “There are going to be additional trees that come down as sidewalks along the area of Spruce Street are getting replaced. Staff makes contact with the actual home’s residents and homeowners well in advance.”

He said Spruce Street sidewalks are more than 50 years old and are buckled in many sections.

On another subject, Vicksburg will once again fund a goose round-up in an effort to control the Canada geese population in the village.

Mallery said the round-up will take place in the vicinity of Sunset Lake. During the village council’s March 1 meeting, Mallery said he feels past round-ups have had a positive impact.

“In the summer of 2017, we unfortunately had to shut down Sunset Lake beach for a time period due to the testing results of the water,” he said. “We’ve looked at an all-encompassing plan – DPW continues to implement that plan by quite frequent clean-ups of the beach – but one of the key things we thought we were successful in was the annual goose round-up, which has moved to the addition of capturing eggs.”

Mallery said the company charged with the task repopulates the geese elsewhere in the state. He said the process is regulated by the state and that this is the second consecutive year the procedure includes gathering eggs.

“It is a live capture; the animals are just placed in new homes in another location in the state of Michigan,” Mallery said.

A resolution in support of the process is required and was approved unanimously.

In other business, Mallery outlined the process leading up to approval of the village’s 2021-22 fiscal-year budget beginning July 1. He said the procedure involves internal meetings with department heads for their input on needs, wants and wishes for the 12-month period.

Mallery said input will be sought from business owners and Vicksburg residents before the council approves the budget, probably on June 28.

Council member Denny Olsen said the former Plainsman Motel in Schoolcraft Township will be intentionally set on fire to provide training for the South County Fire Authority and other area fire departments.

Olsen said the burn will take place over the May 1-2 weekend. Coordination will involve Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Schoolcraft Police and other agencies.

“(U.S.) 131 speed limit is probably going to have to be cut down to 30 to 35 miles an hour simply for the fact we’re going to have gawkers,” Olsen said. “In fact, we may have to detour off of 131 … that’s all a possibility.”

He said the procedure is scheduled on a weekend to allow fire personnel to manage the blaze a room at a time and allow for a follow-up investigation.

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