By Rob Peterson
The Schoolcraft Village Council presented long-time volunteer Mae Pfost with a resolution thanking her for many years of service to the community, including her work leading the Planning Commission and the Village Council.
The resolution honoring Pfost lists a range of her work locally, from her support of infrastructure upgrades and business development to her service through the United Methodist Church, the Jaycees and Schoolcraft Community Schools.
“She is a good leader; she steps in when work needs to be done” said council President Keith Gunnett. “I’ve really come to like her, even when we’re on opposite sides of an issue.”
In other action, the council renewed its support for local merchants by again implementing the matching gift card program that was started during the 2020 holiday season. Community members can purchase $50 gift cards through the Village. The Village will match those purchases with an additional $50 gift card. To fund the program, the Village is using $1,500 from its business promotion account. Chem Link has provided an additional $1,000.
There are a limited number of certificates per business. As the South County News goes to print, the participating merchants are Craft+Grand, Hardings, Lovell Auto, Dirt Buster Car Wash, Pizza Hut, Biggby, Grand Antique, 131 Auto Care and Heirloom Rose. The cards will go on sale in early December. Check the Village Facebook page for more information.
Most parking citation fines were reduced from $75 to $20, with the amount increasing every seven days that a fine goes unpaid. The primary exceptions to the reduction in fines are parking in a handicap zone or commercial vehicles parked in a residential area. Those two infractions still carry the $75 fine.
The Village was informed that Craft Precision is closing its doors. The business had been granted an Industrial Facilities Exemption, which relieved 50% of its real estate taxes, in 2013. The exemption was set to expire in 2025, and the agreement allowed the Village to request a refund of abated taxes if the business closed before then.
The council was unanimous in its decision to request that the money be repaid. “We have a contract,” said council member John Stodola. “I feel like our hands are tied to abide by it.” Council member Mike Rochholz agreed, adding that other businesses hadn’t received a tax abatement, so it would be unfair to not request the repayment.
The amount due to the Village is expected to be $18,000 plus interest and attorney’s fees. The Village received $81,000 from the State through the American Rescue Plan Act; with another $81,000 coming next year. The funds must be dedicated to projects by 2024 and spent by 2026. The conversation about how to spend the funds will occur in upcoming meetings.
There is a plan coming together for the 2022 July 4th festivities, but they may not include fireworks. The former location is now under construction for new school facilities and won’t be available. The person who has been putting on the fireworks in recent years is retiring, and finding someone who is licensed can cost much more than organizers say they can reasonably raise in sponsorships.