Owners of two Schoolcraft buildings pledge repairs

By Steve Waldron

The owner of the former Schnauzer’s restaurant on Grand Street and the owner of a dilapidated home on Pine have pledged to repair their buildings to meet code requirements. But both have missed recent deadlines. 

Amy Clark, owner of the Schnauzer’s building, stated in an email that she has now procured the funds needed to fund the completion of the project to address the Village’s safety concerns. Clark provided the Village nearly completed drawings for this project, noting that she had just met with a structural engineer who is to evaluate the drawings and sign off on the structural plan.

Clark was to meet with Building Restoration, Inc. in early August to obtain construction costs and timelines and indicates she should have a construction schedule to share soon. The Council was reminded that Clark has missed previous deadlines for action as well as the July 25 court date regarding this property and that she needs to adhere to date and performance requirements as any other property owner whose property has been deemed “dangerous.”

Rodney Borger, owner of the property at 203 Pine Street, was to bring the electrical and plumbing to code by June 12, 2023. As of August 7th, this has not been completed. Code compliant interior repairs are to be completed by September 28th.

The building should not be occupied or used for any purpose except to perform the required work to bring it into compliance with code and the Village’s Building Department issues a certificate of occupancy for the structure. A hearing will be held on September 18, 2023 with Borger to review the work accomplished to date, the remaining work to be completed and the deadlines to be met.

County commissioners won’t meet with village

Kalamazoo County commissioners have rejected a request to meet with the village to discuss the county’s failure to share some of its $51 million in federal funds with the village, Manager Cheri Lutz told the council. Lutz is concerned by some discrepancies in how funds were allocated. In 2021, Kalamazoo County received more than $51 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The federal funds were intended to support local governments in recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Kalamazoo County’s Board of Commissioners worked with the County’s Finance Department to create a grant application process for distribution of ARPA funds. A consulting firm was hired to ensure the allocations meet the federal government’s specifications for American Rescue Plan spending.

The reason the county gave for not meeting? Lutz had filed a complaint asking the Michigan attorney general’s office to look into the matter.

All questions should be submitted to the County’s legal counsel for review and response. The Village Council expressed concern that the commissioners are not allowed to communicate directly with the Village Council regarding the matter.

Fire authority seeks new ambulance pact

The Council’s South Kalamazoo County Fire Authority delegate reported completion of the purchase of the new fire tanker truck as discussed in July. The authority is also looking into securing a contract with Lifecare Ambulance Services to continue its service within South Kalamazoo County.

July 4 events a success

Toni Rafferty reported that the July 4th Committee received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding this year’s celebration. For 2024, the fireworks launch site will return to the community school grounds. The Village Council expressed appreciation to The Dome for allowing the community to use its property to launch this year’s fireworks.

And fundraising for 2024

On September 26, 2023, there will be a community block party held at Wind + James to begin fundraising for next year’s July 4th festivities as well as for the 100th anniversary of the parade to be held in 2027.

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