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Tag Archive | "city of cedar springs"

Water meters to be replaced


By Judy Reed

In January or February, many residents in the City of Cedar Springs will receive a letter from Ferguson Enterprises asking them to schedule an appointment to have their water meter replaced. It is not a scam.

City Manager Mike Womack said that before DPW worker Al Kensil retired, he had replaced many of them, but there are about 550 more to go. With the technology of the new water meters, a worker will be able to just drive down the road to radio read the meters, rather than walking house to house.

Once the meters are all installed, the city will go back to actual readings every month, rather than the estimated ones, which have not been popular. Womack estimated that change would probably occur in April.

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Reminder: Clear sidewalks, winter parking


Now that the snow is here, below are a couple of reminders for residents and business owners in the City of Cedar Springs. The info on hydrants and mailboxes applies to township residents as well.

Keep sidewalks and fire hydrants clear of snow and ice

Kids walking to school, customers shopping, firefighters putting out fires, and postal workers delivering mail all have one thing in common—they depend on residents and business owners to make sure ice and snow are cleared away.

In the City of Cedar Springs, every occupant of every lot is required to remove the snow and ice from their sidewalks. 

Area fire departments would also appreciate residents keeping fire hydrants free of snow. 

Our firefighters often spend several hours shoveling out hydrants after a snowfall, and if an emergency should arise (such as in the case of a house fire), hydrants need to be in clear view. So if you have one near your house, a few extra minutes shoveling might make the difference! You could save a life.

Postal workers also need help from residents to keep snow and ice from piling up around their mailbox. Your carrier needs a good clear approach and path on leaving the box. Also, if your mailbox needs to be repaired or replaced, ask your carrier or call the Post Office (696-1230) for the required height. 

Winter parking in effect

For the residents of the City of Cedar Springs, winter parking is now in effect.

Under Ordinance No. 180 Section 36-86, no parking is allowed from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. from November 1 to April 1 on streets and areas that have a curb, such as Main Street and connecting side streets, and no parking within a distance of 20 feet of the center of a street for all other areas. The ordinance was created to help with snow removal.

There are public lots available to park in overnight, but cars must be moved daily. Lots can be found at the NE corner of Ash and Second; the SE corner of Elm and Second; the SW corner of Ash and First; and the NW corner of Cherry and First.

A violation is a civil infraction and a ticket will be issued by the Kent County Sheriff Department.

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Marihuana or Marijuana?


Last week the Post wrote a story on a special meeting by the City of Cedar Springs concerning an ordinance on marihuana. And no, we weren’t tokin’, smokin’, smellin’ or eatin’ the stuff when we used that term, though quite a few readers felt it was a typo. It was not. We used it in that way because it refers to ordinances under Michigan law, and that is the way Michigan law spells it. According to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), it dates back to the spelling that was chosen for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Many organizations still use this spelling. Marijuana with a “j” did not come about until much later. Either way is acceptable. Or, you can just write it as cannabis (the original name), or weed, pot, bud, Mary Jane, or whatever you like to call the green stuff that gets you high with a little help from your friends. And I don’t mean grass. Or maybe I do!

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Sidewalk project begins


This photo was taken on Ash Street earlier this week. Post photo by J. Reed.

This photo was taken on Ash Street earlier this week. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The City of Cedar Springs new sidewalk project began in earnest this week as construction workers removed some of the old sidewalks to make way for the new.

The sidewalk project mainly encompasses sidewalks on the east side of  Main Street, for east-west access on parts of Beech, Ash, Cherry, Elm, Maple, and Oak Streets, and north south access on Grant, Park, Linda, and Ann Streets. A sidewalk from Cedar Springs Mobile Estates on 18 Mile Rd to Main Street is also included. Many of the sidewalks have been in place since the 1950s and are badly in need of repair. Other spots have no sidewalk at all.

The project is being made possible through a Community Development Block grant, and taxpayers will not be assessed on it. The initial estimate was $625,000, but according to City Manager Mike Womack, the project came in much less expensive at $468,000 after some minor adjustments. 

“Some of that money will go toward a full time inspector from the engineers instead of part time inspections to guarantee quality work,” said Womack. 

Work is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

You can access the plans for the project at https://cityofcedarsprings.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CS-2018-Sidewalk-Combined-Plans.pdf.

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City adopts new address policy


When a family member is suffering a medical emergency, how fast rescue personnel arrive on the scene can mean the difference between life and death. “Every minute counts,” said Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser.

But the exact house can be hard to find when the address is not posted on the outside of the home, or the numerals are too small to be read. So, at the request of police and fire personnel who require visible posted addresses for emergency response, the City of Cedar Springs has adopted a new address policy to formalize the size, contrast, and placement of addresses for every home and business in Cedar Springs.

Under the new policy, single-family residences must have their address legible and visible from the street, using Arabic numerals or letters, and no less than four inches in height and no less than .5 inch wide.

Multi-family homes must comply in the same way, but also have apartment or suite numbers on all entrance doors.

There are also specific requirements for businesses. You can see all requirements in the policy at https://cityofcedarsprings.org/2018/08/23/address-policy/.

All commercial, industrial and rental residential addresses must comply with the policy by October 9. Single family residential must comply with the policy by December 9.

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New drinking fountain at staging area


Photos courtesy of the City of Cedar Springs

If you get thirsty or run out of water while walking the White Pine Trail, you now have a convenient place to fill your water bottle.

The City of Cedar Springs recently installed a drinking fountain outside of the bathroom at staging area at the end of W. Maple Street.

“I don’t recall seeing another one to the south until you get to Riverside Park in GR and there isn’t one in Sand Lake,” said City Manager Mike Womack. “It will be a great opportunity for runners and bikers to fill their water bottles here in the City.”

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PFAS not detected in City of Cedar Springs water


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has begun a statewide initiative to test drinking water from all schools that use well water and community water supplies. The test is looking for a group of manmade chemicals called per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). MDEQ is taking this precautionary step of testing these drinking water sources to determine if public health actions are needed.

The City of Cedar Springs tested its water earlier this year and PFAS was not detected. Not long after, it was tested again as part of the MDEQ initiative, and the results were the same—PFAS was not detected.

It is not uncommon to find low levels of PFAS in drinking water supplies, as PFAS can be found in fire-fighting foams, stain repellants, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, food wrappers, and many other household products. They do not break down in the environment and move easily into water.

The City of Cedar Springs was tested by AECOM, MDEQ’s contractor. The results show that of the PFOA and PFOS tested,  none were found in the water. The level is below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lifetime health advisory (LHA) of 70 parts per trillion. 

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Wetland restoration construction underway 


Local high schoolers worked on the wetland’s construction project and planted over 600 native wetland plants to further enhance the wetland’s capacity to filter polluted runoff.

Trout Unlimited and local partners recently began construction of two wetland restorations in downtown Cedar Springs. Wetlands provide vital, valuable services such as filtering pollution from stormwater runoff, providing fish and wildlife habitat, and controlling floodwaters. The wetland restoration sites, though both small, are a high priority for water quality improvement due to their proximity to Cedar Creek and their location in urban downtown Cedar Springs. Cedar Creek is one of the coldest tributaries to the Rogue River and supports healthy populations of brook, brown, and rainbow trout, but is at risk due to the continued development of the watershed and wetland loss. 

SouthPeat Environmental LLC and Dean’s Excavating completed construction on the first wetland restoration near the Cedar Springs Library. Trout Unlimited’s Green Team of local high schoolers also worked on the project and planted over 600 native wetland plants to further enhance the wetland’s capacity to filter polluted runoff. The second wetland, just upstream, is due to be completed by the fall. The Department of Environmental Quality awarded Trout Unlimited over $200,000 of grant funding for this urban wetland restoration initiative in the Rogue River watershed. The City of Cedar Springs and the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team has contributed $22,000 to this project.  

These wetlands will not only improve water quality of Cedar Creek and the Rogue River but also provide the Cedar Springs community many opportunities to experience nature through enjoying the birds and butterflies, observing the blooms of native flowers throughout the seasons, and hearing the songs of spring peepers and other wildlife. 

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Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28


 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) is urging residents to discard expired, unused and unwanted pills during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, one of two annual events held in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other law enforcement agencies.

MSP’s 30 posts will participate in the one-day Take-Back effort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, by serving as drop-off points. All collected pills will be destroyed. No liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes will be accepted.

“With opioid and prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses becoming all too common, I strongly urge Michiganders to use this opportunity to check what is in your medicine cabinet and then properly dispose of any medications you no longer need,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held twice a year, in April and October. During the October 2017 effort, MSP posts collected roughly 802 pounds of prescription drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Further, disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can pose safety and health hazards.

Find your closest MSP Post at www.michigan.gov/msp. Additional collection sites across the state can be found by going to www.dea.gov.

Anyone who is unable to participate on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day can anonymously surrender their prescription drugs at any MSP post, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

The City of Cedar Springs also collects unused prescription drugs daily Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. No liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes will be accepted.

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City to go to 2-day work week


Cedar Springs City Manager hatched out a new idea to make the City more efficient. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The City of Cedar Springs has been experimenting with a four day work week with extended hours for awhile now, and City Manager Mike Womack said it’s been working really well. So well, in fact, that he has challenged the rest of the employees to step up their game.

“Instead of working four 10-hour days, we are going to be working two 20-hour days each week, starting next week,” he told the Post. “Just think with that many hours in the day, how much more we can get done!”

Womack explained that they will rotate the 20-hour days so that one week it will be Monday and Wednesday, the next week Tuesday and Thursday, and the next week Wednesday and Friday. Hours will be from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Womack said the hours won’t bother him because he usually works long hours anyway. But he plans to bring a lot of coffee for his employees. He might even throw in an energy drink or two. And donuts will be on the house. “You have to do what you can to keep your employees happy,” he said with a laugh. 

Once the public gets used to the hours, Womack thinks they will also come to appreciate it. “Just think about it. The bar closes at 2 a.m., right? You are leaving the bar at 2 a.m. and suddenly realize you forgot to pay your water bill or your taxes. It was due earlier in the day, but now that we are open until 3 a.m., you actually can still get here on time!”

He said it would also be great for Planning Commission and City Council meetings. “We can put so much more on the agenda. The meetings can go on until the wee hours of the morning if need be, and we won’t have to worry about getting home.”

A couple of things might take some getting used to. If you have a water main break in front of your home, you won’t be able to call the DPW if it’s their day off. “You will need to call a plumber,” advised Womack. “Just have them put some duct tape on the leak and we’ll fix it the next day.” He suggested that if anyone has a problem knowing where to put the duct tape, just google “Red Green.” 

“He always has good ideas,” noted Womack.

It will be the same type of thing if we get a snowstorm. “The same way people are required to shovel the sidewalk in front of their home, you’ll need to shovel the roadway in front of your home,” explained Womack. He added that people would be ticketed if caught using a snow blower. “You are not allowed to use a snow blower. It might ding up the asphalt and lead to another pothole. We can’t have the money we are saving by not turning the lights on go to fixing a pothole you created yourself.”

Womack said he’s really looking forward to starting the new hours. He said they plan on starting on Monday, the day after April Fools Day!

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