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Tag Archive | "city of cedar springs"

Winter parking in effect


The Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit would like to remind the residents of the City of Cedar Springs that 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 approved last year by the City Council 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.

“Compliance with the ordinance is key in keeping the city roads clear during the winter months,” said Sgt. Jason Kelley, supervisor of the Cedar Springs Unit. “Your attention to and assistance with this matter is greatly appreciated.”

A violation of the ordinance is a civil infraction.

 

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Fire departments to look at cooperative services


 

By Judy Reed 

 

Both Solon Township and the City of Cedar Springs will vote next week on whether to commit to funding a feasibility study on ways to improve services of both fire departments, including a possible consolidation of services.

Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake applied for and received a partial grant to fund the study. He said the study, to be done by an independent consulting service, would evaluate all aspects of the fire service delivery model in Solon Township and the City of Cedar Springs fire district proper. “This study will include alarms, training, fire prevention, fire inspection, code enforcement, building needs, apparatus and equipment inventory/needs, recruiting, duplication of equipment and services, etc. The end result will include recommendations to improve response, ability, and efficiency for our customers jointly in a cooperative manner,” explained Drake.

Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser agrees that the study is a good idea. “I think it would be a good thing to do. We all need to make improvements,” he said, noting that some of the boundaries don’t really make sense. He used the example of Solon needing to respond to a call at 16 Mile and Northland, because it’s in Solon Township, even though the Cedar Springs Fire Department is closer.

Drake made a similar observation. “I believe this study will highlight some deficiencies that exist with our service delivery that are based on tradition and political boundary lines that quite frankly have just been chosen to be ignored in the past. I think as good stewards of the authority designated to our position, we owe it to the taxpayers to examine our delivery model and be prepared to correct any deficiencies and/or disservice to the customers.”

Both departments do automatically respond to fires in each other’s jurisdiction, but not medical calls or accidents unless aid is requested. And assistance is often needed during daytime hours, when on call firefighters are hard to come by. Drake said that’s one problem that could be addressed in the study.

“The fire service across the nation (not just locally) struggles to put enough certified firefighters on the emergency scene during weekday hours (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.),” he explained. “This study will provide recommendations for improving this fundamental function. I would anticipate this study would suggest the possibility of sharing personnel at a minimum in a cooperative manner, or even consolidation of resources. Either way the local municipality makes those decisions.”

The grant, which came from the State of Michigan, Department of Treasury, Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis, was approved for $11,750, 25 percent of the estimated feasibility study cost of $47,000. Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick said that he hopes that the Cedar Springs City Council will participate in helping to financially fund the study at some level. “I think it could be eye opening for the community,” said Ellick. “I think it will suggest some things that could help us give better service.”

“I find it interesting that an analysis of the Law Enforcement delivery model in the City (of Cedar Springs) was just performed and the decision was made to make a change in the interest of cost and customer service,” noted Drake. “I think this study will follow right on the coat tails of this movement.”

Drake said that the grant has language that the feasibility study will be reimbursed at 100 percent if the local unit can demonstrate that, within one year of the completion of the feasibility study, steps have been taken to consolidate services.

Drake said he has no pre-disposed desire of any particular outcome. He just thinks they owe it to taxpayers to examine what can be done better. “Why not complete an in depth analysis by a certified professional organization and examine their findings with unbiased anticipation? Answering this question is the ultimate goal of this cooperation study that these two municipalities are considering. I commend both local units for the courage to consider such a challenge,” he said.

Both boards need to submit resolutions committing to the study by December 29, 2014.

 

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Former city employee becomes Mayor


Jerry Hall is the new Mayor of Cedar Springs, and Pam Conley is Mayor Pro-tem. Post photo by J. Reed.

Jerry Hall is the new Mayor of Cedar Springs, and Pam Conley is Mayor Pro-tem. Post photo by J. Reed.

by Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council, made up of four new members and three returning members, chose a new Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem at their meeting on Thursday, November 13.

Four new members were sworn in—Rose Powell, Molly Nixon, Perry Hopkins and Pam Conley. Conley, who previously served, lost her seat last year in a close election.

Three members of the Council were nominated to be Mayor: Jerry Hall, Pamela  Conley and Dan Clark. Conley declined the nomination. The Council first voted on Hall, and the motion passed 5-2, with only Hopkins and Bob Truesdale dissenting.

Nominations were then opened for Mayor Pro-tem. Both Clark and Conley were nominated. Clark was voted in 4-3, but then refused the nomination. The vote was then taken on Conley, and it was unanimous.

Hall is retired from the City of Cedar Springs, where he was formerly the Superintendent of Public Works. He also served on the City Planning Commission and six years on the Cedar Springs Board of Education.

“I appreciate the confidence put in me, and I hope I can do it justice,” said Hall. “I think we can all move forward. That’s the direction we need to go,” he added.

Conley also previously served on the Cedar Springs Board of Education before coming to City Council. She thanked everyone for electing her back to the Council. “You seem to want me here,” she said. She also urged people to come to her with concerns. “Please talk to me about what you want,” she said.

One thing that Hall made clear to the Council and the audience was that he was going to be strict about enforcing time limits for public speaking, as well as the content. “I will not tolerate personal attacks on Council members or city employees,” he remarked. Hall had told the audience early on that if they happened, he would adjourn the meeting.

 

 

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City gets second warning siren 


 

By Judy Reed

 

When the new siren was installed in North Park in 2011, the City of Cedar Springs  knew that although it could be heard as far as White Creek to the west, and Ritchie to the east, to the south it only reached to just north of Dio Drive. Former City Manager Christine Burns said at the time that the city hoped to one day qualify for another grant for a siren on the south end of the city.

That day has arrived.

The Cedar Springs City Council approved a second emergency warning siren for the community at its regular meeting last Thursday evening. According to current City Manager Thad Taylor, the siren would be placed directly behind the city’s lift station, near Cedar Springs Middle School, on Northland Drive, just north of 16 Mile Road. He said that West Shore Services, the siren provider, used computer modeling to determine that this site, in conjunction with the siren at North Park, would provide nearly 100 percent coverage for our community.

The total cost for the siren is $20,600, but the City will only need to pay for half of that. The Kent County Local Planning Team awarded the city a grant for $10,300 to assist in the purchasing and installation of the siren. The City had budgeted $10,000 for the project, and will move $300 from its Repair and Maintenance Supply Expense fund to its Capital Expense fund to complete the amount needed for purchase.

West Shore Services is Kent County’s preferred siren provider, and they also put in the siren in North Park in 2011.

While the siren in North Park goes off at noon per the city’s tradition, the new one on the south end of town will not. However, Kent County does test the sirens on the first Friday of every month at noon, so it will go off at that time.

According to Taylor, the siren has already been installed, but is not yet operational.

 

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Four new members voted on to City Council


Perry Hopkins

Perry Hopkins

Pamela Conley

Pamela Conley

 

Molly Nixon

Molly Nixon

 

Rose Powell

Rose Powell

By Judy Reed

 

Voters in the City of Cedar Springs cleaned house Tuesday and voted in four new faces to the City Council.

Perry Hopkins, Pamela Conley, Molly Nixon and Rose Powell all won seats. Leaving the council will be Mayor Mark Fankhauser, Mayor Pro-tem Patricia Troost, and Ashley Bremmer. Ken Benham decided not to run again. Both Troost and Bremmer were up for recall.

Conley (382 votes) and Hopkins (325) beat out Fankhauser (311) for two seats. Nixon (310) ran against Bremmer (295), and Powell (346) ran against Troost (270) under the new recall law.

The candidates ran in two groups. Signs around town urged people to vote for either Conley, Nixon and Powell, or Fankhauser, Troost, Bremmer and Hopkins.

A little over 33 percent of registered voters voted in the election.

Winners of this election will join Dan Clark, Jerry Hall, and Bob Truesdale as members of the City Council at the November 13 meeting.

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Saying goodbye to a piece of history


The building at 95 N. Main (on the right) is set for demolition Thursday morning, September 18, to make way for the new Cedar Springs Brewing Company. See a similar photo taken sometime around 1912-1913 on page 3. Photo by J. Reed.

The building at 95 N. Main (on the right) is set for demolition Thursday morning, September 18, to make way for the new Cedar Springs Brewing Company. See a similar photo taken sometime around 1912-1913 on page 3. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

By the time you read this, work will probably have begun on the demolition of the building at 95 N. Main—a building that has occupied that site since 1890. The building is being razed to make way for a new chapter in the history of that site and in the town, with the building of a brand new business—Cedar Springs Brewing Company.

Photo of Main Street sometime around 1912-1913, 95 N. Main is on the right.

Photo of Main Street sometime around 1912-1913, 95 N. Main is on the right.

The front view of the building located at 95 N. Main St. Post photo by L. Allen.

The front view of the building located at 95 N. Main St. Post photo by L. Allen.

Before the current building, a hotel known as the Wager House sat on the northeastern part of the property at the SW corner of Main and Maple, in the late 1870s, early 1880s. A residence was located on the western portion of the property. According to the Cedar Springs Story, these two structures were spared in the big fire of 1884. It reported that in an excerpt from the Clipper newspaper, “the cinders were carried over the Cedar Springs House (NW corner of Main and Maple) and the Wager House (SW corner of Main and Maple)…” The hotel was reportedly demolished sometime between 1884 and 1890.

According to assessor’s records, the current two-story building was constructed in 1890 on the NE portion of the property. It was used as a flour mill, with animal feed and hay storage. By 1899, it was used as a grocery store, and an ice house and meat storage area were added to the southern portion of the building. Over the years, there were several groceries located there. The Cedar Springs Story reported that  Ed M. Smith had a grocery there, followed by Thomas & Bassett groceries, Esch’s groceries, and it later became an I.G.A. store, between 1950 and 1955. The rear of the building was added between 1950 and 1960, and the second floor was used for apartments. The residence behind the building was removed between 1960 and 1967 to make way for more parking.

On the SE portion of the property, formerly 87 N. Main, was a large lumber storage building in 1929. It was removed during the 1940s to create an open gravel lot.

In 1982, Cedar Springs Auto Supply, a NAPA dealer moved in and occupied 95 N. Main until 2009. A judge ordered the business to vacate the premises after it was condemned by the city for an inoperable central heating system and Kent County foreclosed due to unpaid taxes. The City of Cedar Springs then exercised its right to buy the building before it went up for auction.

The building has been vacant since then, with remodeling being cost prohibitive. Many residents have called it an eyesore, and are glad to see something being done with it. Asbestos shingles were removed last week in preparation for the demolition.

David Ringler, owner of The Cedar Springs Brewing Company, said that they would try to save some pieces of the building to use in the new one. He has updates on the progress of the new facility on the CS Brewing Company’s facebook page.

Stay tuned as a brand new business takes over that corner—and hopefully stimulates some growth in business in downtown Cedar Springs.

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Cedar Creek cleanup April 26


N-Cedar-Creek-cleanup-promo-web

It’s time again for the annual Cedar Creek Cleanup/Earth Day Celebration in Cedar Springs.

The 7th Annual Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 26, from10:00 a.m. until noon. The city will give away commemorative t-shirts to the first 50 participants who register for this event. The participants will meet at the Fire Barn at W. Maple and Main on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to receive their clean-up assignments and shirts. Pizza will be available at noon for all participants.

An e-waste collection trailer, staffed by Cedar Springs Rotarians, will also be available behind City Hall, for anyone wishing to dispose of electronic waste, including computers and old televisions.  Computer hard drives will be wiped and/or destroyed by Comprenew.  The e-waste trailer will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (or until it is full).

The City of Cedar Springs Police Department will conduct an auction of surplus items, including 15 bicycles, beginning at 1:30 PM.

Registration forms are available on the City of Cedar Springs website at http://www.cityofcedarsprings.org. Pre-registration is not mandatory to participate in the cleanup. However, it will allow them to assign clean-up locations ahead of time as well as purchase trash bags and pizza.

Please call 696-1330 or email Rich Pajak at adminasst@cityofcedarsprings.org with any questions.

 

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Spring cleanups start soon


By Judy Reed

 

SPR-Spring-clean-upsAs the weather warms up and residents begin to spring clean, some municipalities are offering drop off sites to help get rid of the clutter. Check out the list below to see when it’s offered in your area.

Algoma Township: Spring cleanup days are Wednesday, April 23, through Saturday, April 26. Dumpsters will be available at the township hall at 10531 Algoma Ave. Hours will be Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m to 3 p.m. No shovel offs or loose trash allowed. No liquids, no hazardous waste (no paint, oil, fuel, gasoline etc.) No brush or yard waste, no cement.

All tires must be cut in half, propane and fuel oil tanks must be cut in half. Fencing must be folded or rolled up. Barrels must have one end open or be full of holes. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location (cell phones, computers, TVs, stereos, speakers, etc.). Call the township for more info 866-1583.

City of Cedar Springs: The city will collect E-waste on Saturday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the Earth Day cleanup. A dumpster will be located behind City Hall and manned by Rotarians. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, TVs, modems, power cords, etc. Almost any electronic item, working or non-working, with a cord or battery, will be accepted. Computer hard drives will be wiped and destroyed.

The annual brush pickup will be Monday, April 28. Please have brush out by 6:00 a.m. and neatly stacked as close to the curb as possible. No brush larger than six inches, tree removals or stumps will be picked up. They will make one pass through town.

There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date. Check with your waste hauler for pickup.

Also note that the city will be flushing City hydrants on April 25. To avoid staining laundry, allow water to run until clear before washing white or light colored clothing.

Courtland Township: No spring cleanup, they have a fall cleanup in September.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5th and Cherry Streets, near the water tower in Sand Lake. We accept appliances, sheet metal, auto parts and engines (liquid drained), aluminum and copper wire, fencing (flattened and folded), mattresses, furniture, carpeting, clothing, glass, etc. No garbage please. No hazardous or toxic waste. No yard clippings or brush. No shovel offs of shingles and drywall. Will also collect E-Waste and metal at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.

Sand Lake: Sand Lake will have a brush only pickup April 17-25. Pile brush along side of the road. See Nelson Township (above) for regular spring cleanup.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 3 and May 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 15185 Algoma. One 5×8 trailer with 48-inch sides or one pickup box per household. All items should be boxed or bagged, 45 pounds maximum. Tires must be cut in four pieces, car or light truck only, limit four. Appliances such as washers, dryers, etc. will be accepted, but not appliances that used Freon  or other toxic chemicals. Call township for more info at 696-1718.

Spencer Township: Call township for info at 984-0035.

 

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Police seek info on vandals


N-Vandalism1Vandals hit several areas in the City of Cedar Springs with black spray paint sometime after 10 p.m. Sunday evening, February 16, but before 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Vandals defaced the south side of  The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant Street with the numbers 666, an upside down cross, a series of letters, and foul language.

N-Vandalism2They also targeted a car parked in the public lot behind the Kent Theatre; the old Cooper’s Dry cleaning building at 30 E. Elm Street; and street signs at Oak and Park.

If anyone has any information on this malicious destruction of property, they should call Cedar Springs Police at 696-1311. Police also ask the public to keep a watchful eye out for possible malicious activity.

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Keep sidewalks and hydrants clear of snow


Homeowners should keep fire hydrants clear and sidewalks shoveled. Photo courtesy of Howard City Police Department.

Homeowners should keep fire hydrants clear and sidewalks shoveled. Photo courtesy of Howard City Police Department.

We received messages from both the City of Cedar Springs and Howard City Police asking for people to keep sidewalks and hydrants clear of snow.

The City of Cedar Springs has an ordinance that requires homeowners and businesses to keep the sidewalks in front of their homes clear of snow and ice. If it happens during the day, the person has 12 hours after it stops to remove it, and if it happens overnight, they have until 6 p.m. the next day.

“The City could clear it and charge for it, or write a ticket if they chose to,” explained City Manager Thad Taylor. “But we haven’t wanted to do that with the harsh weather conditions we’ve had,” he explained, noting the amount of snow and below zero temps. “We understand that the weather has been brutal, but now that the temperature is climbing back up, we just need people to voluntarily take care of it.”

Taylor noted that the main reason for the ordinance is for safety reasons. Besides the obvious issue of slipping and falling, Taylor pointed out that if sidewalks aren’t clear, pedestrians must walk on the street. “If pedestrians and drivers are vying for the same space on the road, bad things could happen,” he said.

He also pointed out that there are some places where there is bone dry concrete. “A lot of people are taking care of it and we truly appreciate homeowners and business owners who are keeping their sidewalks clear,” said Taylor.

Fire hydrants also need to be clear of ice and snow, to help local firefighters in case of an emergency.

 

 

 

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