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Tag Archive | "city of cedar springs"

Spring cleanups start soon


By Judy Reed

 

As 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 25, through Saturday, April 28. 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 28, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the Earth Day cleanup. A dumpster will be located behind City Hall. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, modems, power cords, etc. The trailer will be there until 3 p.m. No TVs or big box appliances will be accepted. TVs may be brought to Comprenew at 629 Ionia SW in Grand Rapids for recycling. A fee will be charged per TV.

The annual brush pickup will be Monday April 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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. Final fall pickup is September 24. There is no longer a spring trash cleanup date, since Duncan Disposal, the city’s preferred waste hauler, does that for residents.

The Department of Public Works will be flushing the City’s hydrants on Friday, April 27, 2012 and September 21, 2012. In most cases, hydrants are flushed during the night-time when water demand is at its lowest

Please remember to let your faucet run clear before doing any white or light colored laundry to avoid staining your laundry. Please contact DPW Director Roger Belknap at 616.696.1330 X 108 should you have any questions.

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

Nelson Township/Sand Lake: Spring cleanup days are Friday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, June 23, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents should bring trash to the water tower in Sand Lake. New this year is a charge of $15 for mattresses and $15 for box springs. Proof of residency required with a tax bill or voter registration AND a driver’s license. Will also collect E-Waste at the same location. Please call the township for more info at 636-5332.

Oakfield Township: No cleanup scheduled.

Sand Lake: See Nelson Township.

Solon Township: Spring cleanup dates have been set for two consecutive Saturdays, May 5 and May 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the old horse farm, 15185 Algoma. Proof of residency required. Must be residents—not just landowners. 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. Call township for more info  at 696-1718.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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City to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up creek


 

This shows how trash can mar the beauty of Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

It’s that time of year again—time to get out and clean up Cedar Creek and the surrounding area!

The City of Cedar Springs will be holding their fifth annual Earth Day cleanup on Saturday, April 28. The day starts at 8 a.m. with E-waste collection behind Cedar Springs city hall. Bring all your electronic waste for disposal such as computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones, radios, stereos, laptops, VCRs, modems, power cords, etc. This will be staffed by the Cedar Springs Rotary.

Then meet at 10 a.m. at the trail staging area on W. Maple Street (west off Main) to clean up Cedar Creek. Volunteers report to the staging area to receive their t-shirts and clean-up assignments. The first 100 registered get a free shirt. New this year is a limited number of trash picks and waders for volunteers to borrow.

There will be a city surplus auction at 1 p.m. Visit the city’s website at www.cityofcedarsprings.org for a list of items, and to download a registration form for the cleanup. Registration is not mandatory to participate, but it does help the city to pre-assign clean-up locations, and plan for the purchase of trash bags and t-shirts.

Cedar Creek is one of our greatest assets. Our town, the second village in Kent County, was established along that creek and named for both the springs that flowed from it and the Cedar trees that bordered it. It supports wildlife and flora, and is a key component of the future plans of this city. Our city will only be as beautiful as we make it.

 

 

 

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City chooses new Fire Chief


Deputy Fire Chief Marty Frasier has been chosen as the new Fire Chief for the Cedar Springs Fire Department. Photo by Sarah MacKinnon, www.smackphoto.net.

By Judy Reed

 

The City of Cedar Springs announced Wednesday that they have selected Deputy Fire Chief Marty Frasier to be the new Fire Chief for the Cedar Springs Fire Department.

“We are very excited about this decision and are confident the community will be very pleased with the direction of the Cedar Springs Fire Department,” said a statement from the city.

Police Chief Roger Parent has been serving as interim Fire Chief for the last year, with Frasier serving as Deputy Chief. Frasier is a 35-year veteran of the department and has served in various roles. He has been a first responder since 1990.

The city held public interviews for the position on Monday. Other applicants included Rockford firefighter John Vandermey, who is also a firefighter instructor and certified fire investigator; and Courtland Twp. firefighter Jerry Wineland, who also has been a wild land firefighter for the DNR and is a reserve police officer for the city of Cedar Springs.

Frasier will be sworn in as the new Chief at the Cedar Springs City Council meeting on April 12. The public is invited to attend. He will begin his duties as Fire Chief the following day.

 

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City vies for placement in Guinness Book 2012


By Lois Allen

 

The City of Cedar Springs is vying to set a world record in an effort to put the city “on the map” once again by making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for 2012. On the first of April, all groups, including non-profits, organizations and local businesses, as well as the city of Cedar Springs, the Cedar Springs Library, local police department, and yes, even The Post will collectively begin eating Girl Scout Cookies.

The City is aiming for the title of “The most girl scout cookies consumed by one town in one day,” category. To even qualify, a total of 50,000 cookies must be eaten within 24 hours, according to Guinness officials.

The purpose of the event is to not only help the Girl Scouts, a wonderful organization for young girls, but also to give Cedar Springs a new identity. The city could be dubbed the Girl Scout Cookie Town. It’s fun to say—try it! “It just rolls off your tongue like a thin mint!” said Belinda at The Post.

If you need to get your cookies, sorry, the girl scouts have been deployed. However, the Post has about six boxes left. First come first serve!

If you already have your boxes, get ready and get your cookie face on!

April Fool.

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Red Flannel Festival Facts


*The Red Flannel Festival incorporated in 1978. It has been an independent, non-profit corporation for 34 years.

*The Red Flannel Festival Corporation and the City of Cedar Springs are two completely separate entities.

*The Red Flannel Festival first trademarked its logos in the 1970s. The Festival holds state trademarks on 10 different phrases and logos. There is also Federal protection on a main, generic logo.

*The Festival Board has a duty to protect its logo/trademark from infringement of state and federal law from any entity, as it would with any other Festival asset.

*The Festival and City Ad Hoc Committees met for the first time on Jan. 23, 2012 to discuss the Festival’s trademark and continue to work positively and collaboratively together toward an agreement that will benefit both parties. We consider these negotiations in the very beginning stages, and no final decisions have been made.

*Taxpayers of Cedar Springs have paid $5,400 (as per City budget line item) for Festival services for 71 years.

*In May 2011, Festival paid City $5,224.65 for the 2011 Festival. City Council accepted an agreement that is valid until 2015 for a “not to exceed” amount of $8,000.

*The Festival received a final bill after the 2011 Festival for $8,064.30. Taxpayers covered $2,839.65. A copy of the bill is on the Festival website, www.redflannelfestival.org.

*The City of Cedar Springs (per their website) enjoys a budget of approx. $6.9 million, and $1.9 million in the general fund. The Festival has a budget of approx. $90,000. The proposed $8,000 is a nominal amount in budget comparisons.

*The Festival has spent $393,000 since 2006 at local or state businesses for goods and services. The policy of the Festival Board is to buy locally first in Cedar Springs, then in the immediate surrounding area, unless items are unavailable.

*The Festival does not employ any paid staff. Planning for the Festival begins in January each year and all work is done solely by volunteers.

*The Festival Board implemented the community share program, whereby non-profit organizations provide volunteers and the Festival shares event profits. The Festival has donated $25,748.05 to area non-profits the past few years.

*The Festival donated $2,024.69 to the City of Cedar Springs the past 2 years for Veterans Park for the Timmy Brown Family Fund from the Flapjack Breakfast.

*The Festival has always paid for security at the Grand Lodge. Since 2005, the Festival has paid $3,495.21 to the CS Police Department for security at the Grand Lodge.

*The recent newspaper article makes it appear we made $18,092 in 2010 for the Grand Lodge. This is because expenses of $1,126 in Sales Tax, $3,180 in contract labor and $2,250 in donations associated with the event are reported in other areas of the tax return.

*Net income for the 2010 Grand Lodge was $12,536.29. In 2011, net income for the Grand Lodge was $8,915.08.

*The Festival draws 35,000+ visitors into the City of Cedar Springs annually for the events, which in turn, boosts local businesses.

Red Flannel Board of Directors

 

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Festival proposes city pay to use trademark


By Judy Reed

 

It was 1939, when Cedar Springs Clipper editor Nina Babcock said the businesses decided to tag Cedar Springs as the “Red Flannel Town” and hold a festival. The name stuck, and has been used cooperatively by the city and the festival for many years. The recognizable logo of a pair of long johns hanging on the clothesline and the words “Red Flannel Town” or “Red Flannel Festival” can be seen all over the city—on street signs, city trucks, letterhead, the water tower, and signs welcoming people to Cedar Springs.

That could change, however, if the city decides it cannot afford a licensing agreement recently proposed by the Red Flannel Festival for $8,000—the same amount the city told the Festival last year they would need to start paying to cover services the city provides, such as police protection at the Grand Lodge, DPW work, etc. for Red Flannel weekends.

At budget time last year, the City of Cedar Springs had a deficit of $55,000, and cut services to all community organizations, and also made cuts to city staff. “We had to cut so deep that no one was immune,” City Manager Christine Burns told the Post last year.

They city decided to phase in the cuts to the Festival, and donors came forward to help cover the difference. The two entities completed an agreement for four years with the Festival offering to pay $8,000 each year to the city for services rendered.

According to documents the Post obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the RFF is now proposing a licensing agreement for the city’s use of the Festival’s trademark—for $8,000 per year, through 2015. Festival president Michele Andres said it’s difficult to determine what the trademark is worth. “What is the cost of someone’s identity and brand for 72 years? It’s been a shared responsibility—a quid pro quo. Now that seems to be over. The Red Flannel ad hoc committee thought that $8,000 would be cost neutral to both parties—to put it back where it used to be,” explained Andres.

The first indication that there was a problem with the city using the trademarked logos and text came in December, when the city ordered and began selling Red Flannel license plates and frames for the library fundraising program. According to Mayor Charlie Watson, Mayor Pro-Tem Christine Fahl was notified by the Red Flannel Festival committee that there was an issue of trademark infringement, and he told city staff to pull the plates until they could work through the issue. The Festival was on hiatus from November through January, and the Festival ad hoc committee (with three members from City Council—Watson, Fahl, and Pat Capek) met with the Festival committee.

According to documents and checks and invoices obtained by the Post, the RFF wrote the city a check for the license plates. Burns said the understanding was that the city would reimburse them next August for the plates they sold. The city then decided to write a check back to them right away, assuring them they would sell them all. But it was returned by the Festival, and they are working with the library to sell the plates. You can buy them at City Hall or the library (see story on page 7)

So why did the Festival pick now to enforce trademark rules with the city? “Obviously we support the library. But the board felt like it’s their duty to protect the trademarks,” explained Andres. “It’s created confusion—is it the city or the festival? We only generate revenue through donations or sales of our products, and we need to protect that. Anyone who wants to use trademarked items must get approval first.”

The RFF holds state trademarks on at least 10 different phrases and logos related to Red Flannels and the Festival is working on federal approval.

During the years that H.H. Cutler owned the main trademarks, only the Chamber of Commerce had rights to the marks, for $1 a year. That did not extend to the Festival or the city, according to a letter written to City Manager Frank Walsh in 1996 by lawyers for the children’s clothing manufacturer. Cutler later closed down.

The Post asked Burns what it would cost to remove the trademarked insignia from city property, if council decided to reject the Festival’s proposal. She wasn’t sure. “It would depend on whether it had to happen all at once or in phases,” she said.

Mayor Watson feels both sides want to work diligently to come to a compromise. “I feel both sides recognize we should work together for the betterment of the community,” he said.

“Working closely together benefits both the city and the Festival, and the community, with the economic impact the Festival brings,” noted Andres. “It’s critical that both organizations have open, honest, communication. We can’t do it without each other.”

The city will meet with the city’s lawyer on Thursday to discuss the proposal. According to Watson, they could come back with a counter offer, recommend council accept it, or that they deny it. He didn’t know yet what they would decide.

What do you think? Do you think the Festival should charge the city to use the logos? Do city taxpayers want the city to pay to use the trademark? Or is it time to develop something new? Send us a letter to the editor with your thoughts to news@cedarspringspost.com, and be sure to include your name, phone number and city or township.

 

By the numbers

Red Flannel Festival President Michele Andres told the Post last year that the 2011 budget for the Festival was about $90,000. To show how much the Red Flannel Festival has grown, total gross assets on the Festival’s 2010 tax return (the latest year available) were shown as $233,902. In 2004, the total gross assets were $4,625.

The 2010 return showed net total revenue of $57,346, with net expenses of $33,016. Net assets, including cash and savings, was listed at $130,250.

Schedule O showed gross expenses of Festival events at $45,161; and other expenses (including building and other expenses) at $16,489, for a total of $61,650. The largest single expense on Schedule O is advertising/printing, at a cost of $16,381. Gross income from fundraisers and events is listed at $65,940. The event that brought in the most money was the Grand Lodge, at $25,607 and the cost was $7,515.

 

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City hires new finance director


Previous director takes job with Rockford

Pictured (L to R) is Mayor Pro-tem Christine Fahl, former Finance Director Linda Lehman, new Finance Director Karen Mushong, and City Manager Christine Burns.

The City of Cedar Springs said goodbye Monday to Finance Director Linda Lehman, after 10 years of service with the city. The longtime Cedar Springs resident recently took a job as the Finance Director for the City of Rockford.
“It’s been tough coming to terms with Linda leaving,” said Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns. “She has been a part of the team for 10-plus years and possesses a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the city’s finances. She’s become a great friend as well. On one hand I’m devastated to lose her, but from a personal standpoint, I’m thrilled for her and her family.”
Lehman is being replaced by Karen Mushong, of Comstock Park. She worked at Plante & Moran, PLLC from 1998-2008 as an audit associate/senior manager, and then at Mosaic Properties, Inc. from August 2008 to August 2011 as controller.
“There is comfort in knowing that Karen is stepping into the job with a very strong financial background and Linda left everything in great condition,” said Burns. She also noted that Mushong is fortunate to have a great support staff working with her to make the transition as easy as possible.
Lehman has offered to help as needed but doesn’t foresee needing to come back too often due to Mushong’s experience with Plante Moran.

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City receives tree grant


The City of Cedar Springs recently received a grant for $1,800 for the purchase and planting of 18 trees throughout the city. The grant was made possible through the Michigan Forestry and Park Association and Consumers Energy.
The trees planted last week included three sugar maples along the bank of Cedar Creek in Veterans Park (to help produce shade to keep the creek cool for trout); five Cedar trees on the south bank of the creek behind the firebarn; five flowering crabapple trees on Man Street between Beech and Maple Streets; and five red sunset maples in the new section of Elmwood Cemetery.
“We’re really thankful to Consumers Energy and the MFPA for making this possible,” said DPW Supervisor Roger Belknap.
Earlier this year the city received a grant for 12 trees from DTE Energy, and planted a mixture of crabapple and lilac throughout the Main Street streetscape.

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City dedicates Gust pavilion


City officials and the Gust family gathered for the dedication of the Clara Gust Gazebo Monday at the White Pine Trail. L to R: Councilor Ashley Bremmer, Councilor Pat Capek, former Mayor Linda Hunt, Councilor Ken Benham, Lolly and Gary Gust, Mayor Charlie Watson, Izzy Tackmann, Michelle Tackmann, Jeff Gust, and City Manager Christine Burns.

By Judy Reed

This rock, donated by the Dean Wall family, holds the plaque honoring Clara Gust. L to R: Michelle Tackmann, Izzy Tackmann, Jeff Gust, Lolly and Gary Gust.

Clara Gust, 90, will long be remembered by the residents of Cedar Springs and all the people who use the White Pine Trail staging area at W. Maple and Second Streets. The city dedicated a pavilion there in her honor Monday.
Clara’s son, Gary Gust, told the Post in a previous interview that when he heard that the city of Cedar Springs wanted his property at the end of Maple and Second Street for a staging area, he knew what he wanted to do with it. He and his wife, Lolly, and his sister, Joanne, decided to donate the property, with one stipulation. “I wanted them to build some sort of structure, such as a gazebo, and put a plaque on the building dedicating it to our mother,” explained Gary.
The city agreed, and the gazebo was built last fall by Charlie Nelson, 16, and other volunteers for an Eagle Scout project. A plaque in Clara’s honor was placed on a rock that was donated by the Dean Wall family.
Clara moved here in the 1930s with her parents, George and Nellie Ruth (Lockwood) Sillaway, from Ada. Her father was the last station agent here for the Grand Trunk Railroad, and retired after 47 years of service.
Clara graduated from Cedar Springs High School as salutatorian of her class, and worked in several local businesses. She married Roger Gust and they had three children—Gary, Joanne, and Beverly.
Several members of the family were present for the dedication, including Gary, his wife Lolly, son Jeff Gust, daughter Michelle Tackmann, and her daughter Izzy Tackmann. Clara was unable to attend due to her health.
Mayor Charlie Watson said the location of the pavilion would be a hub for the future of Cedar Springs. “The Clara Gust Gazebo will be a pleasant rest stop for travelers on the White Pine Trail. They will be able to picnic and relax here, children will be able to play here and visit one of the city’s original flowing wells, fish in Cedar Creek, and one day visit the new Cedar Springs Public Library or skateboard at the skate park or listen to concerts at the amphitheater that the city hopes to one day add to this part of town,” he said.
The White Pine Trail staging area has been made possible by a matching grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund. Besides the gazebo, new picnic tables, benches and a bike rack have been installed, and bathrooms will be installed later this year.

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Fire Chief Gross appreciation party


Chief Gross was presented with an axe by the fire department for his years of service. Photo by T. Noreen.

The City of Cedar Springs held an appreciation party for former Fire Chief Jerry Gross Sr. last Thursday, June 9, before the city council meeting. Gross decided to step down from administrative duties, at the end of May, after 11 years as Fire Chief. “My intent is to stay with the department and still run fires and medical calls,” explained Gross, who turns 64 in September. He has been on the fire department for 32 years.
The Post thanks Jerry for his commitment to the community and the dedication he has shown through his service. We wish you the best!

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