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Hard work brings beauty to library grounds


 

by Donna Clark and Sue Wolfe

The asphalt being poured on the walking trail at the Library.

Volunteers continue to work hard to complete the projects around the library and surrounding park areas, which includes the flowers around the stainless steel structure and the native grasses in the rain garden on the south. Naturalists Tom Mabie and Perry Hopkins took oversight of these two projects, gathering most of the native grasses and plants from the area around Cedar Creek, and then babying them to be sure they survived.

From the first days of May to the Grand Opening of the new Library, many good folks from the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and beyond came together to put in the shrubs, trees, stones and lawn around the Library. An underground watering system on timers has been key in aiding in the growth and stability of the healthy plants and lawn. The system was provided by Dan McIntyre and his company, Splash, and then installed at no extra cost to the Library. Several free visits have been made as adjustments or replacements to sprinklers have been needed.

City Councilor Dan Clark has put in a lot of hours tending to the library grounds.

Councilman Dan Clark has spent many evenings and weekends around the Library and walking path in the surrounding park areas off Main and Pine Streets, hand-mowing the lawn,  edging, checking on the sprinklers, making sure the timers are set right, and cleaning around the new asphalt and placing sod to prevent any washouts. Clark is doing the finishing touches that take a lot of time but really pull things together for a neat and crisp appearance. Also spending many hours toward cleaning up the grounds, trimming bushes, and sweeping sidewalks has been donated by Andy Dipiazza.  The public grounds are really beautiful!

Along the new path you can now see the (36) 10”x8” brass plates inset into the retaining wall blocks. Thanks to Don Snow and his team at CS Tool Engineering, Inc., the plates and engraving are finished, and at no cost to the Library. Thanks to Dale Larson, owner of Northwest Kent Mechanical and his team, 36 plates were installed with great care and precision on September 27 and 28. 

An example of one of the many bricks available to purchase.

The 129 bricks that have sold this past year have arrived and will be installed very soon. With the help of our new DPW Director, David Ducat and his team, and any other volunteers needed, the plan is to install them at the entrance of the new Library. According to Duane McIntyre, foreman of the project, we have 410 places for bricks, depending on the sizes purchased. The sizes offered are the 4×8 for $50 or the 8×8 for $100. On the 4×8 there can be 3 lines of 21 characters, including spaces between words and for the 8×8, 6 lines. These will make wonderful holiday presents! In fact a long-time community person with lots of family and grandchildren recently said she was going to purchase 21 bricks for her family Christmas presents.  

Mayor Gerry Hall and Councilman Perry Hopkins have been assembling the 10 benches purchased through the CBDT. The nameplates will again be engraved under the direction of Don Snow. Memorial and honorary brass plates will be installed on these benches, also. McIntyre and Hopkins will oversee the installing of the benches on various cement slabs around the library and surrounding park area. 

You perhaps noticed the four six foot benches around the clock tower and the sidewalk at the east side of the Library, ready for Red Flannel visitors.  They were in constant use and a very attractive and useful addition to our festivities!

Director Donna Clark was on hand at the library on Red Flannel Day offering tours and information about the vision our community has embraced called, the “Heart of Cedar Springs.” The entire property, going even beyond the edge of Cedar Creek and the White Pine Trail, will be a park-like area, developed and supported through a base constituency of over 100 volunteers and donors, the Community Building Development Team.  

The next project is building an amphitheater along where the White Pine Trail and Cedar Creek meet west of the park property.  A new fundraising campaign has begun. The City of Cedar Springs and the CBDT will work together on submitting an application for a Economic Development Grant for a $50,000 match within the next few weeks. Watch for details soon on how you can get involved. 

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County clerk announces selection of new election equipment 


 

N-Kent-County-logoKent County to partner with Dominion Voting Systems starting with November 2017 Election 

Lisa Posthumus Lyons, Kent County Clerk/Register of Deeds, announced last week the selection of Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. as the vendor of choice for Kent County’s purchase of new election equipment. The new voting machines will be utilized by municipalities within Kent County starting with the November 2017 election.

“My priority for Kent County’s new election system is to provide high quality equipment, the assurance of security, and a positive experience for the voter; each of the systems we considered would accomplish this in unique ways,” Lyons said. “At the end of the day, my decision came down to the reliability and customer service for which Dominion is known, and its partnership with ElectionSource, an election services provider located right here in Kent County, which also has a proven track record for first class service,” Lyons concluded.

While voters will be familiar with using paper ballots to cast their votes, the new system will include Dominion’s ImageCast Precinct, the most widely deployed optical scan tabulator in the world, and the ImageCast X Ballot Marking Device, a universal voting device that offers a range of accessibility options so all voters can vote privately and independently.

Lyons said many factors were carefully weighed when evaluating the County’s options. Taken into account were input from local municipal clerks: features, functionality, and durability of the machines voters will interface with at the polls; election programming software capabilities; training for election administrators and precinct workers; election night reporting and real-time results for the public; high-speed absentee ballot-counting capabilities for local jurisdictions; and overall cost.

Following the selection by the State of Michigan of three qualified vendors, county clerks, in consultation with local city and township clerks, were charged with selecting the vendor from whom cities and townships within their counties would purchase new voting equipment.

“I am so excited to replace our aging election equipment with a system that both voters and election administrators can rely on,” Lyons said. “It is doubly exciting that in doing so, we are supporting our local economy by working with a business located in our own back yard.”

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Kent County Broadband committee seeks input 


 

GRAND RAPIDS–Technology is a critical part of education, providing information and staying in touch with loved ones. As technology evolves, access to broadband is important to all households. Kent County staff are working with The Right Place, Inc. and the Kent County Broadband Committee, a group of local community leaders with a common mission of enhancing and expanding broadband access, adoption and use throughout the County for the benefit of local residents and businesses.

The Committee is partnering with Connect Michigan and their “Connected Community” program to examine broadband accessibility in Kent County, and establish a broadband planning process and plan to address the current and future broadband needs. In order to meet their goals, Connect Michigan is asking for the public to complete a survey to recognize existing resources and capabilities currently in place that support the access, adoption and use of broadband technology in local homes and businesses. “Using several audience-specific surveys to gather this information, these results will be used to develop action plans to address recognized needs as part of the recently formed Kent County Broadband Initiative,” said Dan Manning, Community Technology Advisor for Connect Michigan. “Our ‘Connected Community’ program also includes a certification program to formally recognize those communities that excel in their assessment based on their demonstrated success with broadband access, adoption and use.”

Having a baseline is important to moving forward. “Broadband is vital for so many businesses and households,” said Jim Saalfeld, Chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “Because Kent County has such a diverse landscape – urban, suburban and rural, with each having unique infrastructure – knowing current accessibility or potential problem spots will help us plan for the future.”

The jobs market of the future in Kent County relies on robust technology. “Business access to broadband today is just as critical as access to traditional infrastructure like roads, water, and power,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “To compete for the high tech jobs and companies of tomorrow, our region needs fast, reliable access to broadband today.”

After a structured evaluation of this assessment, the committee can develop action plans and projects to improve the broadband environment most effectively. The survey is open until May 27 and only takes ten

minutes to complete. You can take the survey as a resident, as a business owner or as a designated representative of another organization. The survey is online at http://connectmycommunity.org/kent-county/ or you can get a hard copy from any township, city or village office in Kent County.

 

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E. RAY GORDON


45C-obit-Gordon

E. Ray Gordon, 89, of Cedar Springs, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, November 6, 2015. E. Ray Gordon was born on January 17, 1926 in Sand Lake, Michigan, the son of Fay and Cora Gordon. After graduating valedictorian from Cedar Springs High School he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He then married his high school sweetheart, Janet Gunnell on December 29, 1945. He went on to graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in civil engineering. He was a founding partner in WBDC, Inc. He was a past president of the Exchange Club of Grand Rapids and a past officer of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers. He had been a scout master for Boy Scout Troop #222. Ray enjoyed fishing, golfing, traveling and attending Cedar Springs School athletic events. He was a member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church and the Cedar Springs School Board for 29 years. Surviving are his children, Susie (Ken) Parker, Doug Gordon, Pam (Tim) Covell, Joel Gordon; 16 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; brother, Murry (Eva) Gordon; brothers and sisters-in-law, Cliff Snyder, Fred (Carollee) Gunnell, John (Mayda) Gunnell, Nancy (Ed) Bremmer, Shirley (Charlie) Gumina, Cam (John) Teusink, Maxine Gordon, Suzanne Gordon; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Janet (Gunnell) Gordon; son, Tom Gordon; brothers, Ken Gordon, Don Gordon, Fay Gordon; sister, Lillian Snyder; brother-in-law, Tom Gunnell; sisters-in-law, Helen Gordon and Lorraine Gordon. The family received friends Monday, Nov. 9 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was held Tuesday 11:00 am at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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Consumer Advisory 


 

Certain antifreeze/coolant brands may damage your vehicles

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order for antifreeze/coolant manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed prior to September 11, 2014, by the following Detroit, Michigan, companies after finding the products may cause damage to vehicle engines:

  • State Petroleum 1 Inc.
  • Petro-Zone and Dual-Temp, LLC
  • Omni PPG, Inc.

These products are sold under the Petro Zone Smart, Petro Zone and Ice Shield XXX brands.

As part of a several-month investigation, MDARD discovered the antifreeze/coolants being sold by these companies do not meet the labeled freeze points stated on the labels.

“When products don’t meet their labeled freeze points, they can cause lasting damage to vehicles. So, it’s vital consumers and businesses stop using or selling these products immediately,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “This company is selling a sub-standard product. MDARD’s Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order not only ensures that Michigan’s consumers and businesses are getting what they pay for, but helps prevent long-term damage to their vehicles.”

The Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or use of these antifreeze/coolants manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed by these companies.

These products should:

  • No longer be used.
  • Immediately be removed from store shelves or other product displays.
  • No longer be offered for sale.

The products may be properly disposed of in accordance with local ordinances, taken to a facility that recycles antifreeze/coolant, or consumers may contact the company directly.

Complaints can be made to:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Consumer Protection Section

940 Venture Lane

Williamston, MI 48895

Toll-free: 800-632-3835

Fax: 517-655-8303

 

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Cedar Springs senior receives award


Levi Whipple

Quality Dining, Inc., the local Burger King franchisee, announced that Cedar Springs graduate Levi Whipple was the winner of a $1,000 scholarship from their business. Levi plans to attend Michigan Technological University and major in Chemical Engineering.
The Burger Kin Scholarship was designed to recognize students who maintain academic standards and are also involved in co-curricular and/or community service activities. The recipient may be, but does not have to be, a Burger King employee.
“We thank our customers for their continued support of our scholarship program,” said Gerald O. Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President of the Burger King Division at Quality Dining. “We extend our congratulations to all our 2011 scholarship recipients and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
They awarded $114,000 in continuing education scholarships for high school seniors in 2011.

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