Posted on 19 March 2015.
By Judy Reed
Firefighters responded to a fire last Wednesday evening. March 11, about 7:43 p.m. at 14625 Cedar Springs Avenue, Solon Township. The structure fire was a pole barn at the home of Brent Davenport, just north of the Red Flannel Tree farm.
According to Solon Fire’s Lt. Chris Paige, fire departments on scene included Solon, Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Kent City, and Algoma.
Paige said they got the fire out relatively quickly, considering they had to work around things in the barn such as a vehicle, tools, tires, etc. They cleared the scene at 10:45 p.m.
Their fire investigator and the insurance investigator both looked at the barn but did not yet determine a cause. It’s still under investigation.
Paige said the homeowner estimated damages at $20,000 to the building and $40,000 to the contents. The home was not damaged, though a few vehicles outside were damaged, said Paige.
Posted in News
Posted on 11 August 2011.
By Judy Reed
The possibility that a horse barn on Solon Township property might be torn down has caused an outcry among some of the citizens of the township. About two dozen of them attended the township meeting Tuesday evening, where the board listened to their complaints and suggestions, and ultimately removed “removal of the pole barn” from the agenda.
Clerk John Rideout said it was not being tabled, but removed from the agenda. “The architect said it is not necessary to move it (the barn) from the site right now,” he explained. The board has a new preliminary site plan that showed the pole barn could co-exist with the township hall on the same property.
Solon Township resident and architectural photographer Len Allington said that it’s a beautiful barn and he’d hate to see it torn down. “I’ve traveled all over the world taking pictures of architecture and so I probably view it in a little different light than most,” he noted.
“I think it’s great that the board decided not to tear down the barn and to let the farm market continue,” he added.
Vicky Babcock, who spearheads the weekly farmers market on the property at 15185 Algoma, said there were a lot of vendors there last Saturday, and because it rained, they were all in the pole barn.
Supervisor Bob Ellick said that if people want the pole barn to be used for various things, leaders from the community would have to come forward to do that. “We are going to be busy working on the new town hall project,” he explained.
The board voted 4-1 Tuesday evening to begin the process of working toward construction on the new town hall. Ellick voted against it because he didn’t like the date put forth in the timeline regarding when construction should begin, which is April 1. He has also said he’d like to see the township not finance any part of it.
Clerk John Rideout said that they could pay cash since they have over a million dollars in the bank, and finance a portion. “It’s $650,000 and we might finance a couple hundred thousand. Each year we wait the price goes up. It makes more sense to invest our money in the property than let it sit in the bank right now.”
Many in the audience asked the board to slow down, saying it was the first time the public had seen the new site plan. Several members on the board said they weren’t rushing, but in fact had been working on the plan for a new township hall for a number of years.
Allington also said he didn’t think they should rush into building the township hall before sketching out a complete site plan, including a soccer field, baseball field, picnic areas, and other amenities. “Wouldn’t you look at the whole property first?” he asked.
Posted in News
Posted on 21 July 2011.
By Judy Reed
About 20 people attended the Solon Township board meeting last Tuesday, July 12, to voice their opinion on why a horse barn on township property should not be pulled down to make room for a new township hall.
At the meeting, the board decided to table action for authorization of the sale and removal of the barn. They approved preliminary plans last fall for the construction of a 6,000 square-foot building with community room, at a cost of about $750,000.
Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick said that they had not yet seen the site plan, though were told it was complete, and would not act until they could review it. He also feels that if they wait a couple of years, they would be in a good financial position to pay for it without financing any of it. “Our revenue sharing went up substantially, but these are still tough economic times,” he said. “Why rush it?” He noted they would still need to pay for heat and electricity for the current building, which also houses the fire department.
Currently the pole barn is being used to host a farm, craft, and flea market every Saturday during the summer, at no charge to vendors. The originally thought they might be able to convert it into offices or a new fire department, but an engineer told them it would be cost prohibitive to do that.
“We could probably sell it through an auction,” said Ellick.
Solon bought the 19-acre horse farm at 15185 Algoma two years ago in a tax foreclosure sale for $28,378.
Posted in Featured, News