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Tag Archive | "solon township"

Residents to vote on proposals


 

By Judy Reed

Besides statewide proposals you may have heard about, there are also a few local proposals voters will need to consider on November 6.

Bond proposal for a new fire station

The City of Cedar Springs is asking voters to consider a bond proposal for a new fire station. The current fire station on W. Maple Street is almost 40 years old. “Despite what some people are saying, there are not a lot of frills in that station,” said Fire Chief Marty Fraser. We had to meet a lot of government standards not in effect 40 years ago. People don’t understand what we’ve done here (at the current station) the last 38 years. We’ve made do. It was built to code in 1980 but it no longer meets code.”

The proposal that residents will vote on will be a 15-year bond at 3.455363 mills the first year, and an average of 3.4290 mills thereafter. For someone with a home that has a taxable value of $50,000, that equates to about $172 more per year, or just under $15 per month. And, if the taxable values in Cedar Springs go up, the millage rate will go down. 

The total cost of the fire station is estimated at $2,991,741. That includes $2,136,958 in building and site prep; engineering and testing of $320,544; and $534,240 for contingencies. “Contingencies are additional funds that are set aside for fixing problems that were not accounted for or were unknowable at the time of design and planning,” explained City Manager Mike Womack. “Any funding that is leftover at the end of the construction of the building would then be put towards ‘equipping a new fire station’ and ‘acquisition of fire equipment, apparatus and vehicles, and other related expenses and improvements’ as is indicated in the ballot language.”

The total payback on the 15-year bond would be $4,013,850. It is designed to be a 50-year facility. For more info, see letter from Pam Conley on page 12.

Solon Zoning ordinance

Voters in Solon Township are being asked to vote on Township Ordinance No. 18-4-Z, which would “create a new AR-2 Low Density Agricultural Residential District, with a minimum lot size of two acres for new lots, and would rezone numerous lands within the Township to the new AR-2 District, among other matters.” The Solon Township board approved this ordinance in April 2018, at the recommendation of the Planning Commission. “The purpose was to control development in the township, like a planning commission is supposed to do,” said Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick. “After going over the Master Plan, the Planning Commission made that recommendation, and we passed it.” Under the ordinance, the AR district was broken up into AR-1 and AR-2, with AR-1 lots being a minimum of one-acre in size, and AR-2 being a minimum of two acres in size. He said it would not affect anyone already living in the designated AR-2 areas. But it would limit the amount of new housing developments.

He said the township did not put it on the ballot. He said there were a couple of people that didn’t agree with the limitations and wanted to put it to a vote of the residents. See map for areas zoned AR-1 and AR-2. For more information on whether the ordinance will affect your property, call the township at 696-1718.

Ready by Five proposal

Kent County is asking whether voters will approve a levy .25 mill, or 25 cents of every $1,000 of taxable value on real and personal property for 208-204 t0 provide planning, evaluating, and provide early childhood development services to persons up to age 5 and their parents. The amount raised by the levy in the first calendar year is estimated at $5,702,887. In Kent County there are local authorities that capture and use, for authorized purposes, tax increment revenues from property taxes levied by the County. Such capture would include a portion of the millage levy. The total amount of captured tax increment revenue from such millage in the first calendar year of the levy is an estimated $243,962. The owner of a $150,000 would pay just over $18 per year, according to First Steps Kent, the organization spearheading the proposal.

If it passes, the proposal would provide health and developmental screenings for all children under age 5, as well as support for parents, and increased access to high-quality learning experiences. Visit https://www.firststepskent.org/earlychildhoodproposal for more information.

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Solon receives opportunity for matching grant for park


Solon Township’s Velzy Park Committee received some exciting news recently. The committee, under the direction of Solon Township, has been attempting to raise funds to complete Phase One of Velzy Park, which includes a playground and restroom facility. The park is located behind the Township office at 15185 Algoma Ave.

Recognizing the need, a Solon Township family has pledged $25,000 as a matching grant in an effort to finance the restroom. The planned structure is slated to be a 3-season unisex unit, which will be open to the public during park hours. In order to fully utilize the grant, the committee will need to acquire an additional $25,000 in donations. They are planning various fundraisers and looking into creating a gofundme page in an effort to match the grant.

The committee is asking for your help. Timing is limited, as the window for the matching grant closes on October 31, 2018.  If you would like to make a contribution, or to volunteer at events, please call the Solon Township office at 696-1718. Watch our facebook page or the Post for upcoming events.

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Bald eagle sighting


This bald eagle is looking for his next meal.

Wendy Russell sent us this photo she took of a bald eagle near Meijer, in Solon Township on Friday, March 23. She said he grabbed a squirrel but then dropped it in the middle of 17 Mile Road.

Thank you, Wendy, for sending us your photo!

Do you have a photo of wildlife you’d like to send us? Email it to news@cedarspringspost.com, along with some info about the photo and your contact information. We will print as space is available.

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Large eagle spotted in Solon


Jennifer August, of Solon Township, spotted this large eagle near her home last weekend. 

When she first saw him, he was sitting on a top of a deer carcass in a field and she could tell he was a big bird. She later returned with her camera, and snapped a photo of him in a nearby tree. 

Thanks so much, Jennifer, for sending us your photos!

If you have wildlife photos you’d like to send us, please email them to news@cedarspringspost.com, along with some information about the photo. Will run as space allows.

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Winter fun


Friends Eli Gunderson and Javen Gee had some winter fun recently while ice fishing on a lake in Solon Township. Not only did they catch this beautiful northern pike on a tip up, they also enjoyed a bonfire to help keep them toasty warm. 

Thanks so much for sharing your photo with us!

Do you have a winter fun photo you’d like to send us? Email it to news@cedarspringspost.com along with some information about who is in the photo, what’s happening, and when and where it was taken. Also include what city/township you live in.

 

 

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Top story of 2017: Library grand opening


The new Cedar Springs Community Library was a dream that finally became reality in 2017. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

This is one of the library’s newest visitors, who seems to be enjoying reading and returning books. Courtesy photo.

A lot of things happened in Cedar Springs in 2017, but one that will be remembered and treasured for generations to come was the building and grand opening of the new Cedar Springs Community Library, located in the heart of Cedar Springs, at the corner of Main and W. Maple Streets.

The project, which was many years in the making, became a reality on May 13, with a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony. The library, which is designed to resemble a train depot, is now a main attraction in the heart of Cedar Springs. 

The new 10,016 square-foot building was built with donated funds, products, and services from the community and local businesses. The additional 8,000 square feet (the former library was 2,000 square feet) allows for much greater areas for reading, special events, and small group gatherings.

The new library is beautiful, spacious, modern, and comfortable. It includes separate areas for children, teens, and adults; 12 computer stations; four stations for children’s computers; a cozy reading or meeting area with fireplace and chairs; three small group rooms for tutoring or studying; and a classroom with white board and screen. 

Another draw is the community room, which holds up to 75 people with the tables and chairs, and 100 without. A complete kitchen opens up into the community room. People can walk out of the community room to a patio, which is facing the creek. 

The Community Building Development Team partnered with the City, Solon Township, and the Library board to get the project up and running. Many local residents and businesses made generous donations or provided in-kind services, and frequent fundraisers were held to help raise the funds. In July, the $1,845,190 project was officially paid off.

“We are so excited to be able to announce that our community’s library building is now completely paid for,” said Library Director Donna Clark, in a previous Post article. “With a lot of substantial financial help and support of the Community Building Development Team, the Library Board’s Building Committee and the wonderful members of our community, we have no mortgage, no interest, no debt!”  

Also sitting on the property is a Veteran’s Clock Tower, a bridge across Cedar Creek, a steel dragonfly sculpture, and the historic flowing well. An amphitheatre is slated to be built on the rear of the property in the near future.

If you are interested in helping the library raise funds for books and other equipment, you can purchase a brick for $50 or $100, or simply make a donation. For more information, visit http://cedarspringslibrary.org/news/bricks-and-blocks-for-new-library/ or call the library at 696-1910 for more information.

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Fall beauty


Kay Bultema sent us this beautiful photo of a tree changing color. She said it was taken last week at her home, in Solon Township.

Do you have any fall photos you’d like to share with us? Please email them to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Boo-tacular a hit at Solon’s Velzy Park


It was a perfect autumn afternoon. The laughter of children rang on the air as they played games, collected snacks and built their very own scarecrows. Velzy Park, in Solon Township, was the scene of much activity Saturday, October 21, as the Park’s “Bootacular” got underway. The event was created as a Park fundraiser and public service to the community. Originally hosted by Solon Market, the event was adapted by the joint Park and Market committees to help promote the new park and raise needed money toward continued improvements.  

The “Build a Scarecrow” was a new addition and created much excitement among the youngsters as they watched their scarecrows come to life. It was a toss-up as to who had the most fun—the children, their parents or the volunteers. The scarecrow event and boo-tacular was the brainchild of Park chair, Shelly Aardema, who is also a member of the Market Committee.

The committee is seeking funds to build a restroom and playground as Phase One continues. The park currently features a walking trail, gazebo and picnic area, mostly funded though fundraisers and donations from area residents and businesses. If you wish to help, donations can be sent to Solon Township Office, 15185 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs, MI  49319.  Be sure to designate it towards Velzy Park. Volunteers are also needed to assist with construction and maintenance as well as events and fundraising. Material donations are welcome as well. For more information, contact Mary Lou at 616-696-1718 or Shelly at 616-696-1848.

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Catch of the Week


Mya Hendges shows off her sunfish

The children of Rick and Amber Hendges, of Solon Township, have been reeling in some nice catches. 

Mya Hendges, age 9, caught this nice sunfish while fishing with her grandparents in Trufant. 

Hunter Hendges caught a pike.

Hunter Hendges, age 11, caught this pike while fishing in Trufant at his great-grandma’s house. 

Kylee Hendges, age 6, caught this nice blue gill while fishing with her grandparents in Trufant. Kylee loves to fish. She baits her own hook and even takes her own fish off!  

Kylee Hendges is proud of her blue gill.

Great job, Mya, Hunter, and Kylee! You made the Post Catch of the Week!

 

It’s back—get out those cameras!

It’s that time of year again when anglers big and small like to tell their fish tales! Send us a photo and story of your first, best, funniest, biggest, or even your smallest catch. Include your name, age, address, and phone number, along with the type and size of fish, and where caught.  We can’t wait to hear from you! Photos published as space allows. Photos/stories may be sent by email to news@cedarspringspost.com with Catch of the Week in the subject line, or mail to: Catch of the Week, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

  

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Crocus in bloom


N-Crocus-Fuller

The warm temperatures we had in February have caused some plants to follow a little early. We received this photo of a crocus from Mary Lou Fuller, of Solon Township last Wednesday, March 1.

“It is not all the way open, but apparently my crocus thinks spring has arrived,” said Mary Lou.

The very next day we had much colder temperatures with snow. We asked Mary Lou this week if it damaged the crocus. She said no, it was still hanging in there!

If you have a wildlife or wildflower photo you would like to send us, please email it to news@cedarspringspost.com with some information about the photo and your contact info. 

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