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Tag Archive | "solon township"

Car Bash to benefit Velzy Park


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Michigan vs. Michigan State

Just in time for football! The first annual Car Bash for Velzy Park, on Saturday, September 10, features a rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State fans as they try to bash the corresponding colors on the donated car. The Car Bash is the brain child of Velzy Park Committee’s Shelly Aardema, as the group continues its efforts to raise funds for the planned park located behind Solon Township Hall at 15185 Algoma Ave.  All proceeds will go to support the park. Participants should come prepared with closed-toed shoes. You must be at least 16 (with parents signature) and everyone must sign a waiver.

The Car Bash runs concurrent with Solon Market at 15185 Algoma Ave. but the hours for the Bash are from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., while Market hours are from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Tickets for the bash are $2.00 a hit, $5.00 for 3 hits or $10.00 for 7 hits.  The Township is being assisted in these endeavors by donations from area automotive and retail businesses. Solon Fire and Rescue will be on hand to provide any needed services. Hammers bats and goggles will be provided. For more information, please contact Shelly Aardema at 616-696-1848 or check out Solon Market’s facebook page.  Like them for updates.

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Solon Market’s Pet Daze Expo 


 

Kids and animals alike enjoyed Solon Market’s Pet Daze Expo last Saturday, August 13. Photos courtesy of Rachaelyn’s Photography.

Kids and animals alike enjoyed Solon Market’s Pet Daze Expo last Saturday, August 13.
Photos courtesy of Rachaelyn’s Photography.

N-Pet-Daze-Expo-red-haired-girlA chorus of joyful voices greeted Market-goers as they entered the community room at Solon Township’s Dog Daze Pet Expo Saturday, August 13. Humane Society of West Michigan led the choir with six puppies who were excited to be there. Excitement was the general consensus among the canine crowd, as they mingled while their people browsed exhibits, watched demos and stayed to watch and participate in the popular Pet Show.

Many people and their pets braved the weather to attend and forever homes were found for several of the animals, including five of WMHS’s six pups. The fundraiser garnered over $200.00 for area rescues and non-profit services and served to educate the public and bring awareness to animal needs, as well as highlight pet-related services. Kids who entered the Pet Show received bags of gifts donated by area businesses. Three lucky winners received pet beds and gift cards, donated by another business.

Kent County Sherriff’s Deputy Dekorte and his canine partner, Ritzey, a goldador, demonstrated their skills in arson detection and stayed to answer questions related to their duties. The Sheriff’s department is looking to add six dogs to their unit including a therapy dog. Donations can be made by accessing the following link:  http://www.trafficsquad.com/#!k9/c66d3

For more on the Expo, check out Solon Market’s facebook page and to see photos of the event.

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Fundraiser for Solon’s Velzy Park


 

The Velzy Park Committee is continuing fundraising efforts with a 50/50 raffle this Saturday, August 13, at Solon Market’s Dog Daze Pet Expo. The planned park behind Solon’s Hall will need additional funding before Phase One can begin, as monies slated for the Walking Trail became necessary for a matching grant proposal.  The Park is looking to the community for donations of cash or in-kind donations for construction of the park, as well as to meet the grant requirements. Fund-raising efforts began in February with a spaghetti dinner and dessert auction and have continued throughout the summer. Saturday’s raffle will run during Market hours from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Solon Hall, 15185 Algoma Ave. Plans are underway for a car bash in September—more to be announced at a later date. Be sure to watch the Post for additional information and check out the Velzy Park facebook page (Solon Township’s Velzy Park) for updates.  Donations can be made to Solon Township/Velzy Park.

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Falling tree causes car crash


The accident occurred just north of 14 Mile, near Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed

The accident occurred just north of 14 Mile, near Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed

A tree landed on the roof of this car Wednesday, causing the driver to swerve and roll the car. Post photo by J. Reed

A tree landed on the roof of this car Wednesday, causing the driver to swerve and roll the car. Post photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

A freak accident sent two people from Solon Township to the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

According to both the Kent County Sheriff Department and a witness at the scene, a Chevrolet Cruze was heading south on Algoma about 2:06 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, just north of 14 Mile, when high winds toppled a tree and it landed on the roof of the car.

“They panicked and swerved and flipped the car into the ditch,” explained Brian Bos, of Moline, who was traveling behind the car and saw it happen. He immediately called 911, then went to check on the occupants. “They were pretty shaken up,” he said.

This tree snapped and landed on the roof of a passing car Wednesday, causing it to leave the road. Photo by J. Reed

This tree snapped and landed on the roof of a passing car Wednesday, causing it to leave the road. Photo by J. Reed

Shortly after the accident, winds took down another tree just north of the scene.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Michael Allen, the two occupants in the vehicle, driver Sheldon Lennox, 56, and Bobbi Scholten, 52, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance. They were reportedly on their way to Florida.

Algoma Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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North Country Trail to run through area


Kurt Mabie (right), Chair of the Community Building Development Team, signs the document for the National Country Trail to come through our area. Christopher Loudenslager from the National Park Service is on the left.

Kurt Mabie (right), Chair of the Community Building Development Team, signs the document for the National Country Trail to come through our area. Christopher Loudenslager from the National Park Service is on the left.

By Judy Reed

It’s no longer a question of “if” the North Country Trail will run through Cedar Springs—it’s only a question of exactly where.

Representatives of the Community Building Development Team, the City of Cedar Springs, Solon Township, National Park Service, North Country Trail Association and Michigan DNR met last Thursday for the signing of the document solidifying the North Country Trail route through Cedar Springs.

All of these representatives had to sign the documents for the intention of the White Pine Trail to come through the Cedar Springs area. From left to right: Christopher Loudenslager, National Park Service Trail Planner; Bob Ellick, Supervisor of Solon Township; Jerry Hall, Mayor of the City of Cedar Springs; Scott Slavin, of the Michigan DNR; and Kurt Mabie, Chairman of the CBDT.

All of these representatives had to sign the documents for the intention of the White Pine Trail to come through the Cedar Springs area. From left to right: Christopher Loudenslager, National Park Service Trail Planner; Bob Ellick, Supervisor of Solon Township; Jerry Hall, Mayor of the City of Cedar Springs; Scott Slavin, of the Michigan DNR; and Kurt Mabie, Chairman of the CBDT.

“Cedar Springs is now home to a State Trail (White Pine Trail) and a Federal Trail (North Country Trail) crossing each other in our town, and we have a National Park that runs through town and through Solon Township out to the Rogue River State Game Area! It feels so good to have achieved this milestone!” said CBDT secretary Carolee Cole.

The North Country Trail is one of 11 National Scenic Trails, and stretches 4,600 miles, across seven states, from the New York/Vermont state line, to North Dakota. It is the longest of the 11 trails.

An optimal location review was done to connect the National Country Trail from the Russell Road and White Pine Trail intersection, to existing trail off Red Pine Drive in the Rogue River State Game area. The review noted that points of interest along the trail route include Long Lake County Park, Howard Christensen Nature Center, Duke Creek, Cedar Creek, Solon Township Hall and the park they are planning, and the City of Cedar Springs, with the planned boardwalk along Cedar Creek and other attractions. Several alternative routes were mapped.

The new part of the trail will be approximately seven miles long. But the exact route is not yet established since easements have to be obtained before the trail is officially certified.

However, certain sections of the trail may not be certified. “At this time the trail will not be able to be certified on the White Pine Trail, as the trail can only be certified in locations that are free of motorized vehicles,” explained Cole. “The Michigan DNR is in the process of approving the possibility for a parallel walking trail that could then allow the trail to be certified. It’s not unusual to have parts of the trail all along the route remain uncertified because a section must share with a motorized trail.”

So what’s next? “Well, a lot more work!” said Cole. “We have to secure easements (talk to people), then build the trail (clear a narrow, hiking only trail to certain specifications) and then maintain it (be willing to go out after a wind or ice storm and clear debris). So we need more people to get on board. A lot more people to get on board!”

If you would like to contribute to this piece of history in Cedar Springs, please contact Amy Anderson at a2andy@yahoo.com and let her know you would like to help with the creation of the North Country Trail.

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Special meeting Thursday night: City of CS and Solon Township


Cedar Springs and Solon Township fighting a fire together in Solon Township in February, 2014.

Cedar Springs and Solon Township fighting a fire together in Solon Township in February, 2014.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council and the Solon Township board will hold a special public meeting on Thursday, December 17, at 7 p.m., at the Solon Township Hall, 15185 Algoma Avenue.

The officials from the two adjoining municipalities are meeting to discuss the findings of the consulting service that did an operational evaluation and shared services study for their two fire departments.

Municipal Consulting Services LLC did the evaluation. They are the same consulting firm that evaluated the Cedar Springs Fire Department in 2009.

The consulting service evaluated each fire department to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can improve. They also evaluated opportunities for the two departments to share resources, including possibly consolidating.

They said that with both communities growing, and already sharing a number of services, such as County dispatch, Rockford ambulance, MABAS automatic aid, the school system, CS Area Parks and Rec, etc., that the fire services should not be segregated between the two communities. They said it could mean full consolidation or something less, such as Solon contracting Cedar Springs to respond to certain areas in Solon Township that lie just outside the Cedar Springs limits.

Other recommendations for shared services include joint master planning by the two fire chiefs (CS Chief Marty Fraser and Solon Chief Jeff Drake); combining some training; joint reviews by command staff of standard operating procedures; grant writing, etc.

The consulting service did not feel that service consolidation would yield a dramatic cost savings, due to the departments being understaffed. But they did say consolidation was feasible, and gave some ideas on what that might look like and what the cost would be.

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More fall colors


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Aren’t these colors dazzling? Mary Lou Fuller, of Solon Township, sent us this photo of the beautiful trees in her yard. If only they could hold on a little longer!

Thanks so much, Mary Lou!

If you have photos of the fall colors, please email them to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Solon seeks public input on proposed park plan


 

Solon Township will conduct a public input session for the Township’s 5-year Parks and Recreation Plan on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Solon Township Hall.

The purpose of this meeting is to gather input from the township residents concerning current and future opportunities for parks, recreation, and trails in the community. The comments and ideas received from this meeting will be used to develop the 2015 Parks and Recreation Plan Update.

Watch for information on future sessions on the Solon Township website and facebook page.

The final public presentation of the Solon Township Parks Master Plan will be held on Wednesday, July 1 at 11:00 am at the Solon Township Hall. This presentation will be attended by the Township Board and is open to the public for viewing and comment.

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Solon barn sold at auction


The old Stout barn will soon be torn down. Photo by Len Allington.

The old Stout barn will soon be torn down. Photo by Len Allington.

By Judy Reed

The long-running campaign to save a Solon barn came to an end last week, when the barn was sold at auction for $300.

The barn, known as the Stout barn, is located on property that Solon Township bought in a foreclosure sale several years ago. It is located behind the Township hall, at 15185 Algoma Ave. It is one of several barns on the property.

The barn has been a bone of contention since the Township bought the property. They originally investigated putting money into it for the new township hall, but decided to build after finding out what needed to be done.

The barn has been used for the flea market portion of the Solon farmer and flea market in the past, and this past winter was used for storage of RVs.

In March, the Solon Township board voted to remove the barn, and have Supervisor Bob Ellick facilitate the removal as economically as possible.

Ellick said that the demolition could start as early as next week, and should only take a few days, according to the buyer, a Mr. Bonthuis, of Ravenna. Under the agreement, he has 120 days to complete the job, and gets everything, even the concrete.

The buyer has to show proof of liability and comprehensive insurance, and the payment has been put into escrow. “If they do something wrong, then we keep the money,” Ellick explained.

According to current drawings for the park to be built on the Solon property, it shows a barn in the spot where the old one is. Ellick said the idea is to relocate the other three barns on the property, although he didn’t know where they were going to be put. He also said it’s also possible they could build a new one, but the plans have not yet been completed.

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Solon staffs full-time firefighter


Lt. Chris Paige. Photo by J. Reed

Lt. Chris Paige. Photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

 

There have been times in the past when it was hard to find a volunteer firefighter curing the daytime in Solon Township that was available to answer an emergency call. That is no longer the case, since the residents in Solon Township approved a half mill (.50) last August to fund the salary of a full-time firefighter to man the station 50 hours a week. Lt. Chris Paige, took on full-time duties after the first of year.

“It’s been a good thing,” said Paige, “to have someone here that can answer those calls. It’s not just that way here; it’s everywhere. Most people work during the day. A lot of departments wish they could have someone full time,” he added.

Paige, a graduate of Cedar Springs High School, started his career in the fire service in 1993. He worked at both Courtland Fire and Spencer Fire before hiring on at Solon nine years ago. In 2010, he was promoted to Lieutenant. In March of 2014, he was hired to man the station part time, on a trial basis.

Paige now mans the station Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. He answers emergency calls, maintains equipment, does paperwork, and maintains the facilities.

Chief Jeff Drake was pleased that the residents approved the millage to fund the position. “We hope to fill a void of alarms not being answered,” explained Drake, who is starting to see some of his plans come to fruition. Drake also applied for and got a partial grant to have a feasibility study done on ways to improve the department, including a possible consolidation with the Cedar Springs Fire Department. Both Solon and Cedar Springs approved the grant award in December.

 

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