Posted on 22 March 2012.
Solon Township announces precinct changes
As a result of the 2010 census count and the resulting redistricting on the state and national level, Solon Township residents may find the places they have always gone to vote and who they voted for have changed.
Solon Township was part of the 73rd district in the state house of representatives, but is now represented by the 74th district (as are the Cities of Cedar Springs, Rockford, Grandville, Walker, and the townships of Tyrone, Algoma, Sparta, and Alpine). Also, the township used to be represented by both the 2nd and the 3rd congressional districts, which have now changed so that the entire township is represented in the 3rd congressional district. As a result, voters who may have liked voting for one candidate may have to decide on another.
Solon Township Clerk John Rideout said they considered two things when redrawing precinct lines: one was the size of the buildings where the elections are held; and two, they wanted to keep Kent City School District in one precinct. The reason being that the township hall, where precinct one is located, is much smaller than precinct 2, located at the Solon Wesleyan Church. As a result of the redistricting, precinct one will consist of the southeast corner of the township bordered by Algoma Ave. and 20 Mile Road. The remainder of the township will be precinct two. Additionally, keeping Kent City Schools in one district will facilitate a less confusing election.
Rideout indicated that voters should be receiving new voter identification cards in the mail shortly informing them where they need to go vote in the future. If they have any questions they are encouraged to contact the clerk’s office at 696-1718.
Barn to get facelift
The old horsebarn at 15185 Algoma will soon get a facelift—literally. The Solon Township board voted last Tuesday to tear down the first 30-40 feet of the east side of the building. “This preserves the majority of the barn,” said Clerk John Rideout. “We’ll put a face on it, fix it, close it up.” He said this would give them the room to start construction on the new township hall/community building in the front part of the property. He noted that they would be showing the final plans to the planning commission on March 28 to get their input. Solon bought the 19-acre horse farm in 2009 in a tax foreclosure sale for $28,378.
Posted in News
Posted on 22 December 2011.
“Modern” Woodmen lodge members help an ill neighbor (Burch), in potato harvesting at Solon Center, circa 1915. Back row (L to R): Charley Terrell, Walter Spathe, Emmory Goodell, Alvin Heiss Sr., Guy Eyers, Ray Bloomfield, Sherm Smith. Front row (L to R): Chauncey Weller, unknown, Berny Goodell, Ira Goodell or Gerald Bloomfield, Morgan Smith, Glenn Heiss, Ernest Weller, Denny Noonen, Alvin Heiss, Jim Bloomfield.
Last week we printed a photo belonging to Donie Allington, 81, of Solon Township, and submitted by her son, Len. We asked if anyone knew anything about the photo or the people in it. Donie knew the men were Modern woodmen lodge members helping a neighbor dig potatoes, and that one of the men in the photo was her grandfather.
Imagine our surprise when Gail and Herb Merlington came in this week with a Post from 1993—a Post where we had not only printed the same photo, but had all the names (or most of them) as well!
It turns out that Gail saved that Post because not only are both her grandfathers in the photo, but she also grew up in the house that was pictured. Located south of 19 Mile, on the east side of Algoma, the house is still standing today. “The porch is now gone, but that window on the front is still there,” said Herb.
Gail lived in the home from the time she was born, with her parents, Sue (Magoon) and Robert Champlin, until she and Herb, who moved up from Lansing, were married, in 1963. Gail graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1961. She said she remembers her grandfather, Sherman Smith, living with them. She also said that her other grandfather, Charley Terrell, lived in the house on the northwest corner of Algoma and 19 Mile, and had a general store next to the house. Both Charley Terrell and Sherman Smith are in the photo.
The photo in the 1993 edition appears to have been printed in courtesy of the Cedar Springs Historical Society. Donie’s grandfather, Chauncey Weller, is indeed in the photo, as was an uncle, Ernest Weller. The picture says it was circa 1915.
Posted in Featured
Posted on 15 December 2011.
Solon Center – Velzy
Does anyone know anything about this photo?
Len Allington, of Solon Township, passed on a photo to us from his mother, Donie Allington, 86, also of Solon Township. It is of a group of men with pitchforks that looks like it may have been taken around or just before the turn of the century. She said it was taken at Solon Center (Algoma and 19 Mile Road), which was known as Velzy at the time.
“I was told it was a group of ‘modern woodsman.’ They harvested potatoes for a farmer that was too ill to do it,” she explained.
She added that her grandpa, Virgil Weller, is in the photo, possibly the first or second one from the left in the bottom row. There is a Virgil Weller buried in Solon Cemetery, with a birthdate of 1844, and death date of 1912.
Posted in Featured, News
Posted on 08 December 2011.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform the residents of Solon Township that the Township Board is pushing to vote at the monthly meeting next Tuesday evening to finalize the plans for the new township hall/community building. This action would pave the way to start construction this coming spring.
My concerns are these: The original site plan did not include the future use of the entire parcel, only the immediate site of the new township hall. The board has stated in the past that there are plans to use the property in the future as a site for a new fire station, a park with picnic pavilion, baseball and soccer fields and other amenities. These future plans were not taken into consideration when it came to the site location of the new hall.
Secondly, the board picked a group of Solon residents to come up with the building design and did not consult an architect.
I understand the that the Board would like to begin this project as soon as possible, but I think that they should proceed in a more prudent way, and make sure that if they are going to spend nearly a three quarters of a million dollars of taxpayer money ($200,000 borrowed), that the design of the entire parcel should be considered, and that an architect be consulted to make sure that the new hall and future buildings are designed in a way that is cohesive, the designs are inspired, and the finished product is something that the residents of Solon Township are truly proud of.
I encourage any Solon residents to come to the meeting at the Solon Township Hall next Tuesday evening (Dec. 13) at 7:30 and voice your opinions. If you have any questions you can call me at 231-750-2337.
Len Allington/Solon Township resident
Posted in Post Scripts
Posted on 18 November 2011.
The new hall will be built in front of this horse barn.
By this time next fall, Solon Township hopes to have a new hall.
The board passed a resolution in October approving the building site, and approved the final plans for construction last week.
The township offices, currently located on 19 Mile, just west off Algoma, will move to a new building, to be constructed this spring, at 15185 Algoma. Solon bought the 19-acre horse farm two years ago in a tax foreclosure sale for $28,378.
The board 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. According to Solon Clerk John Rideout, they already have $650,000 of the cost.
He said the engineer is currently getting mechanical and electrical drawings done, and the project should go out to bid in January, with construction to start in the spring. They plan to build the hall in front of the horse barn, which has been used the last couple of summers to host a farm, craft and flea market.
The offices on 19 Mile will be used by the Solon Township Fire Department.
Posted in Featured, News
Posted on 04 November 2011.
We first featured flowers from Joan Covell’s garden two years ago when she was just starting it. Recently she sent us more photos of her beautiful garden in Solon Township. “Flowers came early this year and went away fast,” remarked Joan, “except for my mums. They were and still are beautiful.” She added that the birds love her garden, especially the hummingbirds. Thanks, Joan!
Posted in Featured
Posted on 18 August 2011.
This two-car accident in Solon Township last week resulted in the death of a Rockford teen. Photo courtesy of WOOD-TV.
A 19-year-old Rockford youth was killed in a two-car accident Thursday evening, August 11, in Solon Township.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Kyle James Alberta, 19, of Cannon Township, was traveling westbound on 19 Mile in a 2006 Hyundai Sonata about 6:52 p.m. when he stopped at the stop sign at Algoma. He reportedly then pulled out in front of a northbound vehicle driven by April Marie Proctor, 25 of Kent City. Proctor’s vehicle then struck Alberta’s vehicle on the driver’s side.
Alberta was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, Kristin Nicole Martin, 19, of Rockford, was transported to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital by Rockford Ambulance with possible internal injuries.
Proctor was transported to Spectrum Butterworth, by AeroMed, with multiple fractures on her right side.
Alcohol is not believed to be a factor. The crash is still under investigation.
Assisting at the scene was Solon Fire and Rescue, Rockford Ambulance, AeroMed, and the Kent County Road Commission.
Kyle, the son of Jim and Sheryl Alberta, was a 2010 graduate of Rockford High School, where he received Academic Awards for four years and was a member of the National Honor Society. He was majoring in cell and molecular biology with a math minor at Grand Valley State University. He was also an active member at Oakfield Baptist Church. Funeral services were held earlier this week.
Posted in Featured, 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 04 August 2011.
I’d like to say thanks to the Post for the coverage of stories in Solon Township, including the article in the July 21 edition about the Solon Township Board decision on July 12 to table action on the proposed removal of the huge horse barn on Algoma Avenue.
Since attending the July 12 meeting, I have spoken to dozens of Solon Township residents who feel that the barn should remain, be maintained and utilized.
I would encourage Solon Township residents to stop by the barn at 15185 Algoma, walk around and through it, and then show up on Tuesday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the board meeting at the Solon Township Hall and let the board know what your thoughts are on this matter.
Len Allington, Solon Township resident
Posted in Post Scripts
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