Local

Montcalm County 4-H Council President Kim Thomsen, left, and Montcalm Conservation District Director Steve Wyckoff, right, visit with a community member after a community gathering Wednesday to discuss whether to move forward with a millage ballot proposal for 4-H, animal, conservation, park and veteran services in the county. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Grassroots millage effort moves forward in Montcalm County

A grassroots group of citizens are moving forward with a proposed millage to fund Montcalm County services, but they don’t necessarily want the approval of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners.

Nearly 20 people met at the Montcalm Conservation District office in Stanton on Wednesday to discuss options for funding 4-H, Animal Control, conservation, parks and veterans.

From left, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presents “Connected Community” certification to Casair founder Steve Meinhardt, Kathy Jo Vanderlaan, Montcalm County’s business development coordinator with The Right Place, Montcalm Economic Alliance Vice President Robert Clingenpeel, and Alliance President Rob Spohr, during Wednesday’s Alliance meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Connected Community: 99% of Montcalm County is online

In rural Michigan, reliable broadband internet may be hard to come by, but that is not the case in Montcalm County.

On Wednesday, Dan Manning, a community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, presented the county with “Connected Community” certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program.

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IN BRIEF: Carson City-Crystal Area Schools approve city recreation plan

The Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday evening to approve this city’s new recreation plan.

From left, Carson City Administrator Jean Southward, Mayor Bruce Tasker and Councilman Chad Parmenter listen as Councilman Tom McCrackin delivers his thoughts Wednesday on the construction of a future splash pad at one of the city’s parks. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Carson City parks & rec priorities include new splash pad

As local municipalities and organizations continue to work together to create a new community recreation plan, financing potential upgrades has now entered the conversation.

This past week, two meetings were held that directly connected to the new collaborative Carson City Area Parks and Recreation Plan.

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MAISD to benefit from 3-year sex ed grant

The Montcalm Area Intermediate School District has been awarded a grant that was given to only 19 other districts nationwide.

The Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Grant provides sexual risk avoidance education for special education students in self-contained classrooms, which have smaller groups of students.

Crystal Township Clerk Patty Baker-Marek, left, and Trustee George Bahm, read through the township’s Crystal Community Center rental agreement, as township board members discussed re-evaluating the center’s rental structure during Wednesday evening’s township board meeting. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Crystal discusses financing community center repairs

The Crystal Community Center may have been purchased for the small fee of $1, but today township leaders are now looking at the potential of a rather large bill to keep it from crumbling in on itself. During Wednesday evening’s Crystal Township Board meeting, the board discussed a request from one of the tenants of the building, Sanchin-Ryu Karate of Lansing, to adjust the rental fee structure, at least temporarily, to be more affordable.

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IN BRIEF: Crystal Township approves purchase of air tanks for fire department

Members of the Crystal Township Board voted unanimously Wednesday evening to approve the purchase of new air tanks for the township fire department.

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Montcalm County Parks & Rec Committee fails to have quorum

The Montcalm County Parks & Recreation Committee was scheduled to discuss and vote on the topics of park closure and adopt-a-park applications Tuesday morning.

However, the committee was unable to meet due to the lack of a quorum.

Steve Wyckoff holds a copy of the Montcalm County Forestry & Wildlife Guide, a publication created in part by the Montcalm Conservation District. Wyckoff, a conservation district director, is leading a grassroots effort to explore the possibility of a millage proposal to fund services for the conservation district along with Montcalm County Animal Control, 4-H, county parks and veterans. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County millage exploration group to meet Jan. 18

Animals, conservation, 4-H, parks and veterans.

These five topics may not share the same audience or interest in Montcalm County, but they all have one common need: Funding.

Patrick Q. Carr of Lakeview, at right, was unanimously re-elected chairman of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners by his colleagues during Tuesday morning’s organizational meeting. Also pictured is Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel, at left. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County BOC switches to night meetings for more attendance

If your New Year’s resolutions included attending more Montcalm County Board of Commissioner meetings — but you work a day job — you’re in luck.

Commissioners voted 8-1 during Tuesday’s annual organizational meeting to start meeting at 6 p.m. each month for full board meetings, instead of the usual 1:30 p.m. meeting time. All full board meetings take place the fourth Monday of each month.