News

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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Montabella Community Schools launch strategic plan

The Montabella Community Schools Board of Education and administration are launching a new initiative to guide the school district through a three- to five-year strategic 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.

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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.

Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel, Commissioner Patrick Q. Carr, Clerk Kristen Millard and commissioners Betty Kellenberger, Tom Lindeman and Dale Reyburn listen to budgetary concerns during a meeting earlier this year. The county made $1.7 million in budget cuts and hired three legal and accounting firms to investigate what went wrong with the county’s financial situation. — File photo

2016 Daily News Top Local Stories of the Year

This year, Montcalm County lost a controller-administrator and hired a new leader, made $1.7 million in budget cuts equating to a loss of 30 jobs, fired its auditing firm and contracted with three new firms to investigate what went wrong with the county budget over the past decade.

Edmore Downtown Development Authority President Jack Miller looks at the some of the original floor work in the old General Bag Corp. factory during a tour with 70th District State Rep.-elect Jim Lower, left, and outgoing Rep. Rick Outman, right. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Construction progress being made on old Edmore bag factory

Edmore Downtown Development Authority President Jack Miller wanted to show local officials the progress that has been made at the old General Bag Corp. factory building.

Incoming 70th District State Rep.-elect (and former Edmore village manager) Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, and outgoing Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, recently toured the facility with Miller.

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard

Montcalm County seeks legal opinion regarding election stipend

Montcalm County officials requested and received a legal opinion to clarify whether the county clerk can be paid an annual stipend for election programming.

Earlier this month, as she has done every year since 2008, Clerk Kristen Millard requested the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners approve a $7,000 stipend be paid to her for her work in programming county elections, as the work is not part of a county clerk’s statutory job description.