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From left, Trustee Patricia Hinrichs, Montcalm Community College President Bob Ferrentino and Debra Alexander, dean of student and enrollment services, listen to a discussion about policy governance during Tuesday afternoon’s MCC Board retreat. 

MCC board talks policy governance

The Montcalm Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees had a lesson in policy governance during its retreat meeting Tuesday afternoon. The board heard a presentation via video conference from Richard Stringham, a senior consultant with The Governance Coach. The presentation detailed different elements of policy governance, a paradigm created by Dr. John Carver.

Sheridan Village Councilman Derek Wagner and Village President Susan Wyckoff-McFarland review summaries of sealed trash bids Tuesday. Both Wagner and Wyckoff-McFarland were in favor of contracting with Republic Services, which ultimately was approved by the Village Council 4-1. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Sheridan switches trash collection to Republic

Every three years, Sheridan accepts sealed bids for trash collection. During Tuesday night’s Sheridan Village Council meeting, it was time for council members to once again review bids and grant a contract to a trash collection company.

Sheridan Community Fire Chief Ed Lingeman carries one of three dogs safely away from a house fire Friday afternoon. Four fire departments worked together to fight the house fire at 1120 W. Boyer Road in Fenwick. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

JUST IN: Family, dogs safe after Fenwick house fire

Erven and Shirley Brokaw sat in their mini van Friday and watched their house burn down. The blaze started just before 5 p.m. at 1120 W. Boyer Road in Fenwick on the home’s front porch.

Local clerks stand silently in a show of support for Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard on Monday night as Cato Township Clerk Louis Morse and Belvidere Township Clerk Sheila Smith ask the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners to continue paying Millard for her election programming work. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

County removes itself from election programming to resolve dispute

The Montcalm County Board of Commissioners have finally found a way to resolve an election programming payment dispute — by removing themselves from the equation entirely. The issue was hammered out during a nearly three-hour meeting Monday night, which was attended by nearly 50 people, including multiple local clerks.

Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake, speaks Monday in a room full of constituents at the Legislative Update meeting held at Montcalm Community College.

Lower discusses failed effort to cut income tax

In just his second month in office as a state representative, Jim Lower experienced a legislative session last week typically reserved for long, lame-duck negotiating evenings in December. Rep. Lower, R-Cedar Lake, spent the majority of Feb. 22, along with his fellow members of the Legislature, tweaking, negotiating and eventually voting on House Bill 4001.

Dumpsters for multi-family trash services, such as apartments, are part of the sealed bids proposals the Village of Sheridan is collecting. Granger, a Lansing-based trash and recycling collection, bought Sidney Sanitation in 2016 and has a contract for trash service in Sheridan until May. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Sheridan accepting trash collection bids

Village residents could see a change in trash service later this spring.

Wabasis Creek and Wabasis Lake are designated for land preservation, but is at risk of E. coli contamination, according to a presentation by the Mid-Michigan District Health Department during a seminar hosted by the Montcalm Planning Commission on Thursday.

Septic tanks, E. coli impact Flat River watershed

Swimming, boating and fishing might not be a typical conversation in late February, but it was exactly what local health officials were talking about Thursday during a seminar hosted by the Montcalm Planning Commission. Bob Gouin, environmental health director, and Marcus Cheatham, health officer, both from the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) talked about the risk of E. coli, a bacteria commonly found in human waste, poses to swimming, boating and fishing activities in Montcalm County.

Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services Director David Feldpausch points out how the EMS facility’s parking lot in Stanton, which is located in a valley behind the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and Jail, often gets flooded and messy due to water runoff. Feldpausch is hoping the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners will approve his proposed $81,000 revamp of the parking lot. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County EMS parking lot may get $81,000 improvement

The parking lot of the Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) building is falling apart, and the Road Commission for Montcalm County has offered to help fix it. EMS Director David Feldpausch appeared before the county’s Economic Development & Physical Resources Committee and the county’s Finance & Personnel Committee on Feb. 13 to ask for their approval of a parking lot project at what’s also known as the BVM facility (named in honor of former county commissioners Bogart, VanHarn and McCrackin). The project calls for improving the drainage, removing the current parking lot asphalt and expanding the parking lot around the BVM (which would add about 20 more parking spaces) at a cost not to exceed $83,000. The money would come from the EMS fund, not the county’s general fund.

Stanton City Clerk/Treasurer Lori Braman and Mayor Ken Burris listen to discussion during Tuesday night’s Stanton City Commission meeting. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

Stanton Veterans Park plans take a big step back

The future of Stanton’s Veterans Memorial Park is uncertain after the Stanton City Commission voted to rescind state grants for the park. Last December, Stanton officials learned they were approved for a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grant worth $296,000, but it required at $596,800 match.

Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Co., a Grand Rapids-based auditing firm, updated Montcalm County commissioners on Monday about the county’s ongoing audit and financial progress. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

Montcalm County commissioners hear update from new auditor

The Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee heard some hopeful news Monday from the county’s new auditor.

Joe Verlin of Gabridge & Co., a Grand Rapids-based auditing firm, updated commissioners on the ongoing county audit.