After months of being unable to agree to take action on budget cuts, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners have decided to allow their new controller-administrator to take over those decisions. The board voted 6-3 on Monday to approve Controller-Administrator Robert Clingenpeel’s recommendation that the board authorize him to “make necessary budget reductions” effective that same day. The proposal is part of Clingenpeel’s effort to help the county’s $1.5 million budget deficit leading up to approval of the 2016-2017 budget. He will make budget reductions in conjunction with county department heads, and will report his action back to the board.
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In 1942, following the bombing of the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, the United States joined World War II. Hundreds of young men felt the pull of their patriotic duty and went to enlist in the armed forces. John Hansen, then age 23, was one of those.
Montcalm County didn’t go into debt overnight … and neither are elected officials going to be able to fix the problem in one day. This was Helen Hamler’s theory when she stood before the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners on Monday to ask them not to shut down Animal Control.
There was a time when Annette Enness was ashamed of who she was, that a condition that didn’t define, but limited her, was all that friends, family and strangers were thinking about. The Stanton woman suffered from a mental illness, and she struggled to find help that could make a lasting impression and turn her life back around.
Jane Keon grew up in St. Louis, a small town devastated by a toxic chemical mix-up that continues to result in elevated poison levels in people’s blood throughout Michigan today. When Keon grew up, she mobilized her community to protect water and fight toxic pollution, taking the fight all the way to the EPA in Washington, D.C. When John Switzer learned there was high levels of fecal matter in the Upper Maple River, he obtained grant funding to implement a watershed management plan, then leveraged a grant to assist other watersheds developing plans for the Flat River and the Pine River.
Four staff members in the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) will be departing during the course of this year. The MAISD Board of Education approved the retirements of special education teacher Annegret Paas, bus driver Betty Sleight and administrative assistant Dawn Lantz and the resignation of plant and animal science teacher Abby Schofield during Thursday morning’s meeting. Paas’ retirement will be effective July 1 and Sleight’s retirement will be effective Sept. 1.
Several guests sat in on the Montcalm Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday evening. Among the guests were Doug Smith, deputy warden for the Carson City Correctional Facility; Gary Copp of Carson City Lumber; Carson City-Crystal Area Schools guidance counselor Grant Woodman and CC-C High School Principal Duane Lyons.
Montcalm County’s Finance & Personnel Committee is recommending shutting down Animal Control and the animal shelter and closing county parks to help with the county’s budget situation. Committee members made the recommendations Monday morning at the request of Commissioner Ron Retzloff. He recommended shutting down Animal Control, the animal shelter and all its employees, and having the Humane Society take over local animal services. Retzloff estimates this will save at least $100,000.
Portions of three gravel roads will be restored to asphalt as part of $4 million in road work projects this year. The Road Commission for Montcalm County borrowed $4 million from Chemical Bank (a 10-year loan with a 2.2 interest rate) to get a jump start on repairing roads based on Michigan’s $1.2 billion road funding package approved by legislators last November.
Montcalm County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a two car crash on M-66 near Schmeid Road in Belvidere Township. The crash was reported at approximately 7:18 p.m. on Sunday. Two people have died as a result of the crash.