Bath Township passes millage to turn Library Center into public library

A millage that passed in Bath Township Tuesday will generate funding to expand the Bath Township Library Center into an official public library. The millage might have also saved the Library Center in general, Sue Garrity, president of Friends of Bath Township Library Center. “Because of a change in the leadership, there had been signals from the new township board of trustees that they were no longer going to fund a library at all,” Garrity said. “It was going to close at the end of December.”

Voters approved the millage by a vote of 835 – 590, according to unofficial results posted on Bath Township’s webpage. The Clinton County Clerk will likely certify the results within a week, according to the website.

In divisive times, DeWitt eschews partisanship

When brothers Andrew and Billy McElfresh made the decision to live in DeWitt, proximity to work was a primary motivator. Politics were not. “It’s like a hit-or-miss, depends on the subject,” Billy McElfresh said. “Healthcare, stuff that affects me. I know, sounds very arrogant or ignorant, but I don’t pay attention to the big stuff, just stuff that directly affects me.”

Neither brother voted in the 2016 presidential election, and though they had strong opinions on healthcare, gun laws and education funding, time hasn’t convinced them to lean one way or another.

At Chandler Crossings, MSU students colonize Bath Township

If one were to send mail to someone living at Chandler Crossings, their mailing address would suggest they live in East Lansing. However, the cluster of student neighborhoods north of MSU is actually under the jurisdiction of Bath Township. Chandler Crossings is a high-growth area that sees more development than the rest of Bath Township, tending to center around student housing, Bath Planning Commission Chair and MSU professor Dan Kramer said. “It’s a more dynamic area for sure, in terms of the pace of development and the number of units developed,” Kramer said. As Chandler Crossings lies under the jurisdiction of Bath Township, residents make use of Bath Township Police Department and other township resources and services.

Appointments bring variety of expertise to DeWitt City Council

If there is a vacancy in an elected position, the DeWitt City Charter requires it to be filled within 30 days. DeWitt City Council has needed to fill a vacancy more than a few times since the early 2000s. Six out of the seven current members of DeWitt City Council originally got there via appointment, including Mayor Sue Leeming and Mayor Pro Tem Dave Hunsaker. However, this is not a hindrance or a sign of turnover issues, but instead an opportunity to ensure council has a variety of experience and get lower-level city employees to take the next step, Leeming said. “Since I was appointed to council 14 years ago, there seems to have been a pattern for about the last 14-16 years of vacancies on council being filled with appointments and then the people who were appointed to fill those vacancies running for office and being elected,” Hunsaker said.

Bath Police use Facebook to ‘humanize’ officers, create outreach

When Bath Township Police Officer Michael Lapham first created a Facebook page for the department, it began as mostly unremarkable. As the department’s K-9 officer, Lapham did not have enough time at first to dedicate to the Facebook page, BTPD Officer Avery Lyon said. When Lyon and Officer Trenton Bailey joined the department, they showed interest in improving the department’s social media, Lapham said. Lyon and Bailey were able to attend a social media training session, and the three officers acted to revamp the department’s social media strategy. Now, the page has 24,132 followers – a following more than 10 times as large as the population of Bath itself.

Cat in the Tub: How a cougar invaded Bath Township

Bath Township made quite a splash in June when it became the site of a landmark occurrence. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, confirmed a cougar sighting as legitimate, the first confirmed appearance of the big cat species in the Lower Peninsula in over a century. “Cougars were native to Michigan, but they were totally eliminated from Michigan just because of fear and livestock depredations long ago,” DNR wildlife biologist Kevin Swanson said. “We have no evidence of a breeding population, but we get these transients that come through mostly the Upper Peninsula from time to time.” A Michigan press release with Swanson listed as a contact states the last time a wild cougar was taken in the state was in 1906.