Bath Township assisting in statewide road improvement efforts

By Patrick Gifford
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

BATH – As the state grapples with how to fix its crumbling roads, Bath Township has budgeted some short-term pothole relief.

Pothole .gif fileMichigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a $54-billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Feb. 11 that included $113 million in general fund spending for roads and bridges in Michigan. There is also an upcoming May ballot initiative for an additional $1.2 billion annually that would go toward the state’s worsening motor pathways.

In its most recent available annual report, the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council indicated that that “at current investment levels, the condition of both roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate.” The report also showed that 33% of Michigan’s federal-aid eligible roads are in “poor” condition. Continue reading

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Excitement precedes DeWitt Community Showcase

By Connor Ryan
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

DEWITT—Though the fourth annual DeWitt Community Showcase is still about two months away, many of the people involved are already getting excited.

The event is a collaborative effort designed to bring the community together. DeWitt Public Schools, the City of DeWitt and the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce produce the showcase as an opportunity for local and surrounding businesses to make their presence known, as well as a chance for DeWitt students to display their talents and be recognized for academic excellence.

Schavey Road Elementary art teacher Bob Jaruzel is looking forward to another exciting and personally satisfying experience.

“It is nice to see so many elements from our school and community coming together in a fun and festive atmosphere,” he said. “I always appreciate any opportunity to celebrate and encourage the creative efforts of my students.” Continue reading

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Christmas Market blockades OKed

By Brett Kast
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

At it’s recent meeting on Nov 12, the DeWitt City Council allowed for 15 road blockades on Saturday, December 6 for the annual DDA Christmas Market. The event features numerous family events starting at 2 p.m., all the way until the tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m..

The event features two heated tents, many local crafters and vendors, music, and other events. The Bridge Street Hair Company we also be present for their Whoville Hair Salon, where they will give families hairdos resembling those from the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Christmas Market is relatively new, beginning within the last 10 years. DDA Coordinator Linda Kahler is in charge of the event.

“The DDA used to be run by volunteers… since it was turned over to paid positions, we’ve seen more growth and popularity.” Kahler said.  “The events are just growing as were able to run those events more effectively.” Continue reading

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Michigan wolf hunting bills

By Mandi Fu
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

Michigan’s Mid-term election was held on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Two polling locations, DeWitt City Hall and DeWitt Fire Station, were set up in DeWitt Township and welcomed local voters from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

According to election information on Clinton County’s official website, one of the two state proposals is “Proposal 14-1”, also called the “Michigan Wolf Hunting Referendum”, which would allow for establishing wolf hunting seasons and designating the wolf as a game animal.

The wolf-hunting proposal raised various ideas among voters. Local resident Barlowe Muller said that he supports this proposal stating.

“I think they need to control (wolves)…a lot of farmers here have livestock and wolves do damage (toward them)…people are gonna have a license, a tag to do it,” Muller said.

Jen Rigterink, works for a local agency, also supported for wolf-hunting.

“For overpopulation and killing of livestock…they (wolves) seems to be a larger population and then there is a food supply…To me it’s natural to have them hunted…” Rigterink said. Continue reading

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Postmaster plans service change

By Yuehan Liu
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

At every government meeting, there is a public comment time and citizens are allowed to speak about things that they want the government to catch up. On October 28, during DeWitt’s City Council meeting, John Greathouse brought up a fact that the PMG (postmaster general) might change the service standards after January 5, 2015.

By changing the service, what PMG is proposing to do is to close over 100 mails processing facilities nationwide, eliminating overnight mail service standards.

“Each step of the mail process can take multiple days, moving mail to and from an out-of-town processing facility can now take 1-2 days each way,” The APWU (American Postal Workers Union) said.

“The law says the PMG is mandated to serve everyone with prompt, reliable, and efficient service no matter where they live (city or rural) and regardless of income (rich or poor). In other words, all households are to receive equal service,” John Greathouse said. Continue reading

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Mayor Jim Rundborg re-elected

By Brett Kast
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

While the focus throughout the State of Michigan remained on the Governor race between Republican Rick Snyder and Democrat Mark Schauer, many local municipalities such as Dewitt had their own local elections. One of the big races was for Mayor of Dewitt was between Jim Rundborg and Julie DeRose.

Julie DeRose decided to run against the incumbent Jim Rundborg for many reasons, one of them being she felt that he needed a fair fight. Rundborg has been in office for more than one term and has virtually been running unopposed.

“Somebody ran against him I think about four years ago but it wasn’t really an even race by any stretch,” said DeRose.

After the votes were tallied, Rundborg won resoundingly with 1197 votes to 669 votes. Despite running almost unopposed in the past, Rundborg proved that he could win the votes of the residents of Dewitt and hopes to continue the work he already has planned for the city.

“We are… planning for financial events that would impact future budgets.  Bridge work and retirement costs are just a few of those items,” said Rundborg.  “Keeping DeWitt a great place to raise a family in a small town is important to me.”

Another very important project is increasing the development of downtown Dewitt, which currently has three vacant buildings that the city is looking to fill.

“I would like to continue to bring businesses to our downtown, maintain and improve the services we have come to expect from our Department of Public Works and keep our financial situation stable into the future,” said Rundborg.

With reelection, Rundborg secures his position as mayor for at least two more years.

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Recycling service plan on way to renewal

By Mandi Fu
The Bath-DeWitt Connection

Clinton County Board of Commissioners had a finance personal meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the courthouse in St. Johns, Michigan. One issue they focused on was renewing the Clinton County Recycling Services Plan, especially for rural areas. Kate Neese, Waste Management Coordinator of Clinton County, gave a presentation about their plans during the meeting.

Kate Neese

(Kate Neese, Waste Management Coordinator of Clinton County — photo taken by Mandi Fu)

According to the program proposal, the State of Michigan has enacted Act No. 138 of the Public Acts of 1989, which directs the county to approve a service plan each year. For this year, department of waste management is working on adding more waste management locations.

“It’s kind of a boiler play agreement on the county, my office and the participating municipality for 2 drop-off locations…for rural areas that haulers don’t even offer it (recycling services),” Neese said. She also mentioned benefits that will be brought to the local community, such as extending landfill’s life and creating job opportunities.

However, there is a budget problem behind this plan for local people.

“In rural recycling…first of all, (you) should have locations where people who live at rural districts can take recycles to…Some rural areas don’t have enough funds to help pay for it (drop-off stations),” said by Robert Showers, Chairman of Clinton County Commissioner.

“Our current plan at county is to do analysis of all the cost to have a person that make sure the area is clean…And what cost are related to that and come back with the plan is what that total bill would be,” he said.

The board of commissioners has had an agreement on the renewal plan and is going to meet on Oct. 28 to focus on fund problems for rural areas in Clinton County. Showers said that they are going to vote whether or not to help with the problem on next meeting.

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