Bath Township’s school board appreciation meeting

By: Brendan Smoker
Bath-DeWitt Reporter

The Bath High School bees.

The Bath High School bees.
Photo by Brendan Smoker

Board appreciation

Mark Twain wrote in his novel “Huckleberry Finn” that “God made the idiot for practice, and then he made the school board.” Bath’s Board of Education’s meeting on Monday, Feb. 26 at Bath High School, took on the tone of Twain’s statement.

The meeting focused on appreciating the school board by distributing gift bags to each board member and displaying thank you cards from students in the Bath School District.

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A thank you letter directed to the Bath Township Board of Education.
Photo by Brendan Smoker

Video appreciation

Bath first-graders shared their thanks in a video in which they sing “we appreciate you.” The entire video was six minutes long, but Bath Elementary School Principal Zac Strickler assured everyone two minutes would be plenty to enjoy. “(The video) says a lot about the thoughtfulness of this community,” said Strickler.

Bath Superintendent enjoyed the video as well. “I know the board really appreciated the recognition from our high school and elementary students, especially the video with the first-graders singing,” Huffman said. “These acts of kindness are an example of what makes Bath such a great school and community.”

Senior trip 

Three Bath seniors gave a thank you presentation for a trip the school board donated funds to so that 48 seniors at Bath High School  could attend their senior ski trip. Each student shared pictures of their time at the resort.

Board of Education treasurer since 1998, Dean Sweet Jr., enjoyed the students’ presentation. “What the seniors did was great and I want to see more of it,” he said.

After hearing about the seniors’ ski trip, Michigan State plant biology grad student, Prateek Shetty comments, “Those kids very are fortunate. I was not able to go on my senior trip because I had to pay all of it out of pocket. Our school board would never be so generous.”

A big thank you

The presentations and thank you cards were a compilation thanks to the board for budgeting several class excursions over the past couple years,  as well as a new school bus.

Huffman values the school board and everything they do for the district. “Our school board is progressive and focused on offering excellent educational opportunities to our students,” said Huffman. “Our staff, from support staff to teachers, is top notch and student centered.  No child goes unnoticed at Bath Schools, and every child receives support in working to maximize their educational abilities.”

Future plans for the school board is “finishing our curriculum alignment, implementing a new teacher/administrator evaluation system, and beginning to use a new data warehouse,” said Huffman.

For questions contact Brendan Smoker at smokerbr@msu.edu

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Outstanding Citizen Recognition Award Handed Out

By Mike Moffat

Bath-DeWitt reporter

The Winner

An award was given to Curtis Thayer in DeWitt Township called the Outstanding Citizen Recognition award of 2013. Thayer was handed this award on January 27, 2014.

Thayer, or as his colleagues like to call him “Frog,” has been a resident of DeWitt for over 40 years now. His wife, Linda, didn’t even know about the award, but was very grateful that he received it.

About Thayer

“He has literally done everything for this city, especially the senior citizens,” said Mrs. Thayer. “He has helped mow their lawns, shovel their driveways, anything you can think of, he has done.”

This is one of the plow truck Thayer uses

Plow truck Thayer uses
Photo taken by Mike Moffat

Thayer is a volunteer fireman for DeWitt Township. His co-workers say that he is a favorite around the station.

Here is the Fire Department Thayer volunteers for

Fire Department Thayer volunteers
Photo taken by Mike Moffat

“He’s constantly helping the community because he is the type of guy who will put everyone else before him,” said Lt. King of the fire department. “He truly is a great candidate for the award, and he really deserved it.”

Nomination Process

Similar to the Outstanding Business Recognition Award given out within the township, board members have to nominate the recipient. The main difference between the two awards though is that this one focuses more on what the citizen has done as a whole to the community. Then, members vote on who gets it between the nominations, just like the business award. The person who nominated Thayer was DeWitt Township Clerk, Diane Mosier.

“I nominated Scott because he is the kind of citizen we all want to live next to. He’s familiar with everyone and helping others is always his first priority.” said Mosier.

Thayer looks forward to helping his community every day and every opportunity possible. He really loves what he is currently doing, and his favorite part is being in DeWitt.

“I’ve been here since 1976, and I’ve loved every second of it,” said Thayer “To receive an award like this is truly an honor and I hope that I can inspire others to help the community as much as I have.”

For questions, please contact Mike Moffat at moffatm2@msu.edu

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Fourth annual ice derby

By Brendan Smoker
Bath-DeWitt Reporter

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Bath Township’s annual ice fishing derby.

Bath Township’s ice derby this past Saturday was the biggest yet. Over a hundred people registered to fish on Park Lake from areas including DeWitt, Haslett, Lansing, and Bath Township citizens. This particular event takes place on the Department of Natural Resources free-fishing weekend. Which is one of two during the year that allows people to fish without a license.

Parks and Recreation staff director, Becky Goodwin’s, dedication to coordinating this event gave her the opportunity to say that this year’s ice derby is the “fourth annual ice derby with the biggest group yet.” She said, “it has grown every year.”

The ice derby began at 8:30 a.m. and fishing went on until 4 p.m. Cookies, coffee, milk and beef stew were available throughout the day to help warm up those coming back from the lake. Special guests included faculty and students from Michigan State University’s Fish and Wildfire Department who came out to practice their wildlife skills and take vegetation surveys. According to the department’s president, Rebecca Blundell, MSU’s Fish and Wildlife Department “do a lot of fish analysis [at Park Lake].”

Another volunteer organization was the Clinton County Special Rescue Team. Volunteer Commander Kip Harman is a SRI veteran of over 15 years. He even bought a beer truck for a dollar, which he converted into a rescue vehicle.

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SRT’s converted beer truck rescue vehicle.

Dan Schulte, also a volunteer, has been an SRT member since 2007. When asked how the day was going in relation to emergencies, Schulte responded: “it’s the way we like it. The best days are with no incidents.”  “Search and rescue is [the SRT’s) bread and butter.” Continue reading

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Outstanding Business Recognition Award Given Out

By Mike Moffat

Bath-DeWitt Reporter

An award in DeWitt township that the board members gave to the company Redline Auto Service for the Outstanding Business Recognition award of 2013. The board of members at DeWitt decided to present them this award on January 31, 2014.

Redline Auto Service, located on the corner of E State Road and US Business 27, has been in business since 2002. Scott Rendell, with his son Nicholas run the business.

Photo taken by Mike Moffat

Redline Auto Service on the corner of E State road and US Business 27

“I was very proud of my dad after receiving the award,” said Nicholas Rendell. “He really has worked hard, and he put in the most effort to get this place to where it is at today.”

What is decided on who gets this award is it all starts when the board members nominate a company, and with seven members voting, they decide on who gets the award. The board then bases this decision on contributions to the community is, as well as public services to the competition. But, in the beginning when a board member presents a company, they have to make a case on why they are nominating them.

“We chose Redline because they made a serious commitment, and it wasn’t just one thing,” said Phyllis Daggy, the DeWitt township treasurer. “They improved the whole corner they were located at, as well as addressing the community in a positive way and always guaranteeing customer satisfaction.”

When this business first started in 2002, it was a broken down building. Rendell then made serious renovations, such as installing new tiles in the front desk area, getting new signs, rebuilding the garages, and repairing the parking lot.

“My favorite part about working in this location is it really has a strong community feeling,” said Scott Rendell. “It is very tight knit, and the amount of people and traffic that passes the company really helps me get good business, and everyone that comes in is so respectful.”

 

For questions, please contact Mike Moffat at moffatm2@msu.edu

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Bath Township’s February Parks and Recreation meeting

By Brendan Smoker

Bath-DeWitt Reporter

On Feb. 10 Bath Township’s Parks and Recreation board had their first monthly meeting. Although these meetings are open to the public, there was a lack of attendance, possibly due to the unusually cold temperatures.

One main topic discussed was Bath’s top three Capital Improvement Projects that consists of expanding broadband accessibility, improving worn roads and repairing sidewalks. Although a good portion of Bath residents have access to high-speed Internet, there is a still a big need for wireless access where satellite Internet is not available.

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Areas in Bath Township do not have wireless Internet access. Photo courtesy of Brendan Smoker

The potholes and torn up concrete on the roads and sidewalks are also a real problem in the town, and this becomes evident simply driving through the town. These three projects were chosen and put as priority for the Park and Recreation’s 2014 agenda.

New Superintendent

The second round of interviews for Bath’s new superintendent will be a public, interactive Q & A presentation. Daniel Burke Wietecha, from Wisconsin, is first to present on March 5, following  Sherry Katz-Hedrington from Bath, and, finally David Thayer, Grayling, Michigan’s past city manager.

Parks and Recreation Elections

Ending the meeting was the yearly Parks and Recreation elections. End results were Kyle Roush taking over for Nichole Waters’ secretary seat and Alden “Coh” Rohen is going to fill his last yearly term as Chairman. Waters served multiple terms as the Park’s secretary and, although she enjoyed her time, she was ready for a change, “it was nice to serve,” she said. “I enjoyed it. It kept me busy, but I’m glad to pass the torch to Kyle.”

Coh was elected chair in 2007 and has recently decided to retire after his 2014 term to pursue other life goals. He is glad that the committee has been “one of the more active” committees in the town. Coh goes on to say he considers it a “rewarding opportunity to work with the park and recreation director [Rebecca Goodwin].”

Closing Statements

Minor projects also discussed during the meeting included the “Winter in Michigan” themed snow sculpture competition, spring baseball, Park Lake reservation, and a possible Parks and Recreation logo. For more information on all these events, plus others, visit the Bath Charter Township website.

For questions, please contact Brendan Smoker at smokerbr@msu.edu

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Park Lake Expansion

By: Mike Moffat

Bath-DeWitt Reporter

Do you like change? Some love it and embrace it, while others would disagree and go with the original. But, for Bath Township and their landmark with Park Lake, the change is a great thing coming.

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Park Lake, which is a large 186 acres, is located in Clinton County and is a very popular place for fishing and boating. This lake is about to undergo a change to bring back the water levels to when they first started. Over the years, due to all the precipitation and the harsh winters, the water level has changed over the years and just recently in 2012, it was court ordered that they revise the water level, which is something they haven’t done since 1940. It all started with a township petition to establish the levels in which the circuit judge had to agree on. Continue reading

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MSU-owned property not likely to hinder Bath Township growth

By Brendan Smoker

Michigan State University owns a lot of property. Besides the main part of campus, there also is the turf grass research area and horse training ranch further south of East Lansing.

Michigan State also owns a random bit of land right in the middle of Bath Township. Dunmaglas in Bath is a wooded area of several acres that has been untouched by the town’s development. The university also owns Herbison, a second random stretch of land nearby.

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Dunmaglas, Bath. Photo Courtesy by Brendan Smoker

With Bath Township’s recent and prospected growth, it becomes a question of what is going to become of these random areas of land that Michigan State University owns.

Near the Dunmaglas property are several lots for sale by different real estate agencies. For example, Clinton County Economic Alliance’s website has property details on a 3.09 acre lot for sale. The entire property is for sale around $49,000, or one could purchase a single-acre unit of land for a little under $17,000. Although there are houses for sale near the Michigan State-owned Dunmaglas property, the land itself is not for sale. The undeveloped Herbison land spans 87.048 acres and has a land value estimate of $261,564; it too, is not for sale.

Both Herbison and Dunmaglas properties are considered green space, or undeveloped community land.  Although there is a small residential population in the Dunmaglas area, the university’s private property may hinder growth in this area. Bath’s high potential for growth in the next decade may stir up conversation about the unused Dunmaglas land.

When asked if the land would get in the way of projected development, Bath Township’s assessor, Beth Botke, said that it is “not an issue.” She went on to explain that the undeveloped land is still an asset; plus, people around the area have access to it. 

Although the land will be untouched in the foreseeable future, the property will not be a burden to Bath Township, but instead will add to the natural beauty of the town.

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