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.
DeWitt wants future citizens to move into its community, and its developing multi-use housing to make it happen.
“The whole objective is to have the community that is here enjoy what’s here, talk to their neighbors, and feel good about their community so that they will stay,” said Loretta Spinrad, from the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce. “That translates to more people wanting to live here.”
According to Daniel Coss, DeWitt city administrator, and township manager, Rod Taylor, a huge part of growing the township and city is providing housing for all demographics of people. So, this means that creating all types of housing developments is crucial to success heading forward. The City of DeWitt and DeWitt Township are planning for growth in the future and planning on accommodating more citizens.
The neighboring communities of Bath and DeWitt differ greatly: DeWitt Township has a higher population in a smaller area than Bath Township, and the same is true for their central enclaves. Downtown DeWitt prepares for the opening of Looking Glass Brewing Company, a new business highly anticipated by DeWitt officials and residents. The Bath Village Diner opened its doors in early 2016. A few months later, it purchased a neighboring bar and expanded into it. Later in the year, the diner had closed down.
The city of DeWitt is starting to become a cultural hub and a go-to destination. A lot of money is being put into the development of their downtown. Maricela Vargas is a preschool teacher in Lansing who is looking for a job in DeWitt and she is interested in DeWitt because of the small city feel. When Vargas visited DeWitt, she felt the family connection with the residents. Vargas said: “I was attracted to DeWitt because it’s a cute city and it’s going to be a great place to live.
This year, Peacock Family Tree Farm will be a part of the national charity spreading cheer to troops around the country.
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.
The City of DeWitt held a city council meeting on Oct. 25 to discuss the upcoming Bridge Street extension as well as reviewing the planning services contract with Beckett & Raeder and review the assessing reports.
A new project is in the planning stages for the construction of a new commercial building at 110 Bridge Street in downtown DeWitt, and the city council discussed extending the construction start from Dec. 17 to May 17, 2018.
“The request for the extension is to make sure we don’t have to come back and do it again,” said Vesta Building Contractor Scott Schmidt.
Every fall, the community of DeWitt partake in the Fall Leaf Pick Up Program. The Fall Leaf Pick Up Program is a citywide program that begins each year with a city wide sweep in early October and will continue until the final week of November. Even though it is not a mandatory program, however it’s encouraged for community members to get involved. If residents are looking to burn their leaves instead of leaving them on the curb of your house, it’s prohibited. The City’s Fire Prevention Code prohibits the open burning of grass clippings and leaves.
The city of DeWitt is a fortunate one. Not only do they have their very own police department downtown, but fall under the jurisdiction of the DeWitt Charter Township police as well. “DeWitt city is within the township, but it’s only the city limits they have their own police department and we have one as well,” said DeWitt Township officer, Trevin Bernat. “We have a wide variety of people in the community but for the most part, we are pretty well received.”
DeWitt Charter Township’s borders run north and south from Cutler Road to Sheridan Road, and east to west from Chandler Road to Airport Road. Nestled in the northeast corner of DeWitt Charter Township is the city of DeWitt itself.
Herbison Road can be found on the southern border of DeWitt. Alongside it runs a few parks, DeWitt high school and the Prairie Creek Golf Course, which have all been there for years. However, there is now a new attraction to Herbison Road, a bike path. “The path is part of the City of DeWitt’s non-motorized master plan that was created in 1998,” said City Administrator Daniel Coss. “The Herbison Road path was a priority to connect the DeWitt Sports Park to the DeWitt Schools campus and make a connection to DeWitt Township.”
Connecting a community is what the city council is all about in DeWitt, and that is what council members, such as Dave Hunsaker, look for in the job.
The City of Dewitt, Dewitt Township and the Clinton County Road Commission have come together to provide walking and biking paths throughout Dewitt Township. Dewitt Township is calling it the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan, which will be making walking and biking much more desired modes of transportation.
“The township adopted a non-motorized transportation plan in 2013, so this is one of the projects that was identified on that plan,” said Rod Taylor, Dewitt Township manager. We started working on it in a concentrated fashion in 2015.”
“The Non-Motorized Transportation Plan identified 60 different projects where we ranked those projects based upon a weighted system that looked at safety issues, connection with commercial areas, schools, and neighborhoods,” said Taylor. “In addition, this project was a joint venture with the City of Dewitt as well as the Clinton County Road Commission.