By Brendan Wilner
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
DEWITT — Over the past few years the city of DeWitt has had an average amount of crimes for a small city, including assaults, larceny, and even accidents. Those are just a few reasons people would call the police department in DeWitt. Chief Bruce Ferguson, who has been the chief since 2013, said that having a smaller city has allowed him to get closer to the citizens. “I don’t know if anyone in the city doesn’t have my cell phone number,” Ferguson said, “The city is close and small, so some people actually just drop by on their way home or something and talk to me directly.”
According to Ferguson, the police department will send officers to do house checks for the citizens. He said that they do around 250 checks a year.
BATH — Bath Township leaders have a pretty clear idea as to how residents want to pay for community needs: using grants and existing township funds. That’s according to Bath Charter Township’s recently-published results of a community survey regarding the township’s strategic plan. Once sent out to the community, citizens recorded votes and opinions based on the plans and goals given and how to go about them. Citizen results showed that “grants” and “leveraging existing Township funds” were the most popular results as to how to pay for the goals. Ryan Soucy, the Planning Director of the Bath Township Board of Trustees discussed the strategic plan, the community survey and the goals the township is hoping to accomplish.
On Feb. 5, Williamston biology teacher James Preston, 45, who is facing child pornography charges, waived his preliminary hearing and will stand trial. The preliminary hearing would have determined there was enough evidence was present for a trial. Williamston police are currently unsure if any Williamston students are involved. Preston is being charged with two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.
Construction for the new police station in downtown Williamston is on schedule, said City Manager Alan Dolley. It will be located next to City Hall, on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Cedar Street. Official groundbreaking was on Sept. 8 and the construction crew began moving dirt the same day. Almost a month later, Laux Construction has set the foundation for the building.
While most members of the board voted to approve the budget at the Williamstown Township Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, March 12, two members did not: trustees Rod Imhoff and Rick Williams.
The 2014-15 proposed budget totaled $1,229,559, as of Feb. 28. This is down from $1,357,475 from the 2013-14 budget. At the meeting, Imhoff said he had an issue with the number of fudge factors in the budget. “Every year we do not have a deficit, yet we show a deficit in our budget,” Imhoff said.
Police Chief Bob Young said, “there has been a signed purchase agreement, but there has been no closing,” regarding the sale of the old police station located at 1500 W. Grand River Ave. To Young, the current police station is functional, but he would prefer to be downtown so the police station is more accessible to the public. Young said the current police station is old and run down, but still meets the police force’s needs. However, he said that a police station should be located downtown, especially in a city the size of Williamston. The city is ready to build the new station, but construction cannot begin until the old building has been sold.
Bath Charter Township set forth a proposal for a new millage for a public library that went to a vote yesterday, Nov. 5. The millage, which will support an independent public library, is set to collect $89,000 each year of property taxes and is set to go through 2016. The millage will only support the functioning of the new public library. Bath held five polling locations throughout the town for yesterday’s vote.
For students who live in Chandler Crossings, the answer isn’t simple. If you live on one side of the street, you are an East Lansing resident. Live on the other side, and you reside in Clinton County. I found out that I am a Clinton County resident when a small fire broke out in my kitchen of my apartment at The Club at Chandler Crossings. I asked my neighbor to call the East Lansing Fire Department for me. But when she did, the operator told her to call 911 in Bath Twp.
Bath Township police answered several calls regarding multiple vehicle break-ins at the Village at Chandler Crossing apartment complex on Chandler Road on Sunday, April 7. Police officer Kip Harmon responded to a call at 7:45 a.m. from an individual reporting a vehicle break-in in the parking lot of the complex. Harmon said he spotted the culprit, who had broken into three other cars in the lot, and arrested him. Harmon said that the suspect was very resistant to the arrest, and tried to run from him. “We got into a foot pursuit,” Harmon said.