Hands On Experience
High School Technical Training Program at Career-Tech Center
The International Residential Code® (IRC®) is the focus of study for the Construction Trades students at the Career Tech Center. Instructors provide students with study tools that enable them for success, and to ensure proper understanding of the IRC codes while also maintaining safety standards. While working alongside instructors, students build a house using the concepts and standards of the IRC. This process allows students to work hands-on with the IRC and develop understanding for the codes specific to the local standards.
By having hands-on experience of building a safe structure, students are able to obtain a level of knowledge that can benefit, not only themselves, but also the community. With their advanced understanding of the IRC, students have a head-start to a successful future and a broader understanding of their chosen trade. Career-Tech students in Construction Trades can obtain four different Residential Certificates of Achievement: Building, Electrical, Mechanical (HVAC) and Plumbing through the International Code Council. Students learn up-to-date building codes which will open doors to many career opportunities including code administration. Construction Trades currently has 60 students working on their Building Certificate of Achievement.
HSTTP: Benefiting Students and the Community Our society recognizes the need for a modern, up- to-date residential code addressing the design and construction of homes. The IRC is designed to meet these needs through model code regulations that safeguard the public health and safety in all communities, large and small. Becoming Code Council certified is a significant personal and professional accomplishment. Knowing the code is the basis for many fields related to construction. Individuals may use this knowledge to further their careers in various professions, such as residential builders, construction managers, building inspectors or architects.
Results of three Michigan 2019 Novel Coronavirus specimens come back negative
On Monday, January 27, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported today that test results on three possible cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus came back negative. A specimen from a fourth possible case, from Washtenaw County, was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today for testing.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can infect people and animals. They are a common cause of mild respiratory illness, or "the common cold", in people. Occasionally, coronaviruses from people and animals mix together creating a new strain. These new strains usually cause worse illness in people.
An example of one of these new strains is the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Cases started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and as of January 27, 2020, number over 2,800 in 15 countries, with 81 deaths. This is a fatality rate of approximately 3%. There have been 5 cases in the United States but no spread of the illness from these cases.
Another example of a new strain of coronavirus is the Severe Acute Respiratory Disease Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). In 2002-2003, it caused 8,437 cases and 813 deaths, a fatality rate of approximately 10%. In 2012, another novel coronavirus named Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified as a cause of severe illness. It caused over 2,400 cases and had a fatality rate of around 35%.
Coronaviruses, including 2019-nCoV, are spread by droplets created by coughing or sneezing. This is the same way influenza is spread. While 2019-nCoV is a serious public health situation, only those in direct contact to someone ill are at risk. It is recommended that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China. It is also recommended that people traveling to other parts of China avoid contact with people who are sick and practice good hand hygiene.
If you have been in China within the last 2 weeks and develop symptoms of 2019-nCoV, which include fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider. Symptoms should appear within 2 to 14 days after being exposed.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to this virus. But everyday actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
Homeless Count Coming Wednesday
West Michigan Housing Network Is Counting the Homeless
The West Michigan Housing Network is seeking out where the homeless among us are for its annual Point- in- Time count on Wednesday, January 29.
“We know that in rural areas, there’s a lot of people who aren’t sheltered and who are homeless,” said Bill Jessup, West Michigan Housing Network chairperson and Supportive Services for Veteran Families Manager for Goodwill Industries of West Michigan. “These are the people we’re looking for.”
The Point-in-Time (PIT) assessment identifies the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Lake, Mason, Newaygo and Oceana counties. The West Michigan Housing Network coordinates efforts in the four counties to reduce homelessness and to increase access to affordable housing. TrueNorth Community Services is the region’s Housing Assessment and Resource Agency (HARA) and is the network’s lead agency.
The PIT count identifies sheltered and unsheltered people on a single night in January. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that communities receiving federal funding from the McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program conduct a census of all sheltered people.
The survey is conducted via an on-the-street, door-to-door census in all four counties, including the pair of shelters in the region, to track sheltered and unsheltered individuals and families.
“When in need, we help families and individuals find shelter and resources,” said Diana Hanna, Housing & Family Services Director for TrueNorth. “This is part of that effort.”
The effort is not that straightforward, however.
“A tent in January in Michigan isn’t permanent housing,” Jessup said. “We’re looking to permanently house people.”
Debbie Chatfield, a Housing Resource Specialist with TrueNorth, points out: “Couch surfing isn’t considered being homeless, but we still want to know about those individuals so we can help them.”
According to the Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness’ 2018 annual report, there were 65,104 homeless individuals in Michigan in 2018. Those included 3,605 military veterans; 8,367 seniors (ages 55 and older); and 3,995 young adults (ages 18-24). Forty-four percent of Michigan’s homeless report having a disability, compared to 14 percent in the state’s general population.
Headway Coalition Awarded DFC Grant
Newaygo County -The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recently announced new grants for its Drug Free Communities Support Program. The DFC program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use. Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems.
The Headway Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition serving Newaygo County, was one of the grant recipients and will receive $625,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth. The Newaygo County RESA serves as the fiduciary for the Headway Coalition.
“It is with great humility and gratitude that I would like to thank our Coalition leaders for their dedication to making Newaygo County a drug-free community. The Headway Coalition’s continued ability to attract state and federal funding for prevention efforts reveals the high level of collaboration and an endless commitment to our kids” said Rachel Uganski, the Project Coordinator for Drug Free Communities at the Newaygo County RESA.
The Headway Coalition plans to focus their DFC funding on environmental change strategies that prioritize vaping (nicotine) and prescription drug misuse prevention in 2020.
Newaygo County schools are among the first in Michigan to complete formal School Site Safety Audits. Law enforcement agencies and schools have come together to improve preventative measures and overall student and staff safety in our local schools. “Our Newaygo County School Safety team has a top priority to create and ensure the safest possible learning environment for all of our youth,” said Joel Phillips, NC RESA Director of Technology and the team’s co-chair.
NC RESA partnered with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office to create a multi-member team to conduct these assessments. These team members included:
Abby Watkins and Renee Gavin – Newaygo County Emergency Services Trooper Todd Goodrich – Michigan State Police, Hart Post Jason Wolford – Newaygo County Central Dispatch Doug Harmon – Former School Board Member Ed Cook – Fremont Fire Department/NC RESA Deputy Justin Visser – Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bunnita Ouwinga – Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Ryan Ergang – NC RESA and Fremont Public Schools Director of Maintenance Operation.
The School Site Safety Team (SSST) met several times and created an in-depth checklist involving 31 different security best practices and resources that school leaders should consider while developing school safety plans and procedures that will work for their students and teachers. With the help of each school district in Newaygo County, every school’s assessment has been completed and each school superintendent has a list of recommendations in their audit report.
“This was one of the first teams in the state to conduct these assessments. A lot of time and effort was put into these assessments and the amount of cooperation was impressive. It was our goal to help recognize safety features that needed to be updated or implemented. We want to commend all the school districts for their willingness to participate and improve the safety of our schools,” stated Sheriff Bob Mendham.
NCRESA Seeks Maintenance Technician
The Elderly Needs Fund (ENF) at Fremont Area Community Foundation is currently accepting grant proposals for programs that benefit Newaygo County seniors.
Grants are available for projects or programs that promote the physical health of local seniors, the mental/emotional well-being of seniors and their caregivers, social enrichment and prevention of social isolation, and basic human services.
Past grants have supported senior transportation services, respite care, art classes, and food programs. In last spring’s grant round, Bellwether Harbor was awarded a grant for its new Seniors for Seniors program. In this program, older adults are matched with older rescue cats in permanent foster placements. Food, supplies, medical care, and ongoing support is provided, eliminating much of the financial burden of owning a pet for seniors on a fixed income. The arrangement provides loving homes for older cats who are often overlooked by potential adopters and opens more space in the shelter for other rescues. For seniors, having a cat at home can also help prevent isolation, provide companionship, encourage mobility as the senior cares for the cat, and even improve mood and reduce stress and depression.
Grant applications for the Elderly Needs Fund are completed online and are due on February 3.
For more information and to apply, visit facommunityfoundation.org/ENF.
Rec Center Revisions
Recently Family Fitness and the Fremont Rec Center parted ways leaving some questions about the changes, so we contacted Interim Director Dawn Finch to get a little info.
N3-Family Fitness is no longer operating at the Fremont Rec Center. What does this mean for those who had memberships?
We will be honoring the memberships people had with Family Fitness, but as those memberships expire, people will need to then get a Rec Center membership. If people choose to renew their membership with Family Fitness, then they will need to workout at the nearest Family Fitness location which I believe is in North Muskegon.
N3-What services are available. Is it open 24/7?
Having a Rec Center membership means that you can use the workout room, the pool and the gymnasium. The 24/7 access will stop at the end of January
N3-What are the current fees for joining the Rec center? Any services not included?
A Family Membership (for up to 5 people) is $40/month. Additional family members can be added for $5/person per month. An Individual Membership is $20/month and a Student Membership is $15/month. And again, your membership lets you use any of the facilities you wish. For example, you could go and lift weights and use the exercise equipment, then move on to the pool for lap swim, and then go into the gym and shoot some hoops. Exercise classes like Senior Water Exercise Club or Yoga are extra.
N3-If I don't wish to join but want to play Pickleball or swim. What is the charge?
A Day Pass will cost you $5. We also have punch cards available for $25 which gives you six (6) drop-ins for the price of five (5).
N3-We hear a lot of confusion about who runs the Rec Center. We are aware there is a board but is it tied to the city in any way?
The Rec Center was developed as part of the City of Fremont's 2012-2016 Recreation Master Plan and it is its own entity. We do have a nine member board made up of people living in the City of Fremont, Dayton Township, and Sheridan Township. There is currently a vacancy for Dayton Township and we welcome anyone from that township to submit an application to join the board.
Got more questions? Contact the Rec Center at 924.3750, check out their facebook page or stop in for a chat (201 E Maple).
The Torch is Passed at Hit The Road Joe
Story and photo by Ken DeLaat
The idea was there long before it became a reality.
Linda Cudworth considered a number of options in the area and even gave a fleeting thought to a place she stumbled upon during a visit to Grand Marais.
But in the end Hit The Road Joe landed next door to her house in Croton.
That was 20 years ago when she was 50. Now 20 years later her daughter Tracy, known as Chef T, has taken the reins of the iconic restaurant that has been a gathering spot for a slew of regulars and a pleasant surprise for those who have discovered this haven of epicurean delights by accident, by design or by recommendation.
And she is now nearly 50, producing a fitting symmetry to the transition process
The eatery began life with just a drive through window, opened a small dining room soon after and since has seen additions to the dining area and the kitchen as well as the creation of an outdoor deck.
All the while maintaining the casual charm befitting this unique establishment overlooking an imaginative landscape in the heart of rural Newaygo County.
“I said I’d do it for 5 years then open a bait shop,” said Linda. “And now here we are fifteen years past the five I planned on.”
And now the torch has passed to her eldest daughter.
“These are huge shoes to fill and I can’t say enough good things about my Mother,” said Ms. Murrell. “She has been a true pioneer in our community. Her tenacity and hard work has created a ‘one of a kind’ business and I am so grateful for this opportunity.
“I look forward to growing and honoring her legacy.”
Tracy is no stranger to HTRJ. She started fairly soon after it’s opening working once a week and in recent years has used her extensive traveling to bring home recipes from around the globe. The international dinners held on occasion draw capacity crowds eager to sample her latest creations and her summertime takeout rib dinners are legendary for residents and summer folks alike.
Hit The Road Joe is in good hands and familiar hands at that.
“It will be the same vibe, the same feel with homemade organic offerings. Real food in a friendly atmosphere”
She and husband Chris will do more traveling and there will be more time to pursue some of her other interests.
“I could not have done this without the help of my sister Kendra, my three daughters, my husband and the incredible support from the community,” said Linda. “It’s been a great run.”
And fortunately for folks who enjoy a great meal in a welcoming venue…
The bait shop never happened.
Keeping Kids in School
Newaygo County Partners Taking Truancy Seriously
NC RESA, along with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, have partnered to create a truancy intervention program in Newaygo County. The primary focus is to identify students who are chronically truant and return them to school. Under Michigan law, a student age 6 until their 18th birthday must attend school. Students become chronically truant at 10 unexcused absences during one school year. School Resource Officers identify these students and attempt to provide available resources and interventions to improve attendance.
“There was a 26% decrease in truancies for the 2018-1019 school year,” reported Sheriff Bob Mendham. He also said that so far during the 2019-2020 school year, truancy is down over 50% from the previous year.
Sheriff Mendham added that none of this would be possible without teamwork and collaboration between all Newaygo County schools, Child Protective Services, Department of Human Services, Community Mental Health, NC RESA, and many other partners that make this program successful.
If you have any questions regarding truancy, please contact Deputy Bunnita Ouwinga or Deputy Justin Visser at 231-924-8846.
NCRESA Accepting Bids
Grant Seeks Coaching Staff
Supporting Student Achievement
Newaygo County RESA Celebrates School Board Recognition Month
Newaygo County RESA is joining 529 local and 56 intermediate school districts across Michigan to celebrate January as School Board Recognition Month.
“Our school board members spend countless hours of unpaid time working to provide the best possible education for our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark. “They also serve as the corporate board of directors for some of our county’s largest employers. Celebrating School Board Recognition Month is one way to say ‘thanks’ for all they do.”
School board members represent their fellow citizens’ views and priorities in the complex enterprise of maintaining and running the community’s public schools, Tubbergen Clark said. They also reinforce the principle of local control over public education, which is an important, highly valued aspect of education in Michigan.
“Too often the efforts of school board members go unrecognized,” Tubbergen Clark said. She added that the school board’s main goal is to support student achievement. To achieve that goal, the board focuses on the following needs:
• Creating a vision for what parents and citizens want their school district to become and how to make student achievement the top priority.
• Setting standards for what students must learn and be able to do.
• Assessing whether schools achieve their goals and whether students are learning.
• Accounting for the outcomes of decisions and by tracking progress and reporting results.
• Aligning the use of the district’s human and financial resources.
• Creating a safe and orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach.
• Collaborating to solve common problems and to support common successes.
• Focusing on continuous improvement by questioning, examining, revising, refining and revisiting issues related to student achievement.
“Even though we are making a special effort during January to show appreciation for our school board members, we recognize that their contributions reflect a year-round effort on their part,” Tubbergen Clark said. “They are dedicated individuals who are committed to improving student achievement and to fighting for the best for all of our students.”
The men and women serving the public schools in Newaygo County are: Big Jackson Public School: Charlotte Lockerby, Laura Johnson, Brad Crawford, Sue Jones, Lynn Ulman
Fremont Public Schools: Matt Hendrie, Jennifer Scott, Rick St. Peter, Peter Slovinski, Kim Rasch, Michael Campeau, Crystal Calkins
Grant Public Schools: Kris Lesley, Shawn Moore, Neil Geers, Dianne Ring, Damon Arsenault, George Brown, Rachal Gort
Hesperia Community Schools: Mary Sturtevant, Ryan Good, Michelle K. Allen, Mark Kraus, Julie Burrell, Scott Wenberg, Alan Daniels
Newaygo Public Schools: Bret Brummel, Thomas Frisbie, Vince Grodus, Morgan Heinzman, Jami Schultz, Reid Sherwood, Melissa Swinehart
White Cloud Public Schools: Holly Bowman, Megan Cruzan, Keith Derks, Elaine Engel, Jim Jones, Mindy Mench, Harry Stevens
Newaygo County RESA: David Hewitt, Ed Haynor, Karen Kasankiewicz, Laura Johnson, Sarah Robinson
From our friends at Consumers Energy:
CROTON, Mich., Jan. 9, 2020 – Consumers Energy will be testing one siren near Hardy Dam on the Muskegon River on Monday, January 13 at approximately 9:30 a.m.
The siren to be tested that day is downstream of Hardy Dam near E. 44th Street. The energy provider said they will be performing maintenance on that siren and testing its operation. It’s possible the siren will sound multiple times Monday morning.
No other sirens are scheduled to be tested. The tests will include a voice message, a 30-second siren and a second voice message. The public does not need to take any action during the tests.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires hydroelectric facilities to be able to quickly notify residents and visitors of any developing emergency at the plants. Typically, Consumers Energy performs the test once in August and in December each year.
In the event of an emergency, the siren/speaker units’ initial warning will be supplemented by information on radio and television stations along with Newaygo and Mecosta County emergency notification systems.
Weekend storm has the potential to bring significant impacts including flooding
From our friends at Newaygo County Emergency Services:
As of January 8, 2020, area rivers, drains, streams, creeks, and lakes are still recovering from the heavy rain that fell in late December. The Muskegon River near Croton is currently 1.5 feet higher than the 24 year daily median height. In addition soils remain saturated and ground absorption is extremely limited.
It is looking increasingly likely that Lower Michigan will see several rounds of heavy rain late this week and this weekend. Recent forecast trends suggest at least 2 inches of rain is likely across virtually all of the Grand and Kalamazoo River basins, as well as much of the Muskegon River basin. As much as 3 inches of rain is possible. Per the NWS Hydrologist, this has the potential to send many of our rivers higher than they have been at any point in the last 1-2 years.
There are still a lot of unknowns as to where the warm side of the storm system vs the cold side of the storm system will set up. Some of the rain in our area could fall as snow/sleet/freezing rain, which makes a big difference on the effect this has on the river levels.
THIS STORM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BRING SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS IN THE FORM OF POWER OUTAGES, DANGEROUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS, AND AREAL AND RIVER FLOODING TO PARTS OF WESTERN LOWER MICHIGAN. ALL PARTIES WITH WEEKEND PLANS ARE ENCOURAGED TO STAY UP TO DATE ON THE FORECAST AS CONFIDENCE INCREASES IN WHERE THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION WILL FALL.
WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW
People living in flood prone locations should monitor forecasts this week on this developing hazardous weather situation. Now is the time to think about preparedness and plan for impacts in the event the heavy rainfall and flooding materialize. Significantly rising rivers and flooding is possible through next week.
Three USGS River Gauges are used to determine the river levels. As of 3:30 pm, the Muskegon River near
WHAT TO EXPECT
PREPARE NOW IF YOU LIVE WITHIN THE AREA IMPACTED!
Watch for rapidly changing water levels. Don’t wait for an evacuation directive if you feel threatened. Residents within the areas anticipated to be impacted by flood waters may be directed to by public safety personnel to evacuate if a Flood Warning is issued.
Follow these checklists (if time allows) to give you and your home the best chance of surviving a flood.
Inside the House
Continuing Information Will Be Released Via NIXLE
Newaygo County Emergency Services is coordinating with Consumers Energy and the National Weather Service Grand Rapids Office to actively monitor the changing conditions and communicate information out to residences impacted by the rising floodwaters. As the situation changes, additional information will be released by the Newaygo County Emergency Operations Center utilizing Nixle. Please visit http://www.nixle.com/ to register for alerts and view emergency information for where you live.
Want to Weigh In on Aspens?
USDA Forest Service to Host Open Houses for Zone Aspen Project
The Huron-Manistee National Forests (HMNF) will be holding a series of three open houses to discuss the proposed Zone Aspen Project. The Baldwin/White Cloud and Cadillac/Manistee Ranger Districts are initiating an environmental analysis that includes even-aged regeneration harvesting of aspen and aspen-dominated stands on National Forest System lands. It will ensure future timber availability and utilization and improve forest conditions for wildlife. This project will be taking place across the entire Manistee National Forest.
The public is invited to participate in any and/or all open houses, and resource staff will available to answer any questions about the project.
Meetings will be held at the following dates, locations, and times:
Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger Station
650 North Michigan Ave. Baldwin, MI 49304
Thursday, January 9, 2020
6:00 pm—7:30 pm
Norman Township Hall
1273 Seaman Road
Welston, MI 49689
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
6:00 pm—7:30 pm
Newago County Government Building
Newago County Board of Commissioners Room
1087 Newell Street
White Cloud, MI 49349
Thursday, January 16, 2020
6:00 pm—7:30 pm
The goal of this project is to manage the aspen forest resource of the Manistee National Forest to:
The public comment period will run from January 6, 2020—February 5, 2020. The comment period serves as both a scoping opportunity and as a designated period for public comment.
Project information can be found on our website:
Submit comment forms electronically to: email@example.com
E-mail attachments must be readable by Microsoft Office 2000 or Adobe. Please reference Zone Aspen Project in the subject line. Written comments can be sent to: Cadillac-Manistee Ranger District, 412 Red Apple Road, Manistee, MI 49660.
Questions regarding the proposed project can be directed to Mark Herberger at (231) 723-2211 ext. 3109 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gabriel Moore is #1
Gerber Memorial welcomes first baby of 2020
Fremont – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s New Year’s Day baby took a little longer to show up despite mom Cassie Moore’s best efforts. Moore began feeling contractions late in the afternoon on Jan. 1.
Baby Gabriel, however, wasn’t quite ready to show up, and waited until 4:12 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, to make his long-awaited debut.
Weighing in at 6 pounds and 4 ounces, Gabriel was born to Moore and Mark Golliver, both of Fremont.
Gerber Memorial delivers about 500 babies each year on average.
Cassie Moore and Mark Golliver are proud parents of Gabriel, born on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, and the official New Year’s Day baby at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial. Among Gerber Memorial’s labor and delivery team that helped welcome Gabriel were Joy Turner, RN, (far left) and Krista Dunbar, RN, (far right).
As we look back on 2019 it seems as though a common theme would be “the weather”, and its extremes. Some notable sayings relative to the most recent weather pattern could be, “nice weather…. For a duck”. Or, “maybe we should build an ark?” There are some more “colorful” anecdotes, but you get the point.
Let me start by saying, “Sorry” to those that live on or drive down our gravel/dirt roads, they have been a nightmare this season. We endured a record setting amount of rainfall and that has made it challenging to say the least, but we are still working on them when conditions allow.
January started with the continued theme in the form of freezing rain that quickly transitioned into an all-out wet snow which was the beginning of a lengthy snowy chain of events. And that pattern continued through the months of February and the middle of March, and that is when the thoughts of gathering the animals 2 by 2 and texting Noah about constructing an ocean liner class vessel came to mind.
The middle of March brought an event of epic proportion to the area, 7 inches of rain coupled with a large snow melt and frozen ground was a recipe for disaster. Culverts and ditches were just not able to keep up, we lost several culvert crossings, had several areas of flooded roadway and miles of ponding water on surfaces. We spent the next several weeks attempting to repair some of the destruction while still fighting snow and ice events. We were also handicapped by the inability of finding suitable aggregate, it was either frozen or soup.
We are still seeing the after effects of those events in the form of failed culverts and blocked water waterways from debris, it also took a huge toll on the budget as well a major setback in our construction schedule. We were realistically 3 months behind all summer, and with a completely booked season in place there was a large task at hand. When we were finally able to begin the construction season we were faced with $4,200,000.00 in township projects on the books. That would be a massive undertaking in a normal 8 month construction season, but we were going to be lucky if we could get in 5 decent months at best.
And I must point out, we have some incredible townships in our county, as they supplement the road system substantially, and while we all can agree we have a ways to go yet, I can assure you without their support the system would be much worse off.
We also witnessed what seemed to be the never-ending saga of Colonial Bridge finally come to fruition in mid-late July. I could write a book on this project, it was almost 10 years in the making and was filled with more twists and turns than the new striping in Newaygo, but that’s another story for another day. As we progressed through the summer months (or more commonly known as “Orange Barrel Season”) the staff and crews were really making progress, and I’d like to give a huge shout out to the women and men of NCRC. They are an awesome group to work for, they care and they really want to provide a safe and efficient road system and I do believe if given a fair shot with workable weather conditions they will succeed in doing so. Even with the shortened and sometimes “not so friendly” working conditions, they managed to complete just over $3,000,000.00 in township projects. So we will begin next season where we left off and hope for a longer and friendlier weather pattern.
Fall began just about like every other season in 2019, overly damp. With ground water near or above the surface everywhere, swamps, ditches, streams, rivers and lakes over capacity and does not take much rainfall to create havoc. Nothing is soaking in and not much evaporation is going on, so we are back to ducks on a boat. During this time we endured a few wind and rain events that were minor setbacks, but our real issue has been the condition of the unpaved system, it has been horrific at times. There really is not much to be made with mud, except for more mud and nobody wants that. We have at times made attempts to grade when we probably shouldn’t have knowing the probable outcome would be less than stellar, but we were desperate to get you some relief from what was either a mud run or something that resembled a minefield. Our apologies again, and we have not given up. We had an early December ice storm that transitioned into a snow event that not only dumped some wet heavy snow to scrape, it also really took a toll on trees and that clean up really slowed our progress. Every single road had some debris that needed attention, and some needed cleared of trees before we could begin to scrape the snow. Another notable mention, Thank You to the first responders and utility companies and their support services for the aid during that event. They really were a blessing with all the help on downed trees and powerlines.
That is a very brief synopsis of our year, we are glad it is behind us as we were not able to provide as many improvements to the system as we’d hoped due to being in a constant state of repair.
As we roll through the Holidays The Board, staff and myself hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all a safe and Happy New Year.