Archived Story

Niles supervisor sets goals for New Year

Published 8:55am Monday, December 31, 2012

As Niles Charter Township Supervisor, Jim Stover has a long list of goals for the township in the coming year.

On the top of the list is instilling harmony and teamwork among members of the township board of trustees, which has seen more than its fare share of tension in recent years.

“I’ve said that all along, and I think it’s already visible,” said Stover, who was elected supervisor in November. “We are very open, and we are going to make government very transparent. We want people to be very aware and knowledgeable about what our issues are and what our solutions are.”

Jim Ringler, treasurer, agreed with Stover in a phone interview Friday, saying it is vital for the members of the board to respect each other.

“I hope people trust us to get things done because, No. 1, we are all going to work together, and, No. 2, we’ve got the experience to get things done and we know how to get things done,” Ringler said. “We might not have the money to get what everybody wants done, but we are going to do our best.”

Stover identified the condition of roads as a hot issue for the coming year.

“In just over five weeks, I can’t tell you how many calls and how many walk-ins have stopped to talk about the roads,” Stover said. “We are going to put a long-range plan together, and it’s not cheap. The Berrien County road commission doesn’t have a lot of money so we’ll have to put all things together and try to do our best job to resolve the road problem.”

Stover said the township would also develop long-range plans for purchasing equipment for the fire department and making improvements to the township hall.

“If we do a long-range plan and accumulate funds over two to three years, then we’ll have monies to address these needs,” Stover said.

Employee compensation is another issue the township is looking at, Stover said.

“We’ve lost several good employees recently,” he said. “The bottom line is they can do better for themselves elsewhere.”

Stover also said township officials would be looking into the inactivity at Pratt Industries, a manufacturing company that indicated in April it would be locating a new facility at the former United Fixtures building.

“Everyone was very excited… and now it’s almost been six to eight months later and it’s quiet,” he said. “Let’s see if we can get things moving along.”

Also making the list: dealing with blighted properties, the South 11th Street corridor project and upgrading computer software.

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