Archived Story

Niles begins process of taking over Losensky Park

Published 7:27pm Monday, September 9, 2013

Niles is in the process of gaining control of Losensky Park after the council agreed to take over the land from Niles Charter Township during Monday’s regular meeting.

With an 8-0 vote, council members agreed to enter into a mutual termination of lease agreement with Niles Township to end a property lease agreement signed in Oct. 25, 1977. The land in question was used by Niles Township as Losensky Park, which is located at M-51 North and Pucker Street, and named after the late Charles Losensky, a Niles township trustee.

The land, which is located in Niles Township, is owned by the City of Niles and is part of the Pucker Street Dam/Dowagiac Creek Niles Utilities property.

Responsibility will change hands after the township board approves it and the agreement is signed.

Termination of the lease will require cleanup of the property, which is expected to cost around $500. Immediate and future maintenance costs will be borne by the Niles Utilities Department for maintenance of the Pucker Dam Property.

Last month, Niles Township officials said they were no longer able to maintain the property.

Also Monday:

• The council approved a request to coordinate with the Southwestern Michigan Planning Commission to complete a grant application for engineering services at Pucker Street Dam. In August, the council indicated it wanted to move forward with removing the dam.

• Tim Skalla, during his council member’s report, requested that city staff evaluate the 3-percent increase in wastewater utility rates slated for October prior to the council’s next meeting, Sept. 23. Skalla said the council passed the increase “under misinformation” that there were no unrestricted funds in wastewater utility. He said he learned during budget talks last month that there is around $2 million in unrestricted funds in the utility. Skalla’s request was granted.

• Mayor Mike McCauslin proclaimed that Sept. 17-23 would be observed as Constitution Week in observance of the U.S. Constitution being signed Sept. 17, 1787. Mary Ellen Drolet, of Rebecca Dewey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, received the Mayor’s proclamation.

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