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Cyclists urged to wait until path is finished to ride trail

Published 8:37am Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Niles Township officials are asking residents to stay off of the new Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail until construction of the multi-use path is finished.

“People shouldn’t use the trail until it is complete,” said Township Treasurer Jim Ringler during Monday’s regular meeting of the township trustees. “However, if you do use it, you do so at your own risk.

“I don’t think you will ever stop everyone from using it — that’s how bad they want the trail.”

Suzannah Deneau, a representative with trail engineer Wightman and Associates, said barricades have been set up at places where the trail intersects roads, including at US-12 and Bell Road.

“The exciting part about it is that people are on the trail and they are excited about using it — even though it is not ready,” she said.

Workers recently began laying and leveling blacktop on a portion of the trail that will run from US-12 in Niles Township south to the Indiana/Michigan state line. Construction on that portion of the trail should be finished by the end of July or early August.

Also Monday, Deneau asked the township to give construction crews the authority to place two 12-inch pipes underneath a portion of the trail near Fireman’s Park. She said the work is necessary to keep water from backing up onto the trail.

The township voted 6 to 1 to allow the project to move forward with the township paying up to $5,000.

Trustee Herschel Hoese voted against it, saying engineers should have caught and accounted for the drainage issue during the engineering phase of the project.

The township also agreed to send a letter to the Michigan Department of Transportation saying they want to install a crossing signal for the hearing impaired at the trail intersection at US-12 and South Third Street. Deneau said there is some concern that residents living near the intersection could hear the audible signal, especially during the evening.

Also Monday, the township:

• Approved the hiring of Paul Rainwater as a new firefighter. He was selected from a pool of six candidates to replace a firefighter that recently resigned.

• Approved the hiring of Anthony Carbon and Nick Hafer as new volunteer firefighters.

• Accepted the resignation of Peg Hartman from the township’s planning commission. Hartman resigned because she was hired last month to work as the township’s part-time zoning administrator and code enforcement officer.

• Approved a lease agreement with the Niles Haunted House Scream Park to use a township building for storage.

• Approved a request by Orchard Hills Country Club to put on a fireworks show on July 5.

• Approved certificates of completion for Firefighter 1 and 2 training for Jonathan Mitchell and Andrew Bizoe.

• Approved certificates of achievement for firefighters Andrew Bizoe, Jonathan Mitchell and Christopher DiCostanzo.

• Heard a report from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. In March, the sheriff’s department worked 269 complaints, issued 40 tickets and made 38 arrests in Niles Township. Deputies also responded to 310 incidents in the township in April.


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