Howard Township not interested in moving offices to Ellis school

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2006

By By NORMA LERNER / Niles Daily Star
NILES - There are no intentions by the Howard Township Board to move its headquarters to the Ellis School on Mannix Street, should it be vacated by Niles Community Schools, according to an official of the board.
It was brought to the attention of the board by Trustee Shelby Farmer Tuesday night that the Niles Community Schools has published information that Howard Township is interested in using Ellis School for offices, should the forthcoming bond proposal pass. Farmer claimed the idea was never discussed by the board.
Township Supervisor Michael Sutherland said he did make a phone call to Doug Law, superintendent of schools, about the possibility of using the school and looked at the building and that was all.
The board approved a motion for the school to retract this statement in published material the school distributed about the township's interest in the Ellis building.
Treasurer Shaune Timm said, “I am against going to Ellis.”
However, on a Nov. 15 board meeting, Sutherland said he discussed with Law the possibility of the township using the school building should it be vacated, but there was no discussion or decision made.
The school is located at 2740 Mannix St.
In a related matter about the proposed $105.2 million Niles Community Schools' bond issue Feb. 28, a Niles resident spoke for “Save Our Schools.” Kathy Zeider of 1157 Fort St. told the board that not only was the proposed ballot confusing with filling in an arrow with a bold line for yes or no, but she was against the proposal to close Eastside School. She said it was an “A” rated school. She also objected to the bus pickup change from 14th Street to Ferry Street at the school and questioned who authorized the change. She said it was dangerous for students to load on Ferry Street.
A couple of residents agreed with Zeider's assessment. One resident said to fill in arrows was done to confuse people.
Resident Emery Hirschler, who is the Barron Lake Association president, agreed that the ballot was confusing. He said he went to apply for an absentee ballot. When he looked at it, he didn't know where to mark it.
The board approved to proceed with a special assessment district to pay for the proposed Barron Lake weed eradication. The cost is about $35,000 over three years of treatment. A public hearing was set for 7 p.m. March 15 at the Howard School on Mannix Street.
The board set board of review tax assessment hearings at 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on March 13 and 3-9 p.m. on March 16 at the township hall on 1345 Barron Lake Road.
A budget workshop was set at 5 p.m. March 7 at the township hall.