Niles Township approves assessment roll, trail progress advances

NILES TOWNSHIP — Residents of Harrah Road learned Monday night what the official price tag is for a road improvement project that took place last year, and saw the paving of about half a mile of their roads.    

Members of the Niles Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously during their that evening to adopt a resolution for a special assessment district roll for the improvement project. Nineteen parcels will pay a total SAD of $86,581 over a 10-year period.

The cost per parcel was determined to be $4,556.89.

Jim Ringler

The project took place last fall from Phillip Road to Hance Street. The total cost of the project was about $176,000. The township agreed to pay about half of the cost.

Prior to casting their votes, trustees opened the floor for comment during a public hearing. Richard and Dorothy Miller were the only two Harrah Road residents who spoke. They told trustees they were there to see how much they would owe. They also asked about getting one spot of pavement filled in. 

The couple, who live in the 1500 block of Harrah Road, said they were happy to see the road improvement project completed last fall. Before the repairs were made, Dorothy said road conditions were poor.

“Oh, it was terrible,” Dorothy said. “There were potholes everywhere.”

Also on Monday:

Trustees forged ahead with plans for phase two of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail by awarding a tree removal bid to Quality Tree Service of Michigan. The company came in at the lowest bid of $12,939.50 to remove 396 trees from the trail’s planned pathway. The Department of Natural Resources is expected to reimburse the township for one third of the cost. 

There were nine total bidders, with the highest bid from Riverworks Construction, which was more than $95,000. The majority of bids were about $38,000 to $40,000.

“So, $12,939.50 is really a phenomenal bid,” said Treasurer Jim Ringler. “I researched the company today, and they are a legit company that is bonded and insured with high reviews.”

Still, some trustees questioned why the price was so much lower. Trustee Herschel Hoese expressed some apprehension about the bid.

“It kind of concerns me when there is one that low, I will be honest” Hoese said.

The trees will be removed before March 31 in an effort not to disturb the roosting habits of the threatened northern long-eared bat. Project planners were notified last year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife services that the bats roosting cycle is from April 1 to Oct. 31, so trees cannot be felled.

The trail project was awarded an approximate $300,000 state grant last year. MDOT will contribute about $500,299 to the project. The township will pay about $135,000 in matching funds for the trail.  Trail construction is expected to begin in April or May and finish this year.

• Township trustees unanimously agreed to allocate $10,500 from the utility fund to help a resident on Apple Lane cover damages and repairs to their basement after a township sewer main backed up and flooded the resident’s basement. Trustees said the blockage has been repaired and they do not know what caused it. The blockage occurred between two and three weeks ago, trustees said.

• Township trustees voted unanimously to by a table skirt for the table in the board room so as to hide the wires visible under the table. Trustee Dan Pulaski received a quote for the fabric for $170. Trustees voted to purchase a skirt that would not exceed $200.

• Trustees voted unanimously to permit the township treasurer to negotiate school tax agreements in the Brandywine Community School District, which includes Brandywine schools, Lake Michigan College and Berrien RESA.

• Trustees voted unanimously to approve a quote for $2,860 to have electrical conduit work installed for a board room projector.

News

Niles Township approves state-outlined poverty guidelines, purchases tractor attachment for trails, considers firefighter applicants

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD narrows superintendent search to two candidates

Dowagiac

Dowagiac art students complete Lego murals

News

Former surgeon given 10 to 40 years for criminal sexual conduct

Breaking News

UPDATE: Two teenagers injured in shooting at Niles hotel

Dowagiac

SMC unveils scholarship guarantee

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan 589,150 cases, 15,534 deaths

Business

Applications now available for Dowagiac’s Summer in the City Festival

Breaking News

Two shot, wounded at Niles hotel

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces healthcare hiring events

News

Niles Police Log: Feb. 18-25

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Log: Feb. 15-22

Dowagiac

SMC graduate experiences Super Bowl

Dowagiac

Dowagiac women aim to create change through local government

Dowagiac

SMC COVID task force leader talks with Dowagiac Rotary Club

Business

Niles roller rink reopens following legal battle

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces community wide survey to learn about COVID-19’s impact

Cass County

Cass County prepares to adjust to criminal justice reforms

Berrien County

Michiana Family Center seeks mentors for foster teens

Business

Nobo Michigan opens Edwardsburg location

Cassopolis

Businesses battle over land use in Cassopolis’ Industrial Park

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Feb. 19-24

Berrien County

Mount Calvary Baptist to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic March 5

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports new COVID-19 death