Edwardsburg Village Council approves DNR Spark Grant application

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

EDWARDSBURG — The Edwardsburg Village Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Monday. They returned to discussions on an application for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Spark Grant. The discussion had been tabled last month as the council and village staff sought more concrete figures. The grant makes available funds up to $1,000,000. The village will be seeking $750,000 for use on work at Gunn Park. The resolution, Resolution 2023-03 passed unanimously.

During public comment, Cass County Drain Commissioner Jeff VanBelle spoke regarding the tax sale of a property located near the Village Council building. The property has repeatedly been surrendered due to being unbuildable. VanBelle offered up the idea of the council taking on the property, creating a drain district and holding it for the future needs of the village as Edwardsburg grows.

Water Superintendent Rich Low reported on recent maintenance and review of sewer drainage pipes located on Cass Street. The pipes were jetted for cleaning and then reviewed by camera. They identified plugged lines, separated pipes, and a hole in one pipe. Though the pipes were cleaned and water still flows, Low reported that the damage will worsen over time and that the cleaning process further compromises them. He recommended planning for a complete replacement of that storm system, along with the addition of curbs up to Church Street for proper water collection. He noted that, though not good news, the situation could have been worse and planning ahead will avoid catastrophe. Trustee Bidwell noted that the maintenance and review cost less than half of the $8,000 allocated by the council for the process. Trustee Hughes requested staff seek grant opportunities to help with the costs of the eventual replacements. The council will begin discussing next steps once they receive more detailed recommendations from Low.

Low also noted that a stoplight project at Section Street is currently on hold due to water and other infrastructure issues. The project is still intended to be finished by the deadline at the end of August.

Trustee Stoner reported on maintenance work being done at the cemetery, including the clearing of weeds at the north side. She also noted a number of improvements, including the painting of all ironwork, the painting of water hydrants in the color red for easier identification and location, and the marking of row numbers on the pavement for easier navigation. 

The Council approved funds, not to exceed $800, to repaint the center line of Cass Street from the north edge of the village to M62. They also approved $250 for the purchase of paint to stripe public parking lots. Trustee Garwood questions whether the asphalt should be sealed before striping to increase the longevity. While staff will purchase the paint, they will research the costs of sealing now versus waiting before beginning the project. The council also voted to remove the sidewalk from Lake Street to 1st Street on the north side of Church Street. The sidewalks have minimal proximity to residential homes and do not connect to other major sidewalks. The removal would allow the village staff to better deal with drainage problems in the area.

Trustee Bidwell requested the purchase of a laser level, costing no more than $650, for use in drain and sidewalk work. The council approved the purchase unanimously. Bidwell also reported that the recently purchased front end loader would be arriving in two weeks. The council also approved a loan from Circle Federal Credit Union to fully pay off the loader. While the interest rates work out roughly the same, the credit union will allow the village to borrow against CDs and reduce the long term expense of borrowing the funds.

The next meeting of the Edwardsburg Village Council will be Monday, July 17th at 7:00pm.