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Commission recieves reports and approves budget increase

The Mason County Board of commissioners met last night at the Mason County Courthouse. The meeting opened with correspondences from the DEQ approving amendments of adding Wexford county to the Mason County Solid Waste management plan.Mary Reilly presented the 2016 building planning and zoning annual report. She noted an increase in building investments in the form of new homes, pole buildings and remodels with the change in economy.

 

The commission approved Judge Nellis to fill 2 positions in the probate court office early to allow for staff training.A part time position was also approved for the Mason County Airport to take over the duties previously handled by the retiring Dave Johnson and Mason County Aviation.

Doreen Dunblazer was honored for her work in the Mason County Prosecutor's office as a legal assistant, crime victims advocate and support specialist.A request to purchase a computer from the equipment replacement fund for the Sheriff's computer forensic investigator was approved.Dave Johnson was honored for his outstanding work at the Mason County Airport. Airport discussion continued with the approval to purchase a tractor and mower for the airport.  

 

An increase by 3.14% in the budget was approved. Services provided by the county are expected to remain the same with the increase. The meeting conclude with the approval of Point & Pay as the new credit card payment service. This change was requested by Mason County Treasurer Andrew Kmetz in an effort to provide better payment services to the public.

Ludington City Council honors team and discusses parking

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The council room was packed with people as the Ludington City Council meeting opened with honoring the hard work of the 2017 Class B State Runner-up Ludington Boys basketball team.

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Several people took the opportunity to speak during public comment in regards to the possible parking fees for Sterns park. The intent of the Sterns family was cited as a concern, with the desire for Stearns park to be a free and open space for all.  The council went onto discuss other business items,  approving the downtown overnight parking sticker program, allowing residents to park overnight in 8 hour parking spots with a designated resident sticker. Parking remained a topic of conversation with the reclassification to 2-hour parking on North Rath between Ludington and Court Street.  The city resolved to apply for a Great Lakes Energy People Fund Grant for a driving simulator for use throughout the county. The simulator could be used not only for new drivers but also possibly with seniors. Brent Bosley presented the 2016 assessor's report.  He noted concern regarding a change in tax law that allows taxpayer to claim a deduction that resulted in a decrease in city income. Although the state will reimburse communities for the first year, Mr. Bosley noted that the first year would pass quickly and urged the council to think ahead if these reimbursements are not provided. Mr. Bosley also noted the increase in home costs in the ludington area and cited concern at the current housing market and the possibility of another housing bubble. The city concluded the meeting with an agreement to apply for a grant to replace the voting machine.

Mason County Sports Hall of Fame take the jump

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Over 200 arrived on the beach Saturday morning, with 137 agreeing to take the plunge, others to simply watch jumper go into Lake Michigan in an effort to raise funds for the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame.

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Over $400,000 has been raised for local charities since the lake jump began in 2000. The lake Jump has become a 501c3 organization with no administrative costs.

Huizenga continues fight for small buisness

Thursday Morning, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 1219, the Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017. This legislation would allow small businesses and startups more flexibility in raising capital so they can continue to grow and hire more employees. The JOBS Act, passed in 2012, allows smaller companies to increase their income by increasing the amount of investors a company has, however a cap remained on the amount of groups of investors a small business may have, stifling possible small business growth in today's crowdfunding society.

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Representative Bill Huizenga explained what the bill would do. "H.R. 1219, the Supporting America’s Innovators Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Patrick McHenry and Nydia Velazquez, would amend the cap currently contained in the Investment Company Act to allow 250 investors for a “qualified venture capital fund” and therefore enhance angel investors’ ability to provide important funding to small businesses." A Harvard report by William R. Kerr, Josh Lerner, and Antoinette Schoar provides evidence that angel-funded startups are more likely to succeed than companies that rely on other forms of initial financing. H.R. 1219 passed with a vote of 417-3.

14th Annual ‘Big Weekend’ at KOA Raises Funds for Children’s Camps

The Ludington East/Pere Marquette River KOA campground is offering campers a Saturday of camping for $10 to benefit KOA Care Camps for children with cancer.

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The Care Camps Big Weekend event will be held Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13. Campers who stay as paying guests on Friday, May 12 will receive another night of camping on Saturday, May 13 for just $10. The entire $10 fee will be given to KOA Care Camps, a network of 112 independent oncology summer camps for children battling cancer. Care Camps provide a  summer camp experience for children with cancer and their siblings.

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