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Vanderwall bill continues student options

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State Rep. Curt VanderWall has submitted legislation to give students added flexibility in their educational class choices. Currently, Michigan merit standards allow for one foreign language course requirement to be met by completing a career/technical education (CTE) or visual/performing arts course to graduate high school. Graduating seniors after 2021 would not be eligible to use this option as this provision is set to expire.  VanderWall’s bill removes the 2021 expiration date and allows students to continue having this option. Representative Vanderwall explains the value to students, “It give a lot more flexibility to the student. Not every child is geared toward a foreign language or go into something on that line and this gives them the opportunity to use their hands or explore some different options.”

City Council votes on trash removal and tiny homes

The Ludington City Council met last night. The meeting began with Heather Tykowski presenting the 2016 Community Development Annual report.

 

The city voted to allow the architect to develop a plan for the new fire station. The city budgeted for 1.7 million,  and ultimately accepted an estimate of 1.9 million. City Manager John Shay cited a strong economy and a growing michigan as reasons for the increased construction costs.

 

Plank Street was reclassified as Plank trail, with vehicular traffic becoming prohibited between Slagle Street and Rath Avenue. Pedestrian and bike traffic will still be welcome to utilize Plank Trail. Counselor Les Johnson expressed disappointment at the decision, citing no personal issues while using Plank Street.

 

Contracts were amended to allow Fleis and Vanderbrink to replace the water and sewer main and repave the road on Madison Ave between 4th St. and 6th St. and Second St between Madison and South Washington.

 

Trash services were reaffirmed with Republic Services with the spring clean up event being kept for 2017 but will be eliminated come 2018 to be replaced by the monthly bulky item pick up. Counselor Michael Krauch cited public response, stating that much of the feedback he had heard was in favor of keeping the spring clean up, resulting in his vote against the proposal. Mayor Kaye Ferguson Homan also spoke about feedback, saying that once It was clarified that everything allowed in the spring clean up is allowed in the bulky item pick up, the response she heard was mostly positive.

 

The ordinance to allow the construction of houses on lots less than 60 ft wide was a topic of discussion throughout the night. The single family dwelling would have to meet requirements and qualify for a special land use permit in order to be approved for construction. Public comment was heard with some saying that the ordinance would legitimize current buildings that could not be rebuilt if they burnt down, other citing concern it would encourage modular homes. Heather Tykowski also spoke about the ordinance, informing the city council that Ludington is “built out” according to current building standards and that the city currently owns four 30 ft empty lots that the city pays to maintain, two of which are results of fire. During the vote, Counselor Rathsack reaffirmed his concerns from the previous meeting. The ordinance passed with a 5 to 1 vote.

 

During communications, Mayor Holman invited the public to a special meeting on April 5th at 5:00pm to discuss upcoming projects and proposals.

The meeting concluded with Counselor Krauch acknowledging the efforts of the Neighbor to Neighbor program, citing an attendance of more than 30 at the recent meeting discussing  4th ward renovations.

City Council to vote on tiny home ordinance

The Ludington City Council will be meeting tonight at 6:30pm at the Ludington City Hall.The Community Development Department will provide their 2016 year end report.  Additional Items on the agenda include confirming the fertilization contract and code enforcement mowing bid, and authorizing the development of construction plans for the new Fire Station Project. The new Ludington Bay Brewing Company is requesting a license to include a winery as a part of its new microbrewery business. The city will review a traffic control order to rename Plank Street to Plank Trail and close the trail to vehicular traffic from Slagle Street to Rath Avenue. Water, Sewer and trash agreements will be reviewed, including the conversation regarding removing the annual spring clean up in favor of a monthly bulky item pickup. The ordinance allowing for building tiny homes on lots less than 60 ft wide will be reviewed and voted upon. The 2016 building, code enforcement and rental inspections annual report will be presented to the City council. The meeting will conclude with communications from the Mayor.

Harvest Festival postponed

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On Friday, it was announced that the 2017 Scottville Harvest festival will be cancelled due to a shortage of funding and volunteers.  In a statement from the newly formed Harvest Festival executive committee, they said “This time off will allow the committee the opportunity to implement a new vision for the festival, offer more quality attractions for families and create a more sustainable event for years to come.” According to the Scottville Harvest Festival Facebook page, the 2016 Harvest Festival lost money. At this time they are discussing forming a 501c3 in order to create a more sustainable festival. Fundraising would need to be completed in order to accomplish this step. They are working towards bring the Harvest Festival back in 2018.

HAM Radio Training and Licensing at Mason-Oceana 911

Mason-Oceana 911 will be hosting a “Ham In A Day” class on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM, with testing at 3:00 PM. “Amateur radio operation is now formally built into emergency communication responses at all levels” said Mason-Oceana 911 Director Ray Hasil. “Whether it is at the local, state or federal level, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in how amateur radio is built into emergency communication plans everywhere. This class allows persons interested in amateur radio communications to get licensed and on the air Quickly”. The class is being taught by amateur radio operators Tom Porritt (K8EOD) and Dave Robertson (N8UKH). Interested parties should bring the following for class: Attendees of the class are encouraged to bring lunch, picture ID, social security number, $15 for testing fee, and a computer with wi-fi connectability. Class size is limited to 20. Preregistration is required by calling Dave Robertson at 231-854-1065.

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