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Dorr Township Board hears about drug activity in park

The meeting was the debut of this sign in front of Clerk Debbie Sewers and Trustee Dan Weber telling everyone in the township hall the meeting was being audio recorded.

The Dorr Township Board was told Thursday evening about drug issues occurring at a corner of the South Park off 142nd Avenue, just as the Parks Commission is beginning to have completion the construction of the pavilion.

A member of Boy Scout Troop No. 97 told board members he has seen an older man with teen-agers in what he suspects is drug activity late afternoons, evenings and even into early morning hours.

Supervisor Jeff Miling replied, “That is an issue down there… That’s something we need to clean up.”

Denice Lawrence, a member of the Parks Commission, agreed there is a problem and asked that all citizens who see something irregular immediately call the police or the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department.

Meanwhile, Lawrence said work at the park has seen the completion of a disc golf course and the board approved an additional $50,000 to fund the rest of the work on pavilion, including bathrooms.

She said 18 stations have been installed on the disc golf course.

“Disc golf is a big thing, and people already playing on it in the snow,” she said, adding that a lot of local teens and residents have made positive comments.

The pavilion likely will use a septic system at much lower cost than hooking up to the sanitary sewer, which is permissable because it is set back about 400 feet from 142nd Avenue.

In other business at Thursday night’s meeting, the board:

• Received information from Road Committee member and Township Treasurer Jim Martin, who said the committee likely will spend $150,000 on resurfacing 17th Street between 143rd and 144th Avenues, $115,000 on paving 144th Avenue and a little more than $600,000 on all projects in 2018, leaving a balance of about $148,000 at the end of the construction season. Some work may be done on Janet and Joan Drives.

• Learned from Ambulance Board representative Penny Post that WAEMS has made 3,724 runs this year, a high number.

• Learned from Fire Chief Gary Fordham that the Dorr Fire Department this year has answered 176 calls, the highest number he can recall in his 23 years with the department. Fordham also received approval for hiring part-time probationary firefighter Edward Young III.

• Voted 5-2 to pay for Office Manager Vicki Fifelski’s assessor’s license because she’s in the office every weekday to answer residents’ questions about assessments while the new assessor will be available only two days per week.

Martin said not a day goes by without Fifelski having to answer questions in person or over the phone.

Miling commented, “We’re having her (Fifelski) do the assessing when the assessor isn’t here.”

Clerk Debbie Sewers and Trustee Terri Rios dissented.

• Set the dates for workshops on the 2018-19 fiscal year budget at Jan. 15 and 29 and Feb. 12 and 26, all Mondays, at 6 p.m.

• Was told by Miling the township received a check for $17,741 from the Gun Lake Casino in its twice a year revenue sharing payment.

• Approved a request from the Allegan County Road Commission for a permanent easement for the sidewalk in front of the library to accommodate road widening next summer on 18th Street.

• Approved spending up to $12,000 to buy a new office copier and return the old unit that had been leased.

• Agreed to a transfer request to combine three lots into two at at the Sandy Hills development off 140th Avenue.

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