Berrien County will discover actual property alternatives in Niles for the highway division
Posted at 15:28 Thursday, January 12, 2023
ST. JOSEPH — Berrien County Commissioners have approved county workers to proceed with the acquisition of property, presumably within the Niles space, for the Berrien County Highway Division. The measure got here at a county board assembly on Thursday.
In the course of the assembly, no further particulars in regards to the doable buy of actual property have been introduced. County Supervisor Brian Dissette mentioned after the assembly that the county is websites within the Niles space in addition to different elements of the county for the highway division.
“I am restricted in what I can say at this level,” he mentioned. “We hope to have an choice settlement (or probably two choices) for the Board to contemplate within the coming months.”
He famous that the county’s intent is to safe property for the usage of the highway division, ideally within the Niles space. “We will likely be different areas, however the Niles space is our instant precedence,” he mentioned.
He mentioned it is too early to say what if a number of the highway division’s current garages may shut if plans transfer ahead with the Niles-area location.
“We’ll make these choices after we safe the property,” he mentioned. “Merely put, we’re seeking to place future garages nearer to main inhabitants areas (and areas predicted to be inhabitants facilities).”
Nearly a yr in the past, the county commissioners acquired an outline of the situation of the present highway division garages, in addition to different county amenities. The highway division’s six garages are at present positioned in Baroda, Watervliet, Eau Claire, Benton Harbor, Buchanan and Three Oaks. Restore work has been decided for many, if not all, of the prevailing garages.
One Niles-area location talked about in previous discussions was a property close to Pucker Road in Niles Township, though not less than one resident expressed concern in regards to the property’s proximity to the Dowagiac River.
County Commissioner Jim Curran made a movement to approve the property buy negotiations. The proposal acknowledged that the county board could be approved to “search appropriate property for the needs of the highway division” and to barter and return choice agreements for approval by the county board.
Additionally Thursday, county commissioners accepted a lot of objects, together with modifications to the board’s bylaws. The board’s Personnel and Human Providers Committee has been working for a number of months to replace the bylaws. In lots of instances, modifications have been made to codify what was already being performed.
Government Assistant Annette Christie introduced the modifications to the board at a full assembly in late December. She informed commissioners the advice was to vary the title of the “committee committee” to the “government committee.” The membership would be the presidents of the identical committee plus the president and vice chairman of the county board.
Bylaw updates additionally embody these to codify board practices on deciding on committee vice chairs, permitting public touch upon agendas, hiring and evaluating district directors and company counsel, and offering agendas and knowledge to commissioners two days earlier than every weekly assembly.
The county board additionally accepted the lease of house in New Buffalo to accommodate the brand new Ladies Infants Kids (WIC) South District workplace. The Berrien County Well being Division lately closed its workplace in Three Oaks, making it essential to discover a new location within the south county.
The brand new location is positioned at 704 West Service provider St. in New Buffalo on the Church of St. Mary of the Lake. The well being division can pay $18,120 a yr for lease, utilities and upkeep. The contract lasts till 12/31/25.
In committee stories, commissioners mentioned the sheriff’s division responded to 316 visitors incidents on the second day of the Christmas blizzard, helped residents of Port Benton when energy was out and county highway crews put in 2,552 hours between Dec. 23 and 27, which prices an extra $80,000.
The sheriff’s division is coping with inflation similar to the remainder of the county’s residents. Commissioners reported that the jail serves 35,000 meals to inmates monthly and that the price of staples is rising. They mentioned the value of a carton of eggs jumped from $20 to $80.