2011-07-03 / News Briefs

NEWS Briefs

BLUEBERRY ROYALTY REUNION PLANNED – A 40th Annual Montrose Blueberry Festival Royalty Reunion is being planned for Thursday, Aug. 18. All former Blueberry Festival Queens and Court Members need to register by July 2 in order to be included on the guest list. Registration forms are available at www.montroseblueberryfestival.net/applications. htm and can be mailed to P.O. Box 316, Montrose, MI 48457, faxed to (810) 639- 3474, or emailed to montroseblueberryfestival@hotmail.com. Contact Janet or Diana at (810) 639-3475 to have a copy of the form mailed.

BLOOD DRIVE JULY 7 – Michigan Blood will hold a blood drive on Thursday, July 7 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Chesaning Knights of Columbus Council 2943, 9171 Deitering Road, Chesaning. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. For an appointment, call (989) 845-6246. Donors are asked to eat before donating, and should bring photo ID or two pieces of non-photo ID. For more information, call (989) 497-1036.

SOS OFFICES CLOSED FOR JULY 4 – Secretary of State offices will be closed on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. SUPER!Centers which normally offer Saturday hours will also be closed on Saturday, July 2. For more information, visit the Secretary of State website at www.Michigan.gov/sos, or call (888) SOSMICH (767-6424).

RIVERBOAT PLAYLAND BRICK ORDERS – Brick pavers for the Riverboat Playland can be ordered at the Chesaning Chamber of Commerce. The cost of an engraved brick is $25. The money generated form the sale of the bricks is used to maintain the playscape. Bricks will be placed in the walkway leading up to the playscape or in the memorial garden if they are in memory of a loved one. Orders must be purchased by Aug. 13 to be placed in Cole Park this year.

REP. HORN PLANS ST. CHARLES OFFICE HOURS – Local residents can visit with 94th Dist. State Rep. Ken Horn in St. Charles on Monday, July 11 at the St. Charles District Library, 104 W. Spruce St., from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information, call Horn toll free at 1-866-HORN094, or e-mail him at kennethhorn@ house.mi.gov. Horn has scheduled ongoing office hours throughout the 94th District on the first Monday of each month. Residents who are unable to attend the office hours are encouraged to contact Horn with a question or concern.

FOURTH OF JULY DELAYS TRASH PICK-UP – The upcoming Independence Day holiday will impact solid waste collection services provided to the 35 Mid Michigan Waste Authority (MMWA) member communities. All services will be delayed one day from their regularly scheduled day in each community. Residents should prepare and set out materials one day later than they normally do during the holiday week. Instead of collection running Monday through Friday, it will run Tuesday through Saturday. Affected communities include: Albee Township, Brady Township, Brant Township, Chapin Township, Chesaning Township and Village, Maple Grove Township, Marion Township, Richland Township, St. Charles Township and Village, and Swan Creek Township.

LOCAL COMMUNITY HOME FRONT DRIVE – The Local Community Home Front drive to help New Lothrop children in need of back-toschool supplies will run July 5 to Aug. 31. Drop box locations will be at the following locations starting Tuesday, July 5: Confer’s Grocery, VillageEast, New Lothrop Church of the Nazarene Community Center and St. Michael Catholic Church of Maple Grove, all of New Lothrop, and Dollar Daze in Chesaning. Any types or kinds of school supplies will be accepted.

FAIR SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE – The Saginaw County Fair is still welcoming businesses that would like to support the fair as a sponsor. All sponsors are mentioned in the fair’s radio ads, during grandstand events, and on the fair banner. Sponsorships for grandstand events are also available. Sponsorship prices are available from $250 to $1,500. The fair will be held from July 26 to July 30 at the fairgrounds, 11350 Peet Road in Chesaning. For more information, contact Saginaw County Agricultural Society First Vice President Francis Sloan at (989) 277- 7694.

NL TRACTOR SHOW CANCELLED – The tractor show originally set for July 31 in downtown New Lothrop has been cancelled. Organizers are hoping to offer the event next year, following the annual New Lothrop Car Show, but are in need of volunteers. For more information, visit www.nlcarshow.com.

SCHOOL OF CHOICE – Starting Monday, July 11 and running through Friday, Aug. 19, Montrose Community Schools will have School of Choice applications available for the 2011-2012 school year. This program is only for students residing outside of Genesee County. Applications will be accepted for all grade levels, including the Choice School (alternative education program). New applications will be considered based on prior attendance and behavior information. Applications can be picked up at the Montrose Community Schools Administration Building, 300 Nanita Dr., Montrose. All applications must be returned by Aug. 19, 2011 to be considered for enrollment. Applicants will be notified of acceptance/non-acceptance by phone or mail, on or before Aug. 26, 2011. For more information, call (810) 591-8812. Office hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

TRASH PICKUP DELAY – Due to the Monday, July 4 holiday, most trash pickups are being delayed by one day. This includes the City of Montrose.

BIDS ACCEPTED – On Thursday, June 30, the Chesaning Union School District Board of Education held a special meeting to award contracts for projects bid on designated Sinking Fund Projects to improve the schools. These are among the first projects addressed by the voter-approved sinking fund levy, which replaced a previous school bond levy. RC Hendricks Construction Manager Bill Pearson presented the bids for the projects targeted this year: At the Middle School improve the front driveway, the gym floor, and the exterior facia (repair/paint). At the High School repair and paint old lockers, replace some. And finally, at Big Rock Elementary, expand and resurface parking area. The companies winning the low bids are: Mead Contracting - $97,135; Saginaw Asphalt - $81,394; Bay Area Specialty - $90,930; and Nile Construction - $75,530. Pearson commented that most of the bids came in much lower than expected. However, the bids on replacing the boys’ high school gym lockers was higher than anticipated. He recommended holding back on that project. The Chesaning School Board approved the low bids presented. These projects will begin immediately, while a few others are in the architectural design phase.

MANY THANKS – During the June 28 Montrose School Board meeting, board members Julie Root and Nancy Hall were recognized for their many years of service. Julie Root was stepping down after serving for 20 years on the school board. Nancy Hall had served as a Montrose teacher for 38 years before serving four years on the school board. School Board President Morrie Fikes commented, “I couldn’t say enough nice things about them.” Superintendent Mark Kleinhans talked about how hard they’ve worked as board members. He commented, “They have been strong advocates for continuous improvement.” The board took a brief recess for members of the audience to express their appreciation to Root and Hall.

BUS TRANSPORTATION; IT’S IN THERE – On Tuesday, June 28, the Montrose Community Schools Board of Education adopted the 2011 - 2012 budget. Genesee County ISD Business Services Director Terese Knag presented highlights of the budget. She explained that this year, because of the decline in property values, there would be no Headlee Rollback. She also pointed out that for the same reason, there is no rollback for Truth in Taxation. “This budget, transportation is included,” Knag stated. She talked about some of the one-time revenue sources the schools would not receive this year; as well as calculating in the new “Best Practices” incentives offered by the state legislature. She explained that the state is reducing school aid funding by $470 per pupil; but increasing the retirement debt funding by $93 per pupil. Superintendent Mark Kleinhans stated that the budgeting process had taken the finance committee (along with the committee of the whole) three months of meeting every Tuesday. “I’m glad busing is back,” Kleinhans said. He credited Transportation Director Angela Florian for developing a plan that would reduce costs enough to keep busing. School Board President Morrie Fikes also commented, “This board is most pleased busing is back.”

HERO AWARD – Montrose Police Officer Matthew Payne was recently honored as a Hero by the Genesee, Shiawassee and Lapeer Hundred Club for his efforts attempting to rescue an elderly female involved in a grassfire a couple of months ago.

CHESANING SCHOOL BUDGET – Chesaning School Director of Finance Jill Folsom talked with the Citizen about budget adjustments that were necessary to present a balanced budget this year in time for the July 1 deadline. Folsom said she started with last year’s budget, and added increased costs. She looked at the change in revenue, due to the state foundation award money being cut; as well as other federal dollars being cut (primarily the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)). Folsom accounted for the additional $100 per pupil that provides some relief from increasing retirement costs “then started making reductions from there.” The Chesaning School District anticipates a 50 student reduction, which helps them to budget conservatively considering student numbers have steadily declined in recent years. The school district administrative staff met with the union leadership for the teachers and support staff, as well as with the school board finance committee before finalizing the budget. There were 20 teachers and 20 support staff placed on layoff to save the district $960,000. Folsom stated, “The board wants to continue to look at ways to reduce expenses so we can preserve some of our fund balance.” Folsom concluded that right now, “All districts are struggling with the lack of funding from the state.”

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