- December 12, 2016: There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know that we don't know.
- December 14, 2015: Political correctness and saying Merry Christmas.
- December 8, 2014: Pride of the contributions made by Council, DDA, and Planning members.
- December 9, 2013: W. Randall Street was opened to traffic as well as the intersection at 64th Avenue.
- December 5, 2012: Working with some of the finest and brightest people I have met in Coopersville.
- December 12, 2011: Where stakeholders in Coopersville want to share a common vision and willing to cooperate on a path towards that vision.
Having read the above over the past couple of days, I realize that what was observed in 2011 or 2014 are as relevant and timely today as they were back then. This community and city is very dynamic and always moving in some fashion or another; there is momentum wherever you turn. From the Reserves of Coopersville to the new expansion at Betten Baker, to continued expansion at Fairlife, there is constant movement.
In other words, there is “change.” I still remember back in January sharing a few thoughts with staff about my premonition that 2017 would certainly be a year of not just change, but significant change. And there was, from Mayor Lloyd stepping down through a transition (Joel Meintsma) to our current Mayor, Larry Crandle. There has been on-going work for the Water Project Phase I which includes a much needed second river crossing and hopefully a $2 million plus grant from the Economic Development Administration. The DDA hired an excellent person, Greg Van Weelde, to perform much needed maintenance and beautification around the district, in addition to two more excellent staff additions to the DPW and WWTP teams, Brett Martin and Austin Edmonson, respectively. We had an employee with 21 years seniority (Mike Hammond) resign and start another adventure. The long-anticipated Pocket Park has miraculously appeared. The West Randall Street corridor is now lined with welcoming decorative lights, celebrating Coopersville every night. The Coopersville Area District Library completed a major renovation and expansion and continues to blossom under its Director LaVonne Marshall and her staff.
As Heraclitus (535-475 BC) stated, “The only thing that is constant is change.” And that is the condition here in Coopersville. There are some that may find this condition somewhat deplorable because of misguided fears that change will taint fond memories of years gone by. Emotionally I understand that fear, but without change and growth there is stagnation and ultimately decay. As long as change is planned and controlled and is in the best interest of the citizens of Coopersville, then the change will gradually become our new fond memories.
Who knows what will happen next, there’s still 25 days left in December.
Monday night we will also have Special Guests Lukas Hill and Tara Weise (Planning Commission) from Friends of the North Bank Trail. They will present a brief introduction about the Trail, its progress and future in Coopersville. We’re having them attend the Joint Meeting as most of the current and future decision makers will be present and the update will provide welcomed facts. Please contact me if you have questions or require additional information prior to Monday night.
Lastly, I would like to quote myself from 2015: “I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I know and understand that wishing someone a Merry Christmas is not politically correct especially from an employee working at the city. It is also not a clear separation of church and state, or any other reason unknown to me. But for those fans of history and for those that have studied the origin of this country, you’ll understand the point being made. We still live in a marvelous and beautiful country both aesthetically and politically. Because of this I still wish everyone a Merry Christmas and for those that have differing beliefs, I wish you an enjoyable holiday season and may you have a new year of happiness and success.”
It has been a joy and an honor to serve as your city manager; this year and in past years. I wish nothing but the best for this city and those that work, live, and play here. Coopersville is truly a unique and treasured gem. Have a fantastic Holiday Season and may your New Year be the GREATEST EVER. If you travel or you stay close to home, please be safe out there.
Downtown Pocket Park
Phase II of the Pocket Park is nearing completion. The water feature is still being assembled and tested and there are a few “touch-ups” that require attention, but for the most part the park is usable, for now. Come Spring the water feature will be fully functional, the trees will have leaves, and the grass will be lush, soft, and cool. Please enjoy this park! Thank you DDA Board.
Residential Recycle Carts
For those who currently have residential recycling service, recycle carts will be dropped off at your driveway on Thursday, December 7 and Friday, December 8. The recycle pickup schedule will remain the same – every two weeks with the next recycle pickup scheduled for December 15. After December 8, trucks will ONLY pick up recycle carts; the old bins can’t be used anymore.
All-in-One Recycling means you can put everything into the same cart. We just ask that you adhere to the guidelines of what can and cannot be recycled, and how best to package small or light items like paper and plastic film. There will be a guide which will be included with your cart that you can keep inside when you are preparing your recycling. We’ll also share it on our website and social media pages. Just be sure all your recycled goods are empty, clean, and dry.
So, what do you do with your old bins? You may keep them for personal storage in your home or garage. Alternately, you can drop them off at the DPW Storage facility at 98 Main Street for recycling by Sunday, 12/17. Please wash your bins before bringing them for recycling to ensure they are clear of all debris and recyclables.
Alternately, the Farm Museum as asked for donations of the recycle bins for use in some of their programs. If you would like to donate your bin to the Farm Museum, please contact Lee Ann Proia at (616) 997-8555.
Please feel free to contact us with questions at (616) 997-9731.
Historical Museum Merger
Real progress has been made over the last couple of months in preparation for the merger of the Historical Museum with the City of Coopersville. The city’s attorney is completing a second draft of the Purchase Agreement for council’s review in January. There are also a number of details still being discussed and clarified such as fund raising, accounting questions, and how the new organization will be structured and operated. We’re very close. I want to thank Craig Wheeler for representing the city council as his presence I believe has been invaluable.
Snow Plowing and Salt
The staff and I have been asked on a number of occasions about what our snow plowing policy will be. The answer is simple. We are going to continue with what was done last year both in plowing and the laying down of salt. Our goal is not to make the roads 100% clear and dry of snow and ice since this is winter in Michigan after all. We will salt the major intersections and roads as conditions dictate. The Sheriff’s Department will notify the personnel on call if road conditions deteriorate during the night. Major roads are done first then local roads. Priority is given to roads leading to the school in the morning.
The city, as in other years, is following the Ottawa County Road Commission in its use of salt. Salt will be mixed with sand to reduce its introduction to the environment and to also save money for the city and the taxpayers. Obviously, if there are severe conditions safety will always be a priority and we will do whatever is necessary. The best information drivers can be given of course is to slow down and be cautious at intersections and stop signs. Please call if you have further questions.
Multi-Purpose Rink & Ice
I’m sure as more cold weather engulfs us, Recreation Director Matt McKinnon will be inundated with questions as to when the multi-purpose rink will become an ice rink. The one advantage about this cold weather we’ve been recently experiencing (and will be experiencing) is that the ground surrounding and under the rink concrete is getting valuable time to cool off and hopefully start to freeze. This will allow us to begin making ice sooner than previous years, but exactly when is still unknown. Keep in mind that making ice is not the same as maintaining ice in the typical fickle weather that defines Michigan. Once we begin to make ice, we’ll keep everyone updated on the website and social media. Cross your fingers.
REPEAT: Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade
Design plans and specifications were sent to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) over a month ago for review and the issuance of a permit. We are still in a holding pattern waiting to hear from the MDEQ on where we are in the process.
Obviously, there are other projects and issues I’m involved with as is Jonathan Seyferth and others. It’s not always a wise decision to write about the status of these projects and issues when there are delicate, complicated, or confidentiality aspects still in motion. I will always be available to answer any of your questions to the best of my ability within the confines of the aspects just mentioned. There is certainly never a dull day in the bustling and thriving environment of Coopersville.