Townships meet to discuss local topics
PINORA TWP. — Township officials from 10 out of 15 townships in Lake County, along with some county officials, discussed local topics during the Lake County Township Association Meeting last Thursday at the Pinora Township Hall.
Among issues discussed was a shortage of 911 dispatchers for Lake County Central Dispatch.
“There was a misunderstanding about 911 being moved to Newaygo County, but commissioners said we are only going to try and use Newaygo Central Dispatch for temporary backup,” said Ernie Wogatzke, Lake County Township Association secretary.
“With Lake County Central Dispatch, there are internal problems which are ongoing, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Commissioner Karl Walls. “I hope everyone got the message we are not trying to move out of the county.”
Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin said the commissioners need to make sure they do everything they can to keep 911 services in the county.
“This is not my battle, but 911 affects officers’ safety. I have been hearing about a lot of inner issues going on in central dispatch, but we have good dispatchers. They are the ones who know our roads. If we go to another county, the dispatchers will not know our area as well and this will put us more at risk in emergencies,” he said.
Another topic discussed was township treasurers taking on more tasks recently done by Lake County Equalization.
The possibility of GEO, Inc., reopening with federal prisoners later this year also was mentioned.
“GEO is paying for repairs and maintenance at the wastewater treatment plant in Baldwin, ramping up for a possible influx of federal prisoners,” said Walls.
Wogatzke, who also is supervisor of Webber Township, said GEO will pay to have 20,000 gallons dumped from the water tower in Webber Township.
“We can’t go past June without excess water being dumped from the water tower so bacteria don’t grow,” he said. “We have eight households who use the tower and we also use it for fire suppression as well.”
State Rep. Scott VanSingel, R-Grant, gave a legislative update, saying he is working toward increasing transportation funds for Yates Dial-A-Ride.
He said he is working toward a $20,000 increase for Yates Dial-A-Ride by switching funds which go to Amtrak to local transportation.
Lake County Administrator Tobi Lake said he will get a PowerPoint presentation together to discuss ambulance run times for the next township association meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, at Eden Township Hall.