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My Town: City budget and Bike Week on the agenda for May 20

My Town: City budget and Bike Week on the agenda for May 20

BELDING, Mich.— An organizer of a new motorcycle event coming to Belding is expected to update the city council on his plans Tuesday night.

Rivertown Bike Week organizer Mark Mensch is expected to attend the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.  Late last year, the city council approved holding the Rivertown Bike Week Expo from July 17, 2015 to July 19, 2015.  The event is expected to attract tens of thousands o bikers to Belding.

The organizers of the expo are part of the same group that began planning Rivertown Bike Week in Grand Rapids in 2010, but had to repeatedly delay the event because of regulations and a lack of sponsors.  They tried moving it to July 2014 in Belding, but ended up postponing the event again after failing to secure venues and sponsorships in time.

My Town Greenville: Memorial Day leads to fewer library hours

My Town Greenville: Memorial Day leads to fewer library hours

GREENVILLE, Mich.-- Library patrons will have less time to check out books and utilize the resources at Flat River Community Library this weekend.

The library will be closed Saturday, May 24 and Monday, May 26 in honor of Memorial Day.  The library is already closed on Sundays.  Normal business hours will resume Tuesday, May 27.

Flat River Community Library is located at 200 W. Judd Street in Greenville.  For additional information, visit the library website or call (616) 754-6359.

My Town: Whites Bridge cleanup postponed

My Town: Whites Bridge cleanup postponed

KEENE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Plans to clean up debris from a West Michigan landmark destroyed by fire have been postponed.

The Whites Bridge Historical Society planned to have volunteers pull bridge debris that’s floated downriver from the Flat River this Saturday, May 17, but decided to delay the volunteer effort because the river is higher and faster than normal, due to recent rains.

The group now plans to hold the cleanup on Saturday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Volunteers should meet at the north side of the bridge site.  Canoes and kayaks will be provided by the Main Street Inn for those who do not have their own boat.  Heffron Farms, Bilbo Bakeries and other businesses will provide lunch for those helping in the effort.  The Bert Jones Band will provide music during the break.

My Town: May 15 ceremony honors officers killed on duty

My Town: May 15 ceremony honors officers killed on duty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Walker police officer killed while trying to stop two robbers is among the nearly three dozen officers who will be honored during the Police Memorial Day of Service ceremony Thursday, May 15.

The memorial will begin at 10 a.m. inside the Grand Rapids Police Department lobby, due to the weather.  Dave Hiller, the executive director of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police, will be the guest speaker at the event. Those who will be honored are:

My Town: Whites Bridge rebuild project enters new phase

My Town: Whites Bridge rebuild project enters new phase

KEENE TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  The Whites Bridge Historical Society has entered a new phase in replacing the historic bridge destroyed by arson on July 7.

Tom Byle, vice chairman of the group, says it is now focusing on raising funds to build a replica of the bridge.  He says the group submitted an application for a federal grant on May 1, which would cover about two-third of the project’s estimated $400,000 cost.  The Whites Bridge Historical Society must raise the remaining $125,000.  Byle says the group has hired a professional grant writer to pursue additional project funding.  Once the historical society has collected enough money, the funding will be signed over to Keene Township, which will work with the Ionia County Road Commission on rebuilding the bridge. 

My Town Belding: Drivers detoured as crews replace bridge over Flat River

My Town Belding: Drivers detoured as crews replace bridge over Flat River

OTISCO TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  Work is underway on replacing the Long Lake Road Bridge over the Flat River, leading to detours for drivers.

Ionia County highway engineer Paul Spitzley says the project started April 28 and is expected to stretch into mid-September.  Crews are replacing the deteriorating two-lane bridge with a 105-foot span composed of concrete box beams with pre-stressed steel, created in Kalamazoo.  The  new bridge will not have load restrictions, aside from state guidelines.

Spitzley says 80 percent of funding for the $1.1 million project is coming from federal grants.  The State of Michigan is picking up 15 percent of the cost; the rest will be covered by the Ionia County Road Commission and Otisco Township.

My Town Greenville: Voters approve special education millage boost

My Town Greenville: Voters approve special education millage boost

GREENVILLE, Mich.— For the first time in decades, Montcalm County's special education millage is about to increase.

In a 3,596 to 2,764 vote Tuesday night, voters approved hiking the tax from 2.1878 mills to 3.5 mills. Supporters say Montcalm County had the lowest special education millage in the eight-county area. The millage rate had remained the same for 24 years.

Montcalm County voters also approved maintaining a $2.85 monthly surcharge for  9-1-1 service for five years.  The proposal passed by 3,890 votes to 1,422 votes.  The money will go toward maintaining and operating the emergency dispatch system within the county.

The Montcalm County millage for Commission on Aging was also approved by voters.  To see the complete election results, visit the WZZM 13 homepage here.