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Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—  Before this weekend’s storm,  the Ottawa County Road Commission says it was already over 70 percent through its budget for the entire winter season.

That budget pays for clearing, sanding and salting roads.  During a typical year, the County Road Commission will use about 20,000 to 25,000 tons of salt and 14,000 to 18,000 tons of sand, leading to a bill that can total $2 million- $3 million annually.  As of Jan. 10, 2014, the Ottawa County Road Commission already blew through $1.85 million of its $2.6 million budget.  The cost of salt isn’t helping; the Road Commission says the price per ton has nearly doubled since 2003.

During winter, the Ottawa County Road Commission operates 62 snow plows out of four garages located in Coopersville, Grand Haven Township, Hudsonville and Holland Township.  It can take the team up to three days to clear all Ottawa County roads after a typical snow storm.


City water rate decrease up for discussion Jan. 27

City water rate decrease up for discussion Jan. 27

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—The Coopersville City Council is expected to discuss whether to pass along a slight price drop in Ottawa County water rates to customers.

The water rate dropped approximately $0.05 per 1,000 gallons beginning Jan. 1.  City Manager Steven Patrick is recommending water rates remain the same for customers so the city can set aside additional funding for future maintenance projects and upgrades as needed.  However, the city council is not expected to take action on the proposal.

Patrick is also recommending the city purchase a backup pump in case the booster pump on 64th Avenue at W. Randall Street fails.  Patrick says if the emergency arose, the $5,005 price tag of a backup pump is relatively low when compared to how long it could take to provide water to the nearby homes and businesses that need it.

The City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27.

Crashes mar morning commute; two injured

(WZZM) Three vehicles were involved in a morning crash in northern Kent County.

The crash happened at the intersection of Seven Mile Road and Fruitridge Avenue.

Police on the scene tell our crew that an SUV traveling west on Seven Mile ran the stop sign at the corner of Fruitridge Avenue striking a vehicle.  That vehicle was then pushed into a third vehicle.

All the people involved in the crash refused medical treatment.

Another crash with injuries took place about the same time at 68th Avenue and Leonard Street near Coopersville. 

Police say 54-year-old Robert Hill, Jr. was driving north on 68th Avenue when he crossed the center line and hit a box truck, and then another truck head on.  Hill, and the driver of the other pick up, 25 year old Kurt Zwak of Coopersville, were both pinned in their vehicles.  Firefighters from Coopersville and Allendale extricated the men from their vehicles.

Planning commission to review Coopersville Master Plan

Planning commission to review Coopersville Master Plan

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.-- The Coopersville Planning Commission will review and begin revising the city's Master Plan during the regular commission meeting Monday, Jan. 20.

The review session comes as developers continue to work on a couple site plans within the city.  Planning Director Steven Patrick says both projects are not ready to be presented to the commission, so the group of city leaders will use their time to update the Master Plan, which is required by law to be revised or reviewed every five years.

Monday night's meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Missing elderly man found dead

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The body of Bob Farthing was found in the back of his vehicle by family members.  His daughter says it was parked at a hotel on the East Beltline.

Farthing, 78, travelled from Flint with his wife on Wednesday.  Police say he dropped her off to Spectrum Butterworth to visit a patient and said he was going to a nearby restaurant for some food. He never returned to pick her up.

"He would never, ever have disappeared, he would have never taken off and left my mother like this," said Denise Shaheen, Farthing's daughter. She says there is only one explanation for the disappearance. "He is struggling with the withdrawal from the drug Paxil."

After using the antidepressant for 15 years, his family says doctors were weaning Farthing off of the powerful drug and putting him on other medicine. But it was a difficult process.

Teens injured as truck tries to pass school bus

OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Three teenagers from Careerline Tech Center were injured, one seriously, when their pickup truck clipped a school bus and rolled over.

The crash happened Thursday morning at 120th Avenue, just south of Croswell Street. 

According to the Grand Haven Tribune, Brian Graftema, 19, of Conklin, tried to pass the Allendale school bus, but lost control and clipped the bus, causing his truck to rollover several times.

His back seat passenger, Tianna Bigelow, 16, of Hudsonville, was ejected from the vehicle and was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Graftema and his front seat passenger, Tyler Brandham, 18, of Coopersville, were also injured and were in stable condition.

Coopersville City Council approves renewing inmate work agreement

Coopersville City Council approves renewing inmate work agreement

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--  Coopersville will continue to use Ottawa County’s Sentence Work Abatement Program to help ease the workload of its Department of Public Works.

During Monday night’s meeting, the council unanimously approved renewing its SWAP service agreement for the year.  City Manager Steven Patrick says the program puts inmates to work, providing additional labor for the city at an economical rate.  Inmates are assigned to low-priority but necessary tasks like clearing paths, walkways, storm retention areas and washing city vehicles.

Patrick says Coopersville has been participating in SWAP for more than a decade.