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Niles Township residents share concerns about roads, fireworks

NILES TOWNSHIP — Niles Township board members heard from residents about fireworks and road concerns at their regular meeting Monday night.

Resident Ralph Vosburgh said that people were shooting off fireworks around the July 4 holiday well past midnight. He said Sheriff’s Department Lt. Rich Johnson told him they did not’t have the manpower to answer all fireworks complaints.

Daniels asked about the possibility of repairs being made to roads in the Oak Manor subdivision. He noted that the school district’s administration and alternative education program are both housed in the former Oak Manor school and that the roads there are “horrendous.”

Niles Township Treasurer Jim Ringler said that subdivision roads like the ones in Oak Manor are the last priority of the Berrien County Road Department. Trustee Herschel Hoese added that the road department will fix potholes but will not make major repairs unless improvements like storm sewers are put in, a move which could cost $1 million or more.

Board members also heard a report from Trustee Dan Pularski about the Southeast Berrien County Landfill. Pularski said landfill officials have had a landfill expansion study done that shows the landfill has 27 years of life left if it expands. Ringler noted that it is a subject that Niles Township needs to look at closely since it has 40 percent ownership in the landfill. In action:

Board members hired a new cleaning service for the township hall. The Executive Cleaning Service out of Mishawaka was the high bidder at $975 a month, but board members said the company had come highly recommended. The new contract is for one year and starts Aug. 1.

Board members approved amending the resort ordinance to add resorts as a special use in agriculture and residential districts. The change has been approved by the township and county planning commissions.

Board members bought a new Kyocera copier for the fire department. The new machine from the Copy Image will print, copy and scan and cost $1,375. It replaces one from 2005.

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