Niles Twp. mulls stance on servicesPublished 7:39pm Thursday, September 6, 2012
It remains to be seen whether Niles Charter Township will weigh in on the north-south Berrien County service discussion as Niles City Council did by resolution last month.
“I think we should consider drawing up one of our own,” Clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt said at Tuesday night’s meeting. “It really would be nice if our commissioner was here, but I think John LaMore supports the move.”
“Truthfully, Berrien Springs is probably the right place” for a centralized county campus, Treasurer Jim Ringler said. “Berrien Springs supports a college (Andrews University). They’ve got infrastructure.”
LaMore said Thursday, “For the most part, things are done fairly effectively. It might be nice to look at Berrien Springs, but when you look at the whole county, it’s basically a big triangle. There isn’t an easy avenue to Berrien Springs for the New Buffalo area. Sitting it out next to the bypass makes a straight shot, north to south. Is that perfect? No, we’re not a square county. I’d like to see the state office back with stuff like child support because people on very limited incomes can’t get back and forth. When you sit on this side of the fence up here, you have to objectively think of the entire picture.”
County Administrator Bill Wolf Aug. 9 discussed options to address needs of animal control and the health department as part of the 2013 budget process, such as building a “campus” over the next 15 to 20 years on 48 acres on Napier Avenue near Lake Michigan College in Benton Township.
Wolf estimated the cost of constructing animal control and health department facilities at $10.7 million to $13.7 million.
A second option would be purchasing 26 adjacent acres with two large buildings leased by Tyler Honda, moving to a new home in Lincoln Township.
Existing structures could be remodeled for animal control and the health department at a projected cost of $7.3 million to $8.3 million with future space for Berrien Bus.
Tags: Niles Charter Township