Stunning & Explosive Report Penned By Saugatuck Township Planning Commission Chair Raises Serious Legal & Ethical Questions About Decisions & Actions Of Saugatuck Township Clerk & Township Zoning Administrator Involving Major Development Project --See Page 10 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING April 21, 2017 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN Vol. 15 No. 16 Douglas City Officials In Process Of Creating Three New Special Assessment Districts To Deal With Problematic “Spaghetti” Water Lines Which Are Inadequate To Serve Planned Building Projects Efrain Sandoval Correspondent Still faced with either a lack of main water lines or problems caused by “spaghetti” lines, the City of Douglas is in the process of creat-ing three special assessment districts in different parts of the town, includ-ing the areas at or near McVea Street, Freemont and Ellis streets; and May Avenue and 1st Street, to construct new standard water lines. Douglas officials reported on Monday they will have more information about the costs and specificities of the project at the next meeting in two weeks, as they are cur-rently holding talks with city engi-neers. “People (developers) are waiting to build,” Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere said in his Monday report, referring to a number of homebuilders wanting to build around the affected areas. But the city first wants to make sure there is adequate water supply infrastructure before giving developers the green light. “There is a clearly a desire to move forward,” said LeFevere. The problem is a complex one. Part of the root cause is that when the Douglas community was first being built, waterlines were not installed in every street, officials have said. Spaghetti connections— homes supplied by other lines that do not include the main water line—are substandard and unsuitable to pro-vide for present and future develop-ment. The main lines are owned by the city, but managed by the local water treatment plant, Kalamazoo Lake Sewer & Water Authority (KLSWA). Asked what portion of the project expenses will be shouldered by the homeowners and what portion will be the responsibility of the city, if any, for the three proposed districts, Douglas City Treasurer Bob Drexler informed The Local Observer, “We haven’t decided on that yet.” He explained engineers still need to lay out more details, come up with an estimate, and bid out the project. There was an unfavorable response on the part of some affected property owners back in 2014 when the city proposed creating the Freemont-Ellis Street Water Main Special Assessment District, near W Center Street. The pushback culminated in the city withdrawing that plan. Critics were particularly concerned with cost, particularly if the city had opted, among other options, to have the nine homeown-ers shoulder all the expenses for a water main assessment, estimated then to total $100,000, meaning $11,000 for each property. The other option was to have both the city and property own-ers contribute to the cost, though the exact split was still a matter of discus-sion. Samuel Grant Farnsworth, 45 Samuel Grant Farnsworth May 27, 1971 – April 15, 2017 After a second battle with cancer, this one only 7 months, Sam Farnsworth, 45, passed away quickly, without warning or fear, in the arms of his loved ones in the home that he built and loved so very much. Sam is survived by his nephew Jared Anderson of Chicago, and his closest friend Ryan Bracken, of Fennville, whom he shared an incredible love and bond with. Sam left behind so many close friends that it would be impossible to list them all, but they include Michael Phillips, of Fort Lauderdale, Peggy Sheffold, of St. Louis, Howard McVea, of Dallas, Meredeth Tabscott, of St. Louis, Bruce Blitch, of Holland, Carol and Chris Lozano, of Fennville, DeeDee and Jeff Vickers of Saugatuck, Dave Hulst and Joe Michaels of Saugatuck, and Travis and Jess Gray, of Fennville. In 2005, Sam came to Saugatuck with his then partner, in search of a weekend home. Instead, he found a wonderful community and family that he became a huge part of, that he loved, and was so proud of. This community opened its heart to Sam when he was ill sev-eral years ago, as it did when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September of 2016. Sam touched the lives of so many people in so many ways small and large. Everyone seemed to love him, and admire his strength, courage, and incredibly positive outlook. At a time when many might have stayed in bed, Sam was at the gym, taking a hike, cooking for friends, traveling, and squeezing every last moment out of life that he could – always with a smile on his face and a warm hug for a friend or stranger. Sam always seemed to make people feel special. He didn’t try, it was just how he was. People also seemed to reciprocate this to him. His numerous Doctor and Hospital visits were no exception. Sam received extraordi-nary care that often moved him to tears, and was grateful to the incredible Doctors, Nurses, and staff at Holland Hospital, his Oncologist Dr. Eric Batts, who was always so generous with his time, explaining things to Sam and his loved ones, and Dr. Matthew Packard, his Radiologist. Sam was also so comfort-ed by the warm care he received from Dr. Wyn at Hospice of Holland, and from Emily and Michelle, his palliative care nurses, who made Sam feel like he was the only patient they had. Lastly, we are eternally grateful to the first responders who showed up so quickly. We would especially like to thank Michael England, from the Saugatuck Fire Department, who was the first per-son on the scene and tried so hard to save Sam. All the first responders were so sensitive and respectful, and Sam’s loved ones were incredi-bly moved by their kindness. As was his wish, a funeral will not be held, and Sam will be cremated. A private graveside serv-ice and event will be held for close family and friends. In lieu of flowers, dona-tions may be made in Sam’s honor to Hospice of Holland. What we keep in memory is ours unchanged forever
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