2018-01-18 / News Briefs

In brief

City council approves fire agreement

SWARTZ CREEK – The Swartz Creek City Council has approved amendments to the fire operating agreement with Clayton Township.

Under the new terms, a super-majority vote is required for all major decisions, ensuring that neither municipality has absolute authority during the years they have the majority on the fire board. Each community annually appoints three members; the city and township alternate years for appointing the seventh. The next shift will occur in April, when the city assigns a fourth delegate. In addition, the amendments require that each municipality appoint two elected officials and one resident who holds no elected office. The super-majority rule is effective immediately. Effective dates for the appointment rules coincide with the first regular city and township meetings following each general election. The entire interlocal agreement is in effect through Oct. 31, 2019. Township Supervisor Chris Gehringer and City Manager Adam Zettel crafted the changes following four divisive years that peaked with the dismissal of long-time Fire Chief Brent Cole in September. The Clayton Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the amended agreement in December. The City Council approved the changes by a 5-2 vote Monday, Jan. 8. – L.R.

New phone scam reported

GAINES TOWNSHIP – There’s a new scam hitting the area by phone. According to Gaines Township Police Chief Mark Schmitzer, callers are stating that the call recipients’ Microsoft licenses have expired and, to keep their computers on or maintain access to the internet, they must renew the licenses. Callers say they need $100 for the renewal; for senior citizens, there is a special program costing only $50. The callers speak fluent English but have strong foreign accents, Schmitzer said. He has identified two numbers – 866-800-0255 and 800-619-0753 – from which the calls appear to originate. Police in the Gaines Township and Swartz Creek area began receiving reports of the calls Jan. 9. “We are urging people not to fall for this scam as Microsoft would never call you in reference to the Microsoft computer license you legally purchased for your various programs,” Schmitzer said. – L.R.

Park plan approved

SWARTZ CREEK – The Swartz Creek City Council has approved a new five-year park plan. The plan is required in order to apply for state Department of Natural Resources grants and other funding. A hallmark of the city’s goals for improving the parks is a 4.7-mile nonmotorized trail linking the Genesee Valley Trail in Flint Township to Elms Park and, eventually, along the Swartz Creek to Winshall Park. The intent is to develop the trail in three phases, and city officials are pursuing grants to help pay the estimated $1.8 million total cost. Rowe Professional Services assisted the Parks and Recreation Advisory board in developing the blueprint for the parks system. Public input also was considered. Ninety-two people responded to a parks survey last summer. Of those, 96 percent said parks add to the quality of life, tourism and economy of a community. Respondents ranked trails as a top priority. – L.R.

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