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WESTWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
MEETING AGENDA DATE: October 21, 2020
Place: Meeting place closed due to Corona Virus 19
I. Zoom Meeting held with information to be posted on web page.
II. Roll call of Board Members and count of attendees.
A. Discussion of September meeting.
B. Status of Public Safety.
1. Crime Report and any other information.
IV. Committee Reports:
A. Kalamazoo Township Planning Commission Notes. (if available)
B. Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Westwood.
C. Street Safety: Nichols Road Update.
D. Neighborhood Business Updates.
1. Five Lakes and Chick fil-A.
V. Public Comments – Chance for neighbors to bring up issues not discussed.
Next meeting date, November 18, 2020, 7:00 pm. It will be a Zoom Meeting.
Ronald Huster is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Westwood Neighborhood Association Zoom Meeting
Time: Oct 21, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 914 387 5082
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Westwood Neighborhood Association meeting minutes from 9/16/2020
Meeting called to order on Zoom by President Ron Huster at 7:02 pm
Officers in attendance: Bob Bolinger, Rod Leversee, Angie Ponzini, Marti Nuyen, Ron Huster, Penny Thompson
Neighbors in attendance: Warren Cook, Steve Leuty, Katy Lagoni, Katherine Mills, Katherine Walden, Sean Fletcher, James Klute, CoCo Cook, Cathy Ur, Janine ?, Kimmy ?, I phone KT, 4KayMU. Neighbors attending on their phones are asked to please identify themselves for our records at future meetings.
Bob Bolinger reported about safety in the neighborhood. 80 crimes reported in the past month. Assault is the biggest category with 16 family disputes. Larceny, motor vehicle theft and break-ins followed in the 2 mile radius of the fire station tracked.
Ron Huster reported about speeding on North St. There is some discussion about possibly increasing the speed limit to either 35 or 40 miles per hour, as North St is considered a corridor through the neighborhood. Kal Co Road Commission says there is no other option to offer.
Chicane experiment on the Northside (Patterson and Harrison Streets) has been abandoned as it proved unsuccessful in slowing traffic. Speed bumps are now under consideration.
Traffic on Nichols/ N. 14th St. Is travelling faster than the posted speed limits per a recent survey conducted by Kal Co Road Commission and the Michigan State Police. Based on this survey, there may be a recommendation to increase the speed limits. Members expressed concern about how this action would help ensure safety or keep drivers obeying the speed limits. CoCo Cook expressed being unable to see the wisdom of this action, given the schools, churches, public buildings and pedestrians on Nichols Rd. Katherine Mills wonders if revenue from tickets issued doesn’t cover the cost of enforcement.
Steve Leuty feels the road commission didn’t factor for the neighborhood density as you enter Westwood. He feels 45 MPH is too fast for the surroundings. He wonders if people feel police are not enforcing the speed limit due to Covid-19 concerns over exposure. Stever feels we should get more data and appeal. We should email regarding our concerns to the township board and cc our messages to Don Martin. It was observed that the situation could worsen after Chick fil A opens in the near future, as the traffic and congestion will increase in the neighborhood.
Ron feels we are compromising our right to safety with all these driving issues.
Katy Walden asked about township staffing levels. No one in attendance is able to speak to this question. Recommended we ask Chief Ergang. We know the coverage is 24 hrs a day, and that Parchment officers assist. Officers also having to do a lot else, such as code enforcement and noxious weed violations. Ron reported that 6 new officers have recently been added.
CoCo wants to use the “Watch Your Speed” sign on her street (Westwood St.)
Property owner James Klute is attending our meeting remotely from FL. He is the owner of the property on Grand Prairie which incurred the shooting and fire. He reports the house will soon be razed and new housing built on the site.
Marti Nuyen wonders if this is a neighborhood association issue. Bob Bolinger feels it effects our property values and that residents have been concerned about the status of the property and delays in resolution.
Warren Cook regarding the planning commission. Warren reported the Business 131 corridor to N. Westnedge is now accessible. Graphic Packaging is enlarging, building new structures in a $600 million expansion. There are concerns regarding individuals installing solar panels, the placement and size of the panels. The question exists if they should be limited in yards. It is expected there will be an ordinance created soon.
Warren reports the Master Plan for the township is being updated, but Covid-19 has complicated the process as it makes getting input more difficult.
Ron Huster reported he has 3 volunteers who will work on the township’s Master Plan. Marti Nuyen has volunteered previously to work on the city’s portion but has not heard anything for several months.
Katherine Mills shared with Warren that she has connections at KPS if that would benefit his work.
Steve Leuty reported that neighbors are still expressing frustration with Republic Services. Dexter Mitchell is pressing them for better clearer bills. It appears there was poor preparation for the July bulk pick up, there seemed to be inadequate staffing and very slow completion. It was suggested we post an update on FB that we are actively working on this problem, and that concerns are being heard. Ron reports he has presented data in the past with no resolution. Steve welcomes input regarding Republic Service issues via email.
Ron reported that Five Lakes Coffee Shop is still in the works at the old KFC building. Proposed opening date is unknown at this time.
Cathy Ur asks what the plan for Halloween will be. Katherine Mills offers the idea of a reverse Trick or Treat, where adults drive by and distribute candy to children.
Warren Cook expressed wondering is our by-laws need revising, as 3 minutes may be an inadequate length of time to make a report. He asks if there are any better options and feels it is difficult to be compliant with the time limits.
Katherine Mills suggests a list of township board members be created to assist with making contact
with the appropriate persons. Also suggested we include email addresses for those who don’t use social media as much.
Ron reported 3 new trustees will be added to the township board as of 11/1/2020. He has spoken to 2 of them and requested they join us at a future meeting.
Warren shared that the township has a new IT person, Ben, who may be able to simplify the website contacts.
Next meeting: October 21, 2020 via Zoom. The meeting info will be sent in an email and posted on the neighborhood page on FB. Meeting adjourned by consensus at 8:30pm.
Please submit additions or corrections to: email@example.com
Respectfully submitted, Penny Thompson, Secretary
Westwood Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes of 8/19/2020
Meeting called to order by President Ron Huster at 7:02 pm.
Board in attendance: Ken Wood, Rod Leversee, Bob Bolinger, Angie Ponzini, Ron Huster and Penny Thompson.
Members in attendance: Steve Leuty, Kim’s I phone, Theresa’s I phone, George Korr, Allison Korr, Denise Hartsough, Brian Hoppe, CoCo Cook, Art’s I Pad, Warren Cook and unknown person at phone # 269 760 2792.
Old Business: Chick fil A progress, building has started. There are still concerns expressed regarding the potential impact on traffic at the already busy intersection of W. Main and Drake.
Continuing traffic and safety concerns in the neighborhood: Neighbors at North and Berkley are experiencing drag racing up North St. Hill. Chief Ergang and Dexter Mitchell are working on a possible solution.
A letter from neighbors on Nelson Ave has been received expressing concern regarding WMU opening the gate to the back entrance to the Valley to facilitate students arriving on campus. Hopefully this will be temporary during move in weeks.
Neighbors on Rock Valley Drive are concerned regarding illegal parking on their street. Township has sent a letter to neighbors regarding parking improperly. The letter cited the potential for $500.00 tickets being issued. Allison Korr reports it has taken an excessive amount of time to get any resolution, despite having met three times for over an hour each expressing concerns to township officials. Question expressed about the possibility of a sign on the fence?
Steve Leuty reports he recently met with Dexter Mitchell. He learned the position of Code Enforcement was created and recently filled by Rob McCain who will be working 30 hrs. / week in the job. The position was open for several months before Rob was hired.
Ron suggests we schedule meetings with elected officials to discuss our continuing safety concerns.
Rod Leversee asks regarding progress on razing the burned out farmhouse on Grand Prairie. Penny reports she has seen flags in the yard, appearing to be marking utility lines in preparation for the tear down. Neighbors have heard that 2 or 3 houses will be built on the lot.
Regarding the US 131 penetrator resurfacing: Work has started and will continue for several months.
Regarding the proposed Mulder recycling center: Time frame for recruitment for members of the review board has been extended. 17 members for the Solid Waste Management Committee are being sought. Also, Kal. Valley River Trail has to act. Several of these issues will take a long time to resolve.
Angie has placed a “Watch Your Speed” sign on her street and has seen some improvement. There also was a patrol car sited on the street for a while, which may also have helped.
Ron reports our organization has received a donation of a Bushnell radar speed detector, but it has not yet been put into use. Ron also feels changing the location of the signs may also help, as people stop seeing them after a while.
Ron suggests putting out a flier and then having meetings in neighborhoods regarding traffic issues. Also putting out more signs in an attempt to try to curb speeding on our streets.
Follow up on garage sales held in August: Shoppers were courteous and generally compliant with mask wearing and distancing. Bob wonders about posting consistent hours, as he had early shoppers.
New Business: It is reported that 38% of voters used absentee voting in our most recent election. This is a considerable increase over prior years.
Denise Hartsough reports regarding township business: The Latvian Church rebuild plan was approved for restoration after the fire last spring.
Locating a lumber yard at the old M & M Motor Mall on Sprinkle has been approved.
The approval of 3 gravel yards in the area has been continued.
A request for a greenhouse storage building on Foster St was denied due to the plan being found deficient.
Lounsberry Excavating Inc. business is adding a location on Ravine Rd.
Ron and Denise report that neighbors are parking campers in their neighborhoods for long durations. It appears persons are purchasing campers without thinking about the storage issues.
Ron has received the “Black Lives Matter” multi-colored signs and is selling them. He will donate any excess revenues above cost to the WNA. He estimates it may be +/- $50. He has 4 or 5 left, cost is $11.50.
Also, WNA t-shirts are available, about 6 or 8 of them. Check with Ron for sizes, colors, and prices.
5 Lakes Coffee Shop will be opening soon in the old KFC building on W. Main. Not much known about this business so far.
Steve Leuty reported that Kal Township is working on a firework ordinance. The 1st reading has occurred. It will match what the state already has in place. A public hearing is pending 8/24.
There will be an additional bulk trash pick up on Monday 8/24 for township residents. This is to make up for earlier missed pick up in April due to Covid-19.
Residents continue to experience problems with Republic Services recycling collection. The previously planned meeting with them was scratched due to Covid.
Ron moved adjournment of the meeting at 8:30 pm. Rod seconded and the meeting was adjourned.
Next Zoom meeting will be Weds 9/16 at 7pm. The Zoom sign in will be posted on the neighborhood web page.
Respectfully Submitted, Penny Thompson, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
This could easily be the most important election of our lifetime! Please vote by mail, if you can, and get your ballot out as soon as you can.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
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Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at the Westwood Fire Station, 1310 Nichols Road at 7:00 pm. When not possible to meet face to face, we will do Zoom Meetings
We try to keep them to one hour meetings, but many times there is too much to discuss - and that's why we meet - to discuss what's on our minds
We meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM A Zoom link gets posted on this site prior to each meeting.