Cannon Township

Cannon Township calls for stream study volunteers

July 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cannon Township seeks volunteers to be part of a stream study group that will assess macro-invertebrates in Bear Creek. Kim Sapkowski, watershed administrative assistant for Cannon Township, said, “Volunteers need not have expearience or knowledge on macro-invertebrates or stream studies; just an interest in stream life and the desire to see our community take a proactive stance on watershed health.” Volunteers may do one or more of the following activities: • Put on waders and dig around the creek bottom with a net. • Remove macro-invertebrates from the net and place them in trays. • Identify the macro-invertebrates. • Place the insects in vials. • Make tabulations on sheets of paper. • Take photos. Volunteers will go out in groups on a specific date in spring and fall of 2011. If you are interested in being a volunteer, you must attend a one-day training session at Cannon Township Center in September (date to be later announced, but will most likely take place on a Saturday). “Although the stream study dates are a ways off, the September 2010 training is not. The Township would like to start gathering volunteers now,” said Sapkowski. Macro-invertebrates are animals without backbones that are larger than 1/2 millimeter (the size of a pencil dot). These aquatic animals live on rocks, logs, sediment, debris and aquatic plants. They include crustaceans such as crayfish, mollusks such as clams and snails, aquatic worms and the immature and adult forms of aquatic insects such as stoneflies and mayflies. Collecting and counting macro-invertebrates indicates the health of a stream. More diversity equals a healthier stream. Threats to macro-invertebrates are sedimentation, habitat loss and chemical pollution. “Cannon Township was recently awarded a $1,000 grant for macro-invertebrate/steam studies through the Michigan Clean Water Corps [MiCorps]. This grant will allow us to organize a large group of volunteers who will go out on Bear Creek to count and observe the macro-invertebrates. Stream studies will help the Township make better decisions regarding the creek and the Bear Creek Watershed,” stated Sapkowski. If you are interested in being a volunteer for this project, call Kim Sapkowski at (616) 874-6966 or e-mail her at

Letters to the Editor — July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cannon Township Trustee endorses MacGregor Editor, As most of you know there are nine Republican candidates campaigning for the State House in the 73rd District. This is a result of Tom Pearce being term limited. I am supporting Peter MacGregor for this position because of his nine years with the township government, three years as a trustee and six years as supervisor. I have been privileged to serve with Peter these nine years on the Cannon Township board. Because he has shown great ability and responsibility in local government, I am supporting Peter in the August 3 primary. As supervisor, Peter has always had a genuine concern for the township citizens welfare, keeping a balanced budget and making sound decisions on local issues. In addition, Peter has other numerous endorsements including Representateve Tom Pearce, Senator Mark Jansen, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Chamber of Cammerce, PAC and Peter Kruer. I encourage everyone in the 73rd District to vote the candidate with the most practical experience to lead us. Please elect Peter MacGregor on August 3. Dick Davies Cannon Township Truste LaPeer endorses MacGregor for State Representative  Editor, The 73rd House District Republican Primary has many fine candidates. There is one person in the race, however, that I believe to be a very exceptional candidate and that I would like to highly recommend to voters: Cannon Township Supervisor Peter MacGregor. I have worked with Pete for over 15 years in local government service, watching as he progressed from Planning Commissioner, to Township Trustee, to Township Supervisor. In all these positions Pete exhibited strong leadership in the form of listening to our residents, taking care of their needs, and formulating sound government policies based on his ingrained “customer service” orientation. Worthy of mention in this difficult year, Pete took the lead in re-examining our local budget priorities, driving a budget process that achieved balance, and yet reflected vital priorities such as police, fire and roads. In addition to a strong local government background, Pete has extensive experience as a small business owner, and well understands that essential component of Michigan’s’ economic future. This combination of experience, customer service, hard work and discipline make Peter MacGregor the very best candidate for voters of the 73rd House District […]

Cannon Township approves fire barn expansion

July 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

A healthy bid environment—depending on which side of the bid you are—allowed Cannon Township to choose a local builder to expand the fire station at less cost than expected. Nugent Builders was chosen for an expansion expected to serve the township’s needs for the next 20-plus years, according to Township Supervisor Peter MacGregor. The township fire department has been building a fund for the improvement for the past 14 years and will pay for the project with cash in hand. “We aren’t going into debt; we aren’t putting out bonds,” MacGregor said. MacGregor said he doesn’t want township residents to consider the move a frivolous one in light of tight budgets everywhere. “The motivation behind this is we can’t put another fire truck in our existing facilities,” he stated. “We have a vintage 1980 fire barn, but need to buy another truck in two to three years.” MacGregor said township officials expected the bid to come in around a million and a quarter, but Nugent and two other local builders came in at much lower than expected. Nugent bid $1,025,000. Visser and Visser and Rockford Construction were the next two lowest bidders for the job. MacGregor said the township has a policy of using local contractors whenever possible. Originally 12 contractors were pre-approved to submit the bids. The fire station will be expanded from two “tiny” bays to three large bays and the existing station will benefit from some remodeling to be more efficient. MacGregor said he considers this a win-win situation that residents should be pleased with on three counts. “It’s a win for the fire department, which has been saving their money for fourteen years,” he stated. “It’s a win because of the good bid environment and it’s a win because we wanted a local builder with local subcontractors to do the job.” MacGregor believes taxpayers should congratulate the township on saving up money for the project and waiting for a good environment in which to solicit the work.

Cannon Township awarded stream-monitoring grant

June 3, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cannon Township has been awarded a $1,054 grant from the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Program. The grant will help the township design a monitoring strategy for Bear Creek, a tributary to the Grand River. The grant was awarded through the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s (DNRE) MiCorps Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program. Kim Sapkowski, Watershed Administrative Assistant for Cannon Township, applied for the grant in February. The grant, along with assistance from MiCorps, will help the Bear Creek Watershed Council, a partner with Cannon Township, set stream study goals, interpret stream data and use the data for decision-making and educating the public. Sapkowski stated, “The members of the Bear Creek Watershed Council and Cannon Township have established a proactive stance to watershed health. We can measure certain data of a stream, such as temperature and clarity, but we need to know what that data means and how we can use it. This grant will allow us to craft a stream study plan that will give us specific information for planning and education.” The grant required each recipient to have specific goals for the grant project. Sapkowski said, “Our goal is to answer the following questions: How will our community benefit from the stream studies? How will we use the data? How will we build and maintain the volunteer base? How will the stream study program be financed over the long term? What parameters will be studied and how many sampling locations along Bear Creek will be studied?” The project will get underway in June 2010 and will conclude in February 2011. At that time, Cannon Township will be eligible to apply for a larger MiCorps grant that will train volunteers in stream study data collection, such as macro invertebrate studies. Three other organizations across the state were also awarded start-up grants from MiCorps. They are Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, Gogebic Conservation District and Midland Conservation District. Sapkowski will be the project manager for Cannon Township’s grant. She has been the Watershed Administrative Assistant at Cannon Township for four years. As part of her position, she conducts lake studies through the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program, coordinates the Bear Creek Watershed Council, organizes the Bear Creek Waterfest, visits schools, helps citizens solve water quality problems and […]

Cannon Fire Chief Harry Morris recognized by Endowment

May 27, 2010 // 0 Comments

Each year the Rockford Community Endowment recognizes a few special people for their life-long contribution to the community. This year’s inductees to the Peppler Park Recognition Plaza were all posthumous awards. Submitted by Cannon Township, this is the biography of Fire Chief Harry Morris, Jr. Life of Harry Morris Jr. Fire Chief Harry Morris, affectionately known as “Junior” was Cannon Township’s fire chief for 39 years before he died in January 2009. He served the community of Cannon Township in the fire service for 55 years and was named fire chief on April 14, 1970. Morris was born May 12, 1925 in Cannon Township, the son of Harry and Mary (Byrne) Morris. He worked the family farm along with his daughters and sons. With his son Jim (the current fire chief) they operated the only active dairy farm in Cannon Township. Throughout his storied career, the Cannon Fire Department underwent many transitions. In the beginning, the two-stall station built by volunteers, donations and a sense of duty to the community, helped serve the tiny community. As the township grew so did the sense of duty and safety to the residents of Cannon Township community and nearby communities. He was the driving force that incorporated EMS service into the fire department. Cannon Township Fire Department has become one of the most respected and successful departments in the region and a point of pride for all of Cannon Township. On June 19, 2004 a dedication ceremony was held to rename the Cannon Township Fire Station No. 1 in his honor to recognize Chief Morris’s 50 years service to the township. His wife Partricia (Scheidel) the love of his life, died on January 12, 1984. Together they had nine children, all of whom still live in the area. He has 23 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. His progressive style and dedication to the people of Cannon Township is dearly missed by his community and fellow firefighters.

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