June 25 2009

Proposed sports fields would bring millions to area

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Millions of dollars would come to the area if a proposed sports complex is built on Ten Mile Road. According to Mike Guswiler, Executive Director of the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC), this area was identified in a study as being ideal for a sports complex. “We really took a look at this and had a consultant come in and tell us what the best sports fields were… They said travel amateur and youth baseball and softball leagues would use the fields Thursday through Sunday,” he stated. The WMSC is a three-year-old organization designed to promote economic opportunities for the area. They identified the site, in part, because it is county-owned. On Thursday, June 11, the WMSC approached the Kent County Board of Commissioners asking if a long-term lease of the property could be arranged for one dollar a year. Roger Morgan, Chairman of the Kent County Board of Commissioners, said their finance committee formed a sub-committee to look into the legalities of such a transaction. “Because that land was purchased by ratepayer dollars, there may be some stipulations as to its use,” he said. He added that he is entirely in support of the project. City Manager Michael Young, who is on the Ten Mile Corridor Committee dedicated to controlling retail growth in the corridor, said this use would be accepted. “We wouldn’t want any of the fast food or retail that can come with this kind of development, but we don’t oppose this use at all,” he said. Guswiler said the study the WMSC is following shows that 12 fields and a championship field would be ideal. It would cost 5.6 million to build, not including any land cost. A donor was identified who would offer a fund-matching gift of part of the amount. That offer is tentatively on hold, however, given the state of the state economy. “We are not a development organization, we are in a position to lead the discussion on this project,” said Guswiler. He said economic growth through increased hotel/motel revenue is a part of the goal in creating a project like this, but not the whole purpose. “Our studies show that people will travel within 40 miles of this complex for shopping, dining and other reasons,” said […]

Cannon Town Square in foreclosure

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

The proposed Cannon Town Square development on which Ric’s Food Center sits-and not much else-is in the process of foreclosure. Independent Bank will likely become the owner of the property, and is asking Cannon Township to reduce the amount of the bank line of credit against infrastructure requirements. According to Supervisor Pete MacGregor, the development will “plug and play” for anyone in a position to start building on the site. The infrastructure-roads, sewer, curbs, etc.,-are complete, with the exception of rain gardens. “Everyone loves Ric’s,” MacGregor said. “This board very much wants Ric’s to be successful. When they went in, they expected a whole community to be built around them and those would be their customers. That didn’t happen. They are an island.” MacGregor said the Planned Unit Development at the northwest intersection of Myers Lake Road and Belding Road is slated for 85 single homes, town homes, retail and office. A bank, cafe and restaurant were already approved and one of those businesses could build tomorrow. The proposed development was also slated to boast a clubhouse and park. As it stands, anyone who purchases the development would have to adhere to the conditions of the original PUD. “They can come back and ask for changes,” MacGregor said. The Town Square was designed to be a walkable, neighbor-friendly community. Original developers, Tol Companies Incorporated, planned to have a mix of residential and commercial-a mini-town where residents could virtually do all their shopping without driving their cars. Robert Tol said in December of 2007 that he believed the public was ready for the project, based on the principals of New Urbanism. That concept features walkability, connectivity mixed-use diversity and the theory that people enjoy a pedestrian-friendly design. The project was pushed back by years with changes and negotiation with the township. By the time they were able to build and sell residential and commercial spaces, the economy had tanked. Now the 40-acre center is undeveloped except for  the Ric’s Food Center. MacGregor hopes that won’t be the case in the long-term. “I’d love a developer to drive by and say, ‘Wow! This is an opportunity,’ ”  he said. “I want this to be a beautiful, vivacious, thriving corner. I want it done and done right.”

Ban on eagle watching makes national news

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

The new signage making it illegal for residents to watch nesting American eagles on 12 Mile Road made national news, according to Neil Blakeslee, who last week took the Squire to task for publicizing the nest location. Blakeslee said he was out of the state when his wife saw the nest on television on a CNN broadcast. Oakfield Township Supervisor Greg Dean is convinced someone is going to get hurt on 12 Mile Road where crowds have gathered to watch a pair of eagles raising their two young. “It’s always the 10 percent that ruin it for the 90 percent,” he said. “It seems like it is always like that.” Dean said disregard for no-parking signs, standing in the road, and leaving garbage have led him to ask the Kent County Road Commission to post “No Parking, No Standing” signs at the nesting site. Dean said people have been parking in the no-parking zone, parking on private property, leaving litter and cigarette butts behind and, most importantly, standing in the road, which has a 55 MPH speed limit. Dean said a small boy was almost struck by a car on Sunday, June 14, but was pulled from harm’s way by a bystander. He said the child’s parent yelled obscenities at the driver. “I was out there all day Saturday [June 13],” he said. “A woman pulled up and   parked, and when I pointed out the no parking signs, she told me she was only going to be there a few minutes.”   Dean said he went so far as to cut trees along the roadside, trying to make more room for people to watch the eagles safely, but has given up. “I’m really upset. I didn’t want to make that decision, but someone is going to get hurt,” Dean said. He mentioned an earlier incident where a car was parked in the road in the no-parking zone. When he found the car’s owner and asked the man to leave, the man first checked to make sure his infant was still in the safety seat in the car. The no-standing signs are enforceable by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and would likely result in a $100 ticket. If Dean issues a ticket, it will result […]

Dental office puts focus on exceptional patient experience and building relationships

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Enjoy the coffee bar and internet in the waiting room before you go in for your dental appointment at Dr. John P. Klooster’s Belmont Dentistry, PLC at 1259 Post Drive in Belmont. Dr. Klooster calls his office a “scratch start-up practice based on the principals of convenience, care and value.” “Our high-tech office focuses on the patients’ experience,” he said. Dr. Klooster is proud of his profession and all it has to offer his patients. The general dentistry practice allows Dr. Klooster to provide a wide variety of services to all ages. His family dental practice offers all aspects of general dental care as well as short-term braces for adults, in-office bleaching, veneers and especially enjoys working with children. While being treated, patients can enjoy the over the-chair television with headphones and warm, scented towels after the treatment is complete. A resident of Belmont, Dr. Klooster finds the community a great place to work and raise a family. He is looking forward to building his patient family through providing excellent service and going the extra mile in his profession. “We believe we offer a unique service to our patients that will build strong, long-term relationships,” he said. “I feel really privileged to be a general dentist. It’s a profession I’m proud of and I really enjoy what I do,” he said. “Much of the reward comes from the relationships I get to build with our patient-family.” Proof of the Belmont dental offices confidence in their quality of services is the $100 gift certificate they are offering toward the value of any treatment. They are also currently offering free in-office bleaching to their adult orthodontic patients.  Along with Dr. Klooster on staff are Heather Jansma ( office manager),  Kylie Gieroch (patient care and hygiene coordinator), Ginger Martin (assistant), and Nicki Spring ( hygienist). “We continually take extended courses, not only to keep licenses current, but to keep up with the most modern materials and techniques available,” Dr. Klooster stated. Opened in January of this year, Dr. Klooster and staff look forward to meeting more area residents and proving how pleasant and stress-free dental care can be. Visit them online at Belmontsmiles.com, in person at 1259 Post Drive, Belmont. The office is open Monday from 10 a.m. […]

Twenty-five year time capsule to be opened

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

The one-hundredth graduating class of Rockford High School buried a time capsule to commemorate the occasion twenty-five years ago. This Saturday it’s coming out. The public is welcome to observe the event at North Rockford Middle School on Ten Mile (Division) at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 27 at 11 a.m. The time capsule is a concrete burial vault donated by Pederson Funeral Home. The Squire covered the burial twenty-five years ago. As quoted in the Squire on May 15, 1984, among  items were Dave Vandenboss’ pair of red high-topped tennis shoes. LP (long play) records with music popular at the time, newspapers, magazines, a horn from the band, a class ring and  more. The seniors tried to capture a little bit of what their four years at Rockford High School were like, as well as some memories of 1984. It will be interesting to see what is unearthed from the past. The capsule was buried at what was then Rockford’s High School.

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