sun and news 4-10-2021

(J-Ad) #1

The Sun and News


Your Hometown Newspaper Serving Middleville and Caledonia Areas


No. 15/April 10, 2021 Published by J-Ad Graphics, Inc. • 1351 N. M-43 Highway, Hastings, MI 49058 143rd year


Bids for Middleville wastewater plant


expansion less than expected
Greg Chandler
Staff Writer
The expansion of
Middleville’s wastewater
treatment plant apparently
will cost a lot less than
expected.
The village council learned
Tuesday that the low bid for
the project to expand the
plant’s capacity from 500,
to 900,000 gallons per day
came in 29 percent less than
engineers had estimated. The
council is expected Tuesday
to award the contract for the
project to Lansing-based
Davis Construction, which
submitted the low bid of
more than $3.77 million.
The village’s engineering
planning consultant,
Williams & Works, had esti-
mated a total project cost of
$6.4 million, including $
million in construction costs.
“They’re very happy with

the cost estimate and the
quality of work with Davis
Construction,” Village
Manager Patricia Rayl said.
Davis Construction previ-
ously worked with the vil-
lage on a wastewater plant
improvement project in 2017,
department of public works

director Alec Belson wrote in
a memo to the village coun-
cil.
The lower-than-expected
bid prices raised a few eye-
brows among some council
members.

TK assistant principal, former


Caledonia teacher dies


Kevin Remenap,


44, stricken on


his return home


from spring


break trip


Greg Chandler
Staff Writer
Thornapple Kellogg
Schools are mourning the
sudden death of Kevin
Remenap, 44, assistant prin-
cipal at Thornapple Kellogg
High School and the brother
of district Superintendent
Dan Remenap.
“[Kevin] unexpectedly
became ill and passed away
on his way home from a
spring break trip,” school
district administrative assis-
tant Erica Dudik wrote in an
email that went out to parents
Friday morning.
TK Assistant
Superintendent Craig
McCarthy said he got a
phone call Friday morning
from Dan Remenap, saying
that his brother became unre-
sponsive while traveling
back to Michigan from
Florida.
“They ended up calling
911, and the police were not
able to revive him,”
McCarthy said in a telephone
interview with the Sun and
News Friday afternoon.


The location where Kevin
Remenap passed away had
not been reported at press
time, and cause of death has
not yet been determined.
Kevin Remenap became
assistant principal at TKHS
in August 2018, after 17
years of teaching chemistry
at Caledonia High School.
He also was adviser to the
student council and coached
the boys track and field team
for Caledonia.
“He was just a great per-
son, an easy person to talk to


  • working through issues
    with students, trying to find
    the best alternative for stu-
    dents at all times,” McCarthy
    said. “Kevin touched every-
    body.”


In an interview shortly
after being hired at
Thornapple Kellogg High
School, Kevin Remenap said,
“Watching a student push
through something difficult
and achieving success” was
his greatest motivator as an
educator.
“Difficult times are simply
an opportunity to grow into
the best people we can be,”
he said.
Counselors will be made
available for students at 4
p.m. Sunday at the high
school. Additional communi-
cation is expected from the
district regarding next week’s
high school testing and
school schedule, as well as
the availability of counselors
throughout the week.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
asked Friday for high schools
statewide to continue virtual
learning for the next two
weeks after a surge in
COVID-19 cases was report-
ed here and across the state.
This was a request from the
governor, not a requirement,
so school officials will need
to determine how they choose
to proceed.
Kevin Remenap was a
graduate of Grandville High
School, Central Michigan
University and Grand Valley
State University. He is sur-
vived by his wife, Molly, and
three children.

See BIDS, page 8


IN THIS ISSUE...



  • Yankee Springs appoints township
    hall renovation committee

  • Middleville considering change to
    overnight parking ban

  • TK puts four on D2 medal stand

  • Rezoning would make way for more
    development in rural Irving Township


On hand for the check presentation are (from left) Caledonia Education Foundation
trustees Andy Johnson and Jeff Uherek, Supeintendent Dr. Dedrick Martin, CEF
board president David Schnurstein and CEF executive director Denise Blunk.

Caledonia Township seeking


action to take down illegal towers


Greg Chandler
Staff Writer
Caledonia Township has
taken legal action against a
telecommunications compa-
ny it says erected four com-
munications towers without
first getting proper approval
from the township.
An April 28 court date has
been set in Kent County
Circuit Court to hear 19 civil
infraction complaints issued
by the township against
Michwave Technologies Inc.
The locations of the tow-
ers are 6203 Whitneyville
Ave., 7225 Snow Ave., 9281
84th St. and 8450 96th St.,
Township Treasurer/
Administrator Richard
Robertson said.
“We’ve basically made the
argument that there’s neither
building permits nor plan-
ning commission approval
for any of these towers,”
Robertson said during
Wednesday’s township board
meeting. “Certainly, one
remedy would be to remove
those towers and probably
one we’re looking for.
“In addition, we [want] to
recover some of our costs.


We’ve spent thousands of
dollars on this one enforce-
ment issue in attorney fees.”
Under the township ordi-
nance, anyone seeking to
erect a communications
tower must get approval for
special land use through the
planning commission,
Robertson said.
Among the violations cited
in the township’s complaint
are a lack of evidence that the
towers have a proper cement
foundation, as well as viola-
tion of a setback that requires
a tower to be at least the
same number of feet away
from the property line as the
height of the tower – for
example, a 100-foot-high
tower would need to be at
least 100 feet away from the
property line.
“It took us two months just
to get a court date,” Robertson
said. “It’s going to be up to
the judge, obviously, how
this can be adjudicated. We
would be in favor of the tow-
ers coming down.”
The issue of the towers
being erected without town-
ship permission first came to
the attention of the planning

commission in November
2019, when Michwave
approached the township for
approval of a special land-
use permit for a 120-foot-
high tower at the Whitneyville
Avenue location, which was
Lakeside Bible Church. But
the tower had been erected
two months earlier.
Michwave president Jon
Langeler told commissioners
at the time that the company
had been using a wireless
repeater location on the roof
of the church to serve nearby
residents, but tree growth in
the area had reduced signal
levels to the point that a
tower was needed.
Commissioners tabled the
special land-use request
because they felt Michwave
didn’t provide enough infor-
mation in its application.
However, commissioners in
March 2020 did approve spe-
cial land use for the
Whitneyville location.
The township then
received a tip from a resident
about the tower at the Snow
Avenue location. The resi-

Kevin Remenap

See TOWERS, page 3


Foundation awards $10,


grant to Cal schools
Greg Chandler
Staff Writer
The Caledonia Education
Foundation has awarded a
$10,500 grant to Caledonia
Community Schools. Funds
were raised through the foun-
dation’s Cal Cares communi-
ty fundraising campaign.
The foundation recently
presented a check to district
Superintendent Dr. Dedrick
Martin for the funding, which
will be used to provide tran-
sitional-leveled reader
resources for elementary and
middle school buildings in

the district, as well as transi-
tional activities for students,
staff and families as the dis-
trict goes through a realign-
ment of its middle schools
that will take effect this fall,
CEF Executive Director
Denise Blunk said.
This is the second grant
awarded by CEF to the dis-
trict this school year. In
October 2020, the foundation
made a $75,000 contribution
to the district. The funding
went toward offsetting
expenses of the district’s new
K-8 math curriculum.

That funding freed up the
district to reallocate funds to
reinstate a student support
coordinator position to help
students struggling with
social, emotional and mental
health issues. That position
had been eliminated over the
summer when it appeared the
district would be losing more
than $3 million in state fund-
ing due to the COVID-
pandemic.
More information about
CEF can be obtained by call-
ing 616-891-0732 or email-
ing info@caledoniacef.org.
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