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Month: May 2014

Saltzman realizes 20-year dream with creation of Whitetail Farms Farm Fresh Market

Greg Saltzman couldn’t help but get a little emotional Friday, May 2 as he thanked those who helped him realize a dream. Saltzman and his wife, Karen were moments from breaking ground on his newest business venture — Whitetail Farms Farm Fresh Market — as he addressed a large audience eager to join in the moment. “I’ve been thinking about this for the last 15 to 20 years,” said Saltzman, who owns Whitetail Farms, LLC in Olivet. “I tried to purchase this property 10 years ago and it didn’t work out, but I was approached this past July and...

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Maple Valley voters narrowly approve bond

A mere 85 votes separated the yes from the no votes Tuesday, May 6. In the end, 53 percent of the 1,613 residents that voted for on Maple Valley Public Schools bond proposal cast a yes vote. Voters approved an increase of 4.1 mills, which will generate $18 million for the district. “I think this goes to show when members of the community come together, roll up their sleeves and go to work, we can accomplish anything,” said Darren McDonald, co-chair of Citizens for Maple Valley’s Future. “I think it helped a lot coming from the community members as a real grassroots effort.” Citizens for Maple Valley’s Future was created when members of the community came together after realizing some real concerns facing the district. Working with the district, the committee came up with the proposal, which addresses four main areas — safety, warm, dry and smart. Thirty nine percent of the $18 million will be utilized to enhance student safety, including secure entries at each building, improved exterior and emergency lighting, security cameras and properly locking doors. Another 24 percent of the bond will be used to replace the boilers at Fuller Street Elementary and add energy-efficient doors and windows throughout the district. Twenty percent of the bond will replace leaking roofs and pipes in the district. The final 17 percent of the bond will upgrade and expand...

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Local organizations partner to discuss downtown revitalization

There is an effort building momentum in Charlotte to revitalize the historic downtown district. Several organizations interested in continuing that momentum have teamed to offer local business owners an opportunity to learn how to take advantage of several grant programs designed specifically to aid in the revitalization process. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the City of Charlotte’s Community Development Department as well as representatives from the Michigan Economic Development Council (MEDC), Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA) to provide an informational discussion on the kinds of state and federal grants available to business owners to help in rehabilitating, revitalizing or redeveloping the downtown business district. The meeting will take place Wednesday, May 28 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Fay’s Evelyn Bay in Charlotte. “Grace (Boehmer) and I met with members of LEAP and learned about all of the different grant opportunities available,” said Garrett Bensinger, president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce board of directors. “As a banker, there were several that I had never heard of and we figured it most likely that business owners would be unaware of them as well.” Boehmer, executive director of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and Bensinger decided it would be in the best interest of local downtown business owners to make them aware of the opportunities that may be available...

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Memorial Day will mark first appearance of Kiwanis Flag Project

The annual Memorial Day ceremonies held on the Courthouse Square lawn will be enhanced this year with the presence of several American flags outlining the perimeter. The flags, a display a patriotism, brought about by the Charlotte Kiwanis Club Flag Project. Kiwanis Club member Stephen Shook remembers a time, not too long ago, when American flags would adorn the Charlotte community on all patriotic holidays. Reminded of their recent absence by Charlotte residents and retired Brigadier General Tony Oien, Shook is leading an effort by the Charlotte Kiwanis Club to restore flags in the downtown area. “One of the...

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Candy Ford brings back Drive 4 UR Community

Candy Ford in Charlotte has teamed with several local organizations to raise money through the Drive 4 UR Community program the last couple years. This month the Ford dealer has teamed with the Charlotte Baseball Club to help raise money for the local program that provides competitive baseball to local youth ranging from 7 to 14 years of age. Drive 4 UR Community will take place Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Charlotte American Legion, home of the Charlotte Baseball Club program. The event has the potential to raise up to $6,000 for the program. For each community member that takes a test drive of a new Ford vehicle during the event, Ford Motor Company and Candy Ford will donate $20. John Dykstra, Jr., sales manager at Candy Ford, said the money will be used to make several needed upgrades to the facilities to ensure young ball players have a place to play for years to come. Candy Ford and Ford Motor Company have helped the Charlotte community raise more than $10,000 the past two years by offering Drive 4 UR Community events. Charlotte Baseball Club director, Frank Silvas said he can’t thank Candy Ford enough for their support of the program over the years. Test drives will last seven to 10 minutes and participants must be 18 years old with a valid driver’s...

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