Another Summer is behind us and we now turn our attention to Fall which brings school back into session, hunting seasons opening and leaves everywhere, and some of the most beautiful color scenes we see all year. This will also be much less crazy compared to this time last year, a well deserved rest for all of us from the political ravages that a general election brings. We do however have a vote facing us this Fall.
On November 7 the residents of all four school districts, Hale, Oscoda, Tawas and Whittmore-Prescott will be asked to approve 0.65 mils to fund the Career and Technical Education(CTE) programs at Iosco Regional Education Service Agency(IRESA). This millage will be used to add two new programs, building trades and teacher preparation academy, to the current CTE offerings. We all know how busy the local contractors and repairmen are. Most new construction is a next year project for many contractors and mechanical repairs, unless they are critical, can be weeks before anyone shows. Building trades are a very high demand job market and is expected to remain in high demand for years to come. Many young people are lured by high tech and the promise of high pay only to find their job profession flooded or wages to be substandard to pay their education debt. Due to the lack of skilled workers, jobs in the building trades are plentiful and can, depending on the trade and skill level, pay more than what a degreed individual can make. A skilled trades program in our community is a win for all of us providing workers with a local connection to fill local jobs and wages for economy.
Anyone with a child in the local schools knows how hard the school districts work to retain teachers in our communities. Our state is facing a shortage of teachers now and it is only getting worse as fewer and fewer students seek this profession. This Teacher Preparation Academy program will give Juniors and Seniors the real-time classroom experience that will be accepted as teaching observation credits towards a teaching degree giving them a leg-up once they enter college. The program is managed by a teacher from IRESA directing the assignments to allow the students a varied and inclusive classroom teaching experience.
The 0.65 mils will be used to fund these new programs as well as the current programs offered at IRESA. If you have had blood drawn, an X-ray, or a procedure at any local doctors office or hospital you have probably had one of the CTE graduates as your healthcare giver. Many of our local nurses, aides, technicians and CNA’s are graduates of the health occ./public safety CTE program and just as many of our local mechanics got their start at the automotive CTE program. Whether we know it or not this program already enriches our lives. These additions will only make it better.
The cost of these benefits, for a owner of a $100,000 home would be less than $35 per year. Which is a very small price to pay for the potential education and training of our young adults looking for a career in their own backyard or anywhere for that matter.
Many residents that have property on the west side of Towerline Road north of Esmond or the east side of Towerline Road south of Esmond were visited by a representative of Consumers Power Company recently. He told many of you that he would be sending documents allowing you access across their powerline property along with a yearly bill for access rights. The Township was also approached with this new requirement for both the waste site and the lagoon ponds. When questioned, Consumer’s representative stated that they were protecting their liability for anything that may happen on their property, which is the land under the large towers along Towerline Road. Apparently, back in the early 1900’s when Consumers was installing the large transmission towers, they bought the land rather than getting right-of-ways, which was the normal practice. Much of this land back then was forests and farms and either did not need access or only required a single access for farm equipment. As the properties were cleared, developed and divided the initial easement across the towerline property was forgotten or was only maintained with the original parcel. In the past all knew that access was allowed and was never really questioned. Within the last few years the mortgage underwriters, having just come off of the worst crisis since their jobs began, the mortgage crisis of 2008-2012, are paying particular attention to ensure that all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed. Therefore they want to see easement documents allowing access across the towerline property, most of which do not exist. When this was brought to Consumer’s attention they realized that they were not covered for liability on these properties as well as not providing accessibility to the back lot owners. The Township discussed the issue with Consumer’s and they have agreed to provide free access rights for the liability waiver on each parcel. Consumer’s will be contacting all of us in the near future with the proposed documents and we will be keeping you informed of their requirements as they become known. If you have any questions in the meantime give me a call.
Starting August 21 we began our Medical First Responder Unit with the Plainfield Township Fire Department. The unmanned unit will respond from the fire building where the MFR rig is housed. This unit, as with any MFR unit, will assist the EMT’s and will stabilize and aid in the care of injured or medical emergencies. They cannot administer medications nor can they transport any medical emergencies. If they are first on the scene they can stabilize and assist any injured or in need persons. Our service area, for now, can only be those areas that we service with our fire programs except mutual aid service areas. That may change in the future. This is a big commitment on behalf of our fire fighter/first responders. They have all taken on this responsibility to increase service to our community, attend the 80+ hours of classes and testing and commitment to being available at all hours as the need arises. For that we commend you. Our community has always been very supportive of our fire department; this is their way of paying back that support. Congratulations to all of you and thanks for your commitment.
As always if you ever have any questions, comments or concerns regarding our community please contact me. I am in the office Monday – Friday 7:30 – 4:00 at 989-728-2811 or my cell at 989-984-7073 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fred Lewis – Supervisor