Monthly Archives: May 2020

Local Farm Markets Open for Season with New Safety Measures

WEST MICHIGAN – As Spring comes into full bloom and starts to hint of Summer, it’s the time of year when Farm Markets are starting to open throughout West Michigan, with fresh, local food offerings.

Read on to learn more about Agritourism destinations in West Michigan, as featured in this year’s Carefree Travel Guide. The travel guide is available to view digitally, or request a free copy by mail at

Visitors are encouraged to confirm with any business they are planning to visit to check if they are currently open for visitors, and any new safety restrictions they may have in place.

Local dairies are a great place to teach kids about where our food comes from. You’ll find Country Dairy in New Era, and MOO-ville Creamery in Nashville, both of which offer tours of their facilities. Learning about their robotic milking machines is a great way to see technology in action, and you’ll even see cows waiting in line for their turn to walk themselves into the completely-automated milking robot at Country Dairy! Make sure you plan time for a stop at the free petting farm when you visit MOO-ville Creamery, where your kids can visit the farm animals and burn some energy on the farm toys in the play area. Trying the homemade ice cream when you visit is a must, but know that both Country Dairy and MOO-ville are great stops for lunch, and you can enjoy an endless glass of fresh milk (white or chocolate) with your meal!

Petting Farms
Visiting a petting farm gives your kids the chance to interact with animals they won’t find at home! The Critter Barn in Zeeland has a wide range of animals, plus special events throughout the year. Admission is by donation, & you’ll get to visit with all of their animals (including the babies in spring!). You can buy hay buckets for 50¢ to feed the sheep, goats, & cows. In New Era, Lewis Farms turned one of their older orchard areas into a barnyard which is now home to a fantastic collection of unusual animals & birds, including an aviary full of colorful and social parakeets. Post Family Farm in Hudsonville is a great destination for school field trips. Students are encouraged to pet the animals, even a pig if the tour guide can catch one! You can feed the goats and sheep while visiting, and pick up a homemade pumpkin donut for yourself.

There’s something about picking your own produce that makes it taste better! Check what’s in season, and head out to a local orchard. The u-pick apple orchard at Gull Meadow Farms in Richland opens in early September each fall and begins with McIntosh and Honey Gold, with other varieties ripening throughout the season. You’ll find 12 different varieties of blueberries growing on 800 acres of blueberry plants at Reenders Blueberry Farms in West Olive. Overhiser Orchards in South Haven offers u-pick options from roughly the first week of July when their sweet cherries ripen. As the season goes on, you’ll also find sour cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pears, and apples for picking.

Farm Markets
Local farm markets bring the best of what’s fresh and seasonal right to you. You’ll also find a great variety of locally-made products, with everything from jams and jellies to baked goods and syrups. Many cities host regular farmers markets, showcasing local farmers, producers, and artisans. The Muskegon Farmers Market, Grand Haven/Spring Lake Farmers Market, Holland Farmers Market, and Allegan Farmer’s Market are all good stops to make when you’re in town. If you’re interested in all things blueberry, you’ll want to stop by Leduc Blueberries in Paw Paw, Bowerman Blueberries Farm Market in Holland, or Crossroads Blueberry Market in Grand Haven. When you heading north, make time to visit Farmer White’s in Williamsburg or Friske’s Farm Market in Ellsworth.

Opening Businesses Together on the Muskegon Lakeshore

Muskegon, MI – The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce promotes reopening local business as soon as possible. The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber is providing resources to assist businesses in opening up in time for tourism season.

Surveys show that reopening a business is a process that can take anywhere from one to four weeks. “We are happy to see some industries open like manufacturing, construction and retail” said Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “It is now time for more small businesses to experiment with soft or test openings.” To effectively train employees on the new safety processes, they need practice, according to Larsen. “We are encouraging businesses to get ready now for when the state officially opens.”

“As long as business owners and employees are diligent in taking all the safety precautions such as social distancing and stringent cleaning protocol, life can get back to normal in Muskegon County”, said Kathy Moore, Muskegon County Public Health Director and Officer.

Local governments are ready to assist in this important process. “Residents in Muskegon County need to know that local government and law-enforcement are working together to support the safe reopening of business,” stated DJ Hilson, Muskegon County Prosecutor.

“The Muskegon Lakeshore is a premier waterfront destination,” Bob Lukens, Director of Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitors bureau. “Muskegon has big, clean beaches that offer visitors room to spread out and enjoy the sun and water, and our outdoor spaces provide activities for the entire family, like biking, hiking, boating or simply relaxing in our beautiful lakeshore communities.”

Fruitport Board of Education Virtual Meeting Minutes – 05/18/20

Fruitport Board of Education
Regular Monthly Meeting
May 18, 2020 7:00 p.m.
Virtual Zoom Meeting

I. The Regular meeting of the Board of Education was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Board President, Dave Hazekamp.

II. ROLL CALL: Present – Jill Brott, Elroy Buckner, Tim Burgess, Kris Cole, Susan Franklin, Dave Hazekamp, and Steve Kelly.

Item 20-033. MOTION by Brott, SECOND by Franklin to approve the agenda as presented. Roll call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes; Kelly, Yes.


Superintendent, Bob Szymoniak gave an update on distance learning and iReady. He stated the district has seen a student participation rate that has exceeded his expectations.

Business and Finance Director, Mark Mesbergen spoke about the State’s financial crisis. He explained how the State might balance the budget with significant cuts to school funding. More details will follow.

Item 20-034. MOTION by Franklin, SECOND by Burgess to approve the Consent Agenda as listed. Roll call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes; Kelly, Yes.
1. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of April 20, 2020
2. Acceptance of Bills, Monthly Financial Report, and ACH Transactions
3. Acceptance of Student Activity Summary Report
4. Acceptance of Credit Card and Utilities Report
5. Approval of Capital Projects Progress Report
6. Approval of the Personnel Report

1. MAISD 2020-21 General Fund Budget Resolution.
Item 20-035. MOTION by Brott, SECOND by Buckner to adopt the Resolution to approve the MAISD 2020-21 budget as presented. Roll call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes; Kelly, Yes.

1. Nothing to Report.

1. Letter of Agreement, Fruitport Education Association.
Item 20-036. MOTION by Kelly, SECOND by Franklin to approve the Fruitport Education Association’s Letter of Agreement to adjust the mentor section of the contract as presented. Roll call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes; Kelly, Yes.

1. Parent-Student Athletic Handbook.
Item 20-037. MOTION by Brott, SECOND by Franklin to approve the Parent-Student Athletic Handbook with changes as presented. Roll call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes; Kelly, Yes.

Steve Kelly spoke about distance learning.
Kris Cole stated that the Robotics Team won the FIRST Robotic’s Chairman’s Award.

1. Business and Finance Committee will meet June 22, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.
2. Personnel Committee will meet June 22, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
3. Student Affairs Committee will meet June 18, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.
4. Board Workshop, June 23, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
5. Truth and Taxation Budget Hearing, June 29, 2020
Item 20-038. MOTION by Franklin, SECOND by Brott to schedule a Truth and Taxation Budget Hearing on June 29, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room. Roll call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes; Kelly, Yes.

6. Regular June Board Meeting
Item 20-039. MOTION by Franklin, SECOND by Brott to postpone the Regular June Board Meeting to June 29, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room. Roll call: Brott, Yes; Buckner, Yes; Burgess, Yes; Cole, Yes; Franklin, Yes; Hazekamp, Yes; Kelly, Yes.


Item 20-040. MOTION by Buckner, SECOND by Brott to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 7:47 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Kelly, Board Secretary
Maribeth Clarke, Recording Secretary

Fruitport Board of Education Virtual Meeting Agenda – 05/18/20

Fruitport Community Schools
Virtual Meeting via Zoom
Monday, May 18, 2020 – 7:00 p.m.






1. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of April 20, 2020 (attachment VI-1)
2. Approval of Bills (attachment VI-2)
General Fund                                $108,574.73
Other Funds:
Early Childhood Center                     6,174.74
Food Service                                   136,807.96
Coop Ed (ISD) Tech Millage            37,987.14
Capital Projects (Bond)                   83,275.04
Total Bill List                              $372,819.61

3. Acceptance of Monthly Financial Report and ACH Transactions (attachment VI-3)
4. Acceptance of Student Activity Summary Report (attachment VI-4)
5. Acceptance of Credit Card and Utilities Report (attachment VI-5)
6. Approval of Capital Projects Progress Report (attachment VI-6)
7. Approval of Personnel Report (includes confirmation of new hires, resignations, retirees, and transfers) (attachment VI-7)

1. MAISD 2020-21 General Fund Budget Resolution (attachment VII-1)

Elroy Buckner, Chairperson

Steve Kelly, Chairperson
1. Letter of Agreement, Fruitport Education Association (attachment IX-1)

Jill Brott, Chairperson
1. Parent-Student Athletic Handbook (attachment X-1)


1. Schedule Business & Finance Committee Meeting
2. Schedule Personnel Committee Meeting
3. Schedule Student Affairs Committee Meeting




*Time is provided for members of the audience to address the Board of Education regarding any topic including items on the agenda. The board is providing two opportunities for the public to comment during the meeting. The first is for people who wish to bring issues to the Board of Education for board consideration. At the end of the meeting the board will provide a brief opportunity for community members to comment on activities and/or discussion that took place during the board meeting. Time limits may be placed if a large number of individuals would like to address the board.

ACT on the Fair and Equal Michigan Ballot Initiative

by Steve Huston

A Brief History:
The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in Michigan on the basis of “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status” in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations. After passing both the Senate and the House, it was signed into law by Michigan Governor William Milliken in 1977.

lgbtqflagMembers of the LGBT community sought, unsuccessfully, to be included in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act while it was still in committee hearing (1973); and since Elliott-Larsen’s passage, several additional bills have been introduced to add protections for the LBT community—all of them unsuccessful. To read more about this history click here. To read the law itself, click here.

A group of activists and businesses are promoting The Fair and Equal Michigan ballot initiative. If passed, this would re-define the word “sex” in the Elliott-Larsen law to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression”, effectively extending this law’s protections to the LGBT community. It would also define “religion” to include the religious beliefs of an individual.

While we certainly do not encourage discrimination against any group of people, neither do we, as Christians, want to bring us into a position where we are more easily discriminated against.

It’s no surprise that Governor Whitmer supports this endeavor; gratefully there are those in our system of government who are standing against this push. reports: “House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, has questioned the need for LGBT anti-discrimination protections and won election in 2014 by defeating a Republican incumbent who had introduced gay rights legislation.

“‘I do not believe we can pass this law while still protecting religious freedom,’ Chatfield said last year on WKAR-TV’s ‘Off The Record.’

“‘You’ve seen these laws passed in other states where what happens, in my opinion, is a reverse discrimination against those who have religious beliefs.’”

House Speaker Chatfield was also quoted by as saying, “I probably would not allow a bill to come up that I believe would infringe on religious freedom.”

“Personally, I don’t believe people should be discriminated against,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m never going to endorse a law or allow a bill to come for a vote that I believe infringes on someone’s ability to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Who else is pushing this pro-LGBTQ+ agenda? :
Business leaders backing the petition drive include DTE Energy President and CEO Jerry Norcia, Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe, Herman Miller President and CEO Andi Owen, Whirlpool Corp. Vice President Jeff Noel, and Dow Inc. CEO Jim Fitterling.

What can we do? :
Fair and Equal Michigan is in the process of obtaining the 340,000+ signatures needed to place this initiative on the ballot. If they are successful, and it is likely they will be, we need to mobilize to defeat it at the ballot box. As stated above, if passed, it will eliminate religious liberty as we have come to know it.

The Family Research Council (FRC) asks that those who care about religious liberty do the following:

1. Get the word out to those in your networks about this proposal.  For you pastors, gather two or three others in your area and hold a press conference announcing your opposition and reasons.

2. They have established a Facebook page called “Michigan Families Voting No to Discrimination”.  Please go to the page, like it, and share it with your friends.  They’re using the page to post important resource information about the issue.

3. They also ask that if you lead a group, please strongly consider issuing a press release announcing your opposition to the proposal.

A further word from FRC Michigan:
Working together, we can defeat this and insure our religious liberties and the ability to preach the full counsel of the Word of God remains intact.  When the church shows up, we win!

We at American Decency Association urge you to be earnestly praying over this and the many other issues that we face in this upcoming election. Pray that God will rule and overrule and that He will bless us with His grace to handle each and every outcome. These are times that require a steadfastness that only comes from knowing intimately the God of the Bible and His Word. May we constantly walk in discernment and wisdom, truly ending up on the right side of HIS story (history).

Muskegon County Implements Limited Access to Address Fiscal Emergency

The Muskegon County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the participation of county employees in the State of Michigan’s Work Share program and will reduce employee work hours anywhere from 20% – 60% each week starting immediately through July 25, 2020. This is in addition to the 100 full-time employee furloughs that began in mid-April.

After having consulted with the chief judges of the Muskegon County Courts, elected officials, and department heads, the Board determined that a fiscal emergency requires temporary limited access to certain county facilities, including the Hall of Justice. Generally, county departments conducting 24/7 operations and mandated services will not be affected. Muskegon County will continue to follow the recent extension of the Governor’s Stay Home Stay Safe Executive Order issued May 22, 2020, which remains in effect until June 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

In response to the Board’s decision, the courts as well as many county departments have agreed to temporarily reduce hours of operation from May 25, 2020 to July 25, 2020 while other departments will begin June 1st.

Reduced hours will be Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. As an exception, due to the July 4, 2020 holiday being observed on Friday, July 3, 2020, courts will have limited access on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Each court will continue to follow procedures for all emergency matters as outlined by Local Administrative Order 2020-03J. This limited access plan will not impact the courts’ mandate for a phased return to full capacity as required by the Michigan Supreme Court in Administrative Order 2020-14.

In all, the County will have approximately 400 employees furloughed through July 25th. The County’s proactive measures to offset anticipated revenue losses from COVID-19 are estimated to save approximately $1.8 million across all departments.

The following County Department Offices, deemed essential by Executive Order 2020-96, will operate with a reduced workforce on Fridays:

Airport, HealthWest, Jail, JTC, MATS, Parks, Prosecutor, Public Health, Sheriff, Solid Waste, Treasurer, Wastewater and Water.

All other departments will operate Monday through Thursday.

Ask Dr. Universe – Orange Carrots

Why are carrots orange? – Caden, 11, NC

Dear Caden,

When you picture the carrot section at a grocery store in the United States, you probably imagine rows of orange. But carrots can come in a rainbow of other colors: purple, yellow, red, and more.

And the first carrots weren’t orange at all. They were stark white.

That’s what I learned from Tim Waters, a Vegetable Specialist at Washington State University-Extension. He studies how to grow different kinds of vegetables, and helps others learn how to grow them too.

Carrots you eat today are domesticated. Domestication happens when humans tame wild plants or animals for many generations. Over a long period of time, people bred the carrot ancestors for traits such as sweet taste and attractive color.

Domestication helps explain how wolves became dogs, and how teosinte became maize. It’s also how a wild white root became sweet and orange.

“Before carrots were domesticated, they were believed to be white and very bitter and woody,” Waters said. “When people began domesticating them, the first types that were bred and fed upon by humans were purple and yellowish in color.”

Scientists think people first domesticated carrots in Central Asia around 1100 years ago.

Even though the first carrots weren’t as sweet as the ones you eat today, people probably weren’t eating the roots.

“It’s known that carrots were first grown primarily for seed and the uses of leaves,” Waters said. But as more colors emerged, the roots became tastier and became the more valuable part of the carrot.

We don’t know exactly when the first orange carrots appeared. But we have a good idea of why that color stuck around—simply because humans liked it.

“Orange wasn’t a naturally occurring color. It was kind of a genetic flaw, and then it was selected for,” Waters said.

One story says orange carrots became popular in the Netherlands in the 1600s. Orange became the national color, so orange carrots were supposedly associated with the royal family and William of Orange. But orange carrots probably weren’t bred by the Dutch. They just became more popular there.

Over time, orange carrots became the most common variety in some parts of the world. “That’s really why, in Western society, everybody perceives carrots to be orange,” Waters said.

But that orange color isn’t just for looks.

Orange carrots are packed with chemicals called carotenoids—specifically, beta-carotene. Your body turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which helps you grow and protects you from getting sick.

Beta-carotene isn’t just nutritious. It’s also loaded with orange pigment. That’s why vegetables with lots of beta-carotene—like sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkins—share the same color.

But what about that rainbow of other carrot colors? They have their own special qualities, too. Purple carrots get their color from loads of anthocyanin, a chemical that is healthy for your heart.

Carrot breeders have even created carrots with multiple colors. You can get the best of both worlds: a carrot that is orange on the inside, purple on the outside!

Dr. Universe

Get the full answer!

Submit a question!

FCS – Special Board Meeting Agenda – 06/01/20

Fruitport Community Schools
Monday, June 1, 2020 – 6:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Zoom





1. Regular Meeting Minutes of May 18, 2020 (attachment IV-1)
2. Construction Change Order (attachment IV-2)
3. Federal Funding Resolution (attachment IV-3)





*Time is provided for members of the audience to address the Board of Education regarding any topic including items on the agenda. The board is providing one opportunity for the public to comment during the meeting. Members of the audience may wish to bring issues to the Board of Education for board consideration. Time limits may be placed if a large number of individuals would like to address the board.

Ask Dr. Universe – Popcorn

How was popcorn discovered? – Jalen, 12, Benson, N.C.

Dear Jalen,

There’s nothing like popcorn in progress: the snapping kernels, the warm buttery smell, and the knowledge that a delicious snack will be ready in minutes. It gives you some good time to think and wonder: how did humans first start doing this?

To find out where popcorn came from, I visited my friend Erin Thornton, an archaeologist at Washington State University. Archaeologists study how humans lived in the past—including the things they ate.

To learn the story of popcorn, we have to trace the history of maize.

Maize is another word for what you think of as corn. Humans grow it all over the world today, but it all started in Mexico.

Long before maize, there was a plant called teosinte (tay-oh seen-tay). If you saw teosinte in person, you probably wouldn’t guess it’s the grandparent of your popcorn. “It doesn’t really look like modern maize at all because it lacks large cobs—instead it looks more like a weedy grass,” Thornton said.

But over time, ancient people selected teosinte plants with softer and larger numbers of kernels. Over many generations, this resulted in the plant we know as maize.

Many scientists think all the first corn was popping corn. It was very important to the people who made it. The Aztecs used popcorn for both decoration and for eating. They also had a word, “totopoca,” for the sound of popcorn popping.

The Maya even tell stories about humans being created from maize. “It speaks volumes about how important this crop was to people who lived at that time,” Thornton said.

Popcorn is easily destroyed, so it can be hard for archaeologists to find it after hundreds or thousands of years. But the oldest popcorn ever found comes from a cave in New Mexico, estimated to be 5,600 years old. (Not quite as fresh as your popcorn, straight out of the microwave.)

We don’t know exactly who first discovered that popcorn can pop. But it’s a process that would have happened when people first started mixing dried kernels and heat.

Popcorn pops through interaction with heat. If you’ve ever looked at popcorn kernels before popping, you know they have a very hard outer shell. The insides are very hard too—until heat touches them.

When heat meets the natural moisture in the kernel, it creates pressurized steam within the shell. This steam softens the kernel’s insides. That heat and pressure increases, until the kernel can’t hold it anymore. And then pop! It explodes.

With that pop, the pressure in the kernel suddenly drops. The steam expands. All that inner goodness puffs out. That’s why popcorn looks like a little cloud.

We don’t know if the first popcorn-makers used flavorings. But when European colonists first learned about popcorn, they enjoyed eating it with milk and sugar like cereal!

Thornton told me white cheddar is her favorite popcorn flavor. Which kind do you like best?

Dr. Universe

Fruitport Village Council Meeting Minutes – 04/20/20

APRIL 20, 2020

1. Call to Order
President Roger Vanderstelt called the meeting to order at 7pm.

2. Roll Call
Present: Roger Vanderstelt, Bill Overkamp, Amy Haack, Jeff Guiles, Carl Rothenberger, Jay Bolt and Ann LaCroix
Absent: Donna Pope (excused)

3. Approval of April 20th Council Meeting Agenda
Motion made by Amy to approve the agenda, supported by Bill. With a unanimous vote the motion carried.

4. Approval of March 30th council meeting minutes
Motion made by Amy to approve the meeting minutes, supported by Jeff. With a unanimous vote the motion carried.

5. Public Comment

6. Correspondence
Ann shared an email from Sue Halter regarding the Dancing Into Sunset tentative schedule for this summer in lieu of the Governor’s Stay Home Order.

7. Reports from Officers
Amy advised the council that signs have been placed throughout the Park, Playground and Boat Launch regarding the Governor’s Stay Home Order.
Carl advised that 2 of the DPW crew will be returning to work. They will alternate days that they come in and work on necessary things that can safely be done by one person.
Jeff – nothing to report.
Jay – nothing to report.
Will – nothing to report.
Roger – nothing to report.

8. 2020 3rd Avenue Project
Jay gave an update on the 2020 3rd Avenue Project. The project has been delayed until spring of 2021 due to COVID-19. The project will go out for bidding in September. Jay and Roger will be attending a virtual meeting about the project tomorrow. Jay will provide a report to council with updates from the meeting.

9. Kayak Launch
Amy gave an update on the Kayak Launch. She anticipates an update on the grant funding in June or July.

10. Senior Millage
Amy advised that the Letter of Intent and the Senior Millage Municipal Portion application were submitted. Muskegon County Commissioner Zach Lahring contacted the Village to advise that the application could be repurposed due to COVID-19 if the Village chose to. Amy recommended sticking with the original application for the Band Shell parking lot.

11. Approval to add Delinquent 2019-2020 Garbage Bills to Taxes
Motion made by Carl to add the delinquent garbage bills to the tax bill, supported by Jeff. With a unanimous vote, the motion carried.

12. Bridge Street Bridge Grant
Jay gave an overview of the two bridges in the Village. Both are rated fair. The bridge on Bridge Street needs repair. Jay would like approval to contract Brechting Bridge and Engineering Inc. to apply for an MDOT grant for the repair work. See attached motion and resolution.

13. Public Comment

14. Warrants
Motion made by Roger to approve the warrants dated April 16, 2020 that were included in the council packet, supported by Jeff.
Roll call AYES: Haack, Rothenberger, Overkamp, Bolt, Guiles and Vanderstelt.
NAYS: None
Absent: Pope

15. Adjournment
Motion made by Amy to adjourn the meeting at 6:58pm, supported by Carl. With a unanimous vote the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by,

Ann LaCroix


Click the image below for the Council’s Meeting attachment (PDF format).


Fruitport Charter Township Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of March 23, 2020

A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township Board began at 6:30pm on Monday, March 23, 2020, in the township board room.

Members Present: Heidi Tice, Supervisor; Andrea Anderson, Clerk; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Trustees Greg Hulka, Jeff Jacobs, Terry Knoll, Denise Winebarger
Members Absent: none

At 7:00pm, Heidi Tice opened the regular meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer.

Also Present: 1- residents; 1- employees; 0- guests; Director of Public Utilities, Steve Biesiada; Director of Public Safety, Brian Michelli; Attorney Ron Bultje.

The motion by Terry Knoll, supported by Rose Dillon, was carried unanimously, to approve the minutes of March 9, 2020 as presented.

The motion by Heidi Tice, supported by Jeff Jacobs, was carried unanimously, to approve the agenda as presented with the following addition:

Item 8-E: Resolution for Temporary Emergency Measures

1. Steve Biesiada reported that the DPW has completed an inventory; the valve in the Smiley water tower should be hooked up soon to be able to communicate with the filtration plant.
2. Brian Michelli reported that the Fire Department has enough PPE to last a few weeks; there have been policies put in place to limit employees responding to calls as well as cleaning procedures; contact between Police Officers and the public is being limited; the Public Safety departments have applied for additional supplies with little luck.
3. Heidi Tice shared that the Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt has been cancelled; she also gave a Census update.



20-034 2020/2021 Budget discussion
Ken Hulka, Parks Director, would like to see unused funds rolled over to the next budget. The Parks Commission is trying to get a building for concessions and restrooms at the soccer park; rough plans were presented.

20-035 Budget Public Hearing
(a.) The motion by Terry Knoll, seconded by Rose Dillon, was carried unanimously, to open the Budget Public Hearing at 8:23pm.

(b.) Public Hearing: The Supervisor announced the proposed millage rates as follows: General Fund at the millage rate of .9962 mills, Public Safety at 1.50 mills, Police at 1.00 mills, and Street Lights at .40 mills.

There were no comments heard.

(c.) The motion by Rose Dillon, supported by Terry Knoll, was carried unanimously to close the Public Hearing at 8:25pm and return to open session.

19-036 2020/2021 Budget Adoption
The budget was agreed upon as presented with the change of budgeting $120,000 plus the requested roll over for the Parks Department.

Rose Dillon moved, supported by Heidi Tice, MOTION CARRIED to adopt the April 1, 2020- March 31, 2021 draft budget as revised and to approve the millage rate and millage levies. Fruitport Charter Township Board of Trustees shall cause the listed millages to be levied and collected on all real and personal property within the township upon the 2019 general property tax roll an amount equal to the above shown mills as authorized under state law and approved by the electorate.
Ayes: Knoll, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Winebarger, Hulka
Nays: none

20-037 MCRC Local Road Project Contract
Under the agreement the following local roads will be improved with a chip seal:

Shettler Road, Walker Road, and Cline Road: from Sheridan to Brooks (approx. 2.3 miles)
Quarterline Road: from Shettler Road to Hile Road (approx.. .75 miles)
Walker Road: from W. Fruitport Road to Pontaluna Road (approx. .5 miles)
Sheringer Road: from Dangl Road east to end (approx. .5 miles)

Project(s) estimate: $130,037
Fruitport Township share: $65,018.50
Muskegon County Road Commission share: $65,018.50

Heidi Tice moved, supported by Terry Knoll, MOTION CARRIED, to approve the local road project contract with the Muskegon County Road Commission and authorize the Supervisor and Clerk to execute the presented agreement.

Ayes: Hulka, Winebarger, Dillon, Tice, Anderson, Jacobs, Knoll
Nays: none


20-038 Banking and Investing Resolution
Rose Dillon moved, supported by Denise Winebarger, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the resolution approving the use of financial institutions and investments for the 2020-2021 FY.
Ayes: Knoll, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Winebarger, Hulka
Nays: None

20-039 Budget amendments
Rose Dillon moved, Heidi Tice seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve the Treasurer to make end of fiscal year April 1, 2019-March 31, 2020 final budget amendments. The amendments will ensure that all department budgets have zero impact on the total of each budget.
Ayes: Hulka, Winebarger, Dillon, Tice, Anderson, Jacobs, Knoll
Nays: none

20-040 Police Cruiser Purchase
The Public Safety Committee recommends moving this pre-approved purchase from Ford Motor Lease Program to get an installment purchase from Shelby Bank for $50,775 at 2.4% interest.
Andrea Anderson moved, Terry Knoll seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve the change, and receive an installment purchase loan from Shelby Bank.
Ayes: Knoll, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Winebarger, Hulka
Nays: none

20-041 Senior Millage funds allocation
Ron Bultje recommended asking for a contract with terms for the agreement.

Rose Dillon moved, Heidi Tice seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the resolution and have the Supervisor work with AgeWell to gather a binding commitment in writing.
Ayes: Knoll, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Winebarger, Hulka
Nays: none

20-042 Resolution for Temporary Emergency Measures
The resolution covers items that may need to occur without board approval while the Governor’s stay-at-home order is in place such as making changes to public meetings, payment of invoices, and making changes to office hours.

Rose Dillon moved, Denise Winebarger seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to adopt the resolution as presented.
Ayes: Knoll, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Winebarger, Hulka
Nays: none

20-043 Payment of bills
Terry Knoll moved, Gerg Hulka seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills as presented for payment in the following amounts: General Fund $6,511.54; Public Safety $7,887.89; Water $1,038.38; Sewer $1,464.93; Street Lights $14,560.31
Totaling: $31,463.05
Ayes: Knoll, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Dillon, Winebarger, Hulka
Nays: none



The motion by Rose Dillon, supported by Heidi Tice, was carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting at 8:55pm.


Social Security Honors our Military Heroes

by Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
May 2020

On Memorial Day, our nation honors military service members who have given their lives for our country. Families, friends, and communities pause to remember the many great sacrifices of our military and ensure their legacy lives on in the freedoms we all enjoy. We recognize these heroes who, in President Lincoln’s words, “gave the last full measure of devotion.”

The benefits we provide can help the families of military service members. For example, widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. You can learn more about those benefits at

Thinking about retirement? Military service members can receive Social Security benefits in addition to their military retirement benefits. For details, read the Military Service page of our Retirement Planner, available at

Ask Dr. Universe – Green Grass

Dr. Universe: What is inside a blade of grass and why is it green? Green is my favorite color. We really like reading your articles in our newspaper.Luke, 5, Ogden, Utah

Dear Luke,

I’ve been wondering the same thing lately.  Every time I go on walks, I notice new splashes of color. Watching bugs in the grass, I pretend they’re crawling through a jungle. Everything is bright and bursting with green.

When I saw your question, I knew Michael Neff would know the answer. Green is his favorite color, too. (In fact, when we talked over video, he wore a green Hawaiian shirt.) Neff researches plants at Washington State University, and he is especially curious about grasses.

If you chopped a piece of grass and looked at it with your eyes alone, you might not see much. But if you looked at it under a microscope, you’d see tiny structures containing even tinier parts.

All living things—you and grass included—are made of cells. Cells are like little building blocks with different jobs. Every blade of grass is made of millions of them.

Plant cells contain a smaller part called a chloroplast. “Chloroplasts look like fat sausage-shaped balloons,” Neff said.

Chloroplasts have a special job: making food. Grasses can’t search for food like animals can. So instead they make it themselves, taking in sunlight and carbon dioxide.

“Food for a plant is a combination of sunlight and carbon dioxide together,” Neff explained. “And the chloroplast is the factory that turns those two pieces into energy.”

But where does the green color come from? Something else inside the chloroplast is responsible: a special pigment called chlorophyll.

Your eyes see color based on light. Many different colors make up sunlight, and objects either absorb or reflect them. When light gets absorbed, you don’t see its color. But when light reflects off objects, including grass, the color reaches your eyes so that’s what you see. That’s why the sky often looks blue. It’s absorbing all the other colors of light, except blue.

The same thing happens with chlorophyll. “Chlorophyll does a very good job of absorbing all colors of light except for green. When we look at the blade of grass, we’re seeing green light being reflected off the blade of grass,” Neff said.

But maybe you’ve noticed grass isn’t always green. Depending on the time of year and where you live, different grass grows at different speeds. Here in Washington, most grass grows in the cool spring and fall weather.

Spring grass looks especially green because it contains new cells. New cells have tons of chlorophyll, reflecting green light.

In the summer and winter, grass might turn brown or yellow. It’s still alive. It just doesn’t have as much chlorophyll. It isn’t putting as much energy into new growth.

But when spring returns, so do the ingredients for growth—lots of water, light, and carbon dioxide. The grass takes it all in, making new cells full of chlorophyll. The cycle begins again.

Tiny blades sprout. Patches of color creep in. And before you know it, green surrounds you everywhere you look.

Dr. Universe

Get the full answer!

Submit a question!

Ask Dr. Universe – Sinkholes

What is a sinkhole? What causes one? – Kathrine, 12, Calgary, Canada

Dear Kathrine,

Sinkholes can be scary to think about. They don’t happen too often, but when they do, they can take people by surprise. The solid ground disappears, and a hole suddenly appears.

It might seem like sinkholes appear out of nowhere. But they actually need specific conditions to form.

To have a sinkhole, you first must have a cave.

“You can think of a sinkhole as the end of the life cycle of a cave,” Kurtis Wilkie explained. He teaches Geology at Washington State University. He is very interested in how Earth’s features form over long periods of time.

A lot happens underground that we can’t see. Dirt and rock layers lie beneath our feet. Water flows around them, shifting and moving these layers.

With the right type of rock, enough water, and a lot of time, a cave can form.

Wilkie said caves often occur in rock called limestone. Limestone is made mostly of calcium carbonate (the same substance that makes up seashells!).

Limestone isn’t a very strong type of rock. It’s full of tiny cracks. They’re hard to see, but big enough for water to run through. Lots of contact with water can make those gaps get bigger. Over time, the limestone dissolves and breaks apart. This process is called erosion.

As the rock dissolves, empty space gets left behind. Eventually, that space gets bigger and bigger until a cave forms. This happens extremely slowly, much longer than any human’s lifetime.

“We’re talking not just thousands of years, maybe millions of years. It’s not as if you start the process now and then 10 years or 100 years from now you have a cave. It takes a very long time,” Wilkie said.

Most caves remain caves. But if water continues to interact with limestone, it can keep slowly eroding. The cave’s roof can become too weak to hold the heavy ground above it. If the roof collapses, the ground above it falls through. That’s how a sinkhole happens, and part of the cave comes to an end.

A sinkhole is the end of a cave’s life—but not every cave’s life. Most caves don’t ever collapse or turn into sinkholes. A sinkhole only happens if the cave’s roof becomes too thin and unsupported. Humans can cause sinkholes to happen more than they would naturally by pumping water from underground, reducing support for the ground above.

Sinkholes happen more in some places than others. You might hear about sinkholes in Florida, an area with lots of limestone. But here in Washington State, where I live, other types of rock abound. So sinkholes are very rare.

The odds of the ground collapsing beneath you are very small. You’re much more likely to get to visit a cave someday.

And if you do, you can look up at its walls and remember the forces that shaped it. All it takes is a special rock, a lot of water, and plenty of time.

Dr. Universe

Get the full answer!

Submit a question!

Social Security – Suspicious Callers

by Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
May 2020

“I want every American to know that if a suspicious caller states there is a problem with their Social Security number or account, they should hang up and never give the caller money or personal information. People should then go online to report the scam call to Social Security,” said Commissioner Saul. You can report these scams at

Learn how to protect yourself and report any suspicious calls or emails right away. If you have already been a victim of one of these scams, please do not be embarrassed. Instead, report the scam at so we can stop these scammers and protect others. Please share our new Public Service Announcement video with your friends and family at

Ask Dr. Universe – The End of the Universe

Where does the universe end? – Oriah, 8, Pullman, Wash.

Dear Oriah,

When you look up at the night sky, it can feel like the universe is a big blanket of stars above you. But unlike a blanket, the universe doesn’t have corners and edges. Far beyond what humans can see, the universe keeps going. As far as humans know, it never stops.

When I saw your question, I went straight to my friend Michael Allen to learn more. He is a Senior Instructor of Physics and Astronomy at Washington State University.

The universe is bigger than the biggest thing you’ve ever seen. It’s bigger than the biggest thing this cat can imagine. It’s so big that even your question has more than one very big answer.

Allen explained that you can think of the universe kind of like a rubber band. If you look at a rubber band’s flat surface, you can see it has no beginning and no end. It keeps going around and around in a loop.

Imagine you drew dots on that rubber band. If you pull on the rubber band, what happens? The rubber band stretches, and the dots move further apart. The universe is like that. The distance between all its galaxies, planets, and stars is stretching all the time, like dots on a rubber band. It never ends, but it’s also constantly expanding.

Scientists don’t think there is a true edge of the universe. But there’s an end to what humans can see of the universe. This is called the edge of the observable universe. It’s the farthest we can see, based on how we get information from light.

Everything you see depends on light bouncing off objects. Light reflects off the things around you and your eye absorbs it. When you look at your hand, you see your hand in that exact moment.

But when you look at a star, you’re actually seeing that star in the past. That’s because the light has to travel a very long time to reach your eyes. The farther away the star, the longer it takes. It takes light from the nearest star, the Sun, eight minutes to get to our eyes. Light from the next nearest star, Proxima Centauri, takes about four years to get to us!

Light moves very fast — about 186,000 miles per second — but the universe is very big. So the farthest edge of the observable universe is the oldest light we can see: about 13.8 billion years in the past.

But that edge is just what we can see from Earth. But that’s just what we can see from Earth. Earth isn’t the center of the universe. It’s just one location. The edge of the observable universe depends on where you are. If we were somewhere else in the universe, we would have a different view.

No matter where you are, you can think of yourself as a time traveler of sorts. When you gaze up at the stars, you’re looking up at the past.

Dr. Universe

Fruitport Township Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda – 05/11/20


MAY 11, 2020


This meeting will be held virtually via
Information to access the meeting: Meeting number (access code): 622 722 579
Meeting password: jdGqgZKp466 (53474957 from phones and video systems)

01. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States
02. Roll call
03. Approval of board minutes: 3/23/20
04. Approve / amend agenda
05. Correspondence / reports
06. Public comments regarding agenda items

07. Unfinished Business

08. New Business
A. First reading: Zoning Map Amendment Ordinance

09. Approval of Bills
10. Reports
11. Public Comments
12. Adjournment

The Township will provide necessary reasonable aids and services for this meeting to individuals
with disabilities by writing or telephoning the following Township Clerk: Andrea Anderson, Fruitport
Township Hall, 5865 Airline Road, Fruitport, MI 49415 (231) 865-3151

Baby Names and Social Security Numbers

by Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
May 2020

Are you thinking about having children or already expecting a newborn? If so, at the top of your new parent or guardian to-do list should be “get my child a Social Security number.” It’s one of the first steps that you can take to protect their bright future. To learn more about this topic, read our Social Security Numbers for Children publication at and explore our Parents and Guardians page at

Are you curious where your own name appears in the baby names list? See how your name ranks, as far back as 1879 at Be sure to view the latest top 10 baby names when we release them in time for Mother’s Day.

Ottawa County Road Commission Wins the Michigan LTAP 2019 Great Ideas Challenge

The Ottawa County Road Commission (OCRC) won the Michigan LTAP 2019 Great Ideas Challenge, which seeks to promote and celebrate innovation in the state of Michigan by asking transportation agencies to submit unique innovations used by their agencies.

tailgateThe mechanics at the OCRC designed a box tailgate extension to solve a problem frequently faced by local road agencies when using dump trucks to transport materials.

Material can often get caught in the chains of the tailgate, making unloading difficult or even causing the tailgate to fall off. The OCRC had the idea to attach a solid side plate to the tailgate pins to extend the wall of the tailgate. Therefore, the box tailgate extension has a wall that prevents material from being caught in the chains and allows the material to slide out of the truck bed smoothly. The innovation also includes a tailgate lock that keeps everything rigidly in place.

According to recently-retired Equipment Supervisor Randy Nagelkirk, a mechanic can make the box in three to four hours.

“The task involves welding, drilling holes for the tailgate pin, and cutting off bolts,” he said.

The expected cost is $400. Nagelkirk said he encourages innovations such as this one at tje Road Commission because they “save time, save money for the road commission, and make life easier for the people doing the work.”

For winning the state-level Great Ideas Challenge, Nagelkirk received a monetary award for the OCRC to put toward attending employee training conferences and events. Additionally, the design was automatically submitted to the Federal Highway Administration’s LTAP Build a Better Mousetrap national competition. There, the OCRC will compete with transportation agencies from across the nation.

Central Michigan University December 2019 Honors List

Central Michigan University’s December 2019 Honors List includes:

Nicholas James Klimek

Muskegon   (49444):
Anna  Christensen
Elizabeth Liane Nowak
Caroline  Price
Jazmin Marie Wright-Zornes
Taylor Ann Zylstra
Hannah Nicole Ladd

Colin Charles Arends
Michael Rutledge Bruno
Marisa Lyn Stroebe

Hannah Kay Anderson
Trevor John Baushke
Owen Riley Bonthuis
Skyler Jo Conran
Jesse Edwin Eckhardt
Madison Anne Lewis

Spring Lake:
Amanda Mary Absher
Hannah  Carey
Lauren Delaney Czajka
Hannah Renee Firos
Danielle Marie Foulkes
Joseph  Molenkamp
Samuel  Pranger
Darby  Sepulveda

Ask Dr. Universe – Liking Different Foods

Why do I like buffalo wings and not broccoli? – Joe, 10, New York City, NY

Dear Joe,

You’re not alone—cats don’t like broccoli much either. As a carnivore, I think a nice, meaty buffalo wing sounds great.

But humans are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat. They’ve developed a taste for all kinds of things growing and living all over the world. So where do individual people’s preferences come from?

To find out, I visited Carolyn Ross, a professor of Food Science at Washington State University. Like you, she is very curious about why people like the foods they like.

You probably got part of your preferences from your human ancestors. Humans tend to seek the taste of fat, sugar, and salt. These ingredients are more scarce in nature, but abundant in foods we cook today. (That’s why it can be hard to stop at just one buffalo wing.)

Your individual experiences shape your tastes in a big way. If you’re familiar with a food and have good memories of it, you’re more likely to keep eating it.

But your genes also have an impact. Genes are like instructions written inside the body, which you get from your parents. They affect all kinds of things about you, including the way some foods taste. That’s why some people think cilantro makes a great addition to tacos, and some think it tastes like soap.

Your genes might even make you a “supertaster”—someone very sensitive to bitter tastes.

Your tongue is covered in little bumps called tastebuds. Tastebuds help you sense the flavor of what you’re eating. Humans’ tastebuds can detect five basic flavors: sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and umami (a savory, meaty taste.)

Supertasters have more tastebuds than most, making them more sensitive to different tastes. About 25% of people in the U.S. and Canada have a supertasting tongue. It’s possible you’re one of them.

Supertasting might seem like a superpower. “But being a supertaster is a gift and a curse because you’re very sensitive,” Ross said. Sweet things taste sweeter, but bitter things taste much more bitter.

Broccoli is one of the foods supertasters tend to dislike. “Supertasters find broccoli to be more bitter than people who are not supertasters and may eat less of it, at least when they’re younger. They also find cheddar or aged cheese to be exceptionally bitter. Their food choices are somewhat based on that,” Ross said.

If you’re a supertaster, you might always find broccoli to be too bitter. Even regular tasters find there are some foods they never love. To this day, Ross doesn’t like raw broccoli.

But your tastes might also change over time. It takes about six tries before your like or dislike for a food becomes a stable preference. So give it a few more tries. Check in with your tastes now and then. You might find a food you once hated eventually becomes enjoyable.

As a cat, though, my taste buds can’t sense sweet things. I’ll never know what you humans like so much about donuts.

Dr. Universe

Get the full answer!
Submit a question!

Grand Valley State University Fall 2019 Graduate List

More than 1,200 Grand Valley State University students participated in commencement ceremonies this past December at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. A list of the names of Grand Valley’s most recent graduates follows.

Students who graduated at the conclusion of the Fall 2019 semester in December include:

Fruitport: Sarah R. Barnes, MSE; Ian M. Heil, BBA; Jade N. Johnson, BBA; Lauren R. Sander, BFA; Paige D. Silva, BA; Frances Wrighthouse, BA

Muskegon: Brittany T. Banks, BS; Kanisha N. Brazil, BS; Kyle R. Ferris, BBA; Mikaela P. Hall, BS; Abigail M. Heminger, BA; Samuel B. Innis, BA; Jessica M. Jackson, BS; Jodi R. Juergens, MED; Lindsay R. Kendra, MHA; Branden L. Maue, BBA; Breeana R. McGlothin, BA; Max P. Moreira, BA; Christyn V. Pek, BBA; Kiernan G. Pitts, BBA; Junella Rule, MED; Jennifer L. Sollars, BS; Trevor F. Tejchma, BS; Michael P. Valachovics, BBA

Nunica: Hollie S. Blagg, MBA

Ravenna: Brooke M. VanDonkelaar, MS

Spring Lake: Matthew D. Cassar, BS; Olivia J. Dykstra, BS; Michael T. Farwig, BS; Kyle W. Hall, BS; Rachel L. Howard, BS; Tyler S. Murak, BBA; Laura A. Schoemer, BS; Bridgett E. Shafer, BS