2015 TCC Golf Final Standings

2015 TCC Golf Final Standings

Team                                   TCC

Clinton                                   65-5

Madison                                59-11

Whitmore Lake                        54-16

Morenci                              31.5-38.5

Whiteford                                16-40

Britton-Deerfield                        6-64

Sand Creek                          5.5-65.5

All-TCC

First Team

Tucker Stover, Mor

Darien Zeluff, Mad

Kaden Kelly, Clinton

Connor Lenhart, Whs

Eric Milbocker, Clinton

Ryan Karapas, Clinton

Trent Johnston,Mad

Idris Sherrod, WL

Honorable Mention

Grady Morlock, Sum

Josh Hyre, BD

Hunter Ross, SC

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Whiteford grappling with 55-year-old football stadium lights

BY DOUG DONNELLY
There are fireworks sometimes during Whiteford home football games – and it has nothing to do with the Bobcat offense.
Instead, it happens when the 55-year-old light fixtures on the poles around the tree-ringed football field start to spark and, usually, burn out during games.
“Every time we have one of these outages, the referees will come to me and ask if they need to stop the game or get the players off the field,” Bobcat coach Jason Mensing said.
The unplanned light show is nothing new. Whiteford fans can probably remember the bulbs burning out and causing the sparks for several years. The same light poles and fixtures have been in place since 1958, the first year Whiteford had a home football stadium. The poles, everything, are original.
“I used to drive on US-23, when I was at Summerfield, and I would pass the Whiteford stadium and it would look all lit up,” Whiteford Superintendent Larry Shilling said. “When you get out to the stadium, you can see that’s not really the case.”
Shilling hosted a meeting Tuesday for area residents to begin a community conversation about what to do about the lights. Only a handful of community members showed up, but the issue isn’t going to go away, Shilling said.
“Those are original poles, original light fixtures,” he said. “The electrical up at the lights themselves has no conduit at all. It’s just wiring. They are cracked. Cracks mean water. You get water in them, that’s when we have the light shows.”
There are a total of 80 light fixtures. About half no longer have lense covers. When Whiteford played Summerfield a few weeks ago, 16 lights one pole went out at once. That turned out to be a fuse problem, but when the fuse was replaced, only eight lights came back on.
“I started calling around on Monday because I was afraid we were going to have to go to some kind of temporary lights,” Shilling said. “Who knows how long those are going to last.”
At the presentation, Shilling said he has spoken to officials from a couple of firms about the cost of replacing the lights. It can range anywhere from $120,000 to $170,000, depending on all of the bells and whistles that can be purchased.
“It’s just a like a car,” he said, “the more you want, the more you pay for. Whiteford doesn’t need some of these things. I think it’s reasonable that you have a box, you open it, stick in a key and the lights come on. That’s what we need.”
The new lights – which would be much more energy efficient – would have to include new poles, but fewer poles would probably be necessary because of technology advances. The existing wooden poles are original and not in good condition after being out in the weather for 55 years.
“No engineer would say put something new up on top of those poles,” he said.
The school district has spent nearly $7,000 the last three years replacing bulbs.
“We’re spending money every year and, truthfully, it’s just a Band-Aid,” he said. “To me, it’s a safety issue. The No. 1 issue is are the students safe, are the players safe, are the fans safe.”
Despite the need, Shilling said, the school does not currently have enough money to fund such a major project. A sinking fund bond issue was passed by voters a few years ago but those funds are already earmarked for projects from a new boiler in the elementary building to new lights, doors, carpeting and windows in that building and replacing the asbestos flooring currently in the high school building. Shilling said both he and the board feels strongly that it cannot take that money and spend it on football stadium lights.
“That money has been earmarked,” he said. “We told the voters what we were spending that money on.”
Shilling said at the November school board meeting he intends to bring the information before the board and discuss possibilities. At this point, he said, he is just hoping to get it on the minds of district residents.
“We at least have to put this on our radar,” he said. “It’s not going to go away.”

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Supervisor: Whiteford closer to getting deputy

BY DOUG DONNELLY

OTTAWA LAKE – Whiteford Township moved one step closer Tuesday to having a deputy sheriff on duty in the township for at least 40 hours a week.

The Whiteford Township Board voted 4-1 at its regular board meeting to allow Supervisor Walter Ruhl to continue to move forward with negotiations and discussions of a deal that involves the City of Petersburg and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and having a deputy stationed in Whiteford starting Jan. 1.

“I think it’s a win-win,” Ruhl said at Tuesday’s board meeting.

The deal in the works calls for Whiteford Township to pay $25,000, plus about $100 a month for an office, and a monthly Internet fee on a secure network. In return, Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone will station a deputy in the township 40 hours a week. The office will be in the Michigan Technical Resource Park, or former Dana World Headquarters in southwest Whiteford Township – the same place that Whiteford Township has its offices.

“I don’t see a downside to this,” Ruhl said. “We will have a whole year for $25,000. It looks like a win-win to me.”

The township has discussed the issue numerous times for the past couple of years. Currently, the township relies on the Monroe County sheriff and Michigan State Police for police protection in its community. It does not contract with the sheriff to have its own deputies, an arrangement that several townships, such as Bedford Township, have in place.

The discussion intensified a couple of years ago when the board began discussing the role of its two elected constables in the community.

Ruhl has kept the issue alive at board meetings since, frequently stating he was in favor of getting a larger police presence in the township. Lack of funding and the potential annual cost of more than $110,000 – including the cost of a deputy, police car and an office – kept the issue just in the discussion stage, however.

In recent months, Ruhl has been talking to the Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone, however, about this plan to bring a deputy by sharing some costs. The most recent plan – discussed in a meeting with Ruhl, Malone and officials from the City of Petersburg and Summerfield Township this week – would see Whiteford Township contributing $25,000 for one year and getting a deputy in the township for an unspecified 40 hours a week.

The $25,000 essentially will help Petersburg pay for its 40-hour a week officer. The city had considered dropping its deputy because in its upcoming budget it feels it cannot afford the cost. Whiteford’s $25,000 will make up its budget shortfall. In return, Sheriff Malone told Ruhl that he would provide Whiteford with a different deputy for 40 hours a week.

“It gives the township residents a chance to see if they want a sheriff’s deputy in our township in the future or not, and it only will cost us $25,000,” Ruhl said.

Township Treasurer Tim Hill, Clerk Angie Christensen and Trustee Bernice Heidelberg all voted in favor of the plan, with Ruhl. Trustee Don Sahloff voted no.

“For what it will do for the township, for $27,000, you can’t beat it,” Hill said.

Heidelberg, a former township clerk and supervisor, agreed.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” she said. “I’ve wanted to get a sheriff in our community for a long time.”

 – Posted Oct. 16, 2013

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Sterns Rd. project begins

Sterns Rd. project begins

The long-awaited repaving of Sterns Rd. between Adler and Whiteford Center Rd. started this morning (Monday, Sept. 16, 2013).
The repaving job is being done by the Monroe County Road Commission and paid for by the township.

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September 16, 2013 · 5:36 pm

Thursday’s JV football scores

Ida 36, Summerfield 6

Whiteford 44, Erie Mason 32

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Ottawa Lake sewer project starts

Sewer project starts

By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE — The long awaited sewer project got a kick start Wednesday morning as Whiteford Township officials, joined by local, state and federal officials, ceremoniously broke ground for the project.
“This has been a long time coming,” said township Supervisor Walt Ruhl.
The ground breaking was held at the Ottawa Lake Fire Hall, near the corner of Brown St. and Memorial Hwy. in Ottawa Lake.
Whiteford Township received a $2.1 million grant from the USDA’s Rural Development division to help offset the $2.78 million cost of the project. The rest of the project will be paid for through a low-interest loan.
Ultimately, the project brings sanitary sewers to nearly 100 residents in Ottawa Lake who have never had sewers before. The township and the City of Sylvania have worked out an agreement to have the sewage pumped to Sylvania.
State Rep. Dale Zorn (R-Ida) called it a victory for Whiteford Township residents.
“The most important thing is it is going to make a difference for the youth of this community,” he said. “It will help keep Ottawa Lake clean for decades to come.”
Zorn, who running for senate, congratulated Whiteford officials for years of progress in cutting through all of the circles necessary to get the project off the ground.
Ruhl singled out numerous people in his remarks, thanking David Kubiske of David Arthur Consultants, the township engineer; Wolfgang Drescher, the township attorney; the City of Sylvania for its cooperation, and others.
Ruhl said the contractor plans on getting started on the actual project “Thursday, at the lastest.”
Whiteford Township was found in violation of the state’s clean water act nearly five years ago when E. coli was found in a ditch in Ottawa Lake and various township officials have worked to correct the problem since. The groundbreaking will be yet another step in that process, Mr. Ruhl said.
Dunnigan Brothers Inc. of Jackson is the contractor on the project.

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August 21, 2013 · 5:04 pm

Board okays pay increases for elected officials

OTTAWA LAKE – Whiteford Township Board members abolished the township-appointed compensation committee and voted themselves a pay raise Tuesday by a narrow vote of 3-2 on four separate motions and votes.

The new salaries are:

Supervisor (Walt Ruhl), $22,500

Clerk (Angie Christensen), $21,900

Treasurer (Tim Hill), $21,900

Trustees (Bernice Heidelberg, Don Sahloff), $4,200 plus $70 per special meeting

Ruhl, Christensen and Sahloff voted for each of the pay raise resolutions while Hill and Heidelberg voted no.

The compensation committee decided months ago to recommend 2 percent pay increases for board members. That was the first raise for township officials in about six years, officials said. The exact amount of the previous salary was not immediately available at the board meeting, but it appears to be a 20 percent increase.

Mr. Ruhl offered the resolutions. He said that the duties of township officials is ever-increasing and the job they each are now doing warrants the increase.

“Historically, this has been a 20-hour job,” he said. “It’s not anymore. I’m telling you, I put in more than 40 hours a week.”

Township officials approved the 2013-14 fiscal year budget at its last meeting and the new salaries were reflected in that spending plan.

Two township residents expressed some reservations about the pay hikes, suggesting the board vote now for the salaries of the next elected term of board members and that the hike was a large one-time jump. Ruhl, however, defended the new salaries and abolition of the compensation panel.

“This board is worth what we are asking,” he said.

In the resolution, Ruhl said the new salary for his office, for example, was equal to $11.25 an hour and that of the treasurer and clerk were equal to about $10.95 an hour.

State statute does not say how many hours a supervisor must work. Ruhl said the state says officials must put in enough time “to do the work.”

Ruhl and Christensen were elected in November, 2010.

Heidelberg said the last time elected officials received a raise was when Pam Dressel was supervisor. She died in 2009 and was replaced by Heidelberg, who held the post for just over a year before losing an election bid against Ruhl. Heidelberg, who was also a former clerk, was elected trustee in November.

Township attorney Alex Deschler said the salaries were in line with other townships like Whiteford Township according to a salary survey done by the Michigan Townships Association. Township officials receive no benefits.

The new salaries take effect Aug. 20.

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