Once again, parks took the spotlight at the monthly meeting of the Columbia  Township trustees.  A new version of Ordinance 18 was unveiled–that’s the law that governs activity in the Township Park.  The intent behind the new document is to modernize language, update it to other current laws and regulation, and to toughen enforcement.  The current modest fines for infractions would be replaced with amounts much higher–up to $500. 

Trustees may vote it into law at the August meeting.  You can read the full text by scrolling down past the county park story. 

Judi Kelly who spoke at the last meeting returned to give her opinion on current conditions at the park.  She painted a much different picture tonight as you’ll see in this video.  After Judi’s comments, Police Chief David Elwell’s responds, and Treasurer John Calhoun comments. Finally, Clerk Barry Marsh asks Township Attorney Eric White, who helped draft the new ordinance, about enforcing the “no pet” rule.  Exceptions are made for service animals, but stops at that.

Judi Kelly operates Doyle’s Market and lives adjacent to the Township Park.  John Calhoun also lives at Clark Lake, and is in the vicinity of the park.

The county commissioner for the Clark Lake area is Phil Duckham.  He told trustees the county is thinking about offering townships the opportunity to take over some county parks on a 99-year lease.  That could include the County Park at the east end.  Also, he noted the new parks director was “embarrassed” by what he saw at the Clark Lake county park.  Duckham said a building damaged in a storm would be fixed.  Duckham attributed the lack of attention to turnover in the parks director position. 

The building described in the video has been closed for a number of years.  It was damaged by a falling branch in a November, 2016, storm.