2/15/2023: Merged fire and police in K Twp?

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The Daily News and Events Roundup

For those who live, work, and play in Kalamazoo County

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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Kalamazoo Township is considering merging its fire and police departments after months of turmoil over fire chief firings. Also: A controversial housing development can move forward after a vote by Texas Township leaders. And Portage schools has a new trustee.

News You Need To Know

K Township considering merging fire and police

Leaders in Kalamazoo Township are thinking about merging the township’s fire and police departments into one unified entity. It wouldn’t be an unprecedented move – the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage both have unified public safety departments. But the suggestion comes as Kalamazoo Township wrestles with questions over the management of its fire department. The township hasn’t had anybody permanently in charge of its fire department since Chief David Obreiter was fired in September. In fact, the township hasn’t even sought candidates to fill the position.

The idea of merging fire and police departments came up for discussion during a Monday Board of Trustees work session, but it’s not a new concept. Police Chief Bryan Ergang told the board he’s had conversations with other leaders about it. He said it could be a solution to some of the discord of the past few months. “We’ve kind of spun around and done nothing for several months and without pointing fingers, we see there are a multitude of issues with how we are offering public safety,” he said. Ergang would be a likely candidate to run a unified department, at least on an interim basis. Before that happens, the township board would have to vote on the move during a regular meeting. [MLive]

Controversial Texas Twp development moves forward

Texas Township trustees on Monday voted unanimously to rezone 25 acres of farm land so it can be developed into housing. Schafer Development, LLC, wants to build 166 high-end townhome-style apartments on a property known as Tozer farm south of West N Avenue. The neighbors aren’t happy about that. The township hall was packed Monday night with people opposed to the development. “I feel like we’re being pushed out of our house which is really sad for our family,” said Lisa Thompson, who lives next door to the proposed development. Other speakers complained about the potential for increased traffic.

At the same time, township officials say they are concerned about the lack of housing in the county. Township Supervisor Nick Loeks pointed to the passage of a county millage to address that shortage. “They are actively looking for places to put more houses and units, regardless of the price level,” he said. Trustees rezoned the land to allow multi-family residences. It’s conditional, though. If the developer doesn’t break ground within 18 months, the zoning reverts back to single-family housing. [MLive]

New trustee appointed to Portage school board

Keith Crowell has been appointed to the Portage Public Schools Board of Education. He replaces Kurt Droppers, who retired at the end of January. Crowell isn’t new to the board. He was previously appointed in 2021, then ran for a regular position last year. He lost that election, coming in fifth place.

Crowell’s appointment wasn’t unanimous. Two board members, Kimberly Larson and Emily Crawford, voted against it. They said they wanted more information on the ten candidates who applied for the board, but they weren’t opposed to Crowell specifically. [MLive]

NowKalamazoo Partner Event
Sounds of the Zoo logo

Jon Hayes “Between You & Me” Album Release Show

Jon Hayes | Daisybox
Friday, Feb. 17
6:30pm @ The Clover Room
$10 adv. | $15 at the door

John Hayes sitting with a guitar
John Hayes
Musician Daisybox with a microphone

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

“Recipe for a Perfect Wife” by Karma Brown – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
2:00PM 2/15

February Chamber Connect – Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill
4:00PM 2/15

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, West Main
6:00PM 2/15

Trivia Night at the Bookstore – this is a bookstore
6:00PM 2/15

Out of Favor Boys – O’Duffy’s Pub
7:00PM 2/15

Crys Matthews w/ Faith Quashie – Bell’s Eccentric Café
8:00PM 2/15

Kalamazoo Restaurant Week – Downtown Kalamazoo

Another Evening with Amy Grant – Radisson Plaza Hotel
6:00PM 2/16

Adult African Diasporic Dance – Rootead
6:30PM 2/16

Sounds of the Zoo and Hope Thru Navigation Presents A Black History Month Benefit Concert for The Tiny House Pilot Project – Bell’s Eccentric Café
7:00PM 2/16

Kettle Belles – O’Duffy’s Pub
7:00PM 2/16

Karaoke – Shakespeare’s Pub
8:30PM 2/16

Vintage + Handmade Pop-Up Market – Louie’s Trophy House
5:00PM 2/17

Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
6:00PM 2/17

Jon Hayes “Between You & Me” Album Release Show – The Clover Room
6:30PM 2/17

Brian McClure – The Thirsty Hound
6:30PM 2/17

Gull Lake Community Schools Piano Concert by Pierre & Sophie van der Westhuizen – Gull Lake Center for the Fine Arts
7:00PM 2/17

The Incantations and The Whiskey Charmers – Old Dog Tavern
7:00PM 2/17

Bob Wallis – Live Music – Presidential Brewing Co.
7:00PM 2/17

First Date – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30pm 2/17-18; 2pm 2/19

Museum – WMU, Richmond Center for Visual Arts
7:30pm 2/17-18, 2/24-25; 1pm 2/19, 2/26; 4pm 2/19, 2026

Cats – Miller Auditorium
7:30pm 2/17-18, 2pm 2/18

Echoes of Pink Floyd – Bell’s Eccentric Café
8:00PM 2/17

The Moody Coyotes – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
8:00PM 2/17

Comedy Showcase – Dave’s Bar
8:00PM 2/17

See more upcoming events here.

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