BERRIEN SPRINGS — If all goes well, the Fourth of July will not only see an Independence Day parade in downtown Berrien Springs this year, but also a new event – an ice cream social
Village council members on Monday approved the annual parade and learned more details about the ice cream social.
Village President Milt Richter reported that plans are coming together for the ice cream social. Tentative plans call for the social to start at 11 a.m. at the History Center at Courthouse Square and run to 3:30 p.m. The parade will start at 4 p.m. that day.
Richter said the events at the Courthouse Square will include horseshoe, metalworking and woodshop demonstrations as well as live music. In addition, the sheriff’s office will be open and local Pathfinders and Boy Scouts will provide food. The nearby Berrien Springs Community Library will offer kids games inside and out.
“I think it’s going to be a great day,” he said. “There will be something for everybody to do.”
Also Monday, council members renewed the village’s health insurance plan for the 2019-2020 year starting July 1. Richter reported good news, with the village set to save some money next year. He noted that premiums are going down by more than 2 percent.
Council members did not take action on repairs to the village-owned Wolf’s Prairie Playground after a dispute over the bidding process. An outside consultant estimated last year that park upgrades could cost as much as $400,000. While council members rejected that amount, they did set aside $10,000 to start repairs.
Richter and council member Lonna Johnson disagreed over how to move forward. Johnson noted that the council only received one bid for part of the work and did not contact her husband, who is a contractor. She said she was not speaking on behalf of her husband, but because she believes it’s not fair to taxpayers to get only one bid.
Richter said he was tired of waiting to get the work done. His concern is that kids will start using the playground more as the weather warms and safety concerns have not been corrected.
Council members received a report from the village’s historic district study committee. Council member Barry Gravitt said committee members have developed a preliminary list of buildings that should be included in a new historic district.
“This is important, this is our heritage,” Richter said. “We need to take care of the facades. We’ve got a good committee, I think it’s coming along.”