THREE OAKS — Three Oaks Village Council members discussed a proposal to have a fund-raising event for The Acorn Theater in mid July at Dewey Cannon Park involving the serving of alcoholic beverages and live music during their May 13 regular meeting (held remotely via Zoom).
Village President David Grosse said a village ordinance prohibited alcoholic beverages in public parks with the exception of a community-wide event, and a discussion of whether or not the proposed fund-raiser meets the definition of a community event ensued.
Although concerns were raised over setting a precedent, it was noted that the local radio station (WRHC) held an all-day festival where alcohol was served in Dewey Cannon Park about a decade ago.
Options such as having the event on Dewey Cannon Drive or at a privately owned site also were mentioned. It was the general consensus to have Village Manager Dan Faulkner keep working with Acorn representatives on the issue.
Tom Abrahamson, chairman of the Acorn Board of Directors, said they would be glad to work on an agreement after the meeting, noting that there is a timing factor in organizing an event run by volunteers (which he described as a festival day for families with an evening concert) so they would like to get approval or disapproval as soon as possible.
Grosse said there will likely be a special Village Council meeting on the first Wednesday in June so the issue could be dealt with then.
In another May 13 matter, the Village Council agreed to apply for a grant from the Michigan DNR to help fund planned improvements at Watkins Park including volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and an ADA-compliant pavilion during its May 13 regular meeting.
It was noted that the village currently has a $50,000 grant from The Pokagon Fund and $27,200 from itself toward the $127,200 total project construction cost (plus engineering fees).
The council also was informed that work on upgrades at Chamberlain Path is expected to start around June 1. The project includes picnic tables, new lighting and seating.
Grosse said the Three Oaks DDA has canceled the 2020 Wurstfest (which would have been held at the end of September). He said the DDA wants to restructure how the festival is funded and hold a bigger and better version in 2021.
Grosse discussed a proposed ordinance change involving the parking of recreational vehicles that was later approved by the Village Council. The current rule says that they must be parked behind a house, with the new wording stating that a licensed recreational vehicle may be stored in a front paved driveway if there is no room in the back portion of the property.
After considering waiting until June to see how many of the planned 2020 road projects the village can afford when state tax payment comes in lower than originally anticipated, Faukner advised the council to apply for Category B grant funds (in the amount of $119,853.75) from the state. He said the competitive grants are awarded to communities on a need basis and the deadline is May 31. He added that the village should know by early July if they were awarded a grant.
The council agreed to apply for the grant.
In other May 13 business the Three Oaks Village Council:
• Discussed questions related to the village’s contracted trash hauler, Lake Shore Disposal, regarding how much of the recycling items picked up are recycled.
It was noted that Three Oaks Township make separate arrangements with Lake Shore regarding recycling.
Ultimately it was decided to check load tickets before millage and garbage rates are set on June 4.
• Agreed to have delinquent taxes paid to the village instead of the county, gaining interest on the funds and avoiding a fee from the county.
• Appointed J.D. Haughey and Janet Schettler to four-year terms on the DDA.