Electric Department to get new Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

By Ralph Echtinaw

City council approved purchase Tuesday of a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD for $36,197 from Berger Chevrolet of Grand Rapids.

The truck will replace a 2004 three-quarter ton Dodge pick-up used by the Electric Department.

The cost would be over $48,000 if the city was not a member of MiDEAL, a state program that allows Michigan cities, townships, villages, counties, school districts, universities, colleges and nonprofit hospitals to buy goods and services from state contracts.

TruckThe city could have had a Ford F-250 truck from Jorgensen Ford of Detroit for $37,315, but that was a bit more expensive than the Chevy.

Councilman Tom Reed asked if local dealers were given a chance to make the sale. No, said Police Chief Richard J. Ramereiz Jr. because “only a handful” of Michigan dealerships are members of MiDeal, and none of them are local.

The old truck “had been slated for replacement in the 2018/19 fiscal year,” City Manager Kurt Giles said via email. “However, replacement of that vehicle was deferred last fall. That vehicle has been a candidate for replacement for a while since it’s now 15 years old and is getting quite rusty. We didn’t list that as one of the motor pool purchases in the 2019/20 fiscal year. However, we are well-positioned to make that purchase at this time for use in the electric department.”

Councilman George Kubin asked Electric Department Foreman Mike Parsons if the new truck can handle a snow plow.

Yes, Parsons said, but there are no plans to do so.

Mayor Pro-Tem Melissa Allen then quipped: “It’s a Chevy. It might not handle it.”

Christmas parade

The Middle of the Mitten Association’s Small Town Family Christmas Parade begins 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5.

Lineup is on North Street (next to Frosty Cone).

Parade route is south on Mill, left on Saginaw ending at high school parking lot.

There will be a reception with Santa and Mrs. Claus after the parade at the GEM Theater.

Rural Michigan Initiative Conference

City Manager Kurt Giles, Public Services Director Keith Risdon and Mayor James Kelly said they will attend the Rural Michigan Initiative conference 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at Alma College. Cost is $25 per person.

“The Rural Michigan Initiative is a forum for discussing local and regional environmental challenges,” according to the Alma College web site. “It aims to encourage citizens and policy makers to promote ecological health in the Great Lakes region and to restore economic stability to rural communities.

“The 2019 conference focuses on the contribution of clean water to the health and economy of the Great Lakes. Experts from related areas of the economy and environment will outline major challenges facing water quality and their impact on rural Michigan.”

The main speakers are Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation, and John Ikerd, visionary economist and author.

Follow this link to the web site if you’d like to sign up to attend the conference.


Penny Park

DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott said a new play structure for Penny Park will arrive this week and be installed the week of Oct. 28.

Who’s running?

Four St. Louis residents have turned in petitions with a sufficient number of signatures to be on the ballot in November for election to city council.

They are Bill Leonard, 73, Don Dean, 70, Roger Collison, 69, and this reporter, 60.

The four of us will compete to fill two city council seats that are open because council members Jerry Church and Melissa Allen are not seeking re-election.

Mayor James C. Kelly is on the ballot, too, but running unopposed.

All candidates are invited to write an article for the Sentinel to introduce themselves to voters.


All council members were present. Council candidates Leonard, Collison and this reporter were present. Dean was not.

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