Monday, October 27, 2008

Trick-or-Treating

Lake Isabella has set the official hours for Trick-or-Treating as 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM on Halloween.

Whoa, 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM you say, that's awfully stinking early! In years past the Village's hours were always 5 PM to 7 PM, why the change?


The answer is pretty simple. One thing that area residents have expressed a strong desire for is preserving the view of the night's sky. Over the years the Village has worked hard in support of that goal and has limited streetlight placement and this summer adopted a light pollution ordinance. One of the side of the effects of protecting the great nightime views is the lack of streetlights on our side streets. When this is coupled with the lack of sidewalks and other pedestrian friendly features, we felt that it was important to set hours when there is sufficient light in order to keep the evening fun and safe for everyone.

Once you get done at Lake Isabella, there will still be time left in the night to enjoy trick-or-treating in other Isabella County communiteis. If you plan to take your children to Mount Pleasant or Beal City, their hours are 6 PM to 8 PM. Shepherd is 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

No matter where you go, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark.
  • Always trick or treat in groups, accompanied by an adult.
  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Stay on the sidewalks (if any) and out of the streets. Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks.
  • Walk. No running.
  • Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Only visit well lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses.
  • Don't enter any houses unless you know the people.
  • Carry a spare Halloween bag -- in case yours breaks or you fill your original one.
  • Don't approach unfamiliar pets and animals.
  • Don't cut across yards and stay out of back yards.
  • Always watch for cars backing up or turning.
  • Never accept rides from strangers.
  • Respect other people and their property.
  • Be polite and say "thank you."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Natural Gas Update October 17th

Over the hills and through the woods... actually under the pond is the way to go! This week the gas main was successfully installed under Mill Pond. The main has made it all the way to the School Road/Coldwater Road intersection, as seen on the map below.





In other project news, the Village has invited DTE to give an update at our Council meeting this Tuesday. This is the same update given at the LIPOA meeting earlier this month. If you have any questions, please feel free to attend the meeting.

Two common questions have been asked of our office this week. The first, is where is the gas main going? The areas where the white flags were placed is the location of the main. The Village is not requiring DTE to stay at the edge of the right-of-way/property line. We have granted permission to use our right-of-way from the middle of the ditch back. In doing so, we hope to avoid issues with damage to trees, private property, and not delay them further in their progress.

The other common question is, I sent my money in and haven't heard back from them. To our knowledge there is not a formal reply letter once your application is accepted.

Finally, the last day to be a part of this project for this winter is Saturday, October 25th. DTE must have your application and payment by that date.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Natural Gas Project Update 10/14

Work continues to bring the gas main from the Weidman Gate Station to Lake Isabella. Below is a map showing where the main has been installed along this route in green. The area in red shows areas along the route yet to be installed. Crews today were working on the directional bore under Mill Pond and along School Road near the Elementary School. MISS-DIG crews were also out flagging areas along Coldwater and School Roads in advance of the gas main.








While this part of the project involves only 1/4 of the total project in terms of gas main, it does have one of the largest engineering issues to tackle. In order for the gas main to reach Lake Isabella, the main has to be directionally bored under Mill Pond north of Weidman.


Directional boring, commonly called horizontal directional drilling, is a steerable trenchless method of installing underground pipes, conduits and cables in a shallow arc along a prescribed bore path by using a surface launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area. Directional boring is used when trenching or excavating is not practical. Directional boring minimizes environmental disruption. It is suitable for a variety of soil conditions and jobs including road, landscape and river crossings. Installation lengths up to 6,500’ (2,000m) have been completed, and diameters up to 56" (1,200mm) have been installed in shorter runs. Pipes can be made of materials such as PVC, polyethylene, Ductile iron, and steel if the pipes can be pulled through the drilled hole.









Thursday, October 9, 2008

Website Additions & Web 2.0

This afternoon the Village made two updates to our website. This is part of our effort to bring you an even better experience for your e-government needs. In the larger sense, the Village plans to build into our website features embracing Web 2.0 concepts. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0)

"Web 2.0 is a term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and its hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. The term became notable after the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users utilize the Web."

Lake Isabella is already out in front in terms of Web 2.0 application with this blog, our YouTube videos, and information on our website such as taxes, ordinances, minutes, and much more. Municipal websites have traditionally been designed and geared toward one-way communication. Using Web 2.0 concepts, the Village's goal is to greatly increase the two-way communication in the electronic medium.

Today's updates include the ability to view and print the various Plat Maps of the community, and an additional video from our summer fireworks. A very common occurrence in our office is a request to get a map of a property. With the maps online, it is our hope that people will be able to access this information in a convenient manner any time or place they need it.

We welcome your feedback, are they any features to our site that you would like to see improved or added? If so, please let us know.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Natural Gas Project Update: October 7th


Well folks, construction has begun on the natural gas project. When the project was originally approved by the Village, it was anticipated that construction would begin in early September. That start date was delayed for nearly a month as DTE/MichCon had not been granted the final approval of the Michigan Public Service Commission. As of last week, the MPSC had granted approval for the project to begin.

Presently work is underway north of Wiedman. It is expected that the gas main will reach the Coldwater/El Camino Grande intersection around October 22nd. DTE/MichCon has informed the Village that gas will be in the main as far as the last valve. This means residents will be able to connect very shortly after the main is in front of their house. Below are several pictures from this morning showing the work underway.






Finally, the massive pile of pipe is slowly shrinking. At the present stage in the project, the sub-contractor (Kent Power) is installing the 6" main from the Weidman Gate Station. This 6" pipe will run nearly 4.4 miles to the Coldwater/El Camino Grande intersection to service the Village. In speaking with DTE/MichCon about the project schedule, it is now planned to have all customers serviced and the all personnel out of the Village by the end of November.