Osceola County officials approve resubmitting MIDC grant

Osceola County Board of Commissioners Chair Larry Emig (right) recognizes David Turner for his retirement after working 35 years for the county during the meeting on Feb. 6. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

REED CITY — In order to meet new state standards to appoint attorneys for defendants unable to afford one, Osceola County is one of dozens of counties around the state that have to resubmit a grant plan for consideration.

During their Committee of the Whole meeting on Feb. 6, Osceola County Commissioners approved resubmitting their plan to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission for grant funding.

Commissioners originally approved the plan in November. However, in early January, the MIDC rejected Osceola and other counties’ plans.

County Coordinator Susan Vander Pol said revised plans are due by Feb. 20, and the regional manager for the MIDC wants to review it prior to submission.

Vander Pol told commissioners each county has its own plan.

“Our plan includes mutually working with, at a minimum, Mecosta County, and would like to have other counties involved so we could hire an administrator and a couple of arraignment appointed attorneys to comply with the standards the state is coming out with for indigent defense, but it would spread some of the costs,” she said.

In other action from their committee meeting, county commissioners agreed to put about two acres of county-owned land up for sale. The county had originally purchased the land for $15,000 and had inquired whether there was interest from the Osceola County Road Commission and the previous landowner.

However, Vander Pol said the amount the county sought would not be met.

“Nobody is interested in paying $15,000,” she said. “There’s not interest in even paying $11,000, as that was a figure the board had said.”

Officials agreed to seek sealed bids for the property.

Also during the meeting, Commissioners Pam Wayne and Alan Tiedt publicly announced they are not running for re-election this year. Wayne represents District 6, which is comprised of Evart and Hersey townships. Tiedt currently represents Hartwick, Middle Branch, Orient and Sylvan townships, which make up District 4.

The deadline for residents to file to run for county commission is April 24.

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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