Mecosta County Commissioners approve farmland preservation application, new copier for county clerk

Mecosta County Commissioner Marilyn Vargo listens as fellow Commissioner Ray Steinke talks during the Aug. 15 county commission meeting. (Pioneer Photo/Josh Roesner)

BIG RAPIDS — A Millbrook Township couple received approval to enter the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program from the Mecosta County Commission on Thursday.

The approval makes the farm of Ronda and Ervin Basil, Jr. the 297th farm in Mecosta County to enter into the program, which offers tax credits to land owners.

Commissioner Ray Steinke, whose district includes Millbrook Township, introduced the application before commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the application. The Basils had already received support from the Mecosta County Planning Commission, the Millbrook Township Board of Trustees and the Mecosta Conservation District.

The program offers incentives to participants in the form of tax credits and is geared toward smaller family farms, said Richard Harlow, program manager for the Michigan Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program.

In other news, a resolution to designate the week of Sept. 11 to 17 as “Michigan Patriot Week,” was brought forward by Commissioner Linda Howard and approved unanimously by commissioners.

“The Daughters of the American Revolution asked me to bring this forward,” Howard said as she introduced the resolution.

Michigan Patriot Week will serve several purposes, Howard said, including time to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks while also encouraging citizens to learn about and honor America’s founders and “offer the reverence which is due to our Republic.”

Commissioners also unanimously approved a recommendation from the finance committee to purchase a new multi-function copier.

County Clerk Marcee Purcell had requested permission to purchase the new copier and 5-year service contract after noting the current 5-year-old machine was prone to breaking down often and was encountering what she called “significant delays in repairs.”

The new copier carries a price tag of $3,430 with the service contract costing less than a penny per copy.

The county commission’s next meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Sept. 5 in the Mecosta County Building, located at 400 Elm St. in Big Rapids.

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