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Berrien County Farm Bureau ROPS Program
Farm equipment/vehicle accidents can have a devastating effect to all those involved. Many older model tractors are not equipped with a Rollover Protection System (ROPS). It has been shown, that when used properly, ROPS can reduce injuries and save lives of the tractor operator. We feel there is a need to encourage the farmer members of Berrien County Farm Bureau with the importance and increase use of ROPS on their tractors. To accomplish this, we ask the Berrien County Farm Bureau Board of Directors to maintain a ROPS committee. This committee will work with area equipment dealers, other groups and organizations, and with final approval of the Board of Directors, continue a cost share program.
Any drains cleaned in the Galien River watershed all have the same problem- log jams. All the money spent upstream to solve a problem is affected by the downstream issues. We support the Berrien County Drain Commissioner trying to work with local government to get the Galien River declared a municipal drain so the log jams could be cleared and the river could flow to help all drains in the district.
Berrien County Funds for Secondary Road Repairs LR-1
Given the current fund balance in Berrien County’s General Fund and the county’s newly acquired responsibility for county roads, the Berrien County Board of Commissioners should allocate a portion of that fund balance to the repair of county secondary roads. Roads selected for maintenance or reconstruction using these funds should be chosen using the PASER (Pavement Surface and Evaluation Ratings) system used throughout Michigan to evaluate road surface condition.
Township Control of Drain Funds LR-2
Weesaw Township saw a 50% increase in county drain taxes from March 26, 2017, to March 31, 2018. This increase was not and could not have been foreseen when the Weesaw Township Board budgeted for what was expected its annual drain tax would be based on previous years’ drain expenditures. Such “tax surprises “make responsible budgeting impossible. Townships must be able to determine, in advance, what percentage of their total funds are available to pay for township drain taxes. Proposed: A Township’s annual drain bill increase should be negotiated annually by the drain commissioner and the township board.
County Wide Millage
The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is currently reviewing funding options for public transportation and improvements to the County Parks system. While we are not weighing in on the merits of the aforementioned programs, we are concerned that the method chosen to generate the additional revenue will be an increase in the millage rate. As the Board of Commissioners progress through their decision making process, we ask them to keep the following facts in mind: • Berrien County farmers are dependent on their land for generating income. • Many variables effect the amount of income from an acre of land. These variables include weather events, unstable market demand and prices, national farm policy and international trade agreements. • The demand for services on agricultural land is far below that of other land uses. The official policy position of Berrien County Farm Bureau is: We are opposed to increasing the County millage as a revenue funding source. We feel increasing user fees and other funding sources are an appropriate way to generate revenue needs.
Local Traffic Lights at Intersections L2
The current traffic light cycle at the intersection of Red Bud Trail and US-12 does not allow for slow moving traffic and agricultural equipment to flow through the intersection safely before the traffic signal changes. We recommend that the Berrien County Road Department and/or MDOT study the traffic flow and adjust the traffic light cycle to allow for safe traffic flow for slow moving vehicles and agricultural equipment.