Turner council works on beautifying, improving village

Holding flower planting day May 18

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TURNER — The Turner village council is continuing efforts to improve the town with pothole patching, sidewalk clearing, and a flower planting day on May 18.

Village President Justine McGraw said the village has already gone through one load of pothole patching material and plans on getting a second load shortly to continue the work.

She said the village is not necessarily focusing on main thoroughfares, but rather on areas that have the worst potholes are getting worked on first.

“We’re hoping by the end of this month or next month, we will have all the potholes filled in the village,” McGraw said. “We’ve got a good, healthy start on filling in the more necessary ones.”

The village’s sidewalks have been cleared of debris as well, McGraw said, but the council needs to determine which ones need to be removed entirely and repoured, and which ones can be patched and repaired.

“There’s some with little hairline cracks, and some that are way heaved up to where you can’t ride a bike over it without doing a jump,” she said. “Some are already so broken up that we can literally lift them out with our hands right now.”

“We’ve already got them clear and free from debris and dirt and overgrowth, and scraped them back to the original width,” she added. “Now we’re looking into the best way material-wise to redo them.”

With the sidewalks cleaned, McGraw said she is organizing a flower planting day on May 18. Scheduled to start at 9 a.m. at the village hall, she said she wants to try and get volunteers to help transplant previously-purchased flowers along the sidewalks.

The village has a small rototiller that will be used to loosen up the dirt along the sidewalk, and then volunteers will plant the flowers, she said. McGraw believes the flowers are perennials, so they should only need to be planted once to continue blooming.

In other village news, the council approved the purchase of a finishing lawnmower during its meeting May 6. McGraw said it will be used in conjunction with the village’s new tractor, which includes a brush hog to clear badly overgrown areas in the village.

What’s more, she said the village is going to offer to maintain and clear overgrown private property for a fee for those who are unable or uninterested in keeping their property under control.

“There are a few properties in the village that are either for sale or are an old business that someone hasn’t taken care of, and we are more than willing to take care of their lawn for them,” McGraw said. “We would send them a bill for it, but we first, of course, have to get a hold of who owns what and ask if it’s agreeable to keep up maintenance for them, since a lot of them haven’t been kept up in quite a few years.”

The village council also approved moving the tractor from the shed it had been stored at to the old village fire barn, which currently also houses the village’s plow truck. McGraw said the council had a second large door installed on the fire barn at a cost of $1,000 for materials — she said someone donated their time, so there was no additional labor cost — which allowed them to store both machines in one spot.

“The fire hall has heat, so we figured it would be easier on the equipment if it were heated year round,” she said. “The other shed doesn’t have anything to it.”

She acknowledged that the roof at the fire barn is going to need to be replaced over the summer, however. McGraw said someone from the previous village council had been patching it, but it is now in need of a full replacement. She said the council has not determined if it will be cheaper and more convenient to contract out the roof work, or if someone from the village government can do the work.

As for the shed, McGraw said the council is interested in removing the walls and turning it into an open pavilion for rent in the future, but no timetable has been set for that yet.

Finally, McGraw said the village council is seeking donations to clean up Turner’s children’s park and veterans’ memorial.

“I had contacted an organization called Playground of Dreams,” she said. “I haven’t heard back from them in two months, so we decided instead of grants or something we’d see how many donations we could get, first from residents — not just in the village but the whole county — and businesses that would like to donate a small portion to the funds to fix up the playground and park.”

Anyone interested in donating can contact village Treasurer Gary Bates at 989-305-1082.

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