OSCEOLA COUNTY — Osceola County Commissioners learned just how successful the annual household hazardous waste disposal event really is at Tuesday's meeting.

Charmaine Lucas of the Osceola-Lake Conservation District presented her data before the board members, thanking them for their continued support. She said the household hazardous waste disposal event of 2014 was incredibly positive, with more than 23,000 pounds collected from Osceola, Lake and Mecosta counties — 7,000 pounds of which came from Osceola County. In addition, the Conservation District collected nearly $900 from individual and business donations.

Although 125 households participated last year, Lucas believes more can join this year. Townships specifically are the answer to additional collections and to promote the program, she added.

The next hazardous waste disposal event in the three counties will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 10 at the Osceola County Road Commission site in Hersey Township.

In other business, commissioners heard a presentation by Annamarie Bauer and Josh Pellow regarding the White Pine Trail and the status of its development. The 90-mile trail runs from Comstock Park to Cadillac, with nearly 41 miles of undeveloped trail from LeRoy to Reed City and from Big Rapids to Sand Lake. Construction is scheduled to begin in June, with the trail surfaced with crushed limestone.

According to Bauer, the local funding proposal consists of three counties contributing $45,000, six communities contributing $90,000 and nine townships contributing $135,000 for a total of $270,000. She hopes the county commission will consider a $15,000, or 5.5 percent, contribution toward the total cost.

Pellow and Bauer stated the trail system has multiple benefits to the county, including increased tourism, community health and recreation, maintaining of property values and also possibly attracting businesses.

No action was taken by commissioners on the contribution.

In other business, the commissioners:

  • Approved a policy requiring paperless payroll for county employees, effective by the first pay period in April.
  • Approved an updated smoking policy, which states there is no smoking within 30 feet of all county buildings, effective March 1.