Event to add fun to winter Evergreen Festival, raise funds for department

REED CITY —  A new event to raise money for the Reed City Fire Department will be featured at this year's Evergreen Festival, taking place from Friday, Nov. 28, through Saturday, Nov. 29, in the city.

Members of the Reed City Council voted unanimously to approve a motion allowing a sleigh bed race to take place at Fire Chief Jim Decker's request. Decker said Upton Avenue would need to be closed from the post office to Chestnut Street for the event. The race will help the department purchase needed equipment and the event entry fee is $100 per team of five individuals. Winners of the race will receive monetary prizes, Decker added.

In more business, Reed City Police Chief Chuck Davis addressed the council and recognized fellow officer Sgt. Gary Cole, who will retire on Friday after more than 40 years of service in Michigan. Davis presented Cole with a certificate of appreciation during the meeting and told council members Cole is dedicated and a "model of the department policy."

"He's always been there and given way more than any employer could ask for," Davis said. "We are truly going to miss him."

During public comment, three Reed City residents spoke out against the council's decision to support and provide Red Tail Brewery with a loan to continue toward a business opening. Each discussed their anger toward the council members, as they feel alcohol abuse is a serious problem within the city and believe the brewery will add to substance abuse issues, including drunk driving and harm to others. Council members did not respond to comments, except to say residents had opportunities to voice their concerns and failed to do so prior to council's approval of the loan last month.

In other business, the council:

  • approved Halloween trick-or-treating to take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31 and Halloween in the Park from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Westerburg Park,
  • approved a motion to allow a wage increase for election workers. Poll workers will receive $9 per hour and the chairperson will receive $10 per hour, and
  • approved a motion to accept the state's minimum wage increase.