The Eagle 07 12 18 - page 2

July 12, 2018
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Civil War veterans honored at special ceremony
Romulus residents to see slight hike in water rates
Twenty five Civil War soldiers
from the City of Belleville and
the townships of Sumpter and
Van Buren were honored in a
special ceremony at theVeterans
Memorial at Horizon Park
More than a dozen individu-
als, dressed as Civil War person-
alities, recounted their charac-
ters' stories during the ceremony
and members of the Belleville
Community Chorus sang the Star
Spangled Banner and The Battle
Hymn of theRepublic.
Members of the Bring Our
Boys Home Research Group, led
by area resident Ginger Bruder,
researched the identities of the
local veterans at the Belleville
Area District Library, funded by
a grant from the Charles B
The names of those honored
were engraved on thememorial.
Several descendants of Civil
War soldiers attended the cere-
mony andwere introduced.
Bruder said the research into
local Civil War soldiers is not
complete and the group plans to
update cemetery lists at all
cemeteries in Belleville,
Sumpter, and Van Buren, denot-
ing the graves of Civil War veter-
The group also plans to pres-
ent programs about the Civil War
history of the tri-community at
the library and Belleville Area
Museum and to work with the
schools, Bruder said. There also
is a walking tour being planned
of the downtown area Civil War
Those Civil War soldiers hon-
ored at the ceremony included:
Henry Lewis, Seril T. Chilson,
Seth C. Runyan, Jasper Burt,
Roderick J. Biddle, George
Martin, James Crysler, Cornell W.
Crysler, DeForest Carpenter,
Lewis B. Truesdell/Truesdale,
Charles Bush, John Foster,
James Sterling, Albert H. Tyler,
Ira Austin, JosephDavis, Vincent
King, Charles Bucklin, Henry H.
Mills, Robert H. McQuaid,
Spawn/Spaun, George E. Jewett,
Hiram R. Hunt, Benjamin C.
In addition to Bruder and her
husband, Keith, members of the
Bring Our Boys Home group
included: KathyGraham, Debbie
Juriga, Pat Marshall, Lori
Minthorn, Connie Reed, Virginia
Truran and JimWagner.
Romulus residents will see a
slight increase in water rates,
after an effort to reject the new
rates failed on a tie vote of
members of the city council.
City residents will see a 5.3
percent increase on the fixed
rate-which is dependent on the
size of their meter and a direct
pass through from the Great
Lakes Water Authority-and a .48
percent increase of the overall
water rate due to increased
costs passed on to the city.
City Councilwomen Virginia
Williams, Eva Webb and Kathy
Abdo voted to reject the
“We have hit the residents
with somuch all at one time; we
really need to be considerate,
said Williams. “I just don't
believe, at this time, we should
be asking the taxpayers to pay
anything else. I think we can
hold this off for a little while
Webb said she voted against
the increase in part because the
city hadn't received the flat
sewage charges from the Rouge
Valley Sewage Systems for the
2018-2019 fiscal year, which
might mean the city would have
to revise the rates in the future.
“I can't vote on something I
do not have here, in my hands,
inblack andwhite,” she said.
Abbie Atkins, assistant
finance director for the city,
said it was necessary to pass
along rate increases to resi-
“The rate covers the costs.
We're not making a profit; we
can't make a profit,” she said. “If
we don't increase the rates,
what we're doing is using the
fund balance. You're going to
use the money you have set
aside tomake repairs.”
Council President John
Barden voted against rejecting
the rates, as did Councilwomen
Celeste Roscoe and Tina Talley.
Councilman William Wads-
worth was absent from the
meeting last week.
Mayor Leroy Burcroff said
increases in water rates, while
not popular, were very difficult
to avoid.
“It's not something we want
to do, either,” he said. “It's some-
thing that's necessary to do.”
only 15 full-time and four part-
time firefighters. Ten years ago,
firefighters were responding to an
average of eight calls per day.
Today, crews average 14 calls per
day, which is more than 5,000 per
There were 57 police officers
in 2008-2009 and there are 43 cur-
rently. Meanwhile, police runs
increased from 17,064 in 2009 to
20,607 in 2017, according to official
“We are talking about essential
services here,” Burcroff said.
“These are must-have services.
When you pick up a phone and
dial 9-1-1, a professionally-trained
person shows up as soon as possi-
ble. That must be sustained. We
have done a lot of creative things.
We owe it to the residents to be
part of the solution.”
The mayor said the city admin-
istration has been fiscally respon-
sible, creating service partner-
ships with Detroit Metropolitan
Airport and other agencies, using
grant writers, seeking sponsors for
special events and creating foun-
“We are making good spending
decisions,” Burcroff said. “We are
doing more with less. I stand by
our record. We have been very
responsible with tax dollars. We
have done a good job.”
Just prior to the vote by city
council members to put the issue
before voters, several letters from
concerned individuals in the city
were read aloud.
Among those speaking at the
meeting wereRomulus Police Sgt.
Labrit Jackson, Ofc. Byron Paisley
and Ofc. Rodney Cofield, along
with Romulus Fire Department
Lt. John Thiede, who is president
of International Association of
Fire Fighters Local 4126. All four
are Romulus residents and spoke
about the importance of approv-
ing themillage proposal.
Anthony Antone, executive
vice president of Kojaian
Management Corp., a major
industrial property owner in the
city, submitted a letter that read in
part: “Public safety is critical
because it is one of the very first
things which companies looking
to relocate to Romulus deem as
The board of directors of the
Greater Romulus Chamber of
Commerce asked the council to
approve the resolution and put it
on the ballot.
“Please allow our residents the
right to vote on this issue,” the
chamber letter stated.
Romulus residents Dan and
Carole Bales said in their letter:
“Public safety is important to our
property values and the quality of
life for the residents of the com-
munity. The community leaders
have demonstrated the need for
the additional funds.”
Burcroff said Romulus' future
depends on the success of the fire
and police millage proposal in
“We appreciate the outpouring
of support from residents, public
safety officials, city employees, the
business community and the
church community,” the mayor
said. “There's a problem and
we're trying to fix it.”
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