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Holt We salute the top graduating seniors from area high schools See pgs. 8, 12, 13 © 2011 Lansing Community Newspapers Community News TM Your very own newspaper serving Holt, Delhi Township Vol. 15 - No. 31 and Dimondale since 1995 May 15, 2011 No layoffs planned Resident named ‘Project Manager’ of 2010 for Holt Central staff WILL KANGAS WILL KANGAS HOLT — School administrators say teachers and other employees of Holt Central High School are being placed in other positions in the district. In its final year, Holt Central was the alternative education school in a former bowling alley at 2168 Cedar St.. As a replacement, the district is developing a new “EdTrek” program along with a private company called Ombudsman and will use a former administrative building on Spahr Avenue to house it. When the Holt Board of Education voted 4-3 to make the change in February, local and state union leaders blasted the administration for the decision to use a private company instead of the current school employees. But Holt Public Schools Superintendent Johnny Scott said the employees are being placed in similar district positions as they have become vacant due to retirements and resignations. “I’m happy to say we don’t have to lay off anyone,” he said. “We are in the middle of the transition and are assigning those workers, and we are confident they will remain in the district.” Holt Education Association President Eric Pulver said negotiations continue. “There is a significant challenge in front of Holt Public Schools due to the forecast for such drastic cuts in state funding and our school/community goal of avoiding personnel layoffs,” Pulver said. “I know that HPS district administrators are working hard to place staff in positions that match certifications and qualifications. While the HEA has not been part of the decision-making, we have been kept informed as this process continues to unfold.” Meanwhile, negotiations continue with a local neighborhood group to have an informational meeting concerning the school, which is next to Midway Elementary. Residents expressed concern about the impact of older students loitering See STAFF, Page 3 A Holt resident was recently given a top state-wide award for her work on a complicated bridge project in Barry County. The County Road Association of Michigan announced that Heather Smith, Project Engineer for the Barry County Road Smith Commission, was recognized by the National Association of County Engineers as the 2010 Project Manager of the Year. Heather, who is currently on maternity leave, resides with her husband Josh in Holt, with their two children Cadi and Lizzy. “Michigan’s county road agencies have some of the brightest engineering talent in the country,” said association director John Niemela. “We are extremely proud that Smith was recognized with this prominent honor.” Smith was recognized for her efforts on the Finkbeiner/Crane Road and Bridge project — 4.25 miles of road construction and two new bridges over the Thornapple River and Spring Creek in Thornapple Township. The $12 million dollar project contains 13 different funding sources, each having its own rules and time frames in which it could be used. Smith worked closely with the The project spanned two bridges and multiple agencies in Barry County. Michigan Department of Transportation to utilize all of the funds to their maximum potential, and drafted intergovernmental agreements. MDOT department of transportation officials said they had never experienced a project with this multitude of funding intricacies. In total, two primary contractors and over 40 subcontractors worked on seven unique jobs assigned to the project, according to CRAM officials. “The tedious environmental review process involved state and federal agencies taking 3 years and required over $1 million in additional environmental protection expenditures, Barry County Road Commission Managing Director, Brad Lamberg said. “Heather has been instrumental in keeping this highly complex project on schedule and on budget.” The main objectives of this project were to: • Retain and strengthen local industries, including Bradford White, a local company with over 900 employees. Bradford White approved an expansion of approximately $4 million that would have gone to New Hampshire without See SMITH, Page 3 LJ-0100091754 How to reach us: Advertising: 517-377-1141 Circulation: 866-226-1812 News: 517-541-2503 Classifieds: 877-475-SELL or 877-391-SELL

Holt Community News

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