"The Road" Newsletter -- January 2022

The Road Newsletter Header 2020-1

January 2022 | Volume 12 | Issue 1 | Bookmark and Share

Meet the 2022 Ottawa County Road Commission

The Ottawa County Road Commission is pleased to announce the 2022 Board of County Road Commissioners for Ottawa County.

The Road Commission is governed by a five-member Board, appointed by the County Board of Commissioners for six-year terms.

At least one member is appointed every two years. Although the Road Commission Board is appointed by the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, the Road Commission is separate from county general government. The Road Commission Board also serves as the Ottawa County
Public Utilities Board.

The 2022 Road Commission Board members are:

Tom Elhart

Tom Elhart -- Chairman -- Tom was first appointed to the Road Commission in January 2011 with a current term expiring December 31, 2022.

He was born and raised in Ottawa County and currently resides in the City of Grand Haven.

A Hope College graduate, Tom is an Associate Broker with Signature Real Estate and has served on several boards for non-profit organizations.

He also is a Rotary past-president and Paul Harris Fellow.

Jim Miedema

Jim Miedema -- Vice-Chairman -- Jim was appointed to the Road Commission in January 2013 with a term expiring December 31, 2018.

He was reappointed for another 6-year term beginning January 2019, expiring December 31, 2024.

He is a retired body shop owner and currently resides in the Jamestown Township area. Jim has over 20 years of township service as a former Jamestown Township Supervisor and is currently serving as a Jamestown Township Trustee.

Tom Bird

Tom Bird -- Member -- Tom was first appointed to the Road Commission in January 2011. He was reappointed to a two-year term in December 2020 for a term running January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022.

He resides in the Park Township area. Tom is a retired telecommunications engineer having worked for 45 years in engineering management and as a consulting engineer.

Betty Gajewski

Betty Gajewski -- Member -- Betty was first appointed to the Road Commission in December 2014. She was reappointed in December 2020 to a current term running January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2025.

She has owned a business and worked as an environmental professional for a nonprofit organization, public university, international manufacturer, engineering firm, and development commission.

Betty served as a member of several Ottawa County commissions as well as the Tallmadge Township Planning Commission.

Kurt Van Koevering

Kurt Van Koevering -- Member -- Kurt was first appointed to the Road Commission in December 2020, with a current term running January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2025.

He was born and raised in Ottawa County and currently resides in the City of Zeeland.

A Hope College graduate, Kurt is the President of Zeeland Record/ZR Graphics, a 128-year family printing, publishing and large format business, and editor of the Zeeland Record.

Kurt is co-president of the Bridge Ministry Center and a past member of the City of Zeeland’s Shopping Area Redevelopment Board. He also served on the City of Zeeland Planning Commission for 27 years.

Be sure to visit our website for a complete list of meeting dates, agendas and minutes, and board member contact information.

Avoiding the dreaded 'Second Shovel'

Second Shovel Graphic

The sinking feeling you feel when the end of your freshly shoveled driveway is buried in snow from a passing plow truck can easily be avoided.

To avoid this dreaded "second shovel," simply clear an area before your driveway large enough for the snow coming off the snow plow blade to be deposited (to the right as you face your home or business).

Additionally, shovel your snow in the direction of traffic flow, depositing snow to the left as you face your home or business.

This is also the best location to place your mailbox in order reduce the possibility of damage. 

However, be sure to check with the U.S. Post Office first before moving your mailbox, as they may have certain requirements for the placement of the mailbox and where it needs to be located.

To help illustrate these best practices, you can refer to the above illustration created by the County Road Association of Michigan.

A little strategizing while shoveling your driveway can save you both time and frustration at the end of the day.

A reminder about winter trash bin placement

OCRC Trash Can Reminder

Heavy snow accumulation, combined with icy roads and/or poor visibility during winter maintenance activities, can make it difficult for snowplows to avoid garbage cans placed alongside the road.

During snowstorms, it may be necessary to postpone putting your trash out on pick-up days.

Here are a few helpful tips to make managing trash disposal easy this winter:

  • When you dig out your driveway, also make a spot for your trash can.
  • Do not place garbage cans in the street.
  • Do not place garbage cans on top of the snow piles. 
  • Get up a bit early in the morning to put out the trash instead of the night before.
  • Retrieve your garbage cans soon after collection. 

Following these simple steps will make it easier for snowplow and garbage truck drivers and safer for the traveling public.

Weight restrictions at the tip of your finger

CRA Weight Restriction App Link

Looking for information about seasonal weight restrictions?

The County Road Association of Michigan's seasonal weight restrictions app is designed to provide drivers out on the road with weight restriction information at the touch of a finger.

The app includes the following features: a corresponding pop-up box that includes the date weight restrictions go into effect and are taken off, lists of restricted and all-season roads, and the last time information was updated. Two particularly noteworthy features include the ability to sign up for notifications
and a link that takes users directly to Oxcart -- our online transportation permitting provider -- to pull a transportation permit.

CRA also provides a table of information that includes everything in the map pop-up, organized in an easy-to-read list of counties sorted by alphabetical order.

A website that seamlessly integrates with the app is also available for desktop users.

To find more information about seasonal weight restrictions, visit the "Trucking" section of our website, or scan the QR code in the image above to be taken to the CRA's website.