Southwest Michigan Prosperity Committee Seeks Input on Regional Prosperity

To better refine its understanding of prosperity in the region, the Southwest Michigan Prosperity Committee is looking to survey those with an interest in Southwest Michigan. The results of this survey will help shape the work of the Committee in 2018 and beyond. Please take a few minutes to share how you feel through the following survey. The survey will remain open until 10:00 am on February 21. It is intended for those who live and/or work in southwest Michigan (Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties). If you have any questions, contact Lee Adams at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Southwest Michigan Prosperity Survey

This survey is being shared on behalf of the Southcentral Michigan Planning Council


MDEQ Begins Removal of Alcott Street Dam

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is beginning work to remove the Alcott Street Dam on Portage Creek, located beneath Alcott Street between Portage and Burdick Streets. The aging dam no longer serves a purpose and its removal will remove the risk of a dam failure, increase connectivity for aquatic animals in Portage Creek, provide natural habitat, increase floodplain storage volume and remove nearly 50,000 cubic yards of impounded material. 

Construction is planned to begin on February 5 with a contractual completion date in August, although the construction team has indicated that work may be completed earlier in the summer. The project area will include the dam and the section of the creek directly south. The project is not expected to require the closure of Alcott Street. The project team has been working with City of Kalamazoo engineers to ensure the dam can be safely removed from the street.  

The dam is located in an area of the city that formerly contained several paper mills and has been the focus of ongoing cleanup efforts. This project is another step towards restoration of the area which is seen the cleanup of the Bryant Mill Pond in 1998, the Performance Paper Site in 2010-11 and additional work on Portage Creek from 2012-2014. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently planning a separate cleanup effort for the Allied Landfill Site. 

Funding for the project is provided in part by the State of Michigan and with funds from the Kalamazoo River Natural Resources Damage Assessment

An informational meeting was held on February 2 with representatives from the MDEQ and other project partners. You can view the presentation slides pdf here (13.68 MB)  which provide some additional details on this project as well as some of the history of cleanup efforts in the area. 



Water Customers Advised to Run Water to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Due to the extremely cold temperatures this winter, the City of Kalamazoo has advised water customers to keep a pencil-sized stream of water consistently running in their homes through April 1 (or until otherwise notified). Maintaining running water reduces the likelihood that water service lines and/or interior plumbing will freeze. Frozen pipes can results in an interruption in water service and potentially lead to expensive repairs if interior plumbing freezes and pips rupture.

When determining whether or not to issue an advisory, the City of Kalamazoo’s Public Services staff considers the observed or predicted depth of the frost line. Water mains and water service lines are buried at a depth of five feet to protect them from frost, however due to the age of the system  some properties may not have their services at this depth.  To account for this, a freezing pipe advisory is generally issued when the frost line reaches 30 inches. A warning is issued when the frost line nears 42 inches, the level at which reports of frozen pipes increase sharply.

The goal of these notices is to help prevent damage to property & infrastructure and to avoid interruption in service.  While maintaining running water can help you prevent expensive damage to your home or property, it can also raise household utility costs. To offset the cost of this request, water bills for this period (January 1 - April 1, 2018) will be based on usage from the same period last year (if usage was lower ONLY). As a result, water bills issued between January 22 and July 16, 2018 may be reduced. Your billing statement will display the actual usage and include an adjustment if last year’s usage was less. Please note that usage may be adjusted but current water rates will still be applied.

If you have questions about your bill, please call contact the City Treasurer’s Office at (269) 337-8149


City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


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 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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