National Public Work’s Week

We recognize, appreciate, and honor our public works crew during this National Public Works Week (May 21-27, 2017) which celebrates the vital role public works plays in connecting us all together. Public works provides, maintains, and improves the structures and services that assure a higher quality of life for all. Its parks, streets, roads, bridges, and public transportation keep us linked together from coast to coast, and its clean water and sanitation services keep us healthy and allow our communities to grow and prosper. The Village of Lawrence proudly salutes and thanks our public works professionals Dave Deloach, Brian Johnson and Jim Groth who work tirelessly every day to strengthen not only Lawrence but every community across the country.

27 Truck brigade to assist those in need due to the wildfires

To All,


This afternoon, I received notice from Kyle Conklin that there will be a 27 truck brigade that will begin in Decatur and roll down Red Arrow Hwy. before getting on the highway in Lawrence.  This brigade begins their journey to the southwest to assist those in need due to the wildfires.   Although school dismisses at 11:35 that day, organizers are asking community members to rally downtown with American flags in support of this charitable mission.  The estimated time of arrival is noon.


Please share…


With Tiger Pride!


Michigan Farmers Send Help to Southwest


Mich. farmers send cattle feed to farms destroyed by wildfires in Kansas, other states

LAWRENCE, Mich. — When massive wildfires destroyed thousands of acres of Kansas farmland in March, Jerry Pilch said his heart went out to the farmers.

“Kansas and Oklahoma they get fires all the times,” said Pilch. “It was dry, low humidity. They had the winds we had a couple of weeks ago but they had them for three days.”

Those few days of destruction left 650,000 acres barren . Pilch is a farmer himself. He owns and operates the Southwestern Michigan Feed Inc. and was recently talking with local farmers about how they could help their comrades in Kansas get through this difficult time. Hay was already being shipped to them but as a farmer he knew more was needed.

“So we reached out to some big distributors and they kinda didn’t want anything to do with it,” said Pilch during an interview at his mill. “Their excuse was ‘we don’t sell feed in Kansas.’”

They carried on, he said, and launched a campaign to help the farmers by requesting people donate $8 for a 50-pound bag of cattle feed that’ll be shipped to farmers not only in Kansas but in Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas too. They posted it on Facebook and immediately hundreds of people responded.

“I never in a million years thought it would escalate this much,” said Pilch. “We got more than enough feed going down there than we can even make. So we’re having another mill, we reached out to, make us some feed.”

Pilch said 4-H groups were knocking on doors asking people to donate. Local churches and community organizations have donated. The Future Farmers of America gave them in $4,800.

“We’ve had people call from all over the state, all over this area, people from other states wanting to help out,” said Dain Webster of Riverbed Cattle. “It just became ‘Ok lets get another semi. Let’s get another truck.’”

Webster and his brother Dan were some of the first farmers wanting to help their comrades miles away. They were in the middle of filling one semi a few weeks ago. Now there’s going to be 27 heading southwest on Friday. And there’s more than just cattle feed going too.

“Anything from hay to grain, fence posts to hygiene products for the people who’ve lost their homes,” said Webster during an interview at the farm in Lawrence. “Gloves for the volunteer workers that are going to be down there. We’re dropping stuff off to them. It’s a little bit of everything that we’re taking down there.”

Like Pilch, Webster’s heart went out to the farmers when he saw the devastation. He said people not only lost pasture but barns and homes too.

“I know they would do it for us. Southern Hospitality is huge,” said Webster whose roots stem from Missouri.  “Our family is from the South. So it’s how we were raised. You take care of the farmers.”

Pilch said the campaign ends on Friday and by then they’ll have at least 500 bags to ship away. The trucks are scheduled to depart at noon to make the 800-mile trip to Kansas and elsewhere.  And Richardson Oil Company donated 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel to get the trucks there. When Pilch spoke with a mill down there and told them what they were doing, the woman got emotional.

“When I talked to her on the phone she sounded like she was going to cry, like ‘why would you guys care?’” said Pilch. “It’s just farmers helping farmers. Basically somebody’s gotta do something. Farmers always help each other out.”

Notice of Public Hearing 112 N. Paw Paw

Zoning Board of Appeals

Please take notice: The Village of Lawrence Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) shall convene on March 29, 2017 at 6:30 P.M. at the Lawrence Village Hall, 157 N. Paw Paw Street, Lawrence Michigan for the purpose of hearing Krista Goens regarding a varience to current requirements of the Village of Lawrence Zoning Ordinance concerning the mixed use requirements at this address, 112 N. Paw Paw Street, Lawrence, Michigan, indentified as Van Buren County Tax Parcel number 80-44-107-008-10.

If granted, a variance would allow residential space in a commercial space.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would like to comment on this public hearing, comments must be submitted to the Village Hall by 5:00 pm on March 29, 2017.


Village of Lawrence

Zoning Board of Appeals

Posted on March 21, 2017

Safe Routes to School Survey

Dear parent or caregiver,

Your child’s school would like to learn your thoughts about children walking and biking to school. This survey will take about 5 – 10 minutes to complete. We ask that each family complete only one survey per school your children attend. If more than one child attends the same school, please fill out the survey for the child with the next birthday from today’s date.

Your responses will be kept confidential and neither your name nor your child’s name will be associated with any results.

Thank you for participating in this survey!

Elementary School Link:

High School Link:

Great Balls of Fire! Open burning – what can I burn?

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Great Balls of Fire! Open burning – what can I burn?

What? I can’t burn my trash?!?! In 2015, the Air Quality Division (AQD) received approximately 245 complaints associated with alleged illegal open burning. Open burning is defined as the burning of unwanted items, such as household trash, brush, leaves, grass, and other materials that release emissions directly into the air without going through a stack. Open burning is regulated by both the AQD and the Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection under Part 55 (Air Pollution Control) and Part 115 (Solid Waste Management) of Act 451 of 1994. In addition to state regulations, many local units of government have open burning ordinances that are more restrictive than the state’s rules. Such restrictions are necessary as open burning can increase the risk of forest fires and become an irritant to those exposed to the smoke. Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs can occur, which is what typically leads to complaints. The smoke from the open burning can also decrease visibility on nearby roadways and cause odor nuisances. Most open burning complaints received by the DEQ deal simply with neighbors not wanting the impact of smoke and odors at their home or place of business. Is burning my trash illegal? It depends. Section 324.11522 of Public Act 451 of 1994 regulates the burning of household waste and provides for ticketing authority. The rule allows burning of some materials under specific circumstances. As far as burning household waste, the rule does not allow burning of any materials containing plastic, rubber, foam, chemically-treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals, or hazardous materials. In short, paper products are still generally legal to burn. But, the burning must not violate any other department rules and may only be from a one or two-family dwelling. Further, the material must be burned in an approved container constructed of metal or masonry and enclosed by a metal cover with openings not larger than ¾ inch. Note that some communities prohibit the open burning of any household waste. What if I just want to burn my grass clippings and leaves? Just like your household waste, whether or not you can burn grass clippings and leaves depends on some variables. For one, burning grass clippings and leaves is illegal in any community that has a population over 7500 (unless otherwise authorized by local ordinance). Although this regulation may seem restrictive, burning grass and leaves releases contaminants into the air, such as particulates, carbon monoxide and volatiles, which are harmful to human health and the environment.

Is burning my old barn legal? The rules and regulations governing the open burning of structures are very explicit – allowing such burning for fire suppression training only. There is a notion that open burning of structures is preferable to demolition – this is not the case. In any circumstance where a structure is being removed, the proper notification and removal of regulated materials – such as asbestos – must be completed before any other action is taken. OK, so no trash, leaves, grass or structures. What about brush and stumps? Under Rule 310 of the Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules, the burning of trees, logs, brush, and stumps is permitted in most of the state if it is not closer than 1,400 feet to an incorporated city or village limit. In addition, the burning must not violate any other department rules. This means you are not allowed to burn trees and stumps within a city or village.  Outside city and village limits, open burning still has stipulations – even for allowable materials. In most cases – regardless of the material – a burn permit is required from either the local municipality or the state. Before you burn, go to For more information on open burning rules in the state, go to


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Fall Hydrant Flushing

The Village is delaying the fall flushing until the water tower is back in service. The projected date for the tower to be completed is November 1. Any questions or concerns feel free to call Village Hall. 269-674-8161

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