Friday, November 20, 2015


 Gaines Charter Township Office holiday closings:

Closed November 26th 

Closed November 27th

Closing at noon December 24th

Closed December 25th

Closing at noon December 31st

Closed January 1st, 2016

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


September 17, 2015 will mark a pivotal day in the history of Kent District Library as they launch their own, exclusive library catalog.  The new catalog will be a significant improvement for KDL cardholders; offering a better search experience, easier access to their digital collection and more customer-friendly policies, like increased allowable holds and the ability to avoid overdue fines by renewing material (that does not have holds) up to three times.

With this new catalog, they will also be able to improve services outside of their walls with a new mobile catalog app for customers and remote circulation capability for KDL staff to issue library cards and check items out during outreach community events.

Unfortunately, they are  temporarily  unable to offer inter-library loan services while they transition to their new catalog.  By October 1, 2015, KDL cardholders can once again request items KDL does not own through MeLCat, the statewide resource sharing system.  There will be a direct link to MeLCat from the KDL catalog and it is an easy electronic process to request books.  By going directly to MeLCat from the KDL catalog, they will offer customers access to much larger library collections around the state.  Over 400 of Michigan's public, school, college and university libraries participate in MeLCat, including 39 of the 41 Lakeland Library Cooperative member libraries.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Never put these down the drain!

Prescription Drugs, Over-The-Counter Medications - contain chemicals that you don’t want entering the wastewater supply. Keep in mind that sewage is treated and recycled, so we want to keep our wastewater as chemical-free as possible. Our wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove all those chemicals from the water. The best way to dispose of items like these is to make them undesirable, such as crushing them and then mixing with coffee grounds, kitty litter or dirt before sealing them in a plastic bag and disposing in the trash.
Kitty Litter - (especially clay kitty litter) will sooner or later clog your pipes, even the ones that claim to be “flushable.” Far more problematic is Toxoplasmosis, a parasite found in cat waste that is harmful to marine biology. It’s better to keep your cat waste out of wastewater and just put it in the trash.
Condoms and Dental Floss - both cause more problems than you’d imagine. They don’t biodegrade and can cause pipes to clog.
The only other things that should be going down the drain are soap and water!
The toilet is not the only drain that people are using to get rid of unwanted waste; people are also known to use the kitchen sink as a trash can. Since the invention of the garbage disposal, which claims to grind even the hard stuff such as small bones and fruit peels, people have turned the sink drain into a common destination for kitchen waste. Again, as long as it fits, people throw it or pour it down the drain. Letting trash flow and go down the kitchen sink (or any other drain in the house) may cause pipes to clog and can eventually lead to sewage spills that harm the environment. Here is a list of the most common things that people dump into their sinks instead of disposing of them properly:
Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) - should never be poured down the sink or garbage disposal. FOG sticks to the interior surface of the sewer pipes, hardens over time and eventually may cause sewage to backup and lead to a sewage spill in your home or on our streets. Running hot water as you pour the grease down the drain will not help either. Many people are unaware that pouring hot water and detergent down the drain only breaks up grease temporarily. The best way to get rid of FOG is to let it cool/harden, mix it with other absorbent materials, place it in a bag or container and then throw it in the trash. Remember to put FOG where it belongs.
Food, should not be flushed down the sink. The best way to get rid of food is to compost what you can and wipe or scrape the remnants in the trash. Use a drain screen in your sink to catch any remaining bits of food as you wash the dishes. Use your garbage disposal sparingly. Using the drain as a dump will have unforeseen consequences of clogging sewer lines and possible backups in your home.
Coffee grounds and eggshells - should be properly disposed of in the trash. Never put them in the garbage disposal. Crushed eggshells and coffee grounds can also be used for making garden compost.
Hair - always seems to make its way past the plug. Hair will catch and stick to other items and is very difficult to get out of piping once it gets in. Keep hair from going into the pipes by using a fine drain screen to catch hair in your bathtub and shower and dispose of it properly in the trash.

Household hazardous materials - such as motor oil, pesticides, paint and solvents should never be poured down the drain. All of these are highly toxic and will cause long term damage to the environment. Dispose of these items by contacting the nearest household hazardous waste collection center where these and other household items can be dropped off. If there is just a little unused paint left, put the can in a safe place (inaccessible to children, pets, or ignition sources) and remove the lid so the remaining contents can dry out. Once the contents have dried out, replace the lid and dispose of the can in the trash or recycler.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Elections

2015 Elections

As most of you have heard there will be a statewide election on May 5, 2015.  Along with the issue of raising the sales tax in Michigan, two of our school districts have added issues to the ballot for residents living in their taxing authority:  Kentwood and Caledonia.

The last day to register to vote for this election is April 6, 2015.  If you have not moved since the November Election and you were registered to vote then, you will have to do nothing more to be able to vote.

If you have recently become able to vote or have moved since November 2014, please make sure your voter registration is up-to-date.  You can find information on this web page on how to determine if/where you are registered and how to make sure that information is current.

As always, feel free to call my office or email me if you have any questions at all about voting or the process of obtaining an absentee ballot.

Crystal Osterink

Gaines Township Clerk