Updated Mar 30, 2020
The Latest Update on the Coronavirus and Township Services
During these trying times, Township officials want you to know that, as much as possible, it's bushiness as usual at the Township. The staff, Board of Trustees, commissions and other community services continue to communicate and keep the Township running via telephone, texts, email, and remote meetings using teleconferencing and video conferencing. Many of us are polishing up on or learning new skills/technology. The Township Hall is closed to the public with most staff working from home, and with some personnel working limited hours as needed to perform essential tasks. Police and Fire services continue as usual. Following the Governor's Executive Order, the Hall closing and sheltering in place remains in effect through April 13th. If you have questions or wish to communicate information, you may phone the Township Hall at (269) 429-7703 to leave a message of you may email staff or send a general email message to email@example.com as staff will checking email and telephone messages daily. You may also use postage mail or the drop box to the left of the Township Hall entrance as both will continued to be collected and checked Monday thru Friday.
How to Apply for Building, Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing permits while the office is closed to the public
Applications can be obtained on the website sjct.org. For the online application > click departments > building department > and the type of application needed
Turning in and payment for permit applications can be done by:
Mailing in with payment
Emailing application and calling in using a credit card (leave a voicemail for a call back) (3% fee added)
Dropping off in the drop box with the exact amount (call 269-429-7703 and leave a voicemail for a call back with exact BP fee)
Review and issuance of the permit will be completed as normal and a copy will be mailed to you.
If you have any questions or need to schedule and inspection, feel free to contact us at:
Building Inspector: 269-930-2453
Electrical Inspector: 269-471-5869
Plumb/Mech Inspector: 269-287-0425
All inspections to be handled as normal by contacting the listed inspector above.
Township Parks Closing Update
Township parks will be closed to the public through April 13th, following the Governor's Executive Order. Township trails are open to the public. If you choose to enjoy our trails be sure to practice social distancing to protect yourself and others.
Township staff sent a copy of the Spring Newsletter to the printer March 13th, with the intention of reaching our residents by April 1st. Under the Governor's Executive Order all staff at the printers facility, other than the owner, is under a the stay home order with the understanding that he is only able to print hospital and governmental information. At this time, we don't know when the newsletter will be delivered. It will be posted on our website as of April 1st. Due to the ever changing information caused by the coronavirus, please note that the website version and the version you will eventually receive in the mail will contain some information that will be inaccurate, parks opening etc. If you have any questions please phone (leave a message and you will get a call back) or email the Township for clarification.
Currently, residents have all essential waste services needed with curbside pickup of trash, recycling, and yard waste (begins April 1st). The Township will address distribution of spring landfill passes after the Governor's Executive Order to stay at home and shelter in place is lifted. If the Governor's order is extended beyond the currently ordered date of April 13th we will wait until after that extension to address distribution of passes. If an extension order falls beyond the currently scheduled landfill pass dates of April 24th & 25th and May 8th & 9th we will work with the landfill to secure new dates.
Are You a Local Business that is Struggling Due to the Effects of COVID-19 Virus?
Cornerstone Alliance is offering three tools to assist you: 1) Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans (federal), 2) Michigan Economic Development Small Business Relief Program grants and loans (state), 3) Cornerstone Alliance Microloan Program (local). In order to utilize any of these tools Cornerstone encourages you to go to their website and fill out a short survey which will help them assess your immediate need.
Contact Cornerstone Alliance at www.cstonealliance.org or (269) 757-0201.
Comcast Update on Internet Services During the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for further information.
Thank You To Our Residents!
The St. Joseph Township Police and Fire Departments, along with Medic One Ambulance, would like to thank the residents for their support of Public Safety in the Township. The Public Safety Millage was passed with 68% of the votes being in favor of the millage! We appreciate all the support and will continue to provide you with the best services possible.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19 infection? Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
What should I Do if I think I have Been Exposed to if Infected with COVID 19? As a service to our community, Spectrum Health is offering free COVID-19 virtual screenings 24/7 to people who are experiencing symptoms at 616.391.2380. If you have severe or life-threatening symptoms, please call 911. Alert your healthcare provider immediately if you think you may be infected with COVID-19, including if you have been exposed to someone with the virus and have signs/symptoms of infection. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider about any recent travel to areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
What can I do to stay well?
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
Southwest Michigan Egg Drop Event Has Been Canceled
Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus the Egg Drop Event Scheduled at Maiden Lane Park for April 11th has been canceled.
Click here for further information.
Coyote Problems Increase in Late Winter
Click here for information on coyote safety
Facing Tax Foreclosure? Berrien County's Treasurer Can Help!
Click here for more information
Home Heating Help
With the winter heating season in full swing, some households may need help with their heating bills. Energy assistance programs to help prevent shut-offs include:
• Winter protection plans for senior citizens and low-income customers;
• State emergency relief;
• Medical emergency shut-off protection; and
• Shut-off protection for active duty military personnel.
Find more information at www.michigan.gov/bewinterwise
Be Alert For New Scam Using Fake Tax Debt Letters
Scam artists are constantly coming up with new ways to disguise who they are and trick people into giving them money. The latest scheme uses fake government-looking letters about overdue state taxes.
According to the Michigan Department of Treasury, taxpayers are told in the fake letter to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve a state tax debt. The letter contains publicly available information about the person’s real tax debt to trick them into believing the letter is real. It then aggressively threatens to seize a taxpayer’s assets, including property and Social Security benefits, if the debt is not settled.
The state does mail official letters to taxpayers, but they outline taxpayer rights and provide several options for people to resolve outstanding debts. If you get a letter that threatens to seize your property unless you pay immediately over the phone, it’s a scam.
Taxpayers who have received the fake letter or have questions about their state debts can call Treasury’s Collections Service Center at 517-636-5265.
Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority (TCATA) - Area Bus Routes
Beginning January 15, 2020, TCATA has added an additional bus route, the "Yellow Route" which will run Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The route starts at the TCATA office on Wall St. in Benton Harbor and goes to InterCare in Benton Harbor with bus runs in both directions. In addition to the Yellow route TCATA also offers the "Blue Route" (City of Benton Harbor and Benton Township area) and the "Red Route (Benton Harbor, St, Joseph, St. Joseph Township and Stevensville area). Click here for further information.
Click here ....... Whether you want to hit the beach, catch fish in the river, or even take your kids on an adventure to the local parks, you can do it all here in Southwest Michigan. There's something new an exciting to do every day! That's why you should consider living in Berrien County. Learn more by visiting vacay-everyday.com
Berrien County continues to be hit with a wave of car burglaries. Thieves are targeting unlocked cars, cars with valuables in plain sight (purses, keys, cash, guns) and unlocked garage doors. Remember - ALWAYS LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS AND GARAGE DOORS AND NEVER LEAVE VALUABLES IN PLAIN SIGHT, EVEN IS YOUR CAR IS LOCKED.
Census Takers In Your Neighborhood
Click here for further information
The 2020 CENSUS IS RAMPING UP......
What is the 2020 Census? The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and the five U.S. territories. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted every ten years by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The Census Bureau needs to know where people live so an accurate population number is provided for counties, states, and local governments. Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. There are three ways to respond to the 2020 Census. By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three option for responding:
* By phone
* By mail
Why is the census important? Census data is used to:
* Determine the number of congressional seats distributed to each state, (fair representation)
* Determine if and how state legislative lines are redrawn
* Determine school and voting districts
* Determine what community services to provide
* Determine funding from the federal government to the Township
* Determine how more than $ 675 billion is spent, supporting our state, county, and township's vital programs
All census information is confidential. It is illegal for the Census Bureau, or its employees, to share your personal information with any other government agency including law enforcement, IRS, Welfare, FBI, Immigration, etc. No court of law, not even the President of the United Stated can access your individual response.
2020 U.S. Census Job
The U.S. Census Bureau is now hiring for a variety of temporary jobs for the 2020 Census. The temporary jobs include census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff and supervisory staff. To be eligible for hire you must be at least 18 years old, have transportation, a valid social security number, and be a U.S. citizen. Census takers earn $16.00 per hour with paid training and mileage reimbursement. Jobs begin in August 2019 and are flexible with your schedule. The first phase in August will involve updating addresses and maps in local neighborhoods. The Census takes place in our country every ten years. The quality of services offered to Township residents is greatly influenced by the amount of state revenue sharing dollars received. Township revenue sharing dollars received from the state is based on how many residents are counted in the Census. The greater the count, the greater the dollars received. This count will be the Township's official count for the next ten years.
Learn more and apply at: www.2020census.gov/jobs
Grass Clippings and Debris in the Road
Due to potential driving hazards blowing or placing debris in a road is not allowed. The road right-of-way is regulated by Berrien County Road Department ordinances and it is considered an ordinance violation to place grass clippings, yard waste, snow or debris of any sort in the road. If you own or maintain property in the Township be aware that violators will be contacted by the County Road Department Weigh Master and noncompliance may result in a $250 citation.
Planning Commission Zoning Ordinance Update Discussions Open to the Public
Click here for 7/11/19 revisions to the timeline for zoning ordinance updates.
St. Joseph River Voluntary No Wake Zone
Boaters click here for an important erosion prevention request.
The Township has recently been made aware of misinformation that has been published regarding rezoning of properties. The Township is currently working on a zoning ordinance update, and the purpose of the current zoning update is to achieve a more user-friendly document to work in accordance with the recently completed master plan. At this time, there is no proposed rezoning of any particular parcel. However, if at any time rezoning of parcels would be proposed, first a public hearing would be announced and held at the Township Hall.
Yard Waste Pickup
Please put your yard waste at the curb on your normal trash pickup day, April 1 through November 29. Yard waste should be in paper yard waste bags (no plastic bags) or trash cans marked "Yard Waste". Sticks may be wrapped in bundles less than 4' long. Don't forget to bring your cans back to their storage spot next to your house or garage!
Street Light Outages
Report street light outages directly to Indiana Michigan Power at 1-800-311-4634 or online at their website at https://indianamichiganpower.c.... You will be asked for the nearest cross street or street address and the pole number. The number is located on a metal tag about eye level on the street light pole. If you don't have internet access, you may report street light outages to the police department at 269-429-6890.
Parks & Recreation Plan Update
Check out our Facebook page!
It's St. Joseph Charter Township with a picture of the hall. Click https://www.facebook.com/St-Jo...to go directly. If you "like" and "follow" you can be up on the latest happenings in the township. You can also get information at https://www.facebook.com/SJTwp..., the St. Joseph Township Police Department. Also check out our fire departments pages, https://www.facebook.com/Sjctf..., https://www.facebook.com/sjctf....
For Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) please click on the following:
Property Tax Information
Property tax information is available online at www.bsaonline.com. Click on the big green check mark to set up an account. Our information is listed under the Berrien County blue bar, click on "St. Joseph Charter Township", then "Click Here" on the next page, type in the address and follow directions. Tax inquiries for property owners are free of charge for any property that they own. All other inquiries are charged $2.00 each. You may look at the history of the taxes for your property for the last twenty years, see current information, and print off duplicate bill information. If you have any questions, please contact the Treasurer's Office at (269) 932-0269.
Updated Mar 30, 2020
Township Board of Trustees 1st Monday of the Month 12 pm - Workshop 6 pm - Regular Meeting
Planning Commission 6:30 pm - 2nd Tuesday Monthly
Zoning Board of Appeals 7 pm - 2nd Wednesday (As Requested)
Meetings are held at the Township Hall and are open to the Public.
2020 Dates the Office will be Closed
Friday, April 10th- Spring Holiday
Friday, May 22nd & Monday, May 25th - Memorial Day Weekend
Friday, July 3rd & Monday, July 6th - Fourth of July
Friday, September 4th & Monday, September 7th - Labor Day Weekend
Thursday, November 26th & Friday, November 27th - Thanksgiving
Thursday, December 24th & Friday, December 25th - Christmas
Friday, January 1st - New Year's Day