Updated Feb 21, 2019

Small Business Grants Available

Small Business exterior façade and  interior energy efficiency improvement grants:

Cornerstone Alliance is partnering with Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) to offer façade improvement and energy efficiency grants to small business owners in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Benton Charter Township, and St. Joseph Charter Township. The purpose of the Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Façade and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grant Program is to encourage small business owners located within the program areas to make both exterior building façade improvements and interior energy efficiency improvements that will attract customers, extend the life of the building and lower energy costs.

Facade improvement grant funds up to $10,000 will be available to eligible small businesses. In addition, program participants who are I&M electric customers will be provided with a free Level 1 on-site energy audit of their building. Participants will not be required to make any recommended changes, however, additional grant funds of up to $2,000 may be available toward making the recommended energy efficiency improvements.

To be eligible, a small business (having 50 or fewer employees), must be located in one of the following areas:

Downtown Benton Harbor, including the Arts District;

The Niles Road Business Corridor (Niles Road between Napier Avenue and Hilltop Road. This includes businesses located on Washington Avenue between Niles Road and Hilltop Road);

The M-139 Corridor (properties located on M-139 between Pipestone Road and I-94).

Eligible Project Sites

Any front or side building façade abutting a public right of way or municipal parking lot are eligible projects. Rear or other facades not abutting a public right of way may be eligible on a case-by-case basis.

Eligible Costs

Eligible Costs include, but are not necessarily limited to, labor and material for:

Restoration, repair or replacement of windows, doors, exterior walls, chimneys or other architectural elements.

Costs associated with work that is currently underway, where the work meets the program guidelines.

Exterior painting if done in conjunction with other eligible work.

Signage, awnings, marquees and related lighting and electrical fixtures. Masonry repair or cleaning.

Exterior work necessary for conversion to a retail or entertainment storefront.

Removal of after-installed façades.

Restoration of vintage elements.

Making energy efficient improvements recommended in the energy audit.

The program application and guidelines will be available beginning Wednesday, February 20, 2019 on Cornerstone’s newly designed website at www. gomichigan.com or, in person at the Cornerstone Alliance office in Benton Harbor.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis between February 20, 2019 and August 1, 2019 or, as funding is available.

DNR Grant Hearing

March 4 , 2019 Public Hearing for DNR Grants – Please click here for further information

Street Plowing

Please contact the Berrien County Road Department if you have any plowing concerns at 269-925-1196 ext. 1 and leave a message.

Pinebrook Drain

MANITOU ROAD AND SURROUNDING AREA DRAIN UPDATE:  Tuesday, January 15, at 10:00 a.m., the Berrien County Drain Commission will hold a Board of Determination meeting at St. Joseph Charter Township, 3000 Washington Avenue, St. Joseph, in the Board Meeting Room.  Click here for further information.

Marihuana Ordinance

At the January 7, 2019, St. Joseph Charter Township Board of Trustees meeting, an ordinance was adopted prohibiting marihuana establishments in St. Joseph Charter Township.  Please click here to view the ordinance in its entirety. 

Dog Licenses

You can purchase your one year dog license at the Township Office through February 28th.   Licenses for fixed dogs with a current rabies shot are $10 per year.   Unfixed dogs are $25 per year.   After February 28th the fee raises to $30 and $45 respectively.   Please contact the Berrien County Animal Control at  927-5648 to purchase three-year licenses. 

State Warns of Income Tax Scams


Jan. 2, 2019

Contact: Ron Leix, Treasury, 517-335-2167

Treasury: Resolve to Be Ready for Tax Scams in 2019

Taxpayers Urged to Watch for Phone Scams and Phishing Schemes


LANSING, Mich. – As the state of Michigan begins a new year and the state income tax filing season approaches, the Michigan Department of Treasury is asking taxpayers to resolve to be ready for tax scams in 2019.

Cybercriminals typically increase their activity in the first part of the year through phone scams and email phishing schemes. These scammers try to obtain personal information using different tricks and tactics so they can file income tax returns and claim refunds on behalf of unsuspecting taxpayers.

Some scammers may also allege a taxpayer owes taxes and aggressively demand payment for a quick payout.

"Taxpayers need to be extra alert for possible scams and schemes during this time of year and throughout the income tax filing season," said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. "When taxpayers proactively look for scams, they are less likely to be a victim of a tax-related identity theft and other cybercriminal activities."

Treasury will never:

 Initiate a phone call or email to ask for personal information.

 Call or email to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, Treasury will first send a bill through the U.S. mail to any taxpayer who owes taxes.

 Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.

 Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

 Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Cybercriminals often alter caller ID numbers and emails to make it look like the state Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service or another official agency is contacting a taxpayer. Scammers may use employee titles, a person’s name, address and other personal information to sound official.

Taxpayers who are contacted by a scammer should immediately cease the call or delete the email.

Since 2016, the state Treasury Department’s increased security measures protected more than 4,500 taxpayers who confirmed their identity was stolen and used to request state of Michigan income tax refunds. This prevented more than $19 million from being distributed to scammers.

Taxpayers who have received a call or email from a scammer should report the case to the IRS through the web or by calling 800-366-4484. To learn more about tax-related identity theft, go to www.michigan.gov/identitytheft.

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Marihuana Ordinance

At the December 3, 2018 St. Joseph Charter Township Board of Trustees meeting held at 3000 Washington Avenue, St. Joseph, MI at 6:00 pm, an ordinance was introduced to completely prohibit marihuana establishments in St. Joseph Charter Township.    This ordinance will be considered for adoption at the January 7, 2019, Board of Trustees meeting.  Copies of the ordinance are available at the Township Hall, 3000 Washington Ave., St. Joseph, MI 49085 or click here to view.

Yard Waste

Yard waste will continue to be picked up through November.   Best Way will make one final pass through the Township on Friday, November 30th to pick up any forgotten yard waste.  Please take your leaves to the curb in paper bags or marked yard waste bins on your regular trash pickup day.  Do your best to store your empty containers neatly by your house/garage. Yard waste pickup will resume in April.

All water clients in St. Joseph Township get their water from St. Joseph, even in Fairplain.

Power Outage?

Call AEP at 800-311-4634

Recycling Information

Recycling - The National Waste & Recycling Association has been sending out monthly updates on the state of the recycling markets and what other communities/areas are doing to keep up with the changes.   Best Way reports that there have been a number of inquiries from customers who have watched  news reports or have read an article(s) on China not accepting our recycling material.  Best Way’s processors currently have been able to move the material, but at a lower price. The biggest problem processors are having is contamination of the single stream material and the extra expense to clean it up.   Click here for more information.

At the July 2nd Board Meeting discussion occurred regarding changes in speed limit laws and posted speed limit signs.  Residents were encouraged to contact state legislators to pursue a long term change in the laws affecting local speed limits.  Click here for contact information for State legislators who serve our area. 

Yard Waste Pickup

Please put your yard waste at the curb on your normal trash pickup day.  Yard waste should be in approved paper yard waste bags or "yard waste" marked  trash cans.   Sticks may be wrapped in bundles less than four feet long.    Don't forget to bring your cans back to their storage spot next to your house or garage.  

It’s OK2SAY!

From State Senator John Proos

In the aftermath of the recent Florida school shooting, I am reminding students, parents and educators about Michigan’s OK2SAY hotline, a 24-hour confidential tip line designed to help prevent school tragedies. Attorney General Bill Schuette and the OK2SAY program have done a fantastic job in helping protect Southwest Michigan students and save lives by providing students with a safe and easy way to report threatening behavior. OK2SAY is the state’s most effective prevention-based reporting mechanism. It received more than 6,600 tips last year and has logged nearly 12,000 tips since it launched in 2014. OK2SAY is a confidential reporting system designed to allow Michigan students, parents, school employees, health officials and law enforcement officers to share and respond to safety threats. Students can report tips by calling 1-855-OK-2-SAY (65-2-729), texting a message to 652729, emailing ok2say@mi.gov or filling out a form at www.mi.gov/ok2say. An app is also available in the app stores for iPhone and Android devices. I am proud that Michigan has already implemented a successful program to help Michigan students feel safe — and be safe — at school. I encourage all area schools to take steps to promote OK2SAY and raise student awareness about this proactive initiative.

Twin Cities Area Transportation Study (TwinCats) Long Range Transportation Plan

Click  www.swmpc.org/survey.asp to participate in the study by taking a survey.   There are three surveys: biking, walking, and driving on this site.  When you fill out a short survey you will be registered to win a Meijer gift card!.  The purpose of this study is to give a better understanding of how people travel in the Benton Harbor & St. Joseph area.  Input will help guide future transportation improvements and investments.

Parks & Recreation Plan Update

Please click here to see page 1-50 of the Parks & Recreation Plan.   Please click here to see page 51-102 of the Parks & Recreation Plan.


Report street light outages directly to Indiana Michigan Power at 1-800-311-4634 or online via their website at https://www.indianamichiganpow....  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 429-6890.

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 posts for the township.   You can also get information at St. Joseph Township Police Department, https://www.facebook.com/SJTwp..., or St. Joseph Township Fire Department's Facebook,https://www.facebook.com/sjctf..., or https://www.facebook.com/Sjctf....

Master Plan

Master Plan  -  St. Joseph Charter Township passed a big milestone July 10th when the Board of Trustees formally adopted the 2017 Master Plan.  Many township residents as well as officials and staff contributed to preparation of the Master Plan with the guidance of Wightman and Associates.  Michigan law requires that all municipalities that have zoning authority have a master land use plan and use it as the basis for zoning decisions.  The plan should be reviewed every five years to make sure that it meets current needs.  The master plan contains an implementation guide.  Areas to be addressed include community/place, transportation/connectivity, natural areas/recreation, and economic development. Click here to view.


A new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Law went into effect on July 1, 2015. Please feel free to review the updated documents below, and if you have any questions, contact the Township Clerk at (269) 429-7703.

                                         FOIA Request Detailed Cost Itemization

                                         FOIA Procedures and Guidelines

                                         FOIA Public Inspection of Records Policy

                                         FOIA Public Summary of Procedures and Guidelines

                                         FOIA Request for Public Records

Property Tax Information

Property tax information is available online at www.bsaonline.com. Our information is listed under “St Joseph Charter Township”, "Click Here" under the Berrien county blue bar. Tax inquiries for property owners are free 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.  Just follow the directions to set up your account.  If you have any questions, please contact the Treasurer’s Office at (269) 932-0269.

Updated Feb 21, 2019

Special Meetings

Township Meetings

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.

2018 Dates the Office will be Closed

Monday, January 1st - New Year's Day

Friday, March 30th - Spring Holiday

Friday, May 25th & Monday, May 28th - Memorial Day Weekend

Wednesday, July 4th - Fourth of July

Friday, August 31st & Monday, September 3th - Labor Day Weekend

Thursday, November 22rd & Friday, November 23th - Thanksgiving

Monday, December 24th & Tuesday, December 25th - Christmas

Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - New Year's Day