Benton Township donates $25K to Benton Harbor library

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — The Benton Harbor Public Library got a sizable gift from the Benton Township Board of Trustees.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the township donated $25,000 to the library. Treasurer Debbie Boothby handed the check to Library Board representatives Noreen Szymanski and Marian Triplett.

Szymanski said the money will help the library make the transition to ebooks for 2016 and help purchase “other accoutrements.”

“We appreciate all the help we can get,” she said. “I know finances are hard for everybody now. We appreciate the board finding space for the library in your budget.”

A new hotel

Trustees accepted a recommendation from the Planning Commission to approve the site plan for the Marriott Spring Hill Suites.

The $8.4 million hotel will be a four-story building with 92 rooms and 101 parking spaces. The site is at 1255 Cinema Way, across from the Hilton Garden Inn.

Prior to the Planning Commission’s special meeting Monday, the Zoning Board of Appeals met last week to approve a height variance for the hotel.

Public comment

For the public comment portion of the board meeting, speakers were limited to two minutes each.

Among the five speakers Tuesday night was Benton Township resident Robert DeFrance.

DeFrance asked if there was any headway made on an investigation alleging township police misconduct at the scene of the Oct. 25 shooting death in the Highland Project in Benton Harbor. Supervisor Kevin White said the investigation is ongoing.

In a November board meeting, DeFrance had called for an investigation to be done by an outside agency on the incident, where White said one was already underway after he spoke with Police Chief Vince Fetke.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 2, 2015)


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