Hagemeister newest member of Almont Twp. Fire Department


ALMONT TWP. — Turmoil in one township has led to a much needed commodity in another township.

Leaders of any fire department will tell you finding qualified and certified firefighters is a never-ending battle.

For that matter, just finding anyone to work on a fire department can be a daunting task at times.

Mark Hagemeister

According to unofficial minutes of their most recent meeting, the Almont Twp. Board hired former Dryden Fire Chief Mark Hagemeister.

He was approved as a member of the township fire department and will help fill a thin roster covering the day shift. He will also face the same six-month probationary period as any other new hire, according to the department’s policy and procedures.

Hagemeister joined the Dryden Township Fire Dept. in 1984 and was named assistant chief in 1990. He was named fire chief in March 2014, following in the footsteps of Chief Ray Evans who had announced his retirement.

Last month, following an on-going dispute with some members of the Dryden Fire Department and township officials, Hagemeister, who served with Dryden Township for 39 years, resigned as the department’s chief.

Perceived poor communication and other management style issues were factors in Hagemeister’s decision to step down from the Dryden department.

As reported in the Tri-City Times earlier, several Dryden Township firefighters had voiced their concerns to the township board, prior to Hagemeister’s resignation.

Former assistant chief Keith Klobucar had resigned earlier this year and has since been hired by Imlay City to be their fire chief.

Klobucar has over 30-years experience in firefighting and stepped away from the Dryden department in March of 2023 when issues arose within the department.

Klobucar took over the department in Imlay City for retired chief Rick Horton.

In other business:

• Almont Township is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission. Residents who are interested in applying to fill the vacancy should contact Supervisor Paul Bowman at 810-798-8521 or pbowman@almonttownship.org.

• The township received word of a new round of 50/50 road project funding from the Lapeer County Road Commission for brush clearing and tree removal along specified roadways. The Road Commission and the township will contribute $5,000 each for the projects.

• The board approved a small change to its noise control and public nuisance ordinance in the section concerning offroad vehicles (ORVs).

Almont Township’s original ordinance on the books stated that “No Off Road Vehicle shall be operated within 50 feet of a neighboring property line with a residence, unless such property is owned by the operator of the ORV.”

Board trustees agreed to strike the phrase “unless such property is owned by the operator of the ORV” from the section.

Township officials felt a clarification was necessary to distinguish between an ORV rider who is legally allowed to drive their own vehicle between two owned properties, as opposed to a rider who is driving his ORV within 50 feet of a neighboring property line owned by someone else.