MACOMB TOWNSHIP — As the new brass nameplate outside her office was being set, newly elected Supervisor Janet Dunn was organizing her office the day before running her first Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 28.
The walls in the second-story office were bare of the paintings and pictures that will eventually be hung, and the room smelled of fresh paint. All this may spell out a rookie, but Dunn said she was not nervous to sit in the center seat inside the meeting room.
“I had a great person to learn from,” Dunn said, referencing former Supervisor John Brennan.
And because she has been involved in Macomb Township for decades, both as a trustee and a volunteer, Dunn already has a list of plans for the township that she will oversee for at least the next four years. Throughout the next three months, Dunn and other township officials will be developing their four-year plan, which will include everything from going paperless to making Macomb more pedestrian-friendly.
Township Clerk Michael Koehs said he and other officials will be attending the Michigan Township Association Education Conference to meet with elected officials from other townships and learn from them.
“At the same time, we’ll reflect on what was our plan for the last four years, what did we accomplish and what did we not accomplish — what did we bring forward and what do we want to add in our four-year plan,” Koehs said.
It is likely that the township’s biggest priority in the plan will be dealing with its population growth, Koehs said. For example, at the township’s last meeting, it approved a $16,000 study into improving water pressuring to the north half of the township, where much of the growth is occurring.
Additionally, officials will look to continue the paving and widening of streets, the installation of sidewalks near its residential centers and other projects that were stymied by the recession.
Koehs said the next four years might be time to continue the old plans while still ensuring the improvement is “pertinent to today’s needs.”
Specifically, Koehs would like to see the construction of, such as Broughton Road south to 23 Mile Road and Heydenriech Road north to 25 Mile Road, creating more access to Town Hall and the city center it had planned to develop by now.
“There’s a lot of people now that live a mile and a half south of here and have to make almost a six-mile trip to come up here,” Koehs said. “Getting these streets open and making these places more accessible will make it more viable as a community center.”
Dunn would also like to see the creation of a historical commission, which would oversee the documenting of the township’s history. Dunn worries that the township’s stories will be lost among its rapid changes. She tried seven years ago to create a commission but failed.
“There wasn’t too much interest, but I am going to try again,” Dunn said.
The commission would also upkeep some of the township’s historical yet deteriorating cemeteries. Dunn
specifically pointed out the cemetery at 24 Mile and Foss roads.
“That needs some tender loving care,” she said.
The projection for the next four years are much more optimistic than in 2008, when much of the development in Macomb was at a stand-still. Today, the township is still growing in population, and new housing construction is up.
“It should be a great four years,” Koehs said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
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