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September 18, 2013

Troy recognized as sustainable community

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

Troy joins a number of communities throughout the area that the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments has recognized for taking steps to achieve economic prosperity while protecting the environment and providing a high quality of life to residents.

SEMCOG has recognized Troy, along with Auburn Hills, Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Green Oak Township, Howell, Livingston County, Novi, St. Clair County, West Bloomfield Township and Westland with Sustainable Community Recognition Program awards.

SEMCOG Executive Director Paul Tait and Susan Stefanski, of member services for SEMCOG, presented the award to the Troy City Council at the council’s Sept. 9 meeting.

“It’s an honor only a handful of communities in Michigan have achieved,” Tait said. “A community does not get the award without strong elected leadership and staff work.”

Stephanie Dilworth, intern for the city, researched the recognition program in the spring as part of her internship project to research best practices that protect and provide for a high quality of life. On June 11, city staff discussed details of the eligible activities, and by consensus, decided to move forward on the award. The Troy City Council unanimously approved the city’s participation in the program by resolution at a July 8 meeting.  There was no cost to the city to apply for the award.

The city’s eligible activities recognized by the award include the following:

• Implementing green infrastructure on public property.

• Conducting a road safety audit on the Rochester Road corridor.

• Completing a walkable/bikeable audit.

• Developing a storm water pollution prevention initiative plan.

• Developing a community transit coordination plan.

• Using SEMCOG data in planning efforts.

• Distributing SEMCOG public outreach information.

• Incorporating low-impact development components into the planning and zoning process.

• Developing an access management plan for Rochester Road.

• Completing an asset management plan for road improvements.

• Using benchmark data.

• Developing a multiyear budget.

Dilworth told the council the city achieved the highest level, gold, for the program.

“It’s a great honor for us,” said Mayor Dane Slater.

SEMCOG is regional planning partnership of governmental units serving 4.7 million people in southeast Michigan.