Beautification committee to be formed to fight blight in Clinton Township

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published July 22, 2019


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Residents are being called upon to help beautify the township, one business corridor and residential neighborhood at a time.

On July 15, the township Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to form a seven-member beautification committee composed of residents and business owners to improve the aesthetics of the general community.

Supervisor Bob Cannon called it a “wonderful opportunity” to impact business and industrial areas that are not township properties, but rather properties that have a part in how the community operates and is physically perceived.

“At this time, it’s for forming partnerships between those groups who may or may not have thought about keeping up their properties; who may not have thought we cared about them keeping up their properties; and to assist, if necessary, with any blighted areas that we can help to clean up,” Cannon said July 15. “We know there’s blighted areas, and we want to work at that. This is one area that we may be able to have some kind of impact.”

He elaborated post-meeting, saying that the idea of the committee came to the Board of Trustees due to several township residents approaching him because they want to spruce up the community. There’s an element of business attraction involved.

Cannon had Deputy Supervisor Elizabeth Vogel look into other communities that have similar committees. Cannon said “they were all different” and can be used as a starting point to gather input.

Other communities that have such committees include Farmington, Berkley, St. Clair Shores, Howell, Grosse Pointe Farms, Fenton and Farmington Hills.

Township Treasurer Paul Gieleghem is also the chairperson of the township’s Conservation Committee. He said at the meeting that the township has made strides for beautification through the work of such committees already, including cleanup projects, tree plantings at local parks, and the attainment of grants that have escalated beautification endeavors.

“It’s such a source of pride for my committee members as they look at all the things that we’ve done. … I want to encourage that we do this, that we get people to participate,” Gieleghem said.

Resident Ava McDowell said, “It does my heart good” to know the township is further making beautification a priority. She and other residents want to showcase residential properties that have made progress, and she encouraged others — like homeowner associations — to take part as well.

Cannon said township blight is “spread out all over the place.”

He wants residents to be involved as well by showing up to future meetings and providing input even if they aren’t part of the seven-member committee.

“When you have stores that are closing and an aging community, which we have, (blight is) kind of balanced out all over the place,” Cannon said. “If you don’t nurture, refurbish it, it starts looking old.”