Cannon delivers State of the Township remarks

Speech topics include economic development, trail, water and road projects

By: Dean Vaglia | Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published February 8, 2023

 Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon delivers the 2023 State of the Township address at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library on Jan. 27.

Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon delivers the 2023 State of the Township address at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library on Jan. 27.

Screenshot taken from Clinton Township YouTube channel


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon gave his 2023 State of the Township address at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library on Jan. 27. Economic development and projects involving the township’s trails, water and roads were among the topics he discussed.

Organized by the Macomb County Chamber with various private and government sponsors, Cannon spoke about developments throughout the past year and some goals for the year ahead. Time was given for several newly-elected state legislators to speak.

Cannon began the address by going over the township’s five strategic planning points, which include economic development, developing both nonmotorized surface and river trail networks, building quality roadways, and keeping the public informed of township developments through marketing and other communication methods.

Economic development primarily focused on the redevelopment of the Groesbeck Highway corridor, which Cannon says is the latest part of an ongoing project since his first election in 2000.

“We inherited (a) Groesbeck that was a mess,” Cannon said. “We had industrial, we had commercial, we had single-family homes, we had garbage all over the place. We started trying to work on that project piecemeal — that was the wrong way to do it.”

The solution to the piecemeal approach was the development of the Groesbeck Corridor Plan, which the township uses to govern further development along the road. The plan focuses on bringing in “diverse, safe living opportunities” with safety being reinforced through pedestrian mobility improvements as well as “enhanced lighting and signage” requirements. Landscape design has also been considered to help improve the aesthetics of the corridor.

Several changes and additions to the Groesbeck corridor, highlighted by Cannon, include Mexican restaurant Mi Pueblo Express, Extra Space Storage and the upcoming planned unit development site on 22 acres just north of Elizabeth Road, which will include retail and residential spaces.

“This is my favorite project, because this property was so filthy and so disgusting,” Cannon said of the PUD site. “Some of you might remember Buck’s Garage and other properties out there that are falling apart around it. You won’t see that soon. It will take a while, but in the end, it will take a worn, attractive corner and convert it into a beautiful new asset that we will all be proud of.”

Cannon also told the assembled audience that 179 new businesses opened in 2022.

Trail development also received some time in Cannon’s address, with highlighted projects including an upcoming natural path at Prince Drewry Park, the Cass Avenue bridge sidewalk expansion and a 30-foot-tall tree sculpture that will honor former Congressman David Bonior, whose legacy is also being immortalized by the renaming of the Freedom Trail to Bonior Trail.

On the subject of water trails, Cannon touted a Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant to build a green parking lot and kayak launch at George George Park to service the Clinton River, which will be part of a multi-community project to develop the Clinton River and its branches into a water trail system. Water quality improvement was also touted, the biggest achievement being the township’s completion of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s administrative consent order to end sanitary sewer overflows.

Road quality was another point discussed, with the acknowledgement that the township has little authority over the roads within its borders. The committee assigned to workshop roadway quality improvements created a scoring system to determine which road repair projects should have priority when recommending projects for county funding. The 2022 roadway projects highlighted were repairs on Hayes Road, Quinn Road and Laurel Street. Several road projects expected to begin in 2023 with county and state funding support include 14 Mile Road, 15 Mile Road and Harper Avenue, and Kelly Road. The state will also handle construction on Gratiot Avenue in 2023.

Newly elected state legislators Veronica Klinefelt, Joe Aragona and Denise Mentzer introduced themselves during the speech, each taking some time to mention how they will be able to serve the township in Lansing.

Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe) said much of the state senate’s focus will be on local government issues, while Aragona (R-Clinton Township) and Mentzer (D-Mount Clemens) discussed how they will support Clinton Township from their seats in the Michigan House of Representatives.

“I just want to let you know that Denise and I, (and) Veronica, we’re here for you guys,” Aragona said. “If there’s something that we can do to help you in Lansing, if there’s some expertise that we can find for you in Lansing, that’s what we’re here for.”