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Clinton Township seeks input from community for strategic plan

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published December 10, 2019

File photo by Deb Jacques

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The next phase of Clinton Township’s strategic plan for future development and adaptation is in swing.

In late September, the Clinton Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the hiring of collaborative firm OHM, to provide service in areas like planning, engineering and infrastructure. They responded to the township’s request for proposals, or RFP, making the lowest of four total bids.

Township Deputy Supervisor Elizabeth Vogel is coordinating the planning process, which involves a survey that provides the “meat and potatoes of the process” by getting input from community stakeholders, including residents, business leaders, nonprofit organizations, school districts, hospitals, and more.

It’s the first formal step involving community outreach since Supervisor Bob Cannon initially mentioned the strategic plan at his 2019 State of the Township address in January.

“We had just come off of our 200-year anniversary, our bicentennial, and were thinking, ‘We’ve come this far, but what does Clinton Township look like in the future?’” Vogel said.

It’s been a step-by-step process. After internally working on producing an RFP over the summer, a contract was ironed out in about a week. OHM has offered its best practices, tabled with tight timelines.

OHM is just a facilitator, however, as elected officials, department heads and other stakeholders are providing a multi-faceted scope of what the future holds.

Currently, the township is seeking responses to a 10-minute survey that takes into account the opinions of all community stakeholders. The survey is available at clintontownship.com, or paper copies can be picked up at the Clinton Township Civic Center, the Senior Center, and both Clinton-Macomb Public Library branches on Romeo Plank Road and Gratiot Avenue.

“It’s a small amount of time to spend so your feedback can be taken seriously,” she said.

At press time, Vogel said the township had received about 400 responses — 90% of which were from residents.

“Generally, people are very happy living in the community and happy with the things we provide for them,” Cannon said, referring to things like libraries and multiple fire stations.

He said the biggest criticisms he receives relate to road infrastructure and vacant buildings.

The township “probably needs more than any other community” in relation to outside road assistance, Cannon said, due to longstanding funding mechanisms. As for vacancies, he wants the community to know the township is “open for business.”

“When we had the downturn in the economy, we had a lot of businesses close,” he said. “We are diligently working every day trying to find tenants to fill in those locations.

“What is it that will bring families to Clinton Township, and what is it that will keep seniors living in Clinton Township, perhaps moving into a downsized unit so that younger families can move in? … That’s how we’re judged, how we treat our seniors and our youth.”

Before press time, Vogel said a pair of brainstorming sessions were set to take place the week of Dec. 1. OHM will “digest” the meetings, create a vision statement based on information and values, and then refine the scope if applicable.

Vogel said the plan is to update the Board of Trustees on progress before Christmas.

“A plan is just a plan, but right now we’re really ... on target to have a final product available in spring,” she said.

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