Clinton Trustees approve holidays, apply for grants

By: Dean Vaglia | Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published November 21, 2022

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton Township Board of Trustees approved a resolution to add Juneteenth and Martin Luther King Jr. Day as paid holidays for township employees at its Nov. 14 meeting.

Passed by a margin of 4-1 with Township Supervisor Robert Cannon the lone vote against it, the resolution calls upon the township administration to “take all steps necessary” to have the days be holidays, with the extra step of designating an alternative weekday as paid time off, should Juneteenth fall on a weekend.

The resolution also called for Columbus Day to be reassigned as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which Cannon said would “embarrass” Italian Americans within the township and was among his reasons for voting against the resolution, along with concerns about how the township would fund the additional holidays. Clerk Kim Mentzer expressed a desire to maintain some kind of Italian American recognition by the township either along with Indigenous Peoples’ Day or as its own day, but she voted for the resolution and encouraged Cannon to vote for it, as well.

“The initial draft of this resolution was written by a group of members from the Diversity Committee back in 2017,” Trustee Mike Keys said. “That’s really where the concept of talking with the HR department about the fact our employees did not have Martin Luther King Day off came about, and those committee members took it upon themselves for the next two years to organize events for Martin Luther King Day for our employees to be able to take part in, and even our residents, in certain cases.”


DPS grants approved
The board unanimously approved the pursuit of several grants for projects through the Department of Public Services on Nov. 14.

The first approval was for a $5,000 grant to help build a disc golf course and pedestrian crossing along the Clinton River Spillway. The Department of Public Services and the Macomb County Department of Roads would each provide a $12,500 match if the project is selected.

“The spillway was originally designed to be overflow and alleviate flooding,” Treasurer Paul Gieleghem said. “(This) maintains that purpose, maintains passive use, protect(s) wildlife but (has) it available for residents so that they can enjoy it, as well.”

The second approved grant application was for a $685,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Spark grant for the inclusive playground at the Civic Center. The grant, if awarded, would be used for the playground’s surface and does not require a match from the township.

The final approved grant was for a $100,000 state of Michigan Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Nonpoint Source Program (NSP) grant to cover improvements to the Joy Park parking lot. The grant requires a $40,000 match and would be used to pay for stormwater management improvements to the lot.


Court budget approved
The board also unanimously approved the 41B District Court’s 2023 and amended 2022 budgets.

While the court’s budget is balanced, lower caseloads mean the court is expecting some assistance from its supporting communities to cover bond payments in April 2023. Cannon was curious about what the more court could do to lower expenses on top of its prior cuts and increased ticket fees. He also expressed concern about Clinton Township paying more than $318,810 for court services, as opposed to Mount Clemens and Harrison Township paying just under $62,000.


Medstar contract approval
Clinton Township’s contract with Medstar for ambulance services was also approved on Nov. 14. Medstar works alongside Fire Department paramedics.

Lasting for four years and mandating an 8 minute and 59 second maximum response time goal, the contract was passed by a margin of 4-1, with Keys voting against it because the contract was not put out for bid. Keys expressed no dissatisfaction with Medstar’s prior service in the township.

Cannon, who referred to himself as “bias(ed)” due to serving on Medstar’s board, voted to approve the contract.