Harrison Township approves sidewalk ordinance

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published August 5, 2022

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Harrison Township Board of Trustees approved a sidewalk maintenance ordinance at its July 25 meeting.

Originally introduced and approved for a second reading on June 27, the ordinance establishes a set of rules requiring property owners to maintain sidewalks on their properties.

Trustee Paula Rose raised the question of where in the ordinance it said when a sidewalk needs to be repaired, which led to a discussion on how the ordinance will be applied.

“It is really difficult to say what’s hazardous,” Township Supervisor Ken Verkest said.

Changes could be made to the environment around a sidewalk that affect its dimension but do not make an area necessarily hazardous, such as a tree root slightly raising the sidewalk.

A question brought up at the June 27 meeting was how existing sidewalks would be handled prior to the ordinance going into effect. Verkest, not having the necessary information to discuss this at the prior meeting, made sure to have it at the July 25 meeting. This led to a secondary motion to repair and remove environmental dangers to sidewalks in four sections of the township at an estimated cost of $50,000, which the board approved.


Vacant and dilapidated properties
The board looked over a list of 12 vacant properties available to obtain through the tax reversion process. Most of the properties were less than $1,000, though two parcels along the intersection of Shook and Union Lake roads were priced at $7,282.54 and $9,768.59 and valued at $30,200 and $39,700, respectively. Many of the other lots are along Detroit Street, and one is on Moran Street.

While the featured two lots would allow the township to acquire about $50,000 in property for just over $17,000, the board did not see fit to buy any of the properties.

“I think it’s got potential, but I also don’t feel like we are land developers,” Township Clerk Adam Wit said. “And I also feel that, if somebody sees it, they can take advantage of it.”

The board also voted to begin the process of demolishing the house at 30361 Manse Street by seeking legal action in circuit court. Between the legal action, demolition and removing a boat from the property, the process is estimated to cost between $30,000 and $40,000, which is around the estimated value of the lot. Filing in court is expected to cost $5,000.