Harrison Township trustees approve fire repairs, municipal vacancies

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published August 22, 2023

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Harrison Township Board of Trustees met on Aug. 14 as a smaller board than usual handling a number of items related to people and equipment of the township. Clerk Adam Wit, Treasurer Lawrence Tomenello and Trustee Dean Olgiati were excused from the meeting, making it a four-member board for the Monday evening meeting.

On the material side of things, the board approved a set of repairs to the Harrison Township Fire Department’s backup ambulance, Squad 3. The ambulance based on the 2017 Ford F-450 needed a new oil pan and an oil change, as well as ball joints, drag links, tie rods and a wheel alignment. Russ Milne Ford in Macomb Township made the repairs and a warranty discount from Ford Motor Co. knocked about $2,180 off the service cost, which totaled about $4,370 for the repairs and maintenance.


Township personnel changes
As the board sent off former Public Services Director David Axtell with a resolution honoring his 25 years in the township and wishing him a good retirement, they moved to fill some of the positions opened by post-resignation promotions.

Three internal candidates within the Water and Sewer Department applied for the open foreman position, but only one could be selected for the role. Earl Tesch, a 16-year employee of the department, was selected to fill the water and sewer foreman position.

“We’re fortunate that we have the quality of folks that we do (for) internal candidates,” said Ken Verkest, township supervisor. “That experience really does make a difference.”

With Tesch’s old position now open, the board approved posting and advertising for a new water and sewer maintenance worker. Unlike the foreman opening, Verkest expects to hire outside of the municipal government for this position.

“Anticipating this, we did begin the process of advertising, because we do anticipate it is likely an outside hire,” Verkest said. “We want to fill it as soon as possible.”


Opioid settlement
With the state of Michigan entering into the opioid settlement against Walgreens, communities across the state are being required to join the settlement as well. Harrison Township has taken part in previous aspects of the lawsuits and can expect more money — though not a higher percentage allocation than previously agreed to — with the addition of Walgreens.

“Because the township did opt-in, its piece is a little bigger and its share of the settlement would be almost $87,000,” said Robert Huth, attorney for the township.

A total of $175.2 million will be paid out to Michigan communities over the next 15 years. Harrison Township’s allocation is about 0.124% of the settlement between the state and Allergan, Teva, CVS, Walmart and Walgreens.