The village of Bingham Farms hopes to come up  with a plan for road reconstruction this year.

The village of Bingham Farms hopes to come up with a plan for road reconstruction this year.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Local leaders share 2024 goals

By: Mary Genson, Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 8, 2024


The Eagle spoke with a leader from each municipality in the coverage area about their goals for the community in 2024.


Bingham Farms
One of Bingham Farms goals is to assist local property owners in their occupancy concerns. Since the pandemic, the need for office space has decreased, leading to vacancies.

“Business owners and managers have figured out how to use less space but still achieve a certain amount of productivity, and that means that the buildings have a greater percentage of vacancies,” Bingham Farms Village Manager Ken Marten said.

Another goal of Bingham Farms is to come up with a plan for road reconstruction.

“Most of our village-owned public roads are at the end of their lives, and we are trying to come up with a cost effective economical plan for the reconstruction of those roads,” Marten said.

Marten said they have already taken steps towards this goal by receiving estimates from engineers and are at the early stages of forming a committee to study the financing issues related to road reconstruction or rehabilitation.


Franklin is in the middle of a stormwater improvement project, which is a priority of the village. They are a couple years into this project, and there are still a couple years left.

Wireless phone communication is also a topic that Franklin is focused on, but some in the community have strong opinions against the addition of a new cell tower. This topic is currently in discussion.

Walkability is another issue the village plans to focus on as they consider their options for improvement.

“It’s a pretty expensive thing, so I doubt that that’s something that will be implemented in 2024,  but it’s certainly something that we’re going to talk about and try and come up with at least a plan to develop specifics and what we are going to do,” Franklin Village President William Lamott said of making the village more walkable.

With the Bicentennial coming up in April, the village and the Franklin Historical Society are involved in planning activities for the community throughout the year. Lamott added that they also plan to focus on improving communication with residents.


Bloomfield Hills
“We are going to keep doing what we have been doing because it has been working for us,” Bloomfield Hills City Manager David Hendrickson said of the future.

He said the recent focus on infrastructure and service delivery models — including improving the city’s water and sewer infrastructure, repaving roads, and revitalizing the Public Safety Department — will be key.

He also noted that administrators have worked to improve communication with residents by offering more online services.

“One of the goals this year is to review our city zoning ordinances and consider the amendments that will help support our administration and bring clarity of the city code to folks that want to build and improve their lots so they can understand what our expectations are and how they can be successful,” Hendrickson added.


Birmingham City Manager Jana Ecker mentioned three main goals the city of Birmingham has for 2024.

The first is to continue to work on improving the safety of Woodward and working with the Michigan Department of Transportation to address noise, safety concerns, speeding and more.

“Sustainability is one of the biggest goals of the city right now, and working on looking at all of our operations, all of our facilities and all of our infrastructure and seeing what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint to just be more sustainable,” Ecker said.

The third goal she mentioned is working on a transition plan for the property the YMCA currently resides on — it will be home to NEXT after the YMCA’s lease ends in three years.


Beverly Hills
In the new year, Beverly Hills Village Manager Jeffrey Campbell said, Beverly Hills plans to make improvements in the infrastructure of the community and to keep up-to-date on repairing roads, as well as sewer and water maintenance. They also plan on finishing their water line verification and fixing water pump stations.

Parks are going to be a priority in 2024. They want to create a vision plan for Beverly Park, make improvements to Beverly Green and repair Riverside Bridge. Along with this, they plan to continue holding community events, such as the Halloween Hoot.

“I want people in Beverly Hills to love being in Beverly Hills,” Campbell said.

Campbell said they also hope to create an identity for their business community by increasing their presence with business owners throughout the community. One upcoming project he mentioned is filling the old Bed Bath & Beyond building with an indoor pickleball facility.

“I think this will be an exciting attraction for residents in and outside of Beverly Hills,” Campbell said.


Bloomfield Township
Township Supervisor Dani Walsh said the largest project in the township for 2024 will be the creation of a strategic plan.

The township’s last strategic plan was completed in 2009 and expired in 2014.

“When we actually sat down and saw all the things that were needed in the township, we had about $50 million worth of needs — that’s something that doesn’t really fall in our normal budget,” she said. “If you don’t have a plan for the future, that sometimes is the reason why people run into budget issues or not being prepared for something that was coming, and also why things kept getting pushed to the next year, or the next year, so now you have this long list of things that haven’t been addressed.”

A five-year strategic plan, Walsh said, will help the municipality focus on finances, infrastructure, personnel and all of the services needed to meet the expectations of the community. The township plans to release a request for proposals for the strategic plan this month.

“Once we pick the company … we can start the process of getting all of the meetings for the public, the internal meetings, and meeting with all the stakeholders that are included, which will be the community at large, the residents, the business owners, the employees, basically everybody that has a need for Bloomfield Township to succeed.”

The goal, she said, is to have the strategic plan done before the end of November, when all seven members of the Board of Trustees’ are up for election.

“We’d like to have this done so that there’s a plan going forward for the next board,” calling the goal “lofty.”

The infrastructure projects with the largest need in the township, according to Walsh, are public safety driven.

Fire Station 3, at Maple and Telegraph, is the township’s busiest, smallest and oldest station.

“It was built, I believe, in the ‘70s, and hasn’t had any real updates done to it. It’s so small that the newer equipment — like the newer trucks — won’t fit in there, so we’re actually currently paying to buy trucks that are a special size and special order because we don’t have these large bays. So, not only is it an old facility that you can’t have this great equipment, but actually it sometimes costs more to buy things for, because of its age,” she said.

The station needs some upgrades to be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, and to include separate spaces for male and female firefighters.

The police station — last remodeled in the 1990s — needs additional space for training simulators, more lockers to accommodate its growing group of female staff, and larger holding cells.

“The cells themselves are very small, very close, and by today’s standards, you really would like to spread people out if you have multiple people in there. For example, if there is a minor, they have to be separated from adults. If there are females, you really should keep them away from males, so having it built to today’s standards would make it safer for anybody who has to be housed there, as well as those who have to work there,” she added.

A brand-new fire station is approximately $12 million-15 million, according to Walsh.

“We did an RFP last year, so we just started with a needs assessment. Right now we have Redstone, they are our architecture firm who is trying to figure out what our needs are in both of these, the fire service and the police. They are determining what we need, how big we would need, and if it could fit in what we have right now, or if we need to build new. Once we finish that, then we could try to figure out what to do going forward.”