Local Government

Published March 23, 2016

EASTPOINTE — The Eastpointe City Council voted unanimously March 15 to provide $1,500 for a legal effort by the newly formed nonprofit organization Taxpayers for the Michigan Constitution to take the state government to court over municipal and school revenue-sharing issues.

City Manager Steve Duchane, who helped form the group, said communities across the county have discussed it, and that they seek to end state practices that he said have led to less money being provided to local governments than the state constitution requires.

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Published March 23, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A conservative but consistent fiscal year budget was recently approved by Clinton Township’s Board of Trustees.

The unanimous vote occurred at the March 7 meeting, following a presentation by Finance Director Donna Lauretti and Assistant Finance Director Mary Hein.

Much of the presentation focused on the township’s general fund, police and fire funds, water and sewer department, and retiree health care.

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Published March 23, 2016

A divided Troy City Council approved guidelines for oil and gas extraction that are stricter than state guidelines.

After a public hearing on the ordinance March 14, during which two people spoke, the council voted 5-2 to approve the ordinance.

Troy City Planning Director R. Brent Savidant told the council that the intent of the ordinance is to protect property values and single-family homes.

At a joint special meeting Sept. 14, 2015, the Planning Commission and City Council listened to differing viewpoints.

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Published March 23, 2016

FERNDALE — For the second time in a little over a month, the Ferndale City Council denied the renewal of an operating license for a local motel amid safety concerns and continued criminal activity.

In February, the council denied the license renewal for Motorama Motel, located at the corner of Eight Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, and at the March 14 meeting, the council denied the license for Eight Wood Motel, just down the road from Motorama on Eight Mile Road.

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Published March 23, 2016

PLEASANT RIDGE — Roosevelt Elementary School may no longer have basketball courts along Ridge Road, but a new collaboration between the city of Pleasant Ridge and the Ferndale School District will see a new play structure put in that is designed for accessibility.

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Published March 23, 2016

FERNDALE — The residential parking zones (RPZ) program is getting closer to implementation, but following the March 14 City Council meeting, residents in the designated zones will not have to pay for passes for at least the first year.

The RPZ program was piloted in 2011 on West Troy and West Saratoga streets before Assistant City Manager Joseph Gacioch brought it back before council in 2015 in order to expand the program.

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Published March 23, 2016

ROYAL OAK — The relocation of the City Clerk’s Office to the Police Department is complete following a flood that closed down and displaced the office’s services and employees earlier this month.

City officials said the Clerk’s Office closed March 8 after a pipe burst, causing major water damage to three floors of City Hall, located at 211 S. Williams St. Employees were then relocated to other City Hall rooms until a more amenable short-term solution could be implemented.

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Published March 23, 2016

CLAWSON — Members of the Clawson City Council unanimously approved a request to upgrade the city’s computer networking capabilities to ensure compatibility between departments while freeing up time to serve residents.

The March 15 decision to purchase the BS&A Accounting Suite software programs and server was at a cost not to exceed $100,000. City Manager Mark Pollack said he expects to spend about $95,000.

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Published March 23, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At a March 15 public hearing, a planning consultant presented a new plan that, if approved by the Board of Trustees, would allow the Downtown Development Authority to expand its district and reset the base taxable value to capture more tax money.

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Published March 23, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On March 15, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution of support required to apply for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant for the next phase of Shelby’s Iron Belle Trail connection.

The plan is to obtain the $300,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant and a $300,000 Transportation Alternatives Plan grant and use them to match each other, so the next phase of trail can be constructed at no cost to Shelby Township.

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Published March 22, 2016

City parks and other city amenities may now include the word “memorial” and can be named for a living person.

The Troy City Council unanimously approved changes to the policy of naming city parks and amenities at its March 14 meeting.

“The development of the dog park has really caused us to review the current policy that has been in place,” said Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg-Bluhm.

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Published March 17, 2016

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Lower than expected taxable value increases are expected to put a crimp in the budget in the coming year.

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Published March 16, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — The Macomb County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff’s Office is in the midst of a countywide criminal justice review, and during the week of March 10, the board placed an emphasis on recidivism rates in Macomb County.

Recidivism occurs when a previously incarcerated individual returns to jail or prison after being released.

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Published March 16, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Officials from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced March 8 that they have granted a permit to Jordan Development Co. to drill on a piece of land at Word of Faith International Christian Center, 20000 W. Nine Mile Road.

However, a local judge has approved a motion for the city of Southfield to file a temporary restraining order against the government agency.

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Published March 16, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — New Recreation and Forestry Director Ken Elwert helped present a five-year master park plan to city officials recently.

The new plan aims to develop Riverbend Park within the next five years and outlines improvements at additional city parks.

Elwert replaces Michael Hartner, who retired last year after 35 years with the city.

“I am honored to be here. It is an exciting system and an incredible opportunity,” said Elwert, a former Independence Township parks and recreation director.

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Published March 15, 2016

ROSEVILLE/EASTPOINTE — Voters in Roseville approved renewing the city’s emergency medical ambulance service during the March 8 presidential primary election, while voters countywide gave Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the most support.

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Published March 15, 2016

UTICA — On March 8, the city of Utica swore in four new Utica Fire Department recruits. The new hires will bring the number of firefighters in the city from 26 to 30, Fire Chief Kevin Wilseck said.

The four new hires are Brittany Weitz, 23, of Utica; David Hovis, 23, of St. Clair Shores; Joseph Blevins, 25, of Warren; and Thomas Webb, 28, of Shelby Township.

Wilseck said he felt fortunate to be able to hire four new members and that the city is still looking to recruit more firefighters.

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Published March 14, 2016

CENTER LINE — After a six-year absence, Center Line is planning a return of its K-9 unit at the Department of Public Safety. 

Officials said the program won’t cost taxpayers anything. The city is currently in the process of looking for donations for everything from veterinary care, to a dedicated police vehicle, to the cost of the dog itself.

City Manager Dennis Champine said members of the Center Line City Council met March 7 and approved a plan to move forward with the re-establishment of the K-9 team.

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Published March 10, 2016

GROSSE POINTE PARK — City leaders are remembering the life and accomplishments of their longest-serving mayor, Palmer T. Heenan.

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Published March 9, 2016

SOUTHFIELD/LATHRUP VILLAGE — Southfield Mayor Ken Siver and Lathrup Village Mayor Frank Brock will discuss the states of their respective cities at 11 a.m. March 21 at the Westin Hotel-Southfield, 1500 Town Center.

Sponsored by the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Central Michigan University, the mayors will speak at the chamber’s annual meeting.

Registration will begin at 11 a.m., followed by networking and lunch at 11:30 a.m. The State of the City address will begin at noon, organizers said.

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