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 Clinton-Macomb Public Library Board of Trustees President Michael Lotito addresses the Macomb Township Board of Trustees July 10. Also pictured are Larry Neal, Amy Wille and Camille Silda, all CMPL board members.

Clinton-Macomb Public Library Board of Trustees President Michael Lotito addresses the Macomb Township Board of Trustees July 10. Also pictured are Larry Neal, Amy Wille and Camille Silda, all CMPL board members.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

Macomb Township to pay for library right of way

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 22, 2019


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Discussion continued July 10 as a request was made for Macomb Township to assume all responsibility for right of way improvements along Broughton Road in front of the new Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, at a cost of over $800,000.

Initially addressed June 26, the request was approved in a 4-3 vote at the July 10 Macomb Township board meeting. Supervisor Janet Dunn, Treasurer Karen Goodhue, and trustees Nancy Nevers and Roger Krzeminski voted “yes.” Clerk Kristi Pozzi and trustees Tim Bussineau and Kathy Smith voted “no.”

CMPL Board of Trustees President Michael Lotitio, CMPL Director Larry Neal, CMPL Board of Trustees Vice President Camille Silda and Trustee Amy Wille were present at the July 10 meeting to answer questions.

In June, township engineer Jim Van Tiflin said the CMPL Board of Trustees submitted a request for Macomb Township to pay for the cost of improvements within the Broughton Road right of way adjacent to the new library site, south of 25 Mile Road on Brought Road. Improvements include road improvements, landscaping, sidewalk/pathway and lighting.

A total project cost estimate from Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick Inc. indicates the township will pay $800,030.

“Although we only recently obtained the cost from AEW, it’s been a big concern with our engineer and planner going back to 2018,” Pozzi said.

The 7.5-acre property where the library will be situated was gifted to CMPL by the township in November.

Pozzi asked why development costs, like streetlighing, wouldn’t be the library’s expense.

Neal’s answer was that the right of way agreement states that anything not on the library’s property, by law, the library cannot spend money on.

“We’re not a typical developer and unfortunately, it would be so much simpler if it had been part of the project,” he said.

A May 30 letter from Lotito states the library contacted the Macomb County Executive’s Office and Macomb County Department of Roads, both of which declined to participate in Broughton Road improvements or the right of way, as it is not a requirement of either body.

Lotito cited five reasons why the township should assume full responsibility for all improvements, including: if done by the library, the improvements are a violation of state statute; improvements would violate public trust; it could be detrimental to the relationship between Macomb and Clinton townships; the center turn lane would primarily benefit northbound traffic access to the parks and recreation building and town hall; and the majority of new parallel parking spaces on Broughton Road will likely be used to access the parks and recreation building, rather than the library.

Pozzi gave an update in regard to communication with the Macomb County Department of Roads. She read a letter from the department, which included why they cannot assist the township in completing road improvements.

“The past few years and into the foreseeable future, the majority of expenditure of road expansions and new road construction are all in Macomb Township,” she read from the letter.

Prior to the vote, Trustee Tim Bussineau asked if the library can go ahead with the library without proposed street modifications, to which the answer was “yes.”

“In private development, the developer assumes the costs for road widening, but we are not a private developer,” Silda said. “Just like the township, we are tax-based.”

Van Tiflin recommended, now that the request is approved, that the township complete the improvements internally, not through the library.

For this project, Macomb Township is not the developer. The library, which owns the property, is the developer.