Oakland Township celebrates major projects in 2022, looks ahead

Water facilities, parks upgrades, new supervisor to come in 2023

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published January 11, 2023


OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Oakland Township had a busy 2022, according to Township Manager Adam Kline.

The largest projects within township borders last year, he said, focused on two state-mandated water storage facilities, which will continue to be constructed over the next couple of years.

“Anytime you have a water district with over 150 users, you have to have water storage on-site for those particular units,” he said.

Last year, crews broke ground on a multimillion-dollar groundwater storage facility in the township’s southeast water district, off of Rochester Road, near Whims Lane. The $5.6 million project includes the construction of a new half-million-gallon groundwater storage tank facility for the township’s southeast water district, as well as all of the required pumps, generators, control systems and site improvements to operate the system. Kline anticipates the project will be completed in late summer of 2023.

In a statement, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash said his office is proud to be a part of the project and to have the ability to reduce the rates for Oakland Township residents over time.

“In collaboration with the township, we are confident this solution will allow for additional capacity while helping us protect the environment regionally during heavy rains,” Nash said in a statement.

Township officials also secured a location for a new 1 million-gallon groundwater storage tank for the township’s southwest district, which Kline said will be located off of Kern Road, near Briarbrooke Lane, on some township-owned property that includes a wellhouse.

Construction on that project, which is expected to cost around $12 million, will likely occur in 2024, according to Kline.

“We still have to go out for bid, and we have to go out for bond, so it’s going to be a while. I would say the actual construction might be a year off, but we’re hoping to move right along with different phases that we have to do on that project,” he said.

The township added various safety paths, including the one on Gallagher Road, near the Paint Creek Trail, in 2022.

“There is actually a space that they did not complete there — the homeowner was not willing to give us the right of way to put the path in there — so it was kind of broken up,” Kline said. “The homeowner has since rethought the consideration, and we’ll probably be working on that next year to complete that whole trail.”

Other major projects, according to Kline, included a bridge replacement on Dutton Road, the repaving of Rochester Road and the opening of the Fox Nature Preserve, off of Predmore Road.

“The Parks and Recreation Committee did a great job on that, working with the Board of Trustees, and obtained that property,” he said. “It’s now open, but there is still a lot of work to be done, and that will all be done in different phases.”

In 2023, Kline hopes to complete the major projects that were started last year, upgrade road pavement projects and continue to upgrade the township’s parks, looking at more grants and more federal money to increase the usage of the parks and preserve the parks the township already has.

Kline also looks forward to welcoming a new township supervisor in the new year, following the resignation of former Township Supervisor Dominic Abbate for personal reasons in November.

The deadline, by law, for the township’s Board of Trustees to appoint a replacement is 45 days after the resignation — or Jan. 14. The board’s next meeting was scheduled for Jan. 10, after press time.

If the board fails to appoint someone by the deadline, Township Clerk Robin Buxar said it will go to a special election.

“In this situation, either the board appoints someone to fill the remaining term for the supervisor within 45 days from the date of resignation or the township will have to conduct and pay for a special election, with the only candidates on the ballot chosen by the respective local Democrat and Republican party,” she said.

Personally, Kline said it’s his goal to solidify township personnel in 2023.

“We have a little bit of turnover, so we want to increase our longevity. We want to make sure we keep the people we have,” he said.

He said the township is always looking to add on-call firefighters and part-time firefighters to the team. Kline also hopes to upgrade the maintenance department in the new year.

“I’m constantly looking at the inner workings to see how we can do it better,” he said.

For more information, visit www.oaklandtownship.org or call the township at (248) 651-4440.