Shelby Township sets priorities for 2022

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 22, 2021

 Shelby Township’s No. 1 priority for 2022 is to redevelop its former court, library and senior center for community use.

Shelby Township’s No. 1 priority for 2022 is to redevelop its former court, library and senior center for community use.

Photo provided by Shelby Township

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees finalized its 2022 priorities Nov. 16, with three new priorities making the top 10.

The new priorities this year are No. 6, “Hold concerts and farmers market on municipal grounds”; No. 7, “Improve pedestrian and bike safety at crosswalks”; and No. 10, “Connect sidewalks at 26 Mile and Mound roads.”

After a one-year demotion from the top spot, “Redevelop former court, library, senior center for community use” is again the township’s No. 1 priority.

The township pulls the priorities list together from public input, department heads and the Board of Trustees. Previously, the township got input from the department heads and elected officials first, then held a town hall meeting to hear from the public. This time, the township surveyed residents online before getting the priorities of the township leaders.

Brad Bates, the Shelby Township community relations director, said the residents really went for the survey this year.

“With a record level of public participation in our community visioning process this year, our residents went above and beyond to voice their concerns and needs for 2022. We’re very appreciative that our neighbors took the time to participate in the survey and excited to get to work on those priorities in the next 12 months,” he said via email.

The township said in a press release that the new process this year resulted in “holding concerts and a farmers market on the municipal grounds” becoming a priority.

The top priority is a result of the work that the township has been doing in recent years.

“I am proud of the work we’ve done to build a new court, library and senior center paying cash, with no debt, no bonding and no increase in taxes,” Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said in the press release. “Once the library moves next year, though, that leaves us with the old building. This feedback we received for our 2022 priorities tells the Board that our residents are concerned about repurposing that property in the best possible manner for the community.”

The top 10 priorities for 2022 are:

1. Redevelop former court, library, senior center for community use.

2. Increase sidewalk connectivity.

3. Continue blight enforcement.

4. Seek grant opportunities.

5. Plan for long-term financial obligations.

6. Hold concerts and farmers market on municipal grounds.

7. Improve pedestrian and bike safety at crosswalks.

8. Widen Schoenherr Road, north of 23 Mile Road.

9. Improve crosswalks near schools and parks.

10. Connect sidewalks at 26 Mile and Mound roads.

The township noted in its press release that four priorities deal with pedestrian and nonmotorized traffic, while just one deals with motor vehicle traffic.

Trustee Lisa Casali is the Board of Trustees representative on the township’s sidewalk committee.

“Back in the day, it wasn’t required to put in a sidewalk in front of properties on major roads, and 30 years later, when pedestrian safety is more important, we want sidewalks. So for the betterment of our township, we want sidewalks, and we want sidewalk connections, so we don’t have pedestrians in the road, putting them in danger,” Casali stated in the press release.

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