Take a look back at 2018 in Grosse Pointe Woods

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 28, 2018


GROSSE POINTE WOODS —  In the past year, the city of Grosse Pointe Woods underwent several renovation projects on its municipal buildings and roads. The city also went out for a millage proposal that failed, and it endured several robberies at local businesses.
Here is a look at some of the events that shaped the city in 2018.

Road construction, infrastructure projects
Several renovation projects, as well as road projects occured in the city. Crews renovated the roof at the Grosse Pointe Woods City Hall complex at 20025 Mack Ave.

“The project is right on schedule at City Hall with a brand-new roof and new ventilation,” Grosse Pointe Woods Director of Public Services Frank Schulte said, adding that the project should be completed by the end of the first week in January. New roofs also were completed at the Public Safety garage and at the Department of Public Works administration building.

In the coming weeks, crews are expected to install a new roof at the Lake Front Park bathhouse.

This past year, work crews were out and about as the city continued with its 10-year pavement capital improvement plan to resurface and/or reconstruct a number of roads. The city’s engineer, Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., based in Shelby Township, put together the bid package and is overseeing the project. Florence Cement, of Utica, is responsible for the reconstruction and restructuring of the roads.

Repairs on Cook Road, from Mack Avenue to Wedgewood Drive, were completed in early August. The road construction project, however, hit a snag Sept. 4 because of a labor lockout between infrastructure contractors and one of the labor unions. Due to the delay, which lasted weeks, the construction projects were deferred. Schulte said city officials hope the project will start up the first week of April 2019, depending on weather.

The following repairs have been deferred: the reconstruction on Stanhope Street, from Chester Avenue to the western city limits; resurfacing on Anita Avenue, from the western city limits to Mack; resurfacing on Brys Drive, from Helen Avenue to Mack; and resurfacing on Lochmoor Boulevard, from Sunningdale Park to Fairway Drive.

One completed road construction project involved joint sealing in District 6, which included Mack Avenue to Fairway Lane, and Vernier Road to Torrey Road. Joint sealant is designed to minimize infiltration of surface water and incompressible material into the joint system.

The city also completed its 2018 capital improvement water main program that included the replacement of the water main along Fairholme Road and the cul-de-sacs of Marford, Baltree Ghesquiere and Berns courts. Another completed project was the boardwalk at Lake Front Park. The DPW crew rebuilt and lifted 119 marina docks at the park.

“We’ve had some nice improvements to the city of Grosse Pointe Woods,” Schulte said. “The projects have been long overdue.”

Millage proposal fails by 11 votes
On Aug. 7, a Headlee override millage proposal for public safety and public services failed by 11 votes. The proposal, if passed, would have levied taxes to provide funding for municipal purposes throughout the city. Grosse Pointe Woods homeowners would have been taxed $4 per $1,000 of taxable value on their homes if the millage had passed, and it would have generated $2.7 million in 2019.

Miniature golf course might open in May 2019
In 2018, plans for a miniature golf course at Lake Front Park moved forward. The Grosse Pointe Woods Foundation — an independent organization designed to enhance the community for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses — has raised money the last couple of years to bring the mini-golf course to the park.

The ultimate plan is for the mini-golf course to be open during spring, summer and fall, but not during the winter. The miniature golf course will be about 7,000 square feet in size and will be constructed in a rectangular area along the north side of the park’s Activities Building. Organizers have targeted the new miniature golf course to open in May 2019.

Police on patrol
In 2018, the city’s Public Safety Department responded to several robberies. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.  

On April 18, a bank robbery occurred at 12:26 p.m. at Chemical Bank, 20276 Mack Ave. According to a report at www.nixle.com., a man entered the bank and allegedly gave a teller a note announcing a robbery. The teller complied with the demand and surrendered an unknown amount of cash, according to police. The investigation remains ongoing.

On July 30, a robbery was reported at Citizens Bank at 19307 Mack Ave. Public Safety Director John Kosanke said that the suspect was identified, but he was found deceased in Detroit; therefore, the case was closed.

A second robbery occurred at Citizens Bank at 19307 Mack Ave., at 12:15 p.m. Nov. 6. The investigation remains ongoing. According to police, a suspect entered the bank with a note that said, “This is a robbery.” The suspect said he had a gun, although no weapon was seen, according to police. The amount of money allegedly taken was not disclosed.

On Sept. 10, an armed robbery occurred at the Verizon store located at 21155 Mack Ave., in which a suspect allegedly used a firearm to take $25,310 worth of cellphones. After an investigation, the Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department arrested suspect Aaron Xavier King-Hudson.

On Sept. 26 in Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Court, Judge Theodore Metry arraigned the 29-year-old man on one count of armed robbery and one count of felony firearm. A jury trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 5 in Detroit’s 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Mariam Bazzi.

Public safety officers were dispatched at 4 p.m. July 31 to the T-Mobile store located at 19603 Mack Ave. after three unknown suspects ripped five cellphones off the wall and left.

On Dec. 7, public safety officers were dispatched to the Verizon Wireless store at 21155 Mack Ave. after a first-degree retail fraud had been reported. According to a public safety report, three men entered the store around 7:20 p.m. and asked if they needed identifications for cell service. They left after they were told yes. About 15 minutes later, the three men returned and allegedly took five cellphones and an Apple iPad.

Kosanke said the department is working with Detroit police on the phone store robberies.