Category Archives: Government Meetings

Special City Council Meeting Raises Questions in Williamston

In an E-mail read aloud, Williamston resident Jennifer Chisholm expressed her skepticism of the special city council meeting being held the night of, Dec. 19, 2007,

            “I am all for new businesses in this town. We need the infrastructure if we are going to             remain solvent. However holding a ‘special’ meeting for ONE business that hosted your OWN fundraiser is extremely suspect.”

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Developer seeks approval for new Okemos housing development

Development of land in northern Okemos was one of three main topics discussed by the Meridian Township Planning Commission Monday, Jan. 28.

Burton-Katzman Development Co., Inc. represented by Charles DiMaggio at Monday night’s Planning Commission meeting, is seeking recommendation from the Planning Commission to rezone Mobile Home Manor, located off of East Grand River Avenue. Provided the company gets approval, it plans to develop the rezoned land into a housing development called the Meridian 4 Seasons, creating new residential opportunities.

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Okemos Concerns Over College Residents

The prospect of more Michigan State University students moving into the Okemos area have some local residents concerned about the disruptions that would follow.

At the Meridian Township’s Planning Commission Jan. 28 meeting, Burton-Katzman Development Co., Inc. represented by Charles DiMaggio, reintroduced the idea for the Meridian 4 Seasons housing complex which had been refused earlier the previous year. People from the community showed their opposition to the proposal once again, coming out to state their disapproval.

The proposed land development in northern Okemos would require the existing property to be rezoned, creating housing opportunities well suited for students. Some local residents, however, feel that this would bring in groups of students, who would then bring in low-property values and disruptive behavior to the community.

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General Motors, Lansing Township Agree to Demolition

General Motors Corporation will begin demolishing two vacant factories in Lansing Township by the end of this month. The plants stopped production in 2006.

At a joint planning commission and general town meeting last week, Lansing Township approved demolition of the factories as long as GM will comply with the resolution. The resolution says GM will cover the site with vegetation and remove all structural remains of the plant. GM and the township started talks a year ago in February 2007.

Matt Brinkley, the assistant planner for the township said during the township meeting that the “issue [was] whether or not and under what conditions will the plants be demolished.”

GM decided against the re-use of the buildings due to lack of insulation, an inefficient and out-of-date floor plan and an average monthly utility cost of $1.5 million.

The plan calls for GM to cover the 168-acre site with vegetation by seeding or sodding. GM will remove all slabs, footings, parking lots and pathways. Any ground cavities will be filled with sand, gravel and/or dirt. The property will also meet environmental requirements for storm water runoff.

GM will also post a bond of $5 million to insure that the project is completed on time.

Originally, GM proposed leaving a portion of the property covered in crushed concrete, which GM claims will be a valuable raw material when the property is redeveloped. GM spokesman Tom Jeffers said that crushed concrete “is necessary to pour the foundation for roads or buildings. Leaving the concrete would make it easier to access when the property is being redeveloped.”

The township planning commission said that members of the public and township officials were worried about the effects the concrete ground cover would have on the environment.

Jeffers said that GM will comply with the township’s request, but it would be easier to sell the property if the material was easy to access. “It will cost more to redevelop the land if you put dirt and grass over the material that [developers] want.”

The plan calls for the demolition of the site to be completed by August 31, 2010. GM expects the majority of the demolition to take about 20 months. GM and the township have no future plans for the site. GM plans to market the property to developers after demolition is completed.

Members of the township are hoping that the property will be used and not stay vacant. Brinkley said he hopes the property will be put to use economically. “We want to get something [that] is a resource to the community,” said Brinkley. “Some economic development as opposed to [about] 150 acres of open space.”

Township Supervisor John Daher said he would “like to see a mixed use of the property.” Daher said that a combination of residential, retail, medical, senior housing and office complex would be ideal to the community. Daher said he is also hoping that the property will develop into a walking community, with parks and biking paths. “These things are necessary for a community in the twenty-first century.”

Williamstown Twp. seeks grant to improve park

As the sun beams down on open fields, birds fly through a clear blue sky and people mingle and talk. An afternoon of picnicking and sports is about to begin in the Williamstown Community Park. While days like this do occur, the Williamstown Township Parks and Recreation Committee is in the process of applying for a grant so community events can happen more often. 

The committee is in the process of applying for a grant through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that will help to update and improve the quality of the Williamstown Community Park.The grant would be funded through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. It is dependent on the township finalizing their state-mandated Master Plan.“This is a big deal for the committee because we have been trying to get funding for the park and this is [our] last suggestion,” said Jerry Fulcher, chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee. Continue reading Williamstown Twp. seeks grant to improve park

Eaton Rapids discusses City Clerk, snow removal

A crowd of over 75 residents filled a meeting room at Eaton Rapids City Hall Jan. 28, more than double the normal number of participants, to speak and hear comments regarding an issue involving City Clerk Kristy Reinecke, her husband, and unearned vacation days she approved for him, said City Assessor Mike Baker, who has served as city assessor since 1995 and said he rarely misses a city council meeting.

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DeWitt City Council discusses Clinton County Economic Alliance

The DeWitt City Council discussed how it should participate in the Clinton County Economic Alliance at its Jan. 22 meeting.

The economic future of Michigan has been a very hot topic the last several years, especially as big three auto company factory closings have decreased manufacturing jobs in the state. Small cities built around these factories have been particularly hard-hit, and have had a hard time attracting businesses to replace the lost jobs.

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