Saline Township Denies Developer's Request to Begin Grading Land Ahead of Water Permit

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 08/14/2019 - 15:00

Andelina Farms Update

Nikki Jeffries, Land Development Manager for MI Homes, the developer of the planned 284-unit Andelina Farms development located just west of the city limits between Michigan Avenue and Austin Road, reported that the Michigan Department of Energy, Great Lakes & Environment (EGLE) has not yet issued the water permit for the onsite wells.

“EGLE has not yet determined whether the permit needs to go through a peer review process prior to issuing the permit,” Jeffries said. “I am confident that the permits will be issued but it has taken longer than anticipated.”

Jeffries asked the board if it would allow MI Homes to begin the grading and excavation work on the site as she expressed concern about whether the work could be completed in time for roads to be built prior to bad weather interfering.

The board voted at its July meeting to approve the final site plan for the project, contingent upon all permits being obtained. Ms. Jeffries asked the board to reconsider that vote to allow the grading and excavation work to begin. The board declined that request.

It was noted that as soon as the permits have been obtained, the developer will be able to proceed with work at the site as there is no further action needed from the township board.

Washtenaw County Update

Washtenaw County Administrator Gregory Dill addressed the Saline Township Board at its regular August meeting Monday night. Dill said that he wanted to connect with all local units of government to open communications and help ensure Washtenaw County remains a good partner of the local jurisdictions.

“We will be going through the County’s master plan and want to get input from all parts of the county,” Dill said. “We are also conducting a feasibility study to look at improving broadband capabilities throughout Washtenaw County, which could improve service to underserved parts of the county.”

Dill said the results of the study will be available later this year. Dill reported that Washtenaw County’s financial position, with a $130,000,000 budget, remains strong but did highlight a problem area within the community mental health (CMH) program.

“The county remains strong fiscally but we are facing a $10 million deficit in our community mental health department,” Dill said. “There is a budget problem at the state level which also impacts us at the local level. I have reviewed options with staff to help address the budget shortfall within CMH and we will discuss those options soon.”

Township Board Supervisor Jim Marion asked Dill about any plans the county had to take over the Washtenaw County Road Commission.

“There is current legislation that allows local units of government to take over road commissions within their jurisdictions,” Dill said. “The road commission has functioned as an independent commission with little involvement and oversight at the county level. The County Commissioners are exploring whether it makes sense for the road commission to become a formal part of county government or to maintain its current status as an independent commission.”

The legislation that allows government takeovers of road commissions expires in December. Dill reported that both Jackson and Monroe counties have taken over the responsibilities of their local road commissions and the county commissioners just want to explore the best options for Washtenaw County.



Steven Sheldon's picture
Steven Sheldon