For years, several of the community water systems in Oakland Township have been operated and maintained by the Oakland County Water Resource Commission (WRC). Over the years, the ownership of several of these systems (but not all) were officially transferred to the WRC by the Township Boards. At the February 14, 2017 Oakland Township Board meeting, the WRC gave a presentation regarding the possibility of having the ownership of the systems transferred back to the Township. No decision was made at the meeting, but there was significant discussion among the Board members and the public.
One of the reasons this transfer of ownership is being considered is that it would allow the Township to be the final decision maker regarding the location, and configuration, of the now required water storage tanks. If the systems are OWNED and operated by the WRC, Oakland Township loses control over the decision making process.
It was pointed out that the cost for the storage facilities (and possible enhanced water treatment facilities) would be reflected in the rates paid by the property owners serviced by these systems.
Many citizens expressed concern over the possibility of having the water storage facilities located on Park Property. Apparently some of the park properties have restrictions that prevent that from being allowed.
Several citizens expressed concern over the Township taking over the ownership of the systems because the Township would be responsible for any liability associated with the system. It was pointed out that any financial liability associated with the system would lie with the residents who are connected to the system REGARDLESS of the whether it was owned by the WRC or the Township.
Several citizens expressed concern that if the Township owned the water systems, we would need to create a Township Department of Public Works (DPW). The WRC indicated that they currently maintain and operate water systems that are owned by other Oakland County communities on a contractual basis. This could be an option for our Township.
Almost 50% of Oakland Township’s residents are serviced by the water systems in question. They are shown on the attached map.
The Township Board is in the early deliberative process on this subject. They committed that they will put together a summary of the positive and negative aspects of the ownership options.
There will be future discussions regarding this issue in future Township Board meetings.
Here is a summary of the major items discussed at the Oakland Township Board meetings since the end of November, 2016. A summary of the February 14, 2017 meeting will be sent out separately.
December 13, 2016
- Board denied request by the Rochester Cider Mill for a special land use that would allow the production and sale of wine/hard cider on property.
- The following appointments were made:
- Joseph Peruzzi to the Planning Commission
- George Platz to the Planning Commission
- John Bovine to the Zoning Board of Appeals
- Judy Workings to the Board of Review
- John Casadei to the Board of Review
- Alice Tombulian as the citizen rep on the Safety Path and Trails Committee
- The following Board member subcommittee appointments were made:
- Paint Creek Trails Committee – Frank Ferriolo/Buxar (alternate)
- Planning Commission – John Giannangeli
- Safety Path and Trails – Jeanne Langlois
- OPC – Michael Bailey
- SEMCOG Delegate – Michael Bailey/ Dale Stuart (alternate)
- Board approved $23,918 as part of the Community Development Block Grant to Battered and Abused Spouse, Transportation Services, and Mobile Home Repair program.
- The Board approved the Parks and Recreation Commission recommendations for their representative to various Committees.
- Paint Creek Trails Committee – Hank VanAgen / Martha Olijnyk (alternate)
- Cranberry Lake Improvement Committee – Cathy Rooney
- Safety Path and Trails Committee – Craig Blust
- Board approved $6,000 for installation of a fence, or guard rail, for the Paint Creek Cider Mill deck.
- It was announced that Oakland Township was awarded a $2.2 million dollar Michigan natural resource grant to purchase some property as well as $300,000 for a bridge replacement project.
January 10, 2017
- The following appointment was made:
- Ron Hein to the Safety Path and Trails Committee
- There was a discussion regarding Board member stipend compensation.
January 24, 2017
- It was announced that the Michigan Historic Preservation office nominated the Paint Creek Cider Mill to receive a historic marker.
- Board and other committee compensation discussion occurred. A motion was made to increase the compensation, but it was withdrawn. Further analysis and discussion will occur in the future.
It has been several months since we published any articles on the Oakland Township Watchers Website. The hiatus was due to a number of things:
- The activities in the Township have been fairly limited since the new Board took office in November (we will provide a summary of some of the more notable items that have occurred over the past few months in a future post),
- the holidays, and
- personal reasons that have prevented the authors from spending time on the website.
With all of that said, the February 14 2017 7PM, Oakland Township Board meeting has one agenda item that could impact a large number of our Township residents. That item deals with the proposed Water System Ownership, Operation and Maintenance agreement between the Water Resource Commission and Oakland Township. If you live in one of the districts shown on the following map, your water system may be impacted by decisions that the Board may make. The Water Resource Commission will be at the meeting to give a presentation on their proposal. Your water rates may be impacted by any decision the Board will make. The Board is not planning on making a decision at the February 14 meeting, but your questions and input could help them make an informed decision at a later meeting.
If you are interested, please attend the 7 PM meeting on February 14, 2017 at the Township Hall located on Collins Road.
PS: We have appreciated the support we have received from many Oakland Township residents for this website over the past (almost) four years.