Category Archives: Uncategorized

Volunteer for this year’s Oakland Township ‘Clean Scene’ event – May 6, 2017

In the spring of each year, Oakland Township sponsors an event that benefits all of our residents.  That event is the ‘Clean Scene’ event.   During this one day event, volunteers from the Township, as well as other concerned citizens, offer their services in picking up the clutter that is along the roads in our Township.  It is a great way to help the community, get some exercise, and meet some of our fellow citizens.

This year’s event is scheduled for this Saturday, May 6 , 2017.  

The volunteers will meet at 9AM at the Township Hall on Collins Road .  

Anyone can volunteer.  Please wear hard soled shoes, work gloves and clothes appropriate for the weather conditions.

To volunteer, please contact:

Clerk Karen Reilly, kreilly@oaklandtownship.org

or

Treasurer Jeanne Langlois, jlanglois@oaklandtownship.org

or

call (248)651-4440.

Here is a flier advertising the event (click on image to enlarge)!

Here is a link to the Township website or Facebook page with more information:

Township Official Website

Township Official Facebook Page

We hope to see you there!

Richard Michalski

 

Oakland Township Board takes pro-active steps to improve Township Roads

Oakland Township is blessed with a ‘rural’ atmosphere.  That appeal is made possible, in part, because many of our roads are not paved.  Unpaved gravel roads however deteriorate rapidly under various weather conditions and high traffic counts.  In a recent Township wide survey, our Township residents made is clear that we love the rural atmosphere, but we are not satisfied with the quality of our gravel roads.  The Township Board took steps at the April 25, 2017 board meeting to respond to the wishes of our residents.

The Township Board had previously established a Road subcommittee to develop an organized approach to deal with the road issues in our Township.  The members of the subcommittee include Trustee Robin Buxar, Trustee Frank Ferriolo, and Clerk Karen Reilly.

The responsibility for maintaining the roads in our Township is the Oakland County Road Commission’s.  As with statewide road improvements, funding is very limited.  Up until recently, the only source of funds for road improvements were ‘Tri-Party’ funds. The Tri-Party fund receives money from the State, the County, and local communities.  The cost is shared equally among all three.  The Road Commission ultimately makes the decision which roads will get improvements, but they rely very heavily on input from the community.  The subcommittee provided a structure methodical approach to identifying Oakland Township’s highest needs.

In 2016, the Township Board made a somewhat controversial decision to subsidize additional road improvement above and beyond what the Tri-Party fund would cover.  The 2016 Tri-Pary funding was $125,092 ($41,697 from Oakland Township).  The Board approved spending an additional $68,421 for road improvements. The total cost to the Township was $110,121.

The 2017 road improvement plan developed by the subcommittee, and approved by the Board on April 25th, has three parts:

Limestone addition to the following road segments:

  • Dutton Road (end of pavement to Livernois)
  • Gallagher (Silverbell to Orion Road)
  • Premier (Lake George to Kline)
  • Buell Rd (End of pavement to Hadden)

Gravel addition to the following road segments:

  • Hadden Road (Gunn to Inwood)
  • Harmon (Stoney Creek to Predmore)
  • Predmore (Harmon to Lake George)

Increase frequency of grading/chloride application (every 2 to 3 weeks from 4 to 6 weeks) :

  • Dutton (Brewster east to beginning of pavement)
  • Siverbell (End of pavement to Orion Rd)
  • Snell (End of pavement east to County Line)
  • Gunn (End of pavement east of Collins east to County Line)
  • Lake George (Stony Creek to Predmore)
  • Predmore (Lake George to Rochester)

Here is map of roads that will have increased frequency of maintenance

Click on map to enlarge view

The total cost to cover all three items is $230,664 ($84,508 from the State and County).  The total cost to the Township will be approximately $146,000.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  Road maintenance and improvement are the responsibility of the Road Commission.  Trustee Ferriolo determined that about 50% of Oakland County communities subsidize road improvements above the Tri-Party levels.  The decision by the Township Board to spend an additional $104,000 over our obligated Tri-Party amount was based on the residents’ response to the recent survey, where we indicated we were not satisfied with our Township roads. The Board has made an attempt at improving the situation.

We all need to be aware of the work that will be done on our roads this summer, and need to monitor the quality of the roads to determine if we notice a significant improvement from previous years.  Our feedback will influence the plan for 2018.

Richard Michalski

 

 

Summary of the April 25, 2017 Oakland Township Board meeting

The following is a summary of the major actions taken by the Township Board at the April 25, 2017 BOT meeting:

  • The Board approved a Safety Path and Trails strategy plan that will be an appendix to the, yet unapproved, Oakland Township Master Plan.
  • The Board approved the appointment of Libby Dwyer to the Safety Path and Trail committee for a three year period.  Libby has been the chairperson for the Safety Path and Trails committee for the past few years.
  • The Board approved the appointment of two Historic District Commission members: Gene Ferrera and Donald Westphal.
  • The Board approved a prepayment of Oakland Township’s share (approximately $525,000) for improvements to the Water Resource Commission’s sewage sludge treatment.  They could have chosen to fund the project through a bond proposal.  Since the cash is currently available in the Township’s accounts, it made more sense to them to make the payment now and eliminate the higher interest expense associated with the bonds.  The Bond interest would be a higher rate than what the Township is currently making on the money in our accounts.
  • The Board approved a proposal (which was developed by the Board’s road sub-committee) that identified the roads that would be serviced by the Road Commission’s Tri-Party fund.  The proposal also included several additional road improvement items that would be solely funded by the Township. A SEPARATE POST WILL BE MADE WITH THE DETAILS OF THIS PROPOSAL.
  • The Board approved retaining our Township’s current Liability insurance company.
  • The Board approved a contract for the Landscaping services of our Township properties.

Richard Michalski

 

Former Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commissioner Roger Schmidt passes away

It has recently come to our attention that former Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Roger Schmidt, has passed away.  Roger was a dedicated citizen of Oakland Township.  He pursued, what he believed to be, the best interests of Oakland Township.  We offer our deepest regrets to his family and friends.

Here is a link to his obituary:

http://wujekcalcaterra.tributes.com/obituary/show/Roger-Frank-Schmidt-104623385

Oakland Township Firefighters & Oakland County Sheriffs salute Roger Schmidt:

Richard Michalski

Township Board changes Draft Master Plan without Planning Commission input

On March 28, 2017, the Oakland Township Board voted in a 6 to 1 vote (Treasurer Langlois was sole dissenting vote) to forward a revised copy of Oakland Township’s Draft Master plan to our surrounding communities for their input without discussing the changes they made with the Planning Commission members. This action raised concerns by a number of citizens who were at the meeting, or heard about the action after the meeting.

Here are some of the background facts:

  • The Township’s Master plan is suppose to be reviewed and updated every 5 years.
  • Per the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, the Township’s Planning Commission has the responsibility and authority for developing the Master Plan.
  • Oakland Township’s Planning Commission has been working on the updated Master Plan for over 3 years.  They have individually, and collectively, spent many hundreds of hours developing the plan.
  • On January 3, 2017, the Oakland Township Planning Commission forwarded their Draft Master Plan to the Township Board for their consideration and distribution.
  • The Michigan Planning Enabling Act allows the Township Board to ‘assert by resolution’ its right to ‘approve or reject’ the proposed Master Plan.
  • On January 10, 2017 the Township Board approved a resolution that authorized them to ‘approve or reject’ the Master Plan developed by the Oakland Township Planning Commission.
  • On March 20, 2017, the Township Board had a three hour Master Plan review workshop to review the Draft Master Plan.
    • This meeting included the Township Manager and the Township Planning Coordinator.
    • It did not include any of the Planning Commission members, other than John Giannangeli, who is a Board member and a Planning Commission member.
    • It did not include the Township Planning Consultant who has been working with the Planning Commission on the Plan for several years.
    • The meeting was not video taped or televised.
    • There was only one resident present at the meeting, even though it had been posted.
  • The Township Board made significant changes (primarily deletions) to the plan, and some additions to the plan.
  • On March 28th, Treasurer Langlois made a motion to send the revised plan back to the Planning Commission for their consideration prior to distributing it to the surrounding communities for their input.  The motion did not get support.
  • The Board then approved a motion (6 to 1) to send the revised plan to surrounding communities without further feedback from either the Planning Commission or our Planning Consultant.
  • The following is the normal process for final approval of the Master Plan:
    • The Planning Commission refers the Draft Master Plan to the Board of Trustees.
    • The Board, reviews, and takes formal action to send the Draft Plan to adjacent communities for comments.
    • The Planning Commission will receive comments from adjacent communities.
    • The Planning Commission holds a public hearing.
    • The Planning Commission may address any comments received.
    • The Planning Commission approves and refers the Plan to the Board for final adoption.

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  There are a number of issues with how the Township Board has handled this situation:

  • The Board did not attempt to understand the logic the Planning Commissioners and the Planning Consultant used to include the items in the Draft Master Plan.
  • Since the Planning Commission has been working on the revised Plan for over 3 years, their was no urgency for distributing the plan to surrounding communities prior to getting additional feedback from the Planning Commissioners and Planning Consultant.
  • The Resolution the Board approved on January 10, allowed them to “approve or reject” the plan.  It did not authorize them to unilaterally revise the plan.
  • In the author’s opinion (having been on the Planning Commission for over 26 years), deletion of the specific ‘criteria’ that were in the plan will make it more difficult for the Township to defend against developers who want to ‘push the envelope’ in our community.
  • Since the process allows for future public hearings, the Board’s deletion of many of the paragraphs will prevent robust discussion on those topics.
  • The April 4th Planning Commission meeting had been cancelled (presumably due to lack of agenda items).  That date could have been used to have a joint meeting with the Board to discuss the changes prior to it being sent out to other communities.
  • Finally, their action reflects a lack of respect for the hard work that the Planning Commission members have spent on the document.  Spending 3 hours in a meeting (even with additional pre-work for the meeting) cannot compare to the logic and thought process that was used in developing the Draft Plan by Planning Commission members over three years.

I hope the Board reconsiders and meets with the Planning Commission to discuss their desired changes.

 

Richard Michalski

Summary of March 28, 2017 BOT meeting

The following is a summary of the major actions taken by the Township Board at the March 28, 2017 BOT meeting:

  • Approved a Resolution to transfers the ‘ownership and property interest’ of the community water supply systems, currently owned and operated by the Oakland County Water Resource Commission, to the Charter Township of Oakland.  The reason for the transfer was so the Township has more control over the design, size, location and funding for the water storage facilities that are now required by the State.
  • Requested that the Township manager attempt to determine the reason for two requests the Township made in the 70’s or 80’s, to the DNR, for specific hunting zone restrictions within the Township.  This information may, or may not, result in further action by the Board. The Board currently believes that the existing control methods are adequate, but wanted a better understanding of the historic requests.
  • Approved several Budget amendments to the 2016/17 Budget.
  • Approved the 2017/18 Budget.
  • Approved $8,950 for contractor work at Cranberry Lake, based on the Historic District Commission’s request.
  • Approved the Historic District Commission’s Capital Improvement plan, that included several Cranberry Lake improvement items that require obtaining a Michigan Recreation Passport Grant to help fund the improvements.
  • Approved the application for the Michigan Recreation Passport Grant mentioned above.
  • Delegated the final decision for the new Paint Creek Cider Mill Heating and Cooling component installation location to the Board subcommittee members.  Two alternatives are being considered.  One on the newly improved deck on the back of the building facing the creek, the other on the front of the building.  The Board requested a decision be made by April 7th. The costs for installing the equipment on the front of the building are  currently undetermined.
  • Approved sending out the Township Board’s revised Master Plan to the surrounding communities for their input.  (A separate post will be issued regarding this issue.)
  • Approved purchasing 72 new chairs for Fire Station #2 at a cost of $5,862.

Richard Michalski