Thursday, February 4, 2021

Trustees OK township sidewalk repair projects

Julie Brown, Special Writer

Sidewalk repairs are on tap in Canton Township this year for Glengarry North Estate, Glengarry Village 1-6, and Glengarry Woods subdivisions.

“We were in there with an extensive water main program,” noted Bill Serchak of the township engineering department at a Jan. 26 Canton Board of Trustees meeting. He said work in that area is planned to avoid conflicts with roadwork in 2021.

The subdivsions are near Cherry Hill and Canton Center roads.

Township Director of Municipal Services Jade Smith noted that a Michigan Supreme Court 1997 case that Canton lost refers to sidewalk liability issues. Now, it takes Canton officials 12 years to cycle through all needed sidewalk repairs, Smith added.

A red dot on a sidewalk panel makes it is the responsibility of the township while a green dot means the homeowner is responsible for paying for the repair. Smith showed photos of cracked sidewalks in need of repair, including those with ponding and those with lift hazards from tree roots.

The township bears the cost of making sidewalks compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, Smith noted.

Residents and business property owners receive a letter informing them of repairs, with contact information at the Township Administration Building, including direct phone numbers.

Smith said the Zone 5 area should begin after April 1, and Zone 6 after June, with a likely public hearing March 9 for Zone 6.

In introducing co-worker Erika Hidalgo, Smith said, “She is the face of the program with our residents and businesses,” to answer their questions and concerns.”

“It would be good if there was an app where people could report issues” with sidewalks, commented Trustee Steven Sneideman.

Smith agreed noting that it was “a great idea,” adding that it would have costs.

Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with the repairs, and also appointed three people, S. Ifran Jafry, Paris Phou and Ethan Petzold, to the Tax Board of Review. Members of that board hear property assessment appeals, with terms expiring March 31, 2023.

“We had a lot of good people submit applications,” said Trustee Sommer Foster while township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak said, “It was a good process and they were good interviews.”

In other business, Canton resident James Moon-Dupree was unanimously appointed to the merit commission to succeed Richard Keenan, who resigned. Moon-Dupree will serve through Dec. 31, 2024, on the commission whose work includes employee hiring and advancement, job classification, and discipline.

The board members also unanimously reappointed Samar Sakakino and Elena Semenov to the Commission for Culture, Arts & Heritage, through Dec. 31, 2023. That commission still has several vacancies to fill, said Director of Leisure Services Greg Hohenberger, who said he welcomes applications.

Township officials that evening also entered an intergovernmental agreement with Wayne County for some $137,500 of improvements to Heritage Park through the county parks millage.

Hohenberger noted those will include a sunscreen dispenser as well as a fountain to fill water bottles by the splash pad. That work will take place in fiscal year 2021.