Thursday, March 11, 2021

Sumpter study may connect township to state bike path

Sumpter Township officials have agreed to the first step in joining the Michigan state bike path program.

Trustee Don LaPorte suggested the township authorize a preliminary study during the Feb. 23 meeting of the board members. 

LaPorte said he had discussed the bike program previously and suggested the trustees approve a study to determine where bike paths in Sumpter might connect with the State of Michigan pedestrian bike trail. He said that on the state website, a map of bike paths did not include any of those in Sumpter Township.

He suggested that a study be done in three phases, the first to locate the connectivity points with neighbors like Van Buren Township and Belleville might be. He said the path in Sumpter might connect to one of the neighboring paths and then on to Huron Metro Park. 

“There is nothing written, it is all conjecture,” he said, “until we establish the connecting points.”

He said he had spoken to the township planners who suggested finding the connecting points might be a two-day job and asked the board members for approval of the expense.

“I believe we can have this paid for with a state grant and this will provide another service for residents of the community,” he said. 

Trustee Matt Oddy suggested that the board approve an expense “not to exceed $1,600” for the work to be done by Carlyle Workman, the outside firm that acts as the planners for Sumpter Township.

LaPorte said since the firm is on a paid annual retainer, he thought the work would be included in that fee but discovered that the location of the connectivity points for the bike paths would have to be done by a separate division or department of the firm.

“There is a push by the state to implement the bike paths and the state is being very pro-active about this,” LaPorte said, suggesting again that grant funding might be possible.

 “If we don't ask, we don't receive,” he added.

The board members approved the expense capped at the $1,600  amount by unanimous vote.