Thursday, March 9, 2023

County OKs $4.75 million share in project

Members of the Wayne County Commission have approved the use of $4.75 million in county American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds for renovation and revitalization of Cherry Hill Village in Canton Township.

Members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees approved an intergovernmental agreement with the county earlier this month and approved the use of $4.75 including township ARPA funds, Wayne County millage funds and money from the township general fund.

Plans including the construction of new restaurants, open-air dining, a new park and public recreational programs were presented to members of the Wayne County Commission last week and the matching $4.75 million in county funding approved.  

The project, called Canton Town Square, has been the subject of discussion among township and county officials for more than a year. Canton Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak said the project would fill a need in the community for a “walkable, economically vital downtown community.” She said this partnership with Wayne County would double the amount of funding  for the project.

Cherry Hill Village is a designed community which features homes with front porches, picket fences, parks and walkable streets. 

The projected commercial and retail district in the community was not completed, officials said. Graham-Hudak said that small businesses established in the village community struggled and sometimes failed.

Preliminary plans for the revitalization also include the creation of Factory Park on 14 acres of undeveloped land behind the Village Arts Factory Campus. Improvements to Preservation Park are planned along with added Canton Leisure Services programming, Arts & Humanities community events, an improved sidewalk and trail system and parking improvements.

Canton Township Clerk Michael Siegrist explained that the plans for the project would be presented to the public before construction was under way. He noted, too, that residents on the west side of the township often go elsewhere for entertainment. He said he hoped the proposed project would allow Canton residents to feel more comfortable staying in the community. He said he felt the project was good for the environment and good for the community.