Eureka Township considers special assessment for road

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 11:55 am on Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eureka Township Board members, from left, Elaine Pendrick, Cindy Hanson and Rodney Roy discuss the possibility of imposing a new road assessment for residents living along Karner Drive. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

EUREKA TOWNSHIP — Residents living on Karner Drive could be looking at a special assessment of $150 per year to cover the cost of maintaining the road there.

Some residents living on Karner have petitioned the Eureka Township Board to add the assessment beginning with this winter’s tax bill.

The move is necessary, residents say, because many of them along the short section of road have not been footing their share of the road’s upkeep. All residents of the street originally agreed to pay a share of the road’s upkeep expenses, but many have reneged on that promise.

Because the road is gravel, the Road Commission for Montcalm County will not perform maintenance there, including snow plowing. These services currently are contracted privately.

At Monday evening’s township meeting, one Karner Drive resident addressed board members, saying, “Those people signed when they bought their property but now they don’t want to maintain the road and help it look better.”

The board earlier sent out a petition to the 12 property owners on the road. According to Clerk Linda Ruwersma, 10 of those petitions were returned. All but one favored the assessment.

The board voted to have a second public hearing on the issue next month, after which — depending on the outcome of that hearing — they will vote on the assessment.

The board also heard from Zoning Administrator Tom Faussett and Planning Commission Chairman Mark Wilkin regarding a planned public pavilion. The pavilion will go in next spring in the lot adjacent to the township offices.

According to Faussett, bid for the initial excavating and drainage work came in lower than expected.

“We only got one legitimate bid for the site work,” Faussett said.

That bid is for $8,700 from Simmons Excavating in Greenville. The site work should be completed before the onset of winter. The pavilion itself will be constructed in the spring by students from Greenville High School’s industrial arts class.

“They have done other pavilions around town,” said Wilkin. “They’re excited to be doing it.”

The board also looked at adopting a fireworks ordinance, opting to adopt an ordinance similar to that recently put in place in the city of Greenville. The ordinance allows the use of consumer fireworks between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 a.m. on most national holidays, as well as one day immediately before and after those holidays.

Trustee Brad Kelly suggested limiting the use of fireworks to only the day of each holiday from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Ruwersma noted that adopting rules different that the city’s would make ordinance enforcement difficult for area law enforcement.

“I think we should stick with the city’s rules,” Ruwersma said. “Besides, it is only for a few days.”

Kelly and Trustee Elaine Pendrick voted against the ordinance with the rest of board members present voting in favor of it.

In other township business, the board voted to:

• Approve the next public hearing on the 2014 budget.

• Purchase eight new chairs for the conference room at a cost of $70 per chair.

• Have Consumers Energy install a new streetlight at the corner of Johnson and Dick roads at a cost of approximately $125.

• Purchase a new radar gun for the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department at a cost of about $1,000.

• Purchase a new rifle with red dot sighting system for the Sheriff’s Department at a cost not to exceed $1,500.

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