Some still upset about Otisco Township Hall addition


By Emilee Nielsen • Last Updated 1:46 pm on Thursday, November 17, 2016

An addition to the Otisco Township Hall has been a source of frustration for some residents from the beginning of the process while others have looked upon the idea favorably. Construction on the project is set to begin in April 2017. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

OTISCO TOWNSHIP — While the Otisco Township Board has accepted a bid and plans have been made to start work on a township hall addition in the spring, there is still some unrest about it in the community.

During Tuesday evening’s regular meeting, the Township Hall addition wasn’t on the agenda but the subject still came up.

Jack Wright, owner of J R Wright Builders in Belding, spoke during a public comment section of the meeting, saying he was dismayed that the board had chosen Scheid Construction’s bid of $233,800 over Wright’s bid of $192,526 — a difference of $41,274.

“I’m at a loss for words … (I don’t know) why you should spend (over) $35,000 more than necessary to get the same thing,” Wright said,

The board approved Scheid’s bid in a 3-2 vote, with Trustee Dan Zeigler and Clerk Lynda Sower opposed, at a special meeting in October.

Howard Uiterdyk said he thinks the addition is unnecessary and the board has gone about pursuing it in the wrong way.

“Somehow the board got three bids, one being withdrawn… there was no ad in the paper,” he said. “At the August meeting, when asked if it could be on the November ballot, Paul (Reeves) said it was too late. At the same meeting, three other resolutions were voted on. The township has not had a voice in the building addition. Other local bidders would have liked to have bid on it.”

Uiterdyk asked who will occupy the new offices being built and what will the new $5,163, 14-foot granite countertop is used for?

Board members declined to give an explanation on choosing Scheid over Wright, nor did they answer Uiterdyk’s questions.

According to the minutes of the special meeting in October, the bid question was posed and both contractors thought their bids were fair and profitable for them.

 

In other matters … 

• Zoning Administrator Marc Larabel reported a developer is going to start work on excavating an area near Save-a-Lot on Storey Road (M-44) and Ellis in order to build a housing development.

“They said by spring eight new homes will be there,” Larabel said.

According to Larabel, the only opposition to the new development is from the Belding Fire Department as the development will have a cul-de-sac and the fire department was hoping for a full road to be able to move freely on with equipment.

• The township board approved a zoning ordinance amendment to reduce the width of easements on shared drives, private roads, streets and service drives when they cross trails or railroads. The easements may be reduced to 33 feet in width from 66 feet only where they cross a public trail or railroad.

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