County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Township Seeing Progress on Blight, PUD Work



HARRISON – After the lengthy Road Commission report provided at the May 14 meeting, the Hayes Township Board tackled some New Business items, to include:

-Adoption of Resolution 23-11 Fire Millage renewal ballot proposal, including the [Headlee rollback] reduction to 9.733 mills.

-Approve the Clare County Equalization Department contract of $500 from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025 [which is the same as last year].

-Approve the Zoning Administrator membership to Michigan Association of Planning at $65 (same as last year).

-Approve the following wage increases: Deputy Treasurer $17.35 to $17.94 (TGA graduation and training); Deputy Clerk $17.94 to $18.44 (assuming additional duties); and Election Coordinator $16.81 to $17.31 (received accreditation with Bureau of Elections).

-Allow Pickleball group to use the enclosed cement slab to tape, not pain, and set up portable pickleball nets for more people to lay pickleball.

-Approve Audit Engagement Letter with Yeo & Yeo at $12,575 ($12,050 last year).

-Approve STG website hosting renewal at $750 (same as last year).

Under Department Reports, supervisor Rick Jones said he was 60% through the brining list [delayed because it was sent to the wrong Hayes Township], and expected to be finished by the end of the week.

Treasurer Maye-Tessner Rood began her report by thanking the Board for sending herself and Deputy Treasurer Savannah Cavanaugh to the TGA Conference, noting it was excellent. She also congratulated Cavanaugh, who had graduated from the Township Governance Academy.

“She did an excellent job,” Tessner-Rood said. “She is the fastest student to have completed it; she started in October and finished in April. I’m very proud of her, and she’s doing an excellent job in my office and I think she’ll do a great job for this township.”

Tessner-Rood also spoke of a meeting on the Planned Unit Development project, noting negotiations underway with developers and a plan to meet again in about a week. She said meeting would be ongoing for the next month or so, and that she is very excited about it.

“We could have sold the property outright to a gravel company or a business like that,” she said. “But our goal has been to do something that would benefit our community, and the developer we’re working with is keeping in mind the housing. It’s like which came first, chicken or the egg. Without housing we can’t get industry or more businesses to come in because there’s no place for them to live.”

She added that people who don’t qualify for low income housing are having to move out of Harrison because the homes they’ve been renting are being turned into BRBOs and Air BNBs. She said work is on that, and assisted living, all of which are within the scope of the desired developer.

“It’s our vision,” she said. “They’re not just going to buy the property outright.”

When Jones asked if there was a hotel update, she said there was nothing she was able to talk about.

Clerk Deb Hoyt also thanked the Board for allowing attendance at the Michigan Townships Association Conference.

“Savannah is an inspiration, so I will be working on my TGA also,” she said. Hoyt added that she is still looking for a life insurance policy replacement for what is offered to Hayes Township staff, as it ends June 1.

She also noted about 600 election applications would be gong out that week for the August and November elections, and that ballots would be sent out the week of June 22.

Trustee Ernie Teall spoke of the Blight Enforcement Team meeting and discussing upcoming issues, where some of those stood, as well as deadlines for abatement work. He stressed the need to be certain that cost can be applied to taxes this fall.

“We’ll be bringing you a pretty good report in two weeks,” Teall said.

Trustee Bob Buckley spoke of the recent stump and debris clearing work that had been done on the canal and the southeast cove on Cranberry Lake. He said a lot of stuff was taken out to make the waterways clear.

Under Public Comment at the end of the meeting, Pat Adams, Cranberry Lake Board president, spoke about the Cranberry Lake cleanup, which had been completed by Michael Henry as he was the only contractor who had access to a barge.

“I know, personally, that north end is opened up because I have one of the largest pontoons out there and the heaviest,” he said. “And I made it all the way through the canal a few times already. I’ve had several people call me and say they are so happy, because they haven’t been able to go through there for over 15 years. Because the Board approved it, we were able to do it, and we made a lot of our residents happy.”

The Hayes Township Board meets next at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28 at the Hayes Municipal Complex, 2055 E. Townline Lake Road.


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