By Travis Smola
Representatives from Clark Logic and the Wind + James event center were on hand at the Schoolcraft village council meeting to ask for an update on the proposed sewer project.
Greg Dilone Jr and Windy Clark said they wanted to get an idea of where things stand on the village’s economic development plan and proposed village sewer projects as they try to figure out how they will re-purpose the former elementary school building that Clark Logic purchased. Whatever the project, they would like to take advantage of the sewer if it is going to be built.
“I have ideas just rolling through my head, but we had to kind of take a step back,” Clark said. “We would probably not do much until we had some sort of idea there was going to be a city sewer.”
“To be quite honest, we still don’t know at this point,” Village President Keith Gunnett said. “I think the council and most of the people in the village feel we need sanitary sewers, at least in part if not for the whole village.”
Gunnett said he expects a new petition to go around in the next three to four months asking to build the sewer. Dilone asked how many signatures they’d need on such a petition to get the ball rolling. Gunnett said the village would need would need signatures from 50 percent plus one of the village’s property owners. Trustee Michael Rochholz said many people want sewers, but the costs are a big part of what scares people. Education is a key to getting people on board.
The council believes it will look at two alternatives if a project goes forward: outfitting the entire village with sewers or concentrating on the U.S. 131 corridor and other select areas. In any case, Gunnett told Dilone and Clark, they were probably looking at a timeline of two to three years.
Trustee John Stodola also recommended they keep an eye on chances to work together with other issues such as a school facilities project currently being discussed. “There are a couple of really big projects going on parallel [to this one],” Stodola said. “As we go through this we should really pay close attention to each other.”
The council also recommended Clark Logic make its wishes known to the South County Sewer and Water Authority.
Village council members also briefly discussed a letter they sent to the South County Fire Authority board asking for more clarity from the Fire Authority on their operations due to concerns on a late payment that was due to the village in August but didn’t arrive until January.
Village Manager Cheri Lutz said there was a chance they simply forgot to send a statement, but the payment has since been resolved. The council members were careful to credit the emergency responders for the work they do, but felt they needed to send the letter just as a part of doing due diligence on making sure things run smoothly.
“We need to have a good relationship working back and forth,” Rochholz said. “We have to pay attention to what’s happening and they have to be responsible for it.”
Rochholz further encouraged the other council members to attend the fire authority’s board meeting where a discussion of its budget is planned to get a better picture of things. He also felt they need to request the fire authority board to present its budget to the council in the near future.
At a later meeting with the village and Fire Authority board members, the differences were discussed and resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, according to Tracy Locey, a member of the authority board and supervisor of Brady Township. “It was a misunderstanding. We are comfortable with their concerns. Hearing their perspective will help us move forward together now,” she said.