Letters to the editor June 10

Trails needed
(In response to: ‘Trail true facts,’ a letter by David Van Dis, The Citizen, May 27, page 7)
Dear Editor,
We would like to say we are in full agreement with the letters from Mr. Van Dis. When we are enjoying the trails, we usually find ourselves spending money in those communities. Why should we have to leave our community to walk or ride safely? If trails are such a nuisance, why is there a premium on property along trails? Usually the first sentence in a real estate listing is placement near a trail.
Kim and Don Noble
Trails too costly
Dear Editor,
After attending the June 5, 2017 Brandon Township meeting I need to further express my reasons against the trail.
I have learned from past meetings that people desire the trail because they are concerned about safety while biking here since cars go too fast on the dirt roads. There is excessive speeding on these roads, we who live on them deal with that daily. It costs money and manpower to patrol the roads constantly and enforce the speed limit.
The township maintains the trail will benefit businesses. The most demanded routes proposed pass few businesses; it cannot be proven that there will be many benefiting from the trail.
Yes, the initial money for the trail construction is coming from outside sources, but the cost to maintain and patrol any route in the future belongs to the township. It was stated at this meeting that right now the township could lower the speed limit on our back roads, but we can’t afford new speed signs; we could have more police to enforce the current speed limit, but we can’t afford to; and a new fire engine is needed, but we cannot afford that, either. The list goes on about what is needed in our township that we cannot afford. Our tax dollars should go first to insure the safety and well being of residents and the needs of the township instead of maintaining a trail.
Those of us who live in this area are here because of the country atmosphere and the peace and privacy this affords us. Some of our houses are extremely close to the road due to environmental conditions. A public trail at these front doors can violate personal living space. Many of us have dogs and large animals, fences that keep them in could border on the trail. Homeowners are liable in the event that one of our animals bites or hurts a curious or well intended bicyclist or pedestrian who just “wanted to say hello” or pet the dog or horse. Where will the outhouses or rest stops be located? Homeowners not on the routes should be considerate of those of us who are. Trash and vandalism remain current issues on the surrounding trails, would you want this in your yard?
I am also concerned that the Clarkston residents in attendance at this meeting were allowed to vote on the trail and what route it would take. This is about a trail in Brandon Township, not Clarkston. Do Clarkston residents have the authority to vote on Brandon Township issues? Did we have the opportunity to vote on Clarkston allowing a Home Depot or a big box store to be built in Independence Township when they voted it down?
At the meetings the majority of board members claim they do not want this, yet some refuse to let this issue die and spend additional time and township money on more studies. Is it necessary to spend more tax dollars for this?
Rick Gibbons

Dear Neighbors Along Proposed Routes of Belle Iron Trail
First of all, a big thank you for showing your support at the June 5th Brandon Township meeting. It shows just how important this issue is to so many of us and your participation was overwhelming!
Unfortunately, the Board refused to take action on the proposal to have Route A removed from further consideration though a Resolution. Instead a sub-committee will be set up to gather further information and, in particular, to gather more cost information. This means that the survey was a waste of time and money since we now know that the costs were inaccurate and routes have since been added/dropped. It was stated that perhaps we could get another grant to pay for another study. Where do you think the grant money comes from? The same place that the money for the Board salaries and for the trail comes from. In the end, it will be our excessive taxes that drive people out of the Township one family at a time.
The same individuals on the board who said they need more information in order to make a decision had enough information on May 1st to sign a Resolution to remove Route C. Even after homeowner after homeowner presented such compelling reasons to remove Route A, these individuals on the Board say they do not have enough information to remove Route A. The Board set a precedent at the May 1st meeting by removing Route C. We have not been afforded the same opportunity. How sad this is.
In addition, the “show of hands” at the meeting was a joke. It was stated that anyone in attendance could vote – not just Brandon Township residents! If we had known this, we could have bussed in friends and family for assistance!
How the Board cannot have enough information after three years is astonishing. Paul has gained more knowledge about the trail and the proposed routes over the last two weeks than the Board has over the last three years. This is disgraceful.
It is time for a change in the Board of Brandon Township before there is no one left to turn out the lights. For those of you staying, we know where you can get a real bargain on a home on Hummer Lake Road. We plan to only list at a 10% premium just because of the possibility that a trail might come through the front yard in the future. We know – good luck with that!
Paul & Susan Barber

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