Village future discussed

By Susan Bromley
Staff Writer
Ortonville- Master plans are devised to give direction to communities, and typically contain what are considered obtainable goals.
They are updated as years pass and ideals change, and usually have many pages.
Is the village council, planning commission and DDA on the same page with the master plan? Do the members of each of these entities know what their positions entail? These are questions which may be answered at a joint meeting set for 7 p.m., July 17, at the Brandon Township Library, 304 South St.
“We want to help new appointees and council and planning commission members get a better grip of their roles and responsibilities so we don’t have any disconnect,” said Village Council President Wayne Wills. “I want to know what projects they are working on, let them know what I am working on and make sure no one gets blindsided like what has happened in the past. Be more transparent.”
He also hopes to learn whether the members of the three groups want to follow the village’s current master plan, as well as the village’s joint recreational plan with the township, which includes trails. Wills notes the village council is currently in disagreement on trails, as well as other items in the master plan, including sewers. Village voters defeated a proposal in November 2015 which would have brought the infrastructure to the community, but with a special assessment per property that was estimated at more than $25,000. Talk of sewers was revived this year when Village Manager David Trent proposed a collaborative initiative with Brandon and Groveland townships to investigate establishing a wastewater treatment system for businesses, but that village discussion has been silenced with Trent’s firing on July 5.
“Sewers in the downtown business district is not being discussed at this point,” said Wills. “And there are people who would like it to never be discussed. The four people (on the village council) who don’t want it discussed outweighed the three who do.”
Brandon Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman is still exploring the issue for businesses on the M-15 corridor. After the township board’s July 10 meeting, she said she would investigate getting more concrete cost estimates. Sewers for residences around Bald Eagle Lake and Lake Louise were not discussed at the board meeting.

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