Letters to the editor March 3

Parks and Rec thank you
Dear Editor,
Brandon Township Parks & Recreation was honored to host our annual Daddy Daughter Dance and Mother Son Date Night on Thursday, February 21, 2019. We could not have done it without the help and support of Brandon School district and our presenting sponsor Genisys Credit Union. We would also like to thank MacPhee’s Restaurant for sponsoring the “Dinner at MacPhee’s Drawing” and the Ortonville Rotary Club for donating half the proceeds from their basket raffles to Brandon Township Community Park development. Each year we strive to make this an enjoyable evening for dads, daughters, moms and sons. Since we sold out for both events this year, we will be looking for ways to accommodate more people for next year’s events. Thank you to those who participated and helped make this event a success.
Fred Waybrant, Director
Kara Titus, Administrative Assistant Brandon Township Parks & Recreation
(In response to Dress fix, a letter by Sylvia Runyon, The Citizen Feb. 23, page 6)
Continue moving forward
Dear Editor,
I felt compelled to respond to ‘dress fix’. I find it disheartening that the overriding issue standing out was Governor Whitmer’s dress. I for one am striving to stand shoulder to shoulder with women based on their skills and not their appearance. We need to continue moving forward lifting one another up, recognizing intelligence, expecting the best. Stop tearing each other down for what we’re wearing or what our hair and makeup choices are. It’s about depth of character not fashion.
Leslie Neumann Short
Kearsley Creek
Dear Editor,
I live south of Goodrich, I pass over the Kearsley Creek Bridge several times a week. For years I noticed the winding creek flowing through the land east of the bridge. It was an eyesore! There were downed trees, heavy brush and litter everywhere. The creek was barely visible during the summer months. I could only imagine how nice it would look if it were cleaned up. A couple years ago some civic minded citizens did just that! Today it looks like a community park, it is beautiful in every season of the year! Thank you again and God bless you for your contribution to the community!
Sincerely,
Marj Johnson
Police and Fire thank you
Dear Editor,
I would like to extended a thank you to the Brandon Township Fire Department and the Oakland County Sheriff, Brandon Township Substation for your time and efforts spent ensuring our safety and helping the community, especially this week with so many family tragedies. You are an important piece of our community, we appreciate all that you do each and every day, and are grateful to have your support, knowledge and compassion in times of need.
Tonja Brice
Ortonville Village President
State of Brandon Township
Financially Brandon Township is in great shape. We had a stellar 2017 audit report presented to us last year with a carry forward of over one million dollars which was at an all-time high for the past 12 years. It has been the Township Board’s objective for many years to build our carry forward and “Rainy Day” funds. The 2018 audit report should reflect a continuation of the same trends. However, our 2019 audit won’t look as glowing because the Township has earmarked 1.1 million dollars to pay the Fire Department for half the cost of the municipal property near Brandon High School on M-15. With those funds the Fire Department will be purchasing two new fire trucks which will replace a 25 year old tanker and 25 year old engine. By transferring these funds we will not have to increase the Fire Department E&H millage to pay for the new trucks. Taxpayers will be able to keep their fire service fleet up to date without paying extra tax dollars.
We will still have close to 3/4 of a million dollars saved in the Township’s designated “Rainy Day” Fund in case the Township should experience a catastrophe.

Additionally, the Township’s legacy costs are now well funded. Our Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) was 7.6 percent funded in 2012. As of 12/31/2017 we were 87.4 percent funded. The Township’s pension is also looking good at a funded ratio of 80 percent.
This year we added three new firefighters which allow us to keep fire station #3 manned 24/7. The Fire Department is now able to respond to calls in the north-east section of the Township sooner. The Fire Chief has assured us that the addition of three firefighters can be accomplished without increasing our Fire Department operating millage. Even though the Fire Department staffing went up by three it is only one employee more than the number of Fire Department Employees we had in 2008.
We also approved an increase to our police coverage in 2019 by adding one additional officer. This increase will put our staffing level to where it was prior to the cuts we made due to the 2008 recession. Both fire and police have experienced an increase in call volume over the past 10 years which warrants the additional staffing.
In 2018 Brandon Township saw 34 new housing starts which fell short of the 55 new housing starts we experienced in 2017. In looking forward, we have many building projects planned for 2019. Taco Bell plans to build their new store near the entrance to the high school on M-15 and their intent is to be open for business by the end of the year. The Country Oaks property at Sashabaw and Seymour Lake Road is slated to become a self-storage facility. The Road Commission is planning to pave Sashabaw Road between Sherwood and Granger with construction planned to begin in June. They will also be doing an overlay project in 2019 on Oakwood Road from M-15 to Leece. The long awaited baseball fields will be built at the Brandon Township Community Park this year. We will be combining two Land and Water Conservation Fund grant projects to construct parking for 200 vehicles, one basketball court, four sand volleyball courts and linking pathways in addition to the four baseball fields.
In 2019 the Township and the Parks and Recreation Department will also be completing 5-year revisions to their Master Plans. The future looks promising for Brandon Township. Our employees and officials are committed to providing the best governmental services possible for our residents and we are very appreciative of the support we have received from the community over the years.
Kathy Thurman
Brandon Township Supervisor