Long-time Ortonville planning commission member retires

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Ortonville — After 17 years, Rick McAvinchey is retiring from the Ortonville Planning Commission.
“I applied for the planning commission in November of 2007, and was approved by the village council at that time,” he said. “My primary interest was in natural resource regulation and treatment of natural resources. We’ve made some improvements in protection of natural resources over time. Of course, being on the planning commission, I couldn’t just pay attention to that, I had to learn about other things.”
In that time, McAvinchey has given input on trees, plants, water, water ways, and wetlands, and ensured that all ordinances were protecting the natural resources in the area.
“He was a major influence on that, keeping us on track,” said planning commission chairman Bob McArthur. “Sometimes those things can get overlooked, and he was good about checking each one of those things to ensure the ordinances would save that. Every time you lose somebody that has that much experience, you lose something, that’s for sure. Rick will be missed, but the good thing is that he lives close.”
In recent years, McAvinchey has also been a member of the Friends of Ortonville Trails, which has been working to get walkable, natural trails in the Ortonville Wildlife Preservation Park.
“I’m definitely staying involved with the Friends of Ortonville Trails and will be working with Ryan (Madis) for the foreseeable future until we get the trails up and running,” said McAvinchey. “I did have the fortune of working with some really great people on the planning commission all these years and I hope we can keep moving forward with all of our parks and other aspects of our community. We do have a good community and a place to live.”
McAvinchey said that while he wants to continue being involved in the community, he didn’t join the planning commission to be on the board for life, and he has gotten busy with work.
“I would give him a glowing review for all of his contributions,” said village manager Ryan Madis. “He has been instrumental in multiple master plans, and everything in the village for the last 17 years. His expertise has been a boon for the village to lean on.”
Anyone interested in joining the planning commission can email villagemanager@ortonvillevillage.com or call 248-627-4976.

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