Loud Trucks Have Grant Township Residents Concerned

October 21, 2019

By Pat Maurer

There was a lengthy discussion about some of the problems with heavy and loud trucks at the regular Grant Township meeting October 8th.

During public Comment, Steve Bonham, who lives on Rock Road next to an Amish sawmill, told the board about a noisy logging truck arriving at the neighboring business at 4 a.m. “It woke me and a neighbor as well,” he said.

He said, “What do we need to do as a taxpayer to police this? He also said trucks are using the extremely loud “Jake Brakes” when they don’t really need to.

Supervisor Dan Dysinger said, “Enforcement of the truck route restrictions are difficult. We are planning on installing additional signs. We have received some complaints and we will have to be more diligent.”

He said the township attorney told him, “The weight level restrictions are there to protect the township.”

Bonham questioned, “Why doesn’t the township get any funds from county fines when trucks ignore the township ordinance and regulations?”

He said those funds could help the township with the costs of enforcement.

Bruce Tiedeman said, “To me the answer is enforcement.”

Dysinger said, “We may have to add people.” We could enforce the needless use of Jake Brakes, but the people won’t support it.” He noted that there are seven sawmills in Grant Township, saying restricting them in residential areas would mean a land use ordinance. “That has failed before,” he said. “I’m not willing to try to do that again.”

On Wednesday in an email, Dysinger added, “The Township must establish a bureau of ordinance enforcement to capture any fines that are paid directly to the Township.  Through our Civil Infractions Ordinance 2016-1 the provisions are in place, however it requires additional policy and a procedure.  That is a two-step process, one not previously used.”

He continued, “Our current process deals directly with Court involvement, which costs the offender more, through court costs etc.  A process through the Bureau limits costs to the fine.  More strict enforcement due to commercial trucks ignoring the rule will be increased.”

He said, “There are some changes which will take place with the Truck Route Ordinance, that are limited to removing restrictions on certain roadways.  These include, Beaver Rd. from Old US10/M115 to Maple Rd./Harrison Ave. and Harrison Ave. from Beaver Rd. /Maple Rd. to Clarabella.  Those roads are part of the County primary road system.   Additions to the Ordinance will be more strict restrictions on oversize loads and overuse of engine (Jake) brakes.  The Township is installing weight levels on the restricted routes to comply with recent changes in State Law.  These all will be subject to legal review.”

Regarding hazards on the township roads, Treasurer Tammy Shea asked when a traffic study would be done on the intersection of Surry and South Clare Avenue (old US-27) where there have been accidents. Dysinger said he believes the study will be done in November, that that he would check on it.

In another matter, Dysinger reported on the recent meeting of the Little Tobacco Drain Board. He said, “After the first of the year, things will start to go faster [on the massive project].”

He added that there are 22 properties in the City of Clare that will be purchased and vacated because they are adjacent to the Little Tobacco Drain. Property owners will have to respond by February, he said.

The Drain board’s proposed schedule for the Little Tobacco Intercounty Drain shows (in part):
*November 3rd for the EGLE Permit application submission;
*January 1st for the final construction plans/specs and signing the final Order of Determination;
*January 11th for the Notice of Letting to be finalized;
*February 1st for the MDEQ permit to be issued and Easement acquisition to be complete;

  • March 18 – a pre bid meeting;
    *April 5th for a Bond Final Amount, with the bond Sale to be announced;
    *April 26th for the Notice to Proceed.
    The board also reviewed and adjusted the draft of a Rubbish Contract with American Waste which includes expanding the definition of residential property.
    They also approved bills to be paid totaling $74,390.33.

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