Residents voice anger over Grant truck, noise restrictions

July 13, 2017

By Pat Maurer

About 40 people attended Tuesday’s Grant Township meeting, most to air numerous complaints at length about the truck restriction ordinances.

“It was a very unpleasant and very long meeting,” Supervisor Dan Dysinger said Wednesday, “Many of the people there had never, to the boards knowledge, been to a township meeting before.”

He said, although a few supported the ordinances, many at the meeting were angry about the ordinances and their enforcement.

For the past three years there had been discussion at the township meetings about protecting Grant Township’s paved roads from damage by heavy trucks and steel wheels, and after unsuccessful attempts to involve the County Road Commission, the township determined that they would have to do something themselves.

Ordinances were approved and signs prohibiting travel by vehicles that could cause extensive damage have been installed to enforce the new ordinances against them.

Last September, after a public hearing on the matter, the Township board approved unanimously the three new ordinances aimed at saving their roads.

The ordinances were enacted 30 days after their publication but enforcement didn’t begin until late February, when with the installation of signs posted before intersections with the roads banning commercial trucks weighing 12,000 pounds or more, the heavy trucks became prohibited on certain roads in Grant Township.

So far three citations for civil infractions of the ordinances have been issued, Dysinger said. He said there had also been many warnings to drivers of trucks and vehicles with steel wheels, who have continued to use the prohibited roads despite the ban.

Evidently the citations issued recently caused the uproar Tuesday at the township meeting.

The roads that are prohibited to use by heavy trucks and vehicles with steel wheels include:
*Grant Road from Ann Arbor Trail to Dover Road;
*Eberhart Avenue from Colonville Road to Clarabella;
*Grant Avenue from M-115 to Clarabella;
*Maple Road/Beaver road from Harrison Avenue to M-115;
*Harrison Avenue from Maple Road to Washington Road;
*Washington Road from Harrison Avenue to M-115;
*Harrison Avenue from Kapplinger to M-115;
*Harrison Avenue from Surrey Road to Pike Road;
*Dover Road from South Clare Avenue to Eberhart Road;
*Surrey Road from South Clare Avenue to Cornwell Avenue;
*Elm Road from Grant Road to Bass Lake Avenue;
*Rock Road from Grant Road to Bass Lake Avenue;
*Washington Road from Eberhart to Cornwell Avenue;
*Beaverton Road/Kapplinger Road from Pebble Creek to Grant Road.

About 15 to 20 people spoke during the meeting’s first public comment period, the majority is “absolute disagreement” with the ordinances and their enforcement.

Representatives from Bouchey Excavation, Harsh Excavation, Hanner Excavation and Shed Haulers were among those who voiced their disapproval to the board.
Dysinger said there were even some Amish residents there, also complaining about the enforcement. Some believed they were exempt.

Several insisted that they didn’t know anything about the ordinance or that they didn’t understand it.

The meeting became extremely heated with people speaking at the same time, until Dysinger threatened to have people removed from the meeting.

Dysinger said he didn’t understand how the residents and especially the businesses wouldn’t know about the ordinance. “We sent letters and copies of the ordinances to between 30 and 35 excavating businesses both inside and outside of the township when the ordinances became effective,” he said. “The matter has been explained in the newspaper multiple times.”

He said ordinance limiting use of some roads by heavy trucks with a township ordinance was first discussed in May, 2016. “We held public hearings, and talked about it at nearly every meeting,” he said, “and we notified businesses and residents by letter.”

Although the board listened to the residents and business complaints, no action was taken on the matter.

During the same public comment period, some also complained and said they were completely opposed to the board about the proposed Anti-Noise Nuisance Ordinance that had been discussed at length recently. That matter was under “old business” and the board voted 5-0 afterwards to end any further consideration. “It is now a dead issue,” Dysinger said.

Following a complaint at the June meeting from resident Mark Grubba la asking for help with a neighbor who he said repeatedly plays music at full volume, revs engines loudly at all hours and generally is discourteous to others in the neighborhood, the Grant Township Board had agreed to look at a nuisance ordinance.
Dysinger said at that meeting that the board has run into the same type of problem with a sawmill on Kapplinger Road, and there was nothing they could do about it. He said the problem seemed to be gone now. “I can draft an ordinance, but I’m not going to do that unless the people and this board agree.”
The board had agreed to look at an ordinance regulating noise at the June meeting.

Other business at Tuesday’s meeting included:

*A report that all HMA (blacktop) work in the township is complete. New 1.5 overlays were complete on Surrey Road from Old 27 east to Cornwell. Good estimates on the Pebble Creek project and good pricing on asphalt allowed the township to pave a second mile of Surrey. Pre-milling and preparation work on Pebble Creek Drive is scheduled for July 14 and paving scheduled for July 24. Paving is complete on Colonville Road between Old 27 and Grant. Chip and Seal applications are still scheduled for mid-August.

*An update on the Audit of Minimum Assessing Requirements (AMAR) noting that the Township and a representative from the State Tax Commission will meet July 18 to review corrective action by the township for the assessing program. The Board of Review will meet on the 18th to make corrections. “It is not an appeals meeting,” Dysinger said.

*A response to questions last month about dust control application rates and coverage revealed that billed amounts are correct. At each application for dust control the Township pays for 75,000 gallons.  The June application cost was $12,400 from Michigan Chloride Sales of St. Louis.

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