The Saline Township Board had a light agenda at its September meeting Tuesday night and concluded its business in thirty-five minutes, adjourning the meeting at 7:35 p.m. The meeting consisted mostly of updates from the board and standard monthly reports.
Township Engineering Consultant Dan Cabage, Senior Project Manager from Fleis & Vandenbrink, provided the board with an update on Andelina Farms, the planned 284-unit development located just west of the city limits between Michigan Avenue and Austin Road. Cabage reported Andelina Farms was still awaiting approval of their water permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. He said approval of the permit is expected “most any time.”
Cabage clarified the City of Saline’s objection to the wastewater discharge permit should have nothing to do with the water permit.
“They are two completely different departments,” Cabage said, “so one should have nothing to do with the other.”
Cabage said Andelina Farms did receive an outstanding permit from the Washtenaw County Road Commission, making the water permit the last permit needed before beginning site improvements.
Township Supervisor Jim Marion said City of Saline Mayor Brian Marl and Saline City Councillor Janet Dillon were expected to attend the board meeting but Mayor Marl had to cancel. Marl and Dillon requested to be on the township October meeting agenda.
“Mayor Marl and Councilwoman Dillon want to talk about a 425 agreement between the City (of Saline) and the (Saline) township,” Marion said. “The City already has a 425 agreement with Pittsfield and York Townships and they want to use similar language with Saline Township.”
Approval of Winter Tax Rates
Every year the township receives from the Washtenaw County Assessor’s Office the tax rates to be levied to township residents. The County requires that the township board approve the tax rates, to establish the township winter tax rates. The board approved the winter tax rates in a unanimous vote.
Approval of PA 116 Requests
Township residents Paul & Connie Marion and Marvin Marion requested the township board approve their request to have 36 and 10 acres respectively covered under the PA 116 provisions. Their requests were approved in a unanimous vote.
PA116 is the Michigan Farmland and Open Space Preservation Act, a law that works to preserve farmland by offering incentives to farmers who are willing to participate. A farm owner enters into an agreement with the State that ensures that the land will remain in agricultural use for a minimum of 10 years or max of 90 years. The agreement entitles the farmer to certain tax benefits and exemptions from special assessments on the land.
There are currently 3.3 million acres enrolled in the program.
Supervisor Jim Marion said that the Huntington Woods neighborhood is requesting a sidewalk that connects the Huntington Woods neighborhood to the sidewalks in the City of Saline. Marion said that neither the township or the City of Saline were notified by Pulti Homes, Huntington Woods developer, of the sidewalk issue prior to flags and other markings being staked out.
“One of the problems with this request is that the sidewalk has to cross over two private properties,” said Robert Marion. “And I wonder if the sidewalk would be considered an improvement to the property and increase their taxes?”
Marion continued, “and I am sure the property owner will be worried about exactly who will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the sidewalk.”
Trustee Tom Hammond reported that he attended a meeting with the Washtenaw County Road Commission where they discussed their millage which will be on the November ballot. The current millage expires in 2019 and the millage request going before voters will be for FY21, 22, 23 and 2024.
The October meeting is scheduled for Monday, 10-14-19 at 7 p.m.