The Saline Township Board met Wednesday evening in their first meeting of 2020 and took sixty minutes to take care of township business. Most of the board’s time was spent discussing three agenda items: Andelina Farms, the 425 Agreement with the City of Saline and the Special Assessment District for Oak Park Estates.
Township Supervisor Jim Marion reported that he knew the city and Saline Ventures, the developer for the proposed Andelina Farms development, were talking, but he said he did not know of any details of those discussions.
“The city and Andelina Farms are definitely talking,” Marion said, “and it looks like they want to work things out.”
Fred Lucas, consulting attorney for Saline Township, reported that he has yet to hear from the attorney for the City of Saline or Andelina Farms. Lucas would represent the township in talks involving the annexation of Andelina Farms into the city.
In a conversation with Saline Post publisher Tran Longmoore on Wednesday afternoon, Saline Mayor Brian Marl indicated that Andelina Farms has agreed to provide up to $5,000,000 to fund the development’s connection to city water and sewer services. Marl said that the total projected cost to extend public services to Andelina Farms was approximately $5.25 million. The homes/condos that are included on the site plan approved by Saline Township will not have a tap-in cost for water/sewer services. Any sites added to the development that are not included on the approved site plan will be subject to tap-in fees. Marl indicated the city is working to meet a deadline to reach an agreement on a plan.
425 Agreement Between City of Saline & Saline Township
At the township’s December meeting Saline Mayor Brian Marl addressed the board with a request for a city/township work group to develop language for a 425 Agreement, similar to the agreement the city has with Pittsfield Township, that will make for a smoother annexation process for all future township developments that are located within the township’s designated high density district.
Supervisor Marion reported that no discussion has occurred on the development of a 425 Agreement between Saline Township and the City of Saline. The Public Act 425 of 1984, known as the Intergovernmental Conditional Transfer of Property by Contract Act, allows for the transfer of properties between units of government upon the agreement of both governmental units. In the township’s master plan, there is an area that has been designated for high density development, including the area where Andelina Farms is located.
Supervisor Marion led a discussion to determine interest amongst the board members to participate in the work group representing the township. Marion said the board will continue the discussion about who will represent the township at its February meeting. Marion said that Township attorney Fred Lucas would be a part of the work group.
Oak Park Estates Special Assessment District
Chris Chapin, a resident of Oak Park Estates, which is located in Saline Township off Macon an Jordan roads, provided the township board with an update from the neighborhood. The residents of the neighborhood, led by Chapin, have been working with the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) to have Oak Park Estates designated as a special assessment district (SAD) to fund repairs to the roads within Oak Park Estates.
The Oak Park Estates neighborhood was developed in three phases. Phase One is 42 years old. Phase Two is 32 while Phase Three was developed 16 years ago. The Oak Park Estate roads in Phases 1 & 2 are designated as local roads, while the road in Phase 3 is considered a private road. The roads within Oak Park Estates have deteriorated to the point where replacement is the only option. The WCRC does not have enough funding to include the Oak Park Estates roads in their annual budget for road repairs.
The creation of a SAD is an option available for residents to have a special tax levied on their properties, with 100 percent of the revenue raised used to cover the costs associated with the replacement of the roads.
The residents of Oak Park Estates will need to gather signatures of at least 51 percent of the property owners within Oak Park Estates on a petition authorizing the township to assess a special assessment to fund the road repairs. Chapin indicated it was the neighborhood’s goal to turn in the signed petitions to Township Clerk Kelli Marion by February 1, 2020.
Federal 2020 Poverty Guidelines
Township treasurer Renee Luckhardt made a motion to have the township adopt the Federal 2020 Poverty Guidelines. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
The township adjourned their meeting at 8 p.m. The next township meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 2-12-20 at 7 p.m. The Saline Township Planning Commission will meet on Tuesday, 2-4-20 at 7 p.m.