Category Archives: Government

Camilleri introduces bills that fund construction of bridges over problematic railroad crossings

In Huron Township, blocked railroad crossings, like this one seen here at Sibley Road, are common occurrences. Crossings in Huron can sometimes be blocked for over an hour at a time, posing an obvious safety risk to the community. (Huron Hub file photo)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) said Thursday that he introduced legislation that would create a dedicated statewide fund to build bridges over the most problematic railroad crossings in Michigan.

According to a statement from Camilleri, House Bills 5129 and 5130 introduced this week would allow municipalities to receive as much as 80 percent of the funding necessary in matching state grants to complete high-priority grade separation projects.

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri speaking on the House floor.

Camilleri said the bills were inspired by a similar program in Indiana, and would set aside $50 million per year for five years to support critical grade separation projects.

The railroad crossings that would benefit from the legislation would be determined based on priority factors including average wait times, proximity to schools, hospitals, and assisted living centers.

“All across Michigan, train crossings not only cause headaches as trains block the road for hours, they pose a huge threat to public safety, blocking access to hospitals, nursing homes and emergency sites,” said Camilleri in a statement. “By creating this dedicated fund to build bridges over our most problematic crossings, we have the opportunity to solve one of Michigan’s most critical transportation challenges and improve public safety Downriver and across our state.”



Michigan judge issues preliminary injunction blocking ban on flavored e-cigarettes

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

A Michigan judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the recent ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Related: Michigan becomes first state to ban flavored nicotine vaping products

According to David Eggert, Michigan government/politics correspondent for the Associated Press, the judge said there is evidence that if flavored vaping products are banned in Michigan, adults will return to using more harmful combustible tobacco products.

The decision temporarily stops the state from enforcing emergency rules banning the sale of the products.

Gov. Whitmer responded to the injunction and promised to seek an immediate stay and request a final ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court, The Detroit News reported.


Board approves pay raises for full-time officials per Compensation Commission’s recommendation

Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

The Huron Township Board of Trustees approved pay raises for the supervisor, clerk, and treasurer, based on the recommendation from the Compensation Commission.

Each position will receive a 4.5% pay increase.

The board approved the raises during the Sept. 25 board meeting.

The three positions receiving the raises are full-time positions on the board.

All other officials and commissions will stay the same.

At the new rates, the supervisor will make an annual salary of $68,448, the clerk and treasurer will make $54,758, according to the commission.

According to the commission, the positions have not received pay increases since 2008.

The 2019 commission held meetings on May 1 and May 29 and was made up of Tim Bush, Todd Drysdale, Dan Dwyer, Bryan Polce, and Jack Richert.

Compensation commissions or committees are established to review the salaries, benefits and allowances of elected officials and are residents of the township.

The decision by the board to approve the increase was not unanimous. Treasurer Colleen Lazere was the only board member to vote against.

You can read the entire recommendation from the Compensation Commission by visiting this link.

You can also view online the entire Sept. 25 board meeting where the decision was made by visiting this link. 


Wayne County Commission approves mixed-use development at former Pinnacle Racecourse site

The abandoned Pinnacle Racecourse sits vacant in this 2014 photo by Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub.

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019

Development at the former Pinnacle Racecourse property at the north end of Huron Township looks to be a sure thing.

The Wayne County Commission approved a plan this week that will transform the property into a massive mixed-use development.

The buyers of the property are Hillwood Inc., a Texas based developer, and The Sterling Group Inc.

Hillwood has large-scale global development experience in the industrial and residential sectors and is part of Perot Investments founded by former presidential candidate Ross Perot. Sterling Group is a Detroit based equity firm.

The buyers say their plans are to develop 2 million square feet of buildings on 225 acres of the site, according to David Palmer of The Detroit Documenters Program, who live Tweeted the Wayne County Commission’s meeting on Tuesday.


The Pinnacle area property has sat vacant for a decade due to the closure of the racecourse and unpaid taxes.

Wayne County earlier this year sent out request for quotes to over 900 developers and received two bids, according to the Huron Township LDFA.

After one bid was thrown out due to the lack of financial means, township and county officials took serious the offer from Hillwood and Sterling groups.

In July, Wafa Dinaro, Wayne County deputy director of capital development, said that the offer included $4.8 million purchase price which included the 320 acres held by the LDFA2/Pinnacle AeroPark and 330 acres held by Wayne County. $4.8 million is owed in back taxes.

“The buyers have a plan right now for a mixed use development including commercial, office, hotel, restaurant and retail. The percentage of Industrial to Commercial business in this mix use is still in the works,” Dinaro said in July.

In this rough sketch, the developers from Hillwood show what the different phases of the project might look like. The sketch, referred to at the meeting as a “bubble chart” is made up of mostly large buildings but also includes a gas station, hotels, and some retail. (Screen shot: June 19 Huron Township board meeting video)

Wayne County Commissioner Al Haidous said during Tuesday’s meeting that the county needed to act fast to develop the site, and he thanked Hillwood for their interest in the region.

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown), who sent a letter urging the commission to approve the deal this summer, said:  “Huron Township is a growing community, and the agreement reached to develop a site that has sat vacant for so long is a win for our community. This project will be transformational for our region as we continue to attract new jobs and more families to Downriver. I look forward to working with Warren Evans and the Wayne County Economic Development team to make sure this project is carried out in a responsible way that benefits all residents.”

On July 29, the Huron Township Board of Trustees approved the development plan.

According to a resolution passed by the township board, protection is provided against industry that does not fit the Township Master Plan.

The resolution also retains Huron Township’s zoning process, which allows the board to put stipulations on the types of developments that Hillwood/Sterling can build on the property.

On June 19, representatives from Hillwood visited the Board of Trustees during an open meeting to discuss their plans.

During the lengthy meeting, the developers laid out a potential plan for the site and took feedback from residents who were in attendance.

Video: Pinnacle property discussed at July board meeting

To view The Huron Hub’s complete coverage of the Pinnacle property, including the defunct race track through the recently announced proposed development, please visit this archive on

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Camilleri, Cady hosting coffee hour at Tony’s Coney Island on Oct. 25


Jeremy Cady (left) being sworn in as clerk at Township Hall on April 11, 2018 by State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township). (Huron Hub file photo)

Posted by The Huron Hub Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and Huron Clerk Jeremy Cady will host a special Huron Township Coffee Hour at Tony’s Coney Island and Grill on Friday, Oct. 25 from 9-10 a.m.

The event will give residents a chance to hear updates on the state and local levels and provide an opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns.

Tony’s Coney Island is located at 19250 Huron River Drive, New Boston.

For more information, contact Camilleri’s office at (517) 373-0855 or by email at


Romulus urges state to host public hearing on deep injection well license transfer

Posted by The Huron Hub on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019

On Monday, Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff told City Council members that he and the city’s executive team met with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE). During the meeting with EGLE, the city of Romulus voiced multiple safety concerns and requested a public hearing prior to EGLE approving the transfer of the license for the deep injection well on Citrin Drive to Republic Services. In the hours since the meeting, the request for transfer was approved by EGLE. Though the license transfer is considered a minor modification to the permit and does not require public input, the city is continuing to urge ELGE to host a public hearing prior to the onset of operations of the facility. The city of Romulus was notified last week of Republic’s submission of the application.

“We believe the residents of Romulus have a right to be heard before operations begin under new ownership at the deep injection well on Citrin Drive,” Mayor LeRoy Burcroff said. “As a city, we must come together in urging that the state listen to our many concerns. We, the city administration and city council, as well as members of the public, must speak in one united voice.”

The facility has largely been inactive since the original license was granted in the early 2000s and transferred to Environmental Geo-Technologies in 2011. In the meeting with the state on Monday morning, and in corresponding interactions, the city asked the state to allow the public the opportunity to provide input.

Following today’s meeting, EGLE has given the city of Romulus two weeks to provide a list of concerns regarding the facility. In the meantime, the city has notified the Governor’s office of its desire for a public hearing on the issue.

Members of the public are invited to share their concerns and encourage the state to have a public information forum prior to allowing operations at the well by contacting Mark Snow, Environment Manager at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, And Energy by phone at 517-230-8233, by email at, and by direct mail at Constitution Hall, 525 West Allegan Street, PO Box 30256, Lansing, MI 48909-7756.

The well’s location:


State: retailers have 14 days to remove flavored nicotine vaping products from shelves


Posted Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Whitmer’s emergency rules banning flavored nicotine vaping products were released today. The flavored nicotine vaping ban was developed in response to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) finding of a public health emergency created by skyrocketing levels of youth vaping.

Related: Michigan becomes first state to ban flavored nicotine vaping products

Michigan was the first state in the nation to announce a ban on the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products such as e-cigarettes. Whitmer announced her intention to issue these emergency rules Sept. 4, and they are effective immediately, although retailers and resellers – including online sellers – have 14 days to comply.

“I’m proud that Michigan has been a national leader in protecting our kids from the harmful effects of vaping,” Whitmer said. “For too long, companies have gotten our kids hooked on nicotine by marketing candy-flavored vaping products as safe. That ends today. This bold action will protect our kids and our overall public health.”

Following Whitmer’s announcement of the flavored vaping product ban, the White House followed Michigan’s lead with a call for similar actions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to move forward with flavored nicotine vaping product bans and the New York plans have been approved.

The MDHHS Bureau of Health and Wellness filed the Protection of Youth from Nicotine Product Addiction Emergency Rules with the Secretary of State.

“Today’s filing is necessary to protect the public health,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS. “Youth vaping is a public health emergency and has been declared an epidemic by the U.S. surgeon general. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful to developing brains and has dangerous long-term health consequences such as heart disease and cancer.”

The rules are effective for 180 days and can be extended for six months. MDHHS has also filed a Request for Rulemaking, which will allow the department to promulgate permanent rules to keep Michiganders safe from the harmful effects of addiction to nicotine.

On June 4, Whitmer signed Senate Bills 106 and 155, which prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes and other non-traditional nicotine products to minors. In her signing message to the Legislature, the governor criticized the legislation for not going far enough to protect Michigan’s kids from nicotine addiction, calling the marketing, packaging, and taste of e-cigarettes a “bait-and-switch” engineered to “create new nicotine addicts.”

Nationwide, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students increased 900 percent from 2011-2015. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use spiked 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students. In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. kids, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, were regular users.

The rules and other information about Michigan’s flavored e-cigarette ban can be found at

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services