Category Archives: Government

Basketball court will be built at Lajko Park

Lajko Park is located north of Township Hall on Huron River Drive. (Photo/Google Maps)


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub |
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Published March 21, 2019 — 11:30 a.m. EST

 

A basketball court will be built soon at Lajko Park, which is on Huron River Drive just north of Township Hall.

The court will be built using funds from the Wayne County Parks millage, which the township receives funding from every year, according to Treasurer Colleen Lazere.

Lazere said during the March 13 board meeting that two years worth of funding was available from the millage and could be used for building the court.

The board approved a bid from Al’s Asphalt Paving Co. of Taylor to build the court for $35,830, which includes a 10% contingency.

The court will be built on a corner of the current parking lot at the park, and will only take up about ten spaces, according to the construction plans.

Lajko Park on a map


 

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Camilleri on passage of open records package by the House

 

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) speaks on the House floor on Tuesday, March 19 in support of his House Bill 4016. (Photo courtesy of House Democrats)


Article published March 20, 2019 — 9 a.m. EST 

LANSING — On Tuesday, House Bills 4007-4013 and 4015-4016 were passed unanimously by the House and now head to the Senate for consideration. The bipartisan package, which aims to increase accountability and address Michigan’s last-in-the-nation ranking for transparency in government, will open the governor’s office up to the Freedom of Information Act and subject the Legislature to a new Legislative Open Records Act. In response to its passage, state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township), sponsor of HB 4016, issued the following statement:

“We live in a world where so much knowledge is at our fingertips, yet the average person still can’t access basic information about how their state government operates or how their tax dollars are being spent. I was subject to open records laws while I was a teacher and when I served as a local Parks and Recreation Commissioner, but those same transparency measures aren’t in place for something as consequential as our state government. I look forward to this package moving quickly through the Senate and being signed into law so we can finally give Michiganders the tools they need to hold their government accountable.”

Source: House Democrats 


 

MDOT announces I-94 project in western Wayne County; public meeting on project to be held March 21

(Huron Hub construction file photo by Scott Bolthouse)


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub |
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Published March 15, 2019 — 12:00 p.m. EST

The Michigan Department of Transportation will host a public meeting March 21 on a planned I-94 road project that will affect motorists who commute through the Romulus and Taylor portions of the freeway.

According to MDOT, the $12 million project will perform bridge work on piers, railings, and decks (driving surface) along with some road resurfacing and joint and crack resealing on I-94 between I-275 and US-24 (Telegraph Road).

There will also be ramp repairs at Merriman Road and Middle Belt roads.

Work is expected to begin in late June and be completed by late fall.

There will be two lanes open in each direction during most of the construction, according to MDOT.

Here’s a map of the project area: https://bit.ly/2TMgvn9 

Airport access will be maintained during the project, although MDOT recommends that drivers use the airport’s south entrance on Eureka Road, east of I-275.

During the public meeting, there will be exhibits displaying project locations, types of work, and lane closures.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the design and construction team and learn details about the project.

The meeting will be held Thursday, March 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. inside the city council room at Romulus City Hall, 11111 Wayne Road.

This will be one of six different projects on I-94 in Wayne County this construction season.

MDOT says it will work to coordinate the various projects and closures as much as possible to minimize the inconvenience to drivers while also maintaining safe work zones to ensure that everyone goes home every night.


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Here is the agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting

Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub


Here is the agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting.

For more information about agenda items, visit the township’s civic portal by clicking here.  At that link, you can view an attachment file linked to each item.

Meetings are also broadcast live at this link: hurontownship.viebit.com/

The board meets Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Township Hall, 22950 Huron River Drive in New Boston.


 

Secretary of State Benson calls for greater transparency, restoring public trust in state government

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson


Press release published March 11, 2019 — 2:30 p.m. EST 

 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today shared her ideas on how to make Michigan a leader in transparency and accountability and restore public trust in state government last week.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, the state has the weakest transparency and ethics laws in the nation.

“It’s important for citizens to simply have all the information they need and deserve so they can hold all of their elected officials accountable,” Benson said.

Benson announced her ideas (see more here) on improving transparency while speaking at the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Nonprofit Legislative Day in Lansing. She then provided testimony including those proposals to the House Committee on Elections and Ethics.

Benson wants to work with members of the Legislature toward full disclosure of all money in politics through stronger reporting requirements and by closing loopholes and exceptions. Among her other ideas, she is interested in expanding the Freedom of Information Act so it applies to the governor and Legislature, requiring personal financial disclosures from elected officials and instituting a two-year “cooling off” period between leaving office as a legislator and working as a lobbyist. Benson plans to have conversations with residents at town hall meetings across the state to hear their feedback on transparency and other issues.

To lead by example, Benson will announce a series of actions that she and the Michigan Department of State will take to implement improvements in the areas of disclosure, ethics and transparency. She plans to announce the new transparency items during Sunshine Week, the national call to action for freedom of information and open government that begins March 10. Sunshine Week is an annual, nonpartisan effort launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors.


 

Gov. Whitmer’s 2020 budget focuses on roads, education, and clean water

Governor Gretchen Whitmer


Published March 5, 2019 — 1:15 p.m. 

Editor’s note: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released information on her 2020 budget recommendation Tuesday during a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

The first budget recommendation from Gov. Whitmer targets the roads, cleaning up drinking water, and making sure Michiganders have a path to a high wage career, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Here is the remainder of the statement from the State of Michigan Budget Office: 

“I’ve heard from people all across Michigan and this budget reflects the priorities they have shared,” Gov. Whitmer said. “People are tired of driving on crumbling and unsafe roads and bridges, they want to turn on their tap and know that the water is clean and safe, and they want a strong educational system that leads to opportunity and a good job.”

The budget recommendation totals $60.2 billion, up 3.6 percent from the current fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes a General Fund total of $10.7 billion and a School Aid Fund total of $15.4 billion. Excluding increased funding for transportation needs, the total recommended budget is up just 2.5 percent.

“The fact that our General Fund remains at the exact same level it was 20 years ago says a lot about why we are facing some of the challenges we are today,” said Kolb. “Everyone agrees that more revenue is needed to fix our roads and I am looking forward to working with the Legislature to make that happen.”

Michigan ranks near the bottom in the nation when it comes to the amount spent on highways per capita and the 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers report gave Michigan a D- on the condition of its roads. Past attempts to improve the state’s infrastructure have been unsuccessful. In 2015, a package was passed by the Legislature that only slowed the decline of road conditions and did not provide enough funding to fix the roads.

Gov. Whitmer’s budget proposal provides the necessary funding to fix the roads through three 15-cent motor fuel tax increases from October 1, 2019 through October 1, 2020, with tax relief provided to lower income, working families. The plan generates $2.5 billion in new annual revenue, which will be deposited into a new Fixing Michigan Roads Fund and allocated to our most highly travelled and commercially important roads, at both the state and local levels.

“We have the worst roads in the country, and I am proposing a plan that will permanently fix our roads while keeping the costs fair for seniors and low-income families,” added Gov. Whitmer. “I know this won’t be easy, but with one historic vote we can make the investments that are necessary to finally start fixing the damn roads.”

This budget recommendation is similarly focused on education and championing students through strategic investments at every stage of their education. The Governor proposes $15.4 billion for the state’s K-12 schools, with $507 million in additional investments for a weighted foundation allowance which translates to the biggest increase for school operations in a generation of students. This includes an increased foundation allowance of $235 million, which will provide additional resources of between $120 and $180 per pupil to fund basic classroom and operational expenses. The increase will also continue to close the equity gap between schools at the minimum and maximum foundation allowances, bringing the gap down to $478 per student.

Michigan serves a diverse population of students, with some children needing additional assistance or resources to help them thrive. These students may require special education services, need additional services and supports due to specific at-risk factors such as being economically disadvantaged, or need career and technical education (CTE) to make sure they are ready for the workforce. Based on the recommendations of a recent report from the Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative (SFRC), this budget includes a weighted funding system that will recognize the higher costs of educating students in these categories. Additional funding of $120 million is included for special education students, $102 million for at-risk students, and $50 million for CTE students.

The budget recommendation also provides for an expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program in the amount of $85 million, making preschool programs available to more students across the state and improving the programs in place today. The budget plan also jumpstarts early literacy initiatives with an investment of $24.5 million to triple the number of state-funded literacy coaches in schools.

While this budget recommendation provides extra resources for students at the beginning of their education, it also encourages post-secondary success. Michigan colleges and universities would receive a 3 percent increase in funding under the budget recommendation to support learning and keep tuition increases down, with tuition restraint set at 3.2 percent. In addition, $50 million is proposed in the current fiscal year and another $50 million next fiscal year for the creation of the Michigan Reconnect Program to provide opportunities for those seeking training or certification in specialized careers, offering eligible participants tuition-free training toward their certification or credentials.

Because cyber schools don’t require the same resources and funding level as a traditional school, the budget also calls for reducing the foundation allowance for cyber schools by 20 percent.

The executive budget also addresses the immediate need for improved water and environmental infrastructure in order to keep our residents healthy and our state safe from threats of contaminants. From funding for lead poisoning prevention, to programs helping to identify oil pipeline locations and provide clean, filtered water to children at our schools, the budget puts protecting our health and safety first.

For more information on the Whiter budget, visit michigan.gov/mibudget

Source: State of Michigan — State Budget Office


 

Township seeking photo submissions for new website

Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub | ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
Published Feb. 18, 2019 — 9 a.m.

Attention local photographers and residents.

The township’s website will undergo a redesign soon, and officials at Township Hall are looking for photos that can be used once it’s finished.

The Huron Township Board of Trustees approved funding during their Feb. 13 meeting to redesign the website.

The custom-designed website will feature search engine optimization, social media integration and annual maintenance.

Email your photos to the clerk’s office at jcady@hurontownship-mi.gov.

Those who submit photos will receive proper credit on the website if they are used.