Category Archives: Government

Hillwood Investment Properties visits Board of Trustees for informational meeting on Pinnacle site proposal

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted June 19, 2019

Hillwood Investment Properties, a Texas-based real estate developer, joined the Huron Township Board of Trustees Wednesday morning to discuss a proposal for the Pinnacle site.

During the meeting, which began at 10 a.m. and continued thorough the afternoon, and was still ongoing at the time this article was published,  the developer proposed a rough sketch of what a possible development at the Pinnacle area might look like.

In this “bubble chart,” which is basically a rough sketch, the developers from Hillwood show what the different phases of the project might look like. (Screen shot taken from Huron Township board meeting live stream)

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.

Residents and community members voiced concerns related to a possible trucking and transportation development during the meeting.

Most residents who spoke during the meeting opposed any sort of trucking development.

Traffic and road conditions were a common reason voiced by residents as to why many opposed a trucking development.

Some voiced that a development that benefits residents of the township would be more suitable for the location.

At the start of the meeting, Supervisor David Glaab gave the audience of well over 30 people a brief history of the Pinnacle area.

“The Pinnacle area has been delinquent in taxes for many years,” Glaab said.

Property taxes, according to Glaab, were not being paid by the original land owner, which led Wayne County to begin a RFQ (request for qualifications) process that would give outside developers a chance to purchase the land. 

Glaab said more than 1,000 entities were interested in the process, which was run by Wayne County.

The RFQ process reviewed applications for two things: do they have financial stability to actually follow through with plans, and did they have the means to develop the property per their plan.

Two applicants presented info to the county, one of them being Hillwood developers, Glaab said.

The other was a possible multi-use sports complex company who has yet to speak publicly on their proposal.

Whoever takes over the land will have to pay the back taxes in full.

The land will also have to be rezoned by the board for development to take place.

“If there isn’t a party that purchases the property during this process, the property will be offered at auction by the Wayne County treasurer,” Glaab said. “Anyone could purchase the property for the amount of the back taxes and do whatever with it.”

Glaab said that is not an ideal situation because the township would not know the intentions of an entity if they buy the land through auction.

Wednesday’s discussions were for informational purposes, and that no decisions were made during the meeting.

Hillwood, according to their website, is a full-service industrial real estate developer, investor and advisor focusing on institutional grade industrial properties.

The company originated in 1998 and was launched by Ross Perot, Jr., a 1992 presidential candidate, as a platform to develop and acquire industrial properties in locations other than its flagship property, AllianceTexas, in Fort Worth Texas.

The Huron Hub will continue to update this story 





Gov. Whitmer seeks presidential disaster declaration to help residents and businesses in Wayne County affected by flooding


Storms brought torrential rains to the Downriver area April 30 through May 3, causing dangerous flooding all over southeast Michigan. (Photo: Carleton West Road closed due to flooding from the rain event)

Posted by The Huron Hub on June 11, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requested Tuesday that President Donald Trump declare a major disaster for the state of Michigan as a result of the heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred in Wayne County from April 30–May 3. The request comes at the conclusion of an in-depth assessment of damage to the area.

“Damage to a home and loss of personal property due to flooding can have devastating emotional and financial impacts,” said Whitmer. “Helping the affected residents of Wayne County is our priority, so the state is exploring all its options to help and has asked the federal government for additional resources to assist recovery efforts.”

Photos: Flooding in the Huron area after torrential rain slams region

Whitmer has requested supplementary federal aid in the form of Individual Assistance to help eligible residents because of the severity and magnitude of the flooding.

If federal aid is granted, assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help people and businesses recover from the effects of flooding. This request does not include assistance for costs incurred by state and local governments due to damage to public facilities and infrastructures.

Based on information provided by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD), state leaders requested a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment with federal and local officials to review and validate the most severely damaged homes and businesses across Wayne County.

Related: Governor declares state of emergency in Wayne County due to flooding

The teams conducted their assessments from May 27–29. State officials reviewed the results and determined the extent of damage reached the level necessary to apply for federal aid.

Whitmer’s request will be reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will advise President Trump whether a disaster declaration should be granted. Ultimately, the President will determine whether to provide federal assistance.


Rep. Camilleri on legislation to protect LGBTQ communities from discrimination

Posted by The Huron Hub on Tuesday, June 4, 2019

LANSING — Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer partnered with legislators in the state House and Senate to unveil a plan to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act by adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. The bills introduced would protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and more. In response, state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) issued the following statement:

“Too many of our neighbors, family and friends are forced to suffer from discrimination solely for who they are and who they love. This legislation puts practical protections in place to ensure everyone in the LGBTQ community feels safe and welcome in our state. As an ally to the LGBTQ community, I will always work to uplift and defend the voices of our neighbors, and I stand in solidarity with my colleagues as we fight for justice and equal treatment for all.”

Source: Rep. Darrin Camilleri

Waltz Road Bridge reopens Monday morning

Cutting the ribbon to the reopened Waltz Road Bridge is Supervisor David Glaab, who was joined by Executive Warren C. Evans, Commissioner Al Haidous, Wayne County staff and community leaders during an opening ceremony Monday morning. (Photos courtesy of Wayne County)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted June 3, 2019 — 11 a.m. EST

The most anticipated day in recent history in Huron Township has arrived.

After being closed for over two years, the Waltz Road Bridge in downtown New Boston is reopen for traffic.

“While the bridge replacement project imposed significant challenges for local businesses and served as an impediment for local traffic, it is now time to reap the long-term benefits of this significant infrastructure investment in our community,” said Huron Township Supervisor David Glaab in a statement about the opening of the bridge.

A ribbon cutting was hosted by the township at the bridge Monday morning.

Wayne County closed the former 93-year-old bridge on June 1, 2017 after an inspection found the bridge bearings had deteriorated to the point that it was deemed unsafe to keep open.

In the statement, Glaab credited County Commissioner Al Haidous, County Executive Warren Evans and his DPS Director Beverly Watts working with the township to secure a timely replacement of the bridge.

Glaab, Evans and Haidous go for the first ride across the bridge. (Photos: Wayne County)

“The new bridge was carefully designed to include a pedestrian walkway as well as a bicycle lane that connects with the very popular Lower Huron Metropark hike/bike trails,” Glaab said.

At night, the bridge will be a bright spot in town.

“The architectural light fixtures will not only illuminate the roadway, but add a charming accent to the understructure as well,” Glaab said.

Toebe Construction, LLC of Wixom, was awarded the contract to reconstruct the Waltz Road Bridge in August 2018.

For more, check out the Huron Hub’s coverage of the bridge closure and construction project:

Camilleri: Bill will help students in obtaining federal aid for higher education

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri speaking on the House floor. Archival photo courtesy of Michigan House Democrats.

Published by The Huron Hub May 22, 2019 — 1:20 p.m. EST 

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) released the following statement Tuesday regarding House Bill 4614:

Legislation promotes public school students completing FAFSA form prior to graduation

LANSING — State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) introduced House Bill 4614 to encourage public school students to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form before they graduate. The legislation would require students without extenuating circumstances to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as a requirement to graduate to make accessing affordable post-high school education an option for students across the state.

“For thousands of young people across Michigan, the only factor holding them back from pursuing higher education is the rising cost of college,” Rep. Camilleri said. “While completing the FAFSA provides access to incredible financial support for post-high school education, too often students are not taking advantage of this opportunity. By including FAFSA completion as a prerequisite to graduation, we can open doors for students who would have never considered higher education due to financial constraints.”

Postsecondary students received more than $123 billion in scholarships and grants in 2014-15, with 37 percent of that funding coming from the federal government through FAFSA.


Michigan House approves auto insurance reform bill

By Scott Bolthouse
The Huron Hub
Posted May 9, 2019 – 11:00 a.m. EST
Updated 12:30 p.m.

The Michigan House voted early Thursday morning to approve an auto insurance reform bill that would no longer require drivers to buy unlimited medical benefits through their car insurer to cover crash injuries, which according to supporters of the bill, would reduce insurance premiums.

The vote was brought before the House and was passed at 2 a.m.

The bill, which passed 61-49 mostly along party-lines, would give motorists the option to waive mandatory unlimited personal injury protection, a requirement only in Michigan.

According to the Associated Press, insurers would have to cut PIP rates, for five years, by between 10% and 100%, depending on the coverage chosen. That could equal an estimated $120 and $1,200 in savings for someone paying $2,400 annually per car, assuming the PIP fee accounts for half their bill, according to Republicans’ projections.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement that she is against the reform bill.

Whitmer, according to WXYZ, said she “is only interested in signing a reform bill that is reasonable, fair and provides strong consumer protections and immediate financial relief. In their current form, neither bill passed by the legislature meets that standard.”

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) responded to the passed bill in a statement Thursday morning.

“Downriver families need real rate relief, but this proposal is nothing more than a giveaway to insurance companies. Republican leadership fast-tracked this bill without public input or bipartisan support, sacrificing quality coverage for our families with no guarantees of long-term rate reductions. Michiganders deserve a bipartisan solution that works for their families, not big insurance companies,” he said.

Michigan’s auto insurance industry is one of the least regulated in the U.S. with Michigan drivers paying nearly two-times more than drivers anywhere else in the nation, Camilleri said, citing a University of Michigan study.

Read more about the auto insurance reform bill in the Associated Press and in the Detroit Free Press.