Holding their monthly meeting on Dec. 11, the Oxford Township board voted, 7-0, in favor of allocating $50,000 of their total 2019 fund balance for the survey and design work of a potential safety path along Oxford and Ray Roads.
The motion was proposed by Treasurer Joe Ferrari, who is also the chairman of Oxford’s Safety Path Committee. Originally added to the township’s list of priorities in 2010, a safety path in this area would connect Meijer and the surrounding businesses to Oxford High School and the Polly Ann Trail.
According to a statement from the township, “Currently, due to the lack of safety paths in this area, there is no safe way for pediestians to travel along Ray Rd, which is heavily used by motorists . . . (as well as) the large gravel trucks entering and exiting the American Aggregates mining operation.”
According to Township Engineer Jim Sharpe’s estimation, the complete construction of this proposed 5,500-foot paved path would cost approximately $660,000.
To help reach the funding, the township is pursing a $100,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation and another $50,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds.
While born in Columbus, Ohio, Wilson grew up in Detroit and owned the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills until his death at the age of 95 in 2014. His estate sold the team six months after his passing to the Pegula family and used the proceeds from the sale to establish the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, which benefits businesses and charitable causes in the Buffalo and Detroit areas.
Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne has recommended to the Board of Education the district contribute $10,000 to the project. Other grants and opportunities are being pursued, as well.
The approved $50,000 for survey and design work will allow the site to be ready for construction should adequate funding be secured.
According to the statment, “One of the township’s goals is to someday have a complete system of paved safety paths that allows pedestrians to easily travel from their homes to businesses, schools, parks, churches and government offices.”
Pedestrian bridge on Drahner to be repaired
A wooden bridge on a safety path alongside W. Drahner Rd. near Pontiac Rd. will undergo some long-awaited repairs.
The bridge, built in 2009, had unknown problems from the beginning. “Incorrect nails were used, and the wood was left untreated,” Trustee Jack Curtis explained. “These materials were deemed non-sufficient and the bridge would not be safe for use in the summer of 2020.”
Total repairs will cost $175,000 and will be handled by Faith & Sons Decks. Based in Lapeer, Jack Faith and his business have handled numerous repairs in the community of Oxford before.
“Jack knows what he does,” Parks and Recreation Director Ron Davis said. “He does the job right.”
Repairs will begin in as soon as two months. “Work has to be done in February, March and April in order to gain access,” Curtis said.