By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
Oxford Township held its monthly Board of Trustees meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8. Topics discussed include appointing a new trustee, debating a special assessment district and determining grant fund distribution.
Honoring First Responders
The meeting began with a moment of silence after the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Lt. Kevin Snell speaking about the Oxford Fire Department and the general emergency response during the first public comment period. Snell’s comments were echoed by Chief Pete Scholz, who spoke during the regular fire department report item. Along with the emergency response, Scholz thanked the Legacy Center team and the many donors and groups providing support.
Board members expressed their support for first responders at the start and end of the meeting, thanking both fire and Oakland County Sheriff’s Office personnel — Deputy Eric Dougherty, present at the meeting, was thanked directly — for their quick response to the Nov. 30 shooting.
The board unanimously approved amendments to Zoning Ordinance 67A.026, changing various definitions throughout the zoning code based on recommendations by Carlisle/Wortman.
Drain Pipe Connection
The board declined to start the process of establishing a special assessment district to address a failing drain pipe affecting Davis, Park and Tan Lakes. Due to the difficulty of setting up a special assessment district, the board did not want to undertake the project without a petition with signatures from at least 51% of residents in the affected area asking the township for action.
The issue in question stems from a problematic culvert, which residents would like to have replaced. Supervisor Curtis explained that while the township has the power to engage the process of establishing special assessment districts to handle these issues, it typically does not do so without a petition.
CDBG Funding 2022
The board voted unanimously to use $31,281 of the 2022 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds on three projects. $21,897 will go to help with mobile home minor repairs, while about 30% of the funds will be split between the Rochester-based Older Persons’ Commission to support the Meals on Wheels program ($6,884) and the HAVEN emergency shelter’s domestic violence prevention programs and services ($2,500).
The decision to support the mobile home repairs differs from the proposal published in the packet, which allocated the $21,897 to the Oxford Public Library (OPL) to buy new Americans with Disabilities Act compliant front doors. OPL Director and CEO Brian Cloutier expressed dissatisfaction with the board’s interest in the home repairs allocation over the library’s doors, stating the library has constantly been rejected support throughout his 15 years with the organization while other township functions like the fire department and the parks department regularly received financial support.
Gypsy Moths Update
Trustee Rod Charles spoke about progress being done on handling future Gypsy Moth infestations in the township. Charles and Clerk Wright recently received surveys from the eastern side of the township, finding less infestations than there were last year and expecting about 50% as many infestations in 2022 as there were in 2021.
The board filled several appointments at the meeting with all motions approved unanimously.
Catherine Colvin was appointed by the board to serve as William Dunn’s replacement until at least Nov. 2022; Colvin was subsequently appointed unanimously to the Compensation and Performance Evaluation Committee alongside Township Supervisor Jack Curtis and Clerk Curtis Wright [More info on Colvin elsewhere.]
Thomas Berger and Ashley Ross were re-appointed to the Planning Commission, while Robert Turner was appointed for their first three-year term.
James Butler, Norris Mageli II and Todd Walters were re-appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals, while Sarah Racer and Sandy Birch were re-appointed as alternates to the board.
Patrica Mueller was appointed to the Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance Board of Directors.
Treasurer Joseph Ferrari was appointed as the township’s representative to Oakland County’s NoHaz program as part of the board reaffirming its participation in the NoHaz waste disposal program.
Township wages and salaries were set for 2022. The township supervisor will be paid $87,312; the clerk $78,301 and the treasurer $76,852. Other financial motions approved were the 2022 General Appropriations Act and amendments to the 2021 budget.
The board unanimously expressed interest in purchasing a patch of land along M-24 currently owned by MDOT. If the board approves the final purchase, a safety path will likely be built on the land.
The board approved the 2022 Board of Trustees meeting schedule.