County temporarily stops park construction

Jul. 30, 2015  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Michigan News



Don Howard

Staff Writer


The sounds of blaring truck horns, engines of earth-moving machines and dirt haulers came to an abrupt halt last Wednesday in McClumpha Park in Plymouth Township when Wayne County issued a cease and desist stop-work order.

The order effectively returned peace and quiet to the bucolic park where township officials approved the clearing of 175,000 square feet of park land for the installation of a 209-spot, 4-acre concrete parking lot. The smell of diesel fuel and the noise of grinding road graders had permeated the area for nearly a week as contractors, subcontractors and gravel trucks traversed the hill where construction was underway.

Wayne County issued the stop work order, officials confirmed, because the township allowed construction to begin in the sub-watershed area without seeking or obtaining the proper permits. On Thursday, newly-appointed Director of Parks and Grants Mike Mitchell said he was unaware of any stop order.

“I’m really not involved,” Mitchell said while touring the site. “Ron (Township Treasurer Ron Edwards) is completing this project.”

The stop work order, dated July 21, 2015 reads, “You have been ordered to cease and desist all earth disturbing activity until such time a SESC (Soil Erosion Sedimentation Permit) is obtained.

Noel Mullet Jr., technical coordinator, public involvement also refused to provide any information.

“I have no involvement….I don’t know anything except it’s causing a lot of interest.” He then referred inquiries to Patrick Cullen, director of the Wayne County Land Resource Management Division, who also did not return phone calls seeing comment. Ali Aljawad from the county engineering field office in Wayne was less than courteous in his refusal to provide any information. “Please stop calling…if you want information get a Freedom of Information request,” he said before ending the call.

James Canning, Wayne County director of communications later said the reason for the stop order was that the work started before any permit was issued. He had no other information about the issue, he said. County records indicate that the township did subsequently apply for a permit following the issuance of the stop order and immediately resumed work at the site.

Ryan Bridges, Wayne County spokesperson told the Eagle, “They don’t need to get a permit (for storm water and detention) through Wayne County, they’ve got an MS-4 issued by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (M- DEQ).

In a conference call this week MDEQ Supervisor for Southeast Michigan Industrial and Storm Water Unit, Hae-Jin Yoon and Andrew Bahrou, Environmental Quality Analyst said there other requirements besides the soil erosion permits.

“There are post construction requirements,” Bahrou said.

Referring to the MS-4 permit, a self-governed compliance permit obtained by Plymouth Township and a multitude of municipalities, Yoon said, “We’re trying to determine what the township has done to meet their own requirements to comply as it relates to MS-4.”

“If you going to change the hydrology in the area, it’s going to be affected.” Bahrou added.

Yoon, whose area of responsibility covers Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties said they are still collecting information on the township parking lot construction site. Yoon said Mark Lewis, the township chief building official referred them to township engineer and Director of Public Services Patrick Felrath, who was unavailable.

“We’re going to re-connect with the township and continue our investigation,” Bahrou said, We appreciate the input from the residents and citizens-we can’t be everywhere all the time.”

Funding for project came from $1.9 million in bonds and another $550,000 in federal grants and private donations. The project is targeted at adding amenities to the 80-acre park and golf course include a nearly completed year-round pavilion/warming station and amphitheater.


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