Salem project concerns Plymouth officials
Feb. 22, 2018 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Plymouth Township officials are concerned about the impact of a $10 million Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) grant awarded western neighbor Salem Township, which is about to explode with new development.
Plymouth officials are questioning the possible impact on the infrastructure, schools and public safety and the basis for the state funding of “urban sprawl.”
Last week Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise cautioned members of the Board of Trustees that they need to conduct due diligence now that plans for expansion in Salem are coming to fruition.
Livonia builder, Schostak Brothers, is set to begin construction of Salem Springs South, a retail and residential development in a 200-acre triangle of mostly vacant land bordered by M-14, Gotfredson, North Territorial and Napier roads on the northeast edge of Washtenaw County. The Schostak 588-unit high-density development will include townhouses, detached condominiums and single-family homes. To the south of M-14 will be Salem Springs North, a mixed use development that will include retail, residential and possible big box stores. Part of the plan, according the Heise, is for the development of a so- called mini-downtown, similar to Cherry Hill Village in Canton Township.
The grant is part of an earmarked project approved by the state Legislature under HB 4323 fostered in part by Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia, according to Heise, who said the bill was approved last July, 19. The funds were awarded to MEDC by the Legislature. “We must continue to monitor this-our concern is the impact on our sewer and water,” Heise said.
According to Salem Supervisor Gary Whittaker, Schostak approached former Plymouth Township Supervisor Richard Reaume a few years ago, to cut a deal for water and sewer usage. Whittaker said he also met with Plymouth Township Supervisor Shannon Price and Director of Public Services Patrick Felrath and talked with Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix to discuss the proposed water- sewer plans long ago.
It is not known whether Schostak will seek water directly from the Great Lakes Water Authority. According to the latest minutes of the Salem Board of Trustees meeting, plans include the developer constructing a water tower and running a sewer line to the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA) sewer.
Plymouth Township Trustee Chuck Curmi and other board members spoke out after the meeting expressing their concerns, saying they felt the grant was indicative of the state funding urban sprawl.
“This is good example of why the MEDC should be eliminated-they just select winners and losers and use taxpayers’ money to subsidize the winners,” Curmi said.
Plymouth Township Trustee Bob Doroshwitz expressed his dismay at the Schostak grant. He questioned the impact on the school district and the additional housing being introduced directly to the township market.
“There are many uncertainties, like the potential impact to our water system capacity, and what happens to our police and fire departments and Powell Road traffic,” Doroshewitz said.
“It’s disappointing the public money is being used to subsidize this project.”
Plymouth Township Trustee Jack Dempsey expressed his disappointment in the actions of the Legislature to his fellow board members.
“I look forward to the state giving us $10 million toward our OPEG (Other Post Employment Benefits) liability. Apparently there’s money to hand out,” he said.