Township recreation plan concerns 2 trustees

Lifetime Fitness facility

“We are spending more than we take in and that will only get worse.” Doroshewitz


Dec. 23, 2013  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.


Bob Doroshewitz
Bob Doroshewitz

Plymouth Township Trustee Bob Doroshewitz has expressed concern that the opinions of township residents may not be taken into consideration with regard to a new township recreation center proposed by Township Treasurer Ron Edwards.

Board members recently approved a $13 million spending plan and announced that $1.9 million in bonds were sold to help pay for recreation expenditures.

Edward’s plan calls for a township-operated recreation center and the use of $50,000 from the 2014 general-fund budget to conduct a survey of the residents regarding recreation needs. Edward’s proposed a 2-mill property tax increase to fund the recreation plans which would include multi-purpose fields, walking and bicycling trails, a dog park, skate-boarding areas, a gymnasium, swimming pool, and a fitness center patterned after Lifetime Fitness.

Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman is also supporting public recreation facilities within the township and some of the board members have been less than enthusiastic about the efforts of a volunteer community group, PARC, to develop a similar program on the site of Central Middle School, which is slated to be closed by the Plymouth Canton Community Schools Board of Education. Doroshewitz is a member of the PARC group.

“Lots of people say…we’d like to have a Summit in the township,” Conzelman said.

Doroshewitz said, when discussing the budget, that he wasn’t happy that “the single most important duty of the board was held until the last item on at the agenda at the last meeting of the year.”

Doroshewitz said that if the township is going to conduct a survey all of the park improvement projects, as Edwards proposes, the residents should be asked what they want. He said that any survey should be conducted at arm’s length from members of the township board to ensure absolute integrity in the survey results.

“The 2-mill tax proposed (is) for construction only and does not include an endowment to cover start up and first year’s operating expenses. Those would have to come from the general fund budget, a budget which is running a 2- year deficit. We are spending more than we take in and that will only get worse.” Doroshewitz said.

Doroshewitz said replicating Canton’s Summit is, “a very bad idea.”

“A recreation center funded by the township, instead of by an independent authority, means that the subsidization losses could be unlimited. For certain that would result in either higher taxes, cuts in services, or both.” Doroshewitz said.

Trustee Chuck Curmi agreed with Doroshewitz.

“We need to reallocate our priorities, Curmi said after the board meeting last week.

Curmi labeled the expenditures for the proposed recreation improvements as, “a done deal.” His biggest objection, he said, is the $650,000 warming/picnic pavilion for the township public park.

Curmi and Doroshewitz voted no on the budget, which included funds for employee pay raises and a minimal expenditure for the fire department and facilitated the hiring of a new public safety dispatcher. Supervisor Richard Reaume, Edwards, Conzelman and Trustees Mike Kelly and Kay Arnold supported Edwards’ budget.

|News Plymouth Michigan

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