By Rosemary K. Otzman
Sumpter Township Police Chief James Pierce will have a brand-new car to drive when he gets back to work from his second knee surgery.
At its July 8 meeting, the board of trustees approved purchase of a 2015 Ford Interceptor Utility Vehicle from Atchinson Ford at a cost of $28,601.
Trustee Don Swinson abstained because he is an employee of Atchinson Ford.
Police Captain Eric Luke explained that the chief’s current vehicle was purchased in the fall of 2002 and is a 2003 model. It has 125,000 miles on it and is 12 years old.
He said the chief needs an emergency vehicle since he responds to incidents.
He said the Interceptor Utility is actually an Explorer. The chief’s present car will be transferred to the ordinance department for use.
“It’s time to buy another vehicle,” he told those gathered at the meeting.
Captain Luke said Sumpter has been buying its cars from a Ford dealer in Brighton for the past 10 years. He said this year Craig Atchison said he would be able to match the price.
“This is the first police vehicle from a local dealership,” said Luke.
He said a regular police vehicle lasts three to three and a half years because it is 24 miles around the township.
Luke said Chief Pierce was quiet about the condition of his car and didn’t want to bring it up.
“I asked for it,” Luke said.
Luke said when the police department bought the 2011 Crown Vics, they talked the township into an extended warranty of $2,000 on each car that has really paid off over the years. He said a repair that would cost $5,000 to $10,000 is fixed and the township only pays $100.
In other business at the July 8 meeting, the board:
• Approved directing the planners to draw up language to amend Section 5.3 Accessory Buildings, Structures and Uses, in the zoning ordinance;
• Approved terminating firefighter Ed Dobbins for lack of participation;
• Accepted the resignation of fire fighter Bernard Rich, Jr., with regrets;
• Directed Trustees William Hamm and Alan Bates to look over the poster board that is to be sent over to the community center by the library board to make sure it just contains information and not promotion of the two proposals on the upcoming ballot;
• Heard Hamm report that the ad in the Independent for a plumbing inspector brought no applicants, so they will be putting it on MLive through the internet. Clerk Clarence Hoffman asked if the Van Buren Township person who applied for the job is still on the list and he was told she was. Hamm also said a trustee came into township hall recently complaining about the time it is taking to demolish buildings. Hamm said the projects are being held up by DTE which is taking one and a half to two months to shut off the power. “We can’t tear them down if the electrical is hooked up,” Hamm said. “We have to go through a series of procedures. We’ve procedures we must follow.” He said the department is doing very well;
• Heard Treasurer Morgan (who is filling in for Supervisor Johnny Vawters who has been out ill since last October) say that the township is not here to punish people and, “We don’t want to go like the Gestapo. We just want them to follow our ordinances.” Trustee Peggy Morgan added that back in the day there was dumping on every street in Sumpter, with washers and dryers and tires being strewn around. She said as a school bus driver she gets around and she sees that Van Buren Township is now getting things dumped on its roads. Trustee Morgan said it was Ordinance Officer Randy Lynch who cleaned up the township;
• Heard Captain Luke announce that the six new emergency sirens are now up and operational and the warnings should reach everyone in the township. There now are a total of 14 sirens and the township is being reimbursed for them through a grant;
• Heard Trustee Swinson report the Family Fun Day is set for noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, at Graham Park. It is free to Sumpter residents and is being put on by the Parks and Recreation Commission;
• Heard Chris Hamm say that people in the township should call the county for problems with roads, including reporting high weeds at corners that block sight for motorists. She said the number to call is 1-888-762-3273. She also encouraged people to make their opinions known on the library at the Aug. 5 election;
• Heard attorney Rob Young say that e has put some red marks on the library’s proposed leased agreement and he wants Trustees Hamm and Bates to look at the changes he proposes. He said the library’s attorney John Day called and said they wanted something by July 9 or 10. Young said he wants to see the result of the election in August. He said he was told they’ll come back with a different proposal if the current one doesn’t pass;
• Heard Timothy King ask them for support for a memorial for Willow Run war workers and the planes they built.
By Rosemary K. Otzman