By Rosemary K. Otzman
The long-vacant Wayne County Health Center at 19130 Sumpter Road has been sold by its present owner, Sumpter Township, to Joe Nasser for $125,000.
Nasser, who owns the gas station / pharmacy / market at the corner of Willis and Sumpter roads and the gas station at the corner of Sumpter and Hull roads, plans to renovate the building for a private medical clinic.
Sumpter Township bought the building and almost 11 acres from the county for $25,000 several years ago. Township officials offered the building as a satellite library site to the Belleville Area District Library board, but was told the building’s floor would not be strong enough to support books and the location wasn’t far enough into the township to be centralized.
At the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees regular meeting Jan. 8, the board voted unanimously to sell the building and 1.538 acres for a parking lot to Nasser.
The township retains 9.386 acres, which includes space for a drive from Sumpter Road to the rear of the property for possible future use.
Nasser had purchased the property for his gas station/pharmacy/market from Sumpter Township for $40,000 and worked closely with the township to build it the way Sumpter wanted. Township attorney Rob Young said Nasser will work closely with the township on his medical center, as well.
In a related discussion, Trustee Bill Hamm wanted to upgrade the use of Nasser’s LED sign at the corner of Willis and Sumpter roads, since Nasser had said half of the sign was for township use and half for his business use.
Currently two township employees are assigned the task of putting township information on the sign and Hamm said the sign has a lot more capability and he’d like to improve the usage.
He said he likes the way Belleville does its LED events sign at the corner of Main and High streets. He was told Downtown Development Authority Coordinator Carol Thompson does the city’s sign and so he said he would talk to her.
While Belleville has a direct hookup from city hall to the sign, in Sumpter the changes need to be made on a laptop computer and then the laptop has to be taken to the sign for uploading.
Hamm said he could check with Belleville High School to find a student who was good with computers or graphics to pay a minimum wage to change the sign on a regular basis.
Clerk Clarence Hoffman said Sam Cumberlund, who records township meetings for showing on cable television, could do the sign and Cumberlund said he would look at it. Cumberlund said he offered to put movies from local events on the sign and he was told it would be a traffic hazard.
“No one on this board would object to putting Sumpter up another notch,” said Supervisor Johnny Vawters. The board voted unanimously to support Hamm’s study of how to upgrade the sign’s use.
In other business at the Jan. 8 meeting the board:
• Approved, with regret, the retirement of Police Officer Philip Jablonski, effective Feb. 1. Trustee Peggy Morgan and Treasurer John Morgan praised Jablonski’s service. “He is a very effective officer and a good fit for Sumpter Township,” Treasurer Morgan said, making a motion that a plaque be presented to him to recognize his work. Lt. Eric Luke said Jablonski came to the Sumpter Police Department in 2005 after 30 years in the Sheriff’s Department. “He’s nothing but a professional officer,” Lt. Luke said, adding, “He has been a steadying influence for our young officers. He is a unique individual”;
• Approved hiring Scott Beckington as interim mechanical inspector and Bernard Zarb as interim plumbing inspector, with Hoffman voting no on the Zarb hire;
• Approved the supervisor’s reappointments of Jane Stalmack, Matthew Oddy, and Tyrone Borden to terms on the planning commission;
• Approved the 2013 SMART Specialized Services contract;
• Approved paying warrants of $1,633,705.29 and other warrants through January;
• Heard Hamm announce that the Building Department needs $4,000-$5,000 a month to pay for itself and last month it earned $9,000, so the department is doing better;
• Heard a presentation during the workshop session by Tonia Cramier and Ken Marx who offer free assistance to low-income people who need help with food, housing, jobs and other pressing needs. They have a veterans’ program, as well. The Community Resource Center District Office is located in Building C at 416 Sumpter Road in Belleville. To make an appointment, call 734-524-0038. They are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. They passed out a community needs survey, asking people to fill it out and send it to them;
• Heard Deputy Supervisor Craig Moody announce that volunteers served 180 dinners at the PNA Hall for the Christmas dinner and sent home 40 food baskets with those attending. Three days later he and Randy Lunch delivered another 30 baskets to needy residents;
• Also heard Moody report that he received a letter from Wayne County which turned down the township’s request for a left turn signal at the Bemis/Sumpter intersection to help with traffic to and from Keystone Academy;
• Was reminded by Trustee Don Swinson that the Parks and Recreation fundraising Mardi Gras party would be at the PNA Hall on Feb. 9; and
• Heard Mary Sherwood talk about the postcard she received in the mail from the State about possible elimination of her Homestead Property Tax Credit. She was told that would be part of her income tax filing, but she probably will not be cut off.
By Rosemary K. Otzman