By Rosemary K. Otzman
Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara attended the Oct. 8 meeting of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees to give a report to his constituents.
Sumpter officials are big supporters of McNamara, D-Van Buren Township, and Supervisor Johnny Vawters reminded him that Sumpter was the first board to support him when he first ran for office.
And, the feeling is mutual.
Commissioner McNamara reported that he just approved increasing the Community Development Block Grant allocation for Sumpter from $50,000 to $76,000.
And, he pointed out, Sumpter has had seven straight county park grants, with the eighth grant coming up, one for every year he’s been on the commission.
He said the eight years of consecutive park grants is the longest run of consecutive grants in Wayne County, second only to the City of Detroit.
McNamara said on June 6 the county approved six new emergency sirens for Sumpter Township. He was told they aren’t up yet, but it’s in the works.
McNamara also reported he has found some Rural money for Wayne County and, “You’re the only rural area.”
McNamara said he’s been asked by other commissioners why he wants to do so much for Sumpter Township.
He said he tells them if he gave $50,000 to Canton Township, they would hire an architect, an engineer a construction management company and by the time they were done they would put up $10,000 worth of construction.
He said if he gave $50,000 to Sumpter Township, they would throw a barn-raising party and do the work with volunteers.
“I get more bang for my buck in Sumpter,” McNamara said.
He also said he is the new head of public service for the county and so he is beefing up the ditching program and bought new equipment.
He said a lot more ditches will be cleaned by the county. He said in the spring he refers to Sumpter as “Atlantis” because of all the flooding.
He said people want roads passable, the parks nice, water to go away, and when they flush it works.
He said the public has to fill out forms to get drains cleaned, however. They have to sign a piece of paper to get drain work started. He referred to the drain projects in planning stages in the township.
McNamara said one-third of the new jobs in the state and one-third of the new businesses in the state are in Wayne County, and mostly in Western Wayne. He said this development is coming Sumpter’s way.
At the end of McNamara’s presentation, Trustee William Hamm said he saw a county grader knock off a guard rail on a bridge on Judd and Karr. McNamara said that was the first he’d heard of it and he would take care of it.
At the beginning of his remarks, McNamara said those at the meeting already know the bad things about Wayne County that have been in the news. He said he wanted to concentrate on the good things.
In other business at the Oct. 8 meeting, the board:
• Rescinded action taken at the Sept. 24 meeting that approved a bid for emergency snow removal because CDBG requires at least two bids and there was only one;
• Approved a motion to go out for bids for emergency snow removal, hoping to get at least two bids;
• Approved selling the black GMC water van for $100;
• Approved the annual Haunted Fire Station on Oct. 31, with trick-or-treat candy inspections by the police starting at 5 p.m.;
• Approved purchasing two Dell desk computers and two Dell laptop computers for the Fire Department from Wise Technologies for a total of $2,336.70;
• Approved hiring Michael Scott Marecle and Eric Long as paid-on-call fire fighters;
• Approved selling the 1988 Ford L8000 fire truck at auction;
• Accepted the bid from Marken to re-roof the post office, gymnasium, and police station for a total of $25,000 to be paid from the general fund. Marken also got the bid for re-roofing the senior center and that work is complete, paid for with CDBG funds;
• Approved the signing of the CDBG block grant contract from July 2013 through June 2018;
• Approved going out for property management services for CDBG. The township has someone who does it now, but CDBG rules call for going out for bids; and
• Heard Mary Ban warn residents to turn off all their electrical equipment when the Smart meters are being installed or risk equipment being damaged, since that’s what happened to a friend of hers. She also spoke about the library board’s decision for a new library site. Since the Sumpter satellite library is planned to be in the community center where the Head Start classes used to be, Ban said she told the library board that Head Start paid $17,000 a year for the space and asked what the library would pay. Ban said she was told that would be negotiated.
By Rosemary K. Otzman