2008-03-27 / News

Recreation Plan Adopted, Wastewater Discharge Site Sought in Clark Township

By Amy Polk

Clark Township adopted a new five year plan to guide recreational development Thursday, March 20, following a public hearing and some minor changes. Recreation Plan Advisory Committee members Linda Sherlund, Michelle Walk, and Mike Miller said the plan received much community participation through surveys, including student polling by the Les Cheneaux Youth Advisory Committee.

"We pretty much scrapped the old plan and started fresh," Ms. Walk said.

Trustees appointed six workers for the May 6 election, chairperson Julie Smith and Lois Tassier, Lori Jacobus, Lori Thompson, Jean Sommers, and Kathryn Hills.

Special events applications for Music and Art Dockside in Hessel, Sunday, July 20, and Art in the Park Saturday, August 30, were approved.

Supervisor Linda Hudson will seek $13,900 to fund an engineering study for an alternative to discharging treated wastewater into Cedarville Bay. The township did not budget for the engineering study this year and Treasurer Katie Carpenter said the township does not have the money. Trustee Mike Lofdahl agreed with her concerns, but said he sees no problem with Mrs. Hudson seeking grants or other funding assistance for the study.

Nutrients from current treated discharge is thought partially responsible for weed growth in Cedarville Bay. Ideas for alternative discharge points include pumping the water into a marshland, or piping it out beyond the islands into Lake Huron, where currents will better circulate nutrients.

North Huron Scenic Pathway Meeting Announced

Clark Township hosted a North Huron Scenic Pathway meeting Tuesday, March 25, at 1:30 p.m. at the township hall, where pathway engineer Rowe Incorporated of Mount Pleasant was expected to project costs and money-saving options.

The plan to build a 10-footwide path from St. Ignace to Drummond Island could cost as much as $40 million to $60 million, an average of $600,000 per mile, according to Ms. Walk. Sections with boardwalks and bridges will cost more.

Money can be saved if volunteers do some of the work and materials are donated. Sections not using federal or state funding would not have to meet higher and more costly standards.

Township Invited To Participate in Ports of Mackinac

Clark Township received a letter updating the board on the Ports of Mackinac project. The township and other Mackinac County waterfront towns have been invited by the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce to participate in a Web site to promote Mackinac County ports and will focus on the strengths of the Straits of Mackinac as a region. The Great Waters is a similar campaign, using trails to direct tourists through various Eastern Upper Peninsula communities and regional highlights.

The site is under construction, said Chamber President Cheryl Schlehuber, and should be up in mid-April, when the chamber plans to invite area communities to St. Ignace to learn about the site.

"We're so fragmented with all these individual communities, and it costs so much to promote them," she said. "What we're trying to do is promote regionally, and, hopefully, stimulate the economy."

As a boating destination, travelers would be directed from port to port using interactive maps, tourism packages, and the area's interesting history and culture.

Chard Road Bill Paid; Township Concerned About Projects

A month-long standoff on a Mackinac County Road Commission bill for Chard Road ended with Clark Township agreeing Thursday to pay the bill and hold Road Commission Manager Karrie Abbitt to her promise to correct deficiencies found in the work. Mrs. Abbitt promised a spring site inspection of Chard Road, which was supposed to be improved to the township line, according to the contract. The township contends work stopped about 100 feet short of the line. Trustees were withholding $10,000.

During discussion about township roads, trustees said they are concerned about news reports that the road commission is cutting staff. The township usually considers and signs road project contracts before the spring, but no road work estimates have been presented. Last year in April, Clark Township had signed contracts for six road projects. The township has only one contract with the road commission for improvements to Swede Road. Clark Township levies one mill annually and spends about $167,000 a year with Mackinac County Road Commission on township jobs.

Mrs. Hudson said she spoke about these concerns with Mrs. Abbitt, who is expected to take a three-month family leave in April. Mrs. Abbitt said she cannot perform estimates in the winter, but is planning to estimate project costs after the snow melts.

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