2008-09-04 / News

Clark Township Seeks Bike Route Designations

By Karen Gould

Concerns over a lack of available aviation services at Albert J. Lindberg Airport in Cedarville drew action from the Clark Township Board of Trustees during its Thursday, August 21, meeting. The board contends Evan Noyes of Mackinac Aviation is not meeting his lease obligations with the township.

The board approved sending a letter to Mr. Noyes, who has had a lease with the township since 1975 to operate at Albert J. Lindberg Airport.

The current lease expires September 17, 2012.

"Due to the lack of availability of any sort of consistent or convenient aviation service," states the letter approved by the board, "it has become extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Clark Township to meet the rapidly increasing public aviation needs."

The board is giving Mr. Noyes 30 days to respond in writing of his intention regarding the lease agreement.

"This also is a very tricky situation," said Treasurer Katie Carpenter, who drafted the letter. "We need to be prepared if he chooses to step aside. Guess what? Clark Township is going to inherit an airport and the operations of an airport, and we're not prepared to do so."

Efforts continue in the township to secure funding for a bicycle path. At the recommendation of the Bike Path Committee, the township board now is seeking assistance from the Mackinac County Road Commission to designate specific roadways as bike routes.

"The Michigan Department of Transportation has informed us that our chances for a transportation enhancement grant will be greatly strengthened if we have existing bike routes," said committee member Julye Raycraft.

The Bike Path Committee also is seeking grants to cover the cost for signs, and is not requesting any funds from the township board. The signs encourage cyclists to use specific streets and serve as a safety measure to alert motorists that cyclists could be present, said Supervisor Linda Hudson.

"This doesn't override the real need for an off-road bike path," said Ms. Raycraft, "but it is something to get us started."

A resolution being sent to the Road Commission requests the bike route designations in Cedarville, beginning at 4 Mile Block Road and M-134, and continuing south and turning east on 4 Mile Block Road; then, turning north at Meridian Road and continuing north to M-134; also in Cedarville, beginning at Meridian Road and traveling east on East Hodeck Street, and then north on Beach Street to M-134.

Also requesting designation is the following route: In Hessel, beginning at Cedar Road at M- 134, continuing south and east, then turning south on Lake Street, which then turns east along the water; it then turns into Hessel Pointe Road continuing east, and then turning north onto Island View Road; also in Hessel, Pickford Avenue from M-134 to Hessel Pointe Road.

Paul Smith of Cedarville was appointed to the Clark Township Planning Commission. He is filling the term vacated by Marti Hart. The term ends December 31, and at that time he would be eligible for reappointment to a full three-year term.

His appointment was endorsed by Planning Chair Jeff Davis.

The board also approved hiring Carolyn Hamel at $10 per hour as a cleaning person. The only applicant who applied for the position, Mrs. Hamel has been performing the duties on an interim basis since an employee resignation in May. In a letter to the board, Township Clerk Cathy Nordquist, who was unable to attend the meeting, recommended the hiring.

The board noted the township has no written job description for the cleaning position, although board members made no plans during the meeting to begin preparing the formal document.

The board approved covering printing and postage costs not to exceed $500 for invitations to the Community Forum and Stakeholder's Meeting. Making the request for funding was Bob Dunn from the Les Cheneaux Watershed Council. He attended the meeting.

The event is being organized by the Les Cheneaux Islands Waterways Restoration group, which is seeking local funding and state and federal support to dredge about eight miles in the channels. The last dredging project took place from 1967 to 1971.

In a 3-1 vote, the board approved sending contiguous municipalities and affected organizations copies of its master plan for review by Friday, August 22. Voting against the mailing, Mrs. Carpenter said she did not believe all of the entities would send waivers or respond by the September 1 deadline, which is required by the state. Mrs. Carpenter thought it more reasonable for the township to send out the document after September 1, which would allow 42 days for a response.

Mrs. Hudson said she had contacted all organizations except the electric companies and all indicated they would meet the deadline.

Receiving the draft plan were Pickford Township Planning Commission, Raber Township, Marquette Township, E.U.P. Regional Planning and Development, Mackinac County Planning Commission, Mackinac County Road Commission, Edison Sault Electric Company, and Cloverland Electric Cooperative.

Once this phase of the process is complete, a public meeting would be scheduled to gather resident's comments.

The board next meets Thursday, September 18, at 7 p.m. at the Township Hall.

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