PORTAGE TOWNSHIP - The thinning of some trees from Dodgeville Park was a topic of discussion Monday during the regular meeting of the Portage Township Board of Trustees, with some members concerned about the degree of cutting.
Supervisor Bruce Petersen said he had discussions with some residents near the park who were concerned too many trees were being cut down from the woodlot, and it was decided trees will be left as a buffer.
One of the intentions of the thinning was to remove some dangerous trees which were partially down, Petersen said.
The wood from the thinning will be available to anyone for firewood, Petersen said.
Trustee Mark Jalkanen said what is happening with the thinning is not as it was presented to the board, and he thought too many trees had been cut down.
"It looks horrific," he said. "I thought he was just doing a trail."
Treasurer Carol Little said she had a different idea of what would be done in the woodlot.
"I wasn't under the assumption he was going to be cutting trees down," she said. "I feel we were not informed correctly."
Petersen said the homeowners he talked to about the situation feel better about it now.
"They are fine with it," he said.
Board members voted to have the cutting and thinning stopped until the person doing the work can come to the board and explain it to them.
Petersen told board members he attended a meeting about the 5.2-mile-long Chassell-to-Houghton recreational trail with Chassell Township officials and representatives from the Michigan Department of Natural resources, which owns the trail, and the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Petersen said the work improving drainage and setting down an aggregate surface will be done by MDOT, but if the board agreed to taking part in the project, the only thing Portage Township would be responsible for is clearing brush next to the trail.
It hasn't been decided, yet, which entity will apply for a grant for the work, Petersen said, but it won't be Portage Township.
The board members voted to approve a resolution stating the township will do brush removal for the trail.
In other business, trustees:
heard from Petersen an August public meeting in the township hall about the efforts to create a township master plan was poorly attended, and it would be a good idea to have a second meeting soon.
heard from Petersen about a meeting of the water and sewer committee concerning a property owner who inadvertently left water for a lawn running too long. The owner, Craig Waligursky, asked to have the sewer portion removed from his bill since no water went into the sewer, but stayed on his property lawn. Petersen said it was decided to charge Waligursky for sewer at his average rate of 4,000 gallons and forgive anything over that.
heard from Trustee John Ollila all political lawn signs and flyers must state who paid for the items.