Daniels Drain Public Hearing Draws Strong Reaction
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - As part of a November 16 Township Board meeting, a public hearing was held to hear comments on the proposed assessment roll for Daniels Drain Public Drain Improvements project in Special Assessment District #21. A standing-room only crowd of residents and others were gathered in the Township Hall room to take in the events.
The Daniels Drain is located on Grand River Avenue between Central Park Drive and Cornell Road and serves a number of neighborhoods in the Township, including Chief Okemos, Navajo Ridge, and more.
Since the drain is a Chapter 20 Drain under the Michigan Drain Code of 1956, it is maintained by the Ingham County Drain Commissioner, but it is funded by assessments on 3 public entities: Meridian Township, the Ingham County Road Department and Michigan Department of Transportation. Currently, estimated remaining costs to be covered by the Township sit at $5,536,644.
Deputy Township Manager & Director of Public Works Derek Perry opened the hearing with a brief synopsis of the proposed assessment roll, followed by a number of residents who were quick to raise opposition and concern about the proposed assessment costs for the improvements.
Township resident Mike Osborne: “The real problem here is maintaining the drains, and these people, and the 300-odd houses, should not be responsible for something that should have been done by the Drain Commissioner.”
Jesse Adler also added: “We are all standing here complaining because there’s been no transparency, no regular maintenance being done, and now we are being forced to pay for it.”
Public comment during the hearing lasted over 90 minutes, and future steps include a second public hearing, which at the time remains unscheduled, but is estimated to take place before next spring.