MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Daniels Drain was up for discussion, again, at the Township Board meeting on October 20th. The board, as well as community members had quite a bit to say on the topic.
Trustee John Veenstra voiced his opinion during the meeting, "I'm convinced that there is a very serious problem here, and something does need to be fixed."
Cecilia Kramer, president of Forest Hills Homeowners Association also came to the township board meeting to voice her concerns.
"The residents of the Daniels Drain are about to be ushered aboard what one might call Mr. Toads wild ride. Parcel owners have none of the power to steer the cart, we don't know if the ride will be smooth or bumpy, what engineering construction surprises will befall our little cart as it moves through both the design and construction phases. And then comes the final accounting when the parcel owners pay for the ticket for the ride, in the form of a multi-year assessment added to property taxes."
Kramer wasn't just concerned about the general cost of the project, but also with who would be overseeing the issue. "While the township officials may have that same kind of feeling you are in a much stronger position relative to the fact that this is a chapter twenty drain. The button to push the cart rolling is in your hands, in the form of the petition."
She also pointed out that while the Township Board doesn't have total control over the design of the project, they do have "some authority over the shaping of the design through your staff."
Kramer pointed out that she would like the position to go to a member who is "detail oriented" and who would be able to review and understand the sub contractors work. "This person can make or break a project budget," noted Kramer.
The township board discussed the option of moving the topic to action, but nothing was decided.