Dorr Township is slated to get Allegan County’s heftiest amount in the American Rescue Plan approved last month by Congress. But the Township Board doesn’t know yet what to do with the money.
Deputy Supervisor and former Treasurer Jim Martin said the issue coming up in June is likely to be “where to park” the almost $780,000 that Dorr is supposed to get. The check first must be distributed by the state and there is some confusion about what is allowed for spending it.
Trustee John Tuinstra waxed eloquent about how the federal government is being irresponsible with taxpayers’ money by offering the $1.9 trillion package, which includes $1,400 for each citizen and $2,800 for each couple in response to the Covid-19 viral crisis over the past year.
A local representative from Edward Jones appeared at the meeting, but he told board members that as of now he cannot advise Dorr Township on where to put the funding.
“Right now, everybody is waiting for criteria (on spending),” Supervisor Jeff Miling said.
Martin recommended the board not put the first check for $390,000 into the general fund.
Complicating things is that people representing the proposed sustainable business are asking the township for $200,000 and Allegan County for $500,000 to help with the project, which purports to turn about 90% of landfill waste into recyclable materials.
In other business at Thursday night’s meeting, the Township Board:
- Answered several questions and took comments from local residents about the proposed county-wide Off-Road Vehicle Ordinance. A public hearing on the ordinance may be held in Allegan in June.
- Approved the appointment of Ryan VanderGraaf to the Zoning Board of Appeals, replacing Les Myers, who has resigned.
- Approved the low bid of $511,671 from Black Gold Transport for paving a number of subdivision streets, including Sunset, Saturn, Ranchero and Litchfield Drives, totaling 3.69 miles. The work will be done this summer.
- Agreed to the recommendation of Fire Chief Gary Fordhman to hire Chelsey Chrisman as a new firefighter.
- Approved the payment of $27,317 to the Wayland Area Emergency Service and renamed Penny Post as representative to the WAEMS Board.
- Agreed to share the $140,000 cost for culvert repair on 24th Street with Salem Township, despite Tuinstra opposition. “It’s time to say something about the extravagant spending,” he said. “It’s time for someone to start saying no.”
- Was told by Fordham the fire department is still very busy, but the new grass fire truck with a 208-gallon tank has arrived. (See photo). The cost was about $160,000 to the township.
- Approved pay increases for Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Parks Commission members from $35 to $50 per meeting.