By: Jim Bailey
Within about the past year or so, the Redford Township Board has considered new Township developments that have included building a new District Court expansion, a new Central Fire Station, purchasing of Central Fire Station property. a new Fire Department Fire Truck, a new North End Fire Station, purchasing of the North End Fire Station property, building a Fire Department Training Facility on the Central Fire Station site, a Health Complex on the site of the Redford Ice Arena, and renovations at Town Hall.
It is recognized that it is easy to sit back and second guess and criticize hard decisions that are being made by members the Township Board. It is also recognized that decisions have impacts. This article is being generated in order to explore these impacts from the perspectives of the Township Board members. To do this, an invitation was sent to each Board Member. It detailed the same guidelines of amount of words accepted, the order of presentation, and other specifics, so everyone knew what to expect.
Each Board Member was asked to give either their Con or Pro views about all these expensive Township developments taking place in such a short time which adds to the largest tax burden for a Township in Michigan. Only two Board Member took up the Redford Connection Newspaper’s invitation. The responses were not what was asked, but they are included below keeping with the size limitations. As part of this article, and outlined in the original invitation, the Newspaper will present a Con and Pro view, for purposes of discussion and to be fair.
Con View: Redford already has one of the highest tax burdens in Michigan. Municipal development, done over time, can be financed in a way that does not become crippling for the tax payer, and specifically, persons of low income. All these developments being committed to, in such a short time, puts the whole community at risk by spending more than the community can afford, especially if there is an economic downturn. For some, an overwhelming tax burden is a consideration on whether to stay in a community they have spent their whole lives or to even move into.
Pro View: Redford is as good as any community. Services are expected by the public and it costs money. People move into a community as to the benefits the community provides. Having quality public services, fire services, and police services are an expectation and must be provided for. Recent developments explored and committed to by the Redford Township Board provide these things for our community.
Trustee Kim Taylor: Thank you for the offer, but I will decline. Any “official” stance on any of these projects as a Trustee have been made at public meetings and are a matter of record in the minutes of those meetings. The public is welcome to view those meetings on Redford TV, a broadcast provided by the township, or though the minutes available on the township web page.
Clerk Garth Christie: The Judges did a great job planning and saving for the new court house. The poor condition of the north end fire station has been an issue for decades unfortunately, this board is poised to divert funds from this needed project to build a public safety megaplex on five mile that we do not need. There are no buildings in Redford that require a ladder truck for fire safety purposes. The money would be better spent fully staffing the fire and police departments, we need to address the recent rash of break-ins. The ice arena should be sold . . . . .