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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 10/09/13
Romeo, Armada debate
by CHRIS GRAYThe Village of Romeo and Armada Township officials are trying to determine whether the village expanding its borders is the way to handle expanded sewer services.
Observer Staff Writer
In August 2012, Armada Township officials approached the village on whether an inter-governmental agreement could be reached to extend sewer services to the township's industrial corridor.
The proposed area is 297 acres located in the 33 Mile Road and Powell Road area. The industrial corridor would require 50 taps, while 30 additional taps would feed a residential area on 33 Mile Road.
Armada Supervisor John Paterek said the idea was to reach an agreement as a way of bringing more customers onto the sewer to help Romeo handle its sewer debt while developing the corridor.
"Our position has always been a partnership, shared services for the greater good of the area, not specifically for one individual area," Paterek said. "Our goal is to provide benefit to that area as a total."
However, village officials last month proposed an alternative to the agreement in the form of boundary adjustments in order to provide sewer east of Powell Road.
Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said the village still has to gain legal descriptions, what the costs will be and the construction costs of installing sanitary sewer lines before going forward with any adjustments.
"For the purposes of the Village of Romeo, they can already use what is out there with permission, but if there are any expansions to the service we would adjust the boundaries," she said. "We have to do the analysis, then we have to do financial arrangement as to who is paying for it."
McLaughlin said a financial analysis must be conducted on what the changes would do, but mentioned that a boundary adjustment could keep rates from rising for village customers due to additional taps.
She said Armada Township wouldn't lose any money from its general fund with boundary changes, but special assessments like fire services would be affected.
Paterek agreed that the adjustments could potentially hurt tax collection in the township as well as any control it has over how the area is developed.
"Quite honestly, with a boundary adjustment, we would lose authority to have any say over the development in the area," he said.
He said at this point township officials must determine the next course of action and whether the adjustments would be beneficial for the corridor.
Armada Township previously worked out an agreement with Bruce Township to provide water from Detroit Water and Sewerage to the corridor. Paterek said the water and sewer would hopefully spark development of the area.
"The fact of the matter is, water is in the township now, we have businesses with sewer needs, and we have to address that," he said.
McLaughlin said the property owners in the area must petition the county Board of Commissioners to adjust boundaries. She added that the village does have the capacity for its wastewater treatment plant to handle the additional taps.
McLaughlin said the village is paying a total of $10.7 million (interest included) on the 2004 expansion of its wastewater treatment plant. The prior improvement was in the 1970s for $8 million, though a portion of it was handled by grant money.
This wouldn't be the first time the village extended its borders. The current industrial district was gained in the 1970s with an adjustment, while property by Romeo High School was obtained in the 1980s.