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Posted: 01/08/14

Ray could find a solution
with Four Stars in 2014

Observer Special Writer
      Challenges are coming for Ray Township in 2014.
       "The big issue is the charter territory consent judgment," said Township Supervisor Charlie Bohm.
       Bohm refers to a consent judgment handed down by the Macomb County Circuit Court in October, giving developer Four Stars LLC the chance to develop 84 acres of property north of 26 Mile Road and east of Hayes Road. The township received a lawsuit shortly afterwards, due to the fact that it owned the property for years but was not notified that it was rezoned for mobile home or "affordable income" housing as required by state law. The rezoning was done as part of an update of the Ray Township Master Plan in 2011.
       Both sides were ordered to sit down and find a solution before going to trial.
       "We got together and tried to hammer out an agreement," said Bohm. "We were always going to stick with the original zoning. It was just a matter of coming up with an agreement on what would be the compromise to build on the site."
       Bohm said that this would be the biggest development in the township's history, with 495 multiple dwellings planned.
       "It builds taxable dwellings on the site and works for both sides based on the zoning," he said. "We worked on this for 10 months with planners, engineers, and legal counsel and it is fine for us."
       The Community Development Block Grant Fund (CDBG) is another issue for the township.
       "We have a $90,000 grant coming this year that we have to figure out how to use," said Bohm.
       Police services are also a concern. "Our services have been cut back by the (Macomb County) Sheriff's Office over the last five years. We've asked (County Commissioner) Don Brown to help get some services restored. It's not been very successful."
       Bohm said those were the primary concerns of the township.
       "Other than that, it's business as usual," he said.
       Ray Township's Recreation Department has plenty in the works for 2014.
       There will be a day trip to Greektown Casino on Jan. 18. There is a $5 reservation fee, and the trip includes bus transportation, a $20 casino incentive, and five and a half hours at the casino. Participants must be 21 or older to go on the trip.
       On Jan. 25, there is a day trip to Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. At least 30 participants are required for the trip to take place. Cost is $35 for residents, $45 for non-residents and $10 for those under age three.
       For those who love bowling, on March 1 is Bowling with SpongeBob Squarepants at Summit Sports Center in Washington. From 2-4:30 p.m., bowlers will enjoy two games of bowling, and prizes will be available throughout the day. The fees are $6 for residents, $7 for non-residents. Those who register after February 26 must add an additional $3 per person.
       March 7 will be a day for wine lovers, as there will be an evening at the Filipo Marc Winery in Clinton Township, followed by a Caribbean cocktail party at Bahama Breeze in Troy. Cost is $45 per person, $65 for non-residents. Participants must be 21 and up.

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