MARY JEAN MAULE
Oakland will continue
to donate to RAYA group
by STACY SOBOTKA
One week after being appointed to the Oakland Township Board of Trustees, Robin Buxar was sworn in prior to its Nov. 12 meeting.
Observer Special Writer
"I'd like to thank all the residents for their support. I will do my very best to represent Oakland Township, and I look forward to working with Trustee (Mike) Bailey on the (Paint Creek) mill race," she said.
The board also approved a donation of $7,083 to Rochester Area Youth Assistance (RAYA).
At its Oct. 22 meeting, Township Supervisor Terry Gonser said he obtained a legal opinion on whether or not to continue funding to RAYA, as certain non-profit organizations cannot receive taxpayer money from municipalities. He received a second legal opinion from Township Attorney Daniel Kelly on the issue. The opinion stated that "there are exceptions to the general prohibition on a township contributing donations to a charitable organization. One of the stated exceptions is for programs relating to delinquent youths. The Rochester Area Youth Assistance representatives have argued that the requested donations falls within this exception."
"Considering we have been donating since March 1973, the program overall seems to be well organized and supported by the community," said Buxar. "I think it's a great idea."
The board also approved easements for the planned re-building of the Orion Road Bridge south of the Paint Creek Cider Mill parking lot. Temporary construction easements will be in the parking lot.
"Approximately half of the parking lot will be used for construction materials staging, and at the conclusion of that, the Road Commission (of Oakland County) will repave that portion of the parking lot, if there's any damage," said Gonser.
Permanent easements were included, as the road will be widened during the project. The bridge will be made with pre-formed concrete to speed up the process, while the abutments will be made with poured concrete.
"In terms of timing, so far the Road Commission has been very forthcoming and very accommodating so I'm optimistic that they're committed to getting this done in the time frame that's been provided to us," said Township Treasurer Jeanne Langlois. "The bridge has to be replaced, and I think they've shown every indication that they'll really work with us.
The project is scheduled to take place at the end of the fish spawning, and is expected to take two months to complete, with the project expected to end in August 2014.
In other business, the Board of Trustees:
Received a draft of the 2014-2015 fiscal year budgets.
Approved amendments to the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget.
Approved the 2013-2014 Police Liaison Budget.
Approved funding project expenses for the Marsh View Connector Park parking lot. The expenses will be split three ways between the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Township General Fund, and the Safety Path and Trails Fund. The board requested a budget not to exceed $6,000 for a topographical survey and tree study for the project.
Appointed Executive Assistant Elaine Leven as the contact person for the township's insurance carrier for liability.
Approved a permit fee schedule for Cranberry Lake Farm.
Approved the use of BS&A software to provide online services for residents.
Approved the request to find an auditing firm to use on a consulting basis.