Saugatuck Good Government

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Here's part of a letter I'm preparing to file with the Saugatuck Township Board:

What documentary proof do you have of the alleged 100-foot right of way?

How will this proposed bike path impinge upon our wooded screen along the highway?

Why has there been no public discussion of this matter? Why has it not been entered in the Township Board minutes, as published in the Commercial Record?

Why has there been no notification to the affected property owners, nor a call for meetings with those owners?

Further, Mr. Scott, Schwochow has informed us that “the townships share of 20% is $92,000. Letters referring to this matter go back to December, 2004. I understand that the township does not have the funds to fulfill its obligation. And, that the township must prove sufficient use of the path to justify sufficient use of this path in order to qualify for the state grant.”

It has all the flavor of a secret agreement. Apparently the Township Board wants this to go through with no discussion or controversy.

The usually accepted procedure for anything like this is to have public notification of intent, followed by public hearings. When the plan passes the planning commission, the affected property owners are notified, and in a case like this, permission or easements are requested.

No secrecy, no silence - out in the open all the way! Not in this instance.

Mr. Schwochow, in reply to the remark "if people are so upset, where are they?", said "I'm here" The rest weren't there because they were just learning about this grand plan.

During our summers there, we have noticed lone bikers now and then. And on rare occasions, a bike tour comes through. The existing 4' bike path on each side of this road seems quite adequate. I have done my share of biking in the past, and under no circumstances would I get up to full speed on any path with turns, blind spots, road crossings, etc. And this proposed path has all of these.

I understood from Mr. Quade that Laketown Township was going to pick up the trail, but I am told that so far, Laketown has done nothing. Nothing!

I welcome comments on this matter by others who are either in favor or opposed to this plan.

And I repeat: What is going on here?

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