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Dexter Township Moves Foward with Warning Siren Installation

Township officials will ask the Village of Dexter to help pay for one of the sirens located near Wylie and Island Lake roads.

The Dexter Township Board of Trustees voted at a special meeting on Tuesday to maintain course on allowing Frontline Plus, Inc. to install 16 new omni-directional emergency warning sirens throughout the township.

The special meeting was called, in part, to discuss the possibility of eliminating the 16th siren near Wylie and Island Lake roads due to potential sound overlap with the Village of Dexter's siren.

Ultimately, the board decided to keep the project as is, which is expected to cost slightly more than $370,000, and will ask the village to pay for half of the siren in question.

“We actually voted to change nothing,” supervisor Pat Kelly said following the meeting. “But we’re going to ask the village to pay for part of it. It’s roughly $23,700 divided by two.”

Kelly said she had already approached the village to help out in paying for the device.

“I’ve actually already initiated the process,” she said.

The board discussed at great length simply eliminating the 16th siren from the planning schematic, but questions about cost savings, as well as whether eliminating the siren will compromise the efficacy of the system for certain residents, nixed the idea.

Trustee Harley Rider articulated this position, citing concerns with equipment restocking fees and other penalties associated with altering the project plans.

“So, we’d only be saving $3,000 or $4,000 potentially, (by eliminating the siren) and in doing that we’re significantly reducing the overlap in the area that was hardest hit by the tornado,” he said. “That’s not saying another tornado would hit that same area, but it was certainly with those folks in mind that we started this project in the first place.”

In other action:

The board voted unanimously to appoint Zach Michels director of planning and zoning for the township following from the post in July. The township has been retaining Sloan one day-a-week since then.

Salary for Michels is set at $54,000 annually.

Trustee Jason Macejiewski, who supported the motion to hire Michels and sat on the hiring committee, offered high praise for the incoming director.

“It was an extremely thorough process that we went through,” he said, citing Michels’ previous job as a planning and zoning administrator in Indiana. “I’m very happy to support the motion.”

Rider asked Michels a series of job-related questions just prior to the board’s vote, benefiting those in attendance with Michels’ view on everything from respecting individual property rights, to his professional experience that favors zoning over planning, a preference of the board.

In accepting the appointment, Michals said he was happy to be considered for the new position.

The next regular township meeting is scheduled for Sept. 18.

Sean September 13, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Why the hell would the village pay for any of an unnecessary siren located OUTSIDE the village limits? If Dexter Twp. can't afford it, don't put it up.
Ron September 13, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I am in Dexter Township and had to pay for the Dexter Village Library. You can pay for a siren that will alert village residents in Westridge. Give me a break.
TELLNOLIE September 13, 2012 at 11:36 PM
You got it, what a waste of taxpayers dollars.Large knee jerk reaction by the Township!
Sean September 14, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Ron, I think the fact that you had to help pay for the library is ridiculous. We're on the same page. I'm still trying to figure out why the majority of my taxes go to schools when I have no kids.
Shelly September 14, 2012 at 04:53 PM
The library is the Dexter District Library and serves residents in several of the townships and cities surrounding it. Since you are paying for it, you should definitely stop in and utilize it. There are fabulous resources and programs in there for all ages.
Dexter resident September 17, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Sean - you are absolutely correct. Hope our Village representative don't cave into the township!
Don Darnell September 17, 2012 at 07:24 PM
You have no kids so you think you should not have to pay for schools. Interesting. Did you go to school? Who paid for that?
Laura Jones September 17, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Put the extra one away as a spare for when another one gets damaged. If the village doesn't want to pay, so be it. Seems like the coverage plan was not well thought out - or not well enough.
Sean September 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM
I did go to Dexter schools and graduated. My parents taxes helped paid for that. I know it's just the way it is but it never made much sense to me why I pay the same school taxes as someone with multiple kids. Or why a big chunk goes to WCC when I never attended there. Just a thought. Not trying to start a holy war.
Laura Jones September 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I believe the answer to paying taxes for general expenditures is an often forgotten concept called "the general good". Society had recognized that certain things offer general benefit to us all overall and should be funded so as to ensure that benefit. Educated children, to use your example, create benefit to us all as they provide well trained workers who will generate taxes, business development and make our nation competitive overall. Further, educated children are more likely to be net contributors to the nation and less likely to be incarcerated (net draw). Makes sense all the way around, despite the caterwauling one hears about teachers being the source of all evils and education monies being wasted. "The General Good" is the antithesis of "Its all about me", something so many of us forget to consider these days, myself included.
Shelly September 18, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Nicely put.
Dexter Mom September 19, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Westridge residents have no problem hearing the village siren and already pay village and Webster Township taxes. Why should we pay double for a siren we don't need. Maybe the village should charge Dexter Township for breathing the air that flows from the village. Unbelievable!
BradP September 20, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Good schools keep property values high. It's a good thing for you that the local kids are in school. Otherwise they'd be egging cars and stealing things. Oh, wait, . . .
Amos Walker September 29, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Thank you for your comment.
Gimarna December 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM
What's going on with the siren installation process? Crews were in the process of erecting one at Fleming & Dexter Pinckney and another at the first bend in McGuiness but they suddenly loaded the sirens back onto their trailers and left.
Marilyn Wilkie December 21, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Well we have that "unneeded" one over there between us and Wylie Rd. and at least one more further down Island Lake. I heard the Village sirens just fine the day of the tornado - twice...(we're up on the hill above the village). The one across the street seems like overkill and will undoubtably be loud as h#@& when it goes off.

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