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.