Dexter Township Permanent Fire Station on Hold While Board Discusses Alternate Land Option

The 5-acre parcel of land the township planned to purchase for the fire station was sold on Dec. 31, 2012.

Plans to build a permanent fire substation in Dexter Township are in limbo after the property the township planned to purchase was sold on Dec. 31.

According to Dexter Township Supervisor Pat Kelly, talks with PJK Dexter, LLC, who owns the 5-acre property at 11485 N. Territorial Road fell through after the township failed to purchase the property at a cost of $262,000 prior to the expiration of its purchase agreement on Nov. 14, 2012.

Kelly said by the time the board authorized approval at its Dec. 18 meeting, the landowner was already in negotiations with the owners of the Inverness Inn in Chelsea.

The township had planned to purchase the property and build the station, which would put 98 percent of the township's residents within 5 miles of a fire department.

Kelly said the loss of the property will significantly impact the scope of the project.

"We are discussing several options, none of which are good alternatives," Kelly said.

One option would be to condemn and take the property through eminent domain, she said.

"Personally I believe we have a good shot of making that happen, but obviously our first step would be to make an offer to buy the property," Kelly said.

Other options include purchasing land from the MultiLakes Sewer Authority, Lyndon Township, or a neighboring township.

"Unforunately the further we move from our desired location, the more residents will be affected," Kelly said. "Even moving the station 7/10ths of a mile west (of North Territorial Road) willl leave a lot of homes around Portage Lake out of the 5-mile coverage area."

Township Clerk Harley Rider said he expects the board to discuss alternative locations for the station at its meeting on Jan. 15.

"I'm not a proponent of condemnation," he said. "There are other options out there that are worth discussing."

Rider said he didn't want to blame any one person for the loss of the property, but he acknowledged that the township could have acted quicker.

"We could've called a special meeting prior to the expiration of the purchase agreement to work out any issues," he said. "There were a number of errors that caused this purchase to fall through."

Rider said he still has hopes that the station could begin construction in the fall if the township finds another parcel of land that doesn't require a lot of environmental clean-up.

"I'm optimistic that we will still have shovels in the ground this fall," he said.

During the November general election, Dexter Township voters approved up to 1-mill tax levy for seven years to fund the new fire substation.

Albion February 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Roger, The information was given to the board on November 20, 2012. Missing documents were ALL of COMPLETE & ACCURATE Schedule B, Covenant Deed. Question, was a Warranty Deed needed in lieu of a Covenant Deed? or at least adequate information by legal counsel as to why Dexter Township should accept a Covenant Deed instead of a Warranty Deed along with sufficient Title Insurance. These documents are extremely important to have. Supervisor Kelly did not have all the needed answers or all of the documentation the board needed to make a responsible decision. My question,why didn't Pat Kelley think of these questions or have the answers? My opinion, she is not competent. Supervisor Kelley is to blame. And yes I'm blaming. Kelly blames the board so the attention can be taken away from her. The board members are taking the high road and not putting blame on any one person. I had respect for Jason in the past. But he also voted to go ahead without NEEDED INFORMATION!!! I'm glad he wasn't put on the ZBA.
Albion February 28, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Amos, Are you also including Jason, who is easily swayed by Kelley? Pat Kelly is NOT a competent leader. You must NOT have had any dealings with her, believe me she is not a fair leader, she doesn't know how to lead. You may be a friend or someone she may need to turn to in the future, which means Kelly would argue the ordinance in your favor.She used to have most of the ZBA and Patrick under her thumb.I hope Zach isn't threatened by her. I can understand why residents are unhappy with Kelly, but people do not praise others the way you praise Kelley, unless you are a friend or you are allowing Kelley to use your name to comment. The problem I have with the board members are that they do not stand up to Kelley. When Julie Knight was on the board, Julie stood up to Kelley regardless of her emotional break downs.
Albion February 28, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Amos, All reliable information points to Pat Kelley!!! I believe she has people commenting to help her blame the board. This is the way Pat Kelley works. The more she tries to blame the board the guiltier she looks. I believe Pat Kelley is in cahoots with someone, could it be Jason. Be careful Jason, being too close to Kelley is not a popular thing to be for a lot of people, or is she just trying to set up the board. Pat Kelley has a reputation of not giving out ALL information if it does not fit her agenda that is nothing new, but where is the letter she was ordered to give to the owners at the time. She would be better off if she let this die instead of playing the blame game. That just keeps attention on her.I do think we need a board that will stand up to Kelley, and ignore her emotional reactions, . I for one am keeping a close watch on this one.
ZBA Resident March 01, 2013 at 01:35 AM
Roger, On Nov. 20, 2012, Carl Lesser had questions that needed to be cleared up. Is a Covenant Deed sufficient? Needed an ADEQUATE explanation by legal counsel & why the Township should accept a Covenant Deed instead of a Warranty Deed, along with sufficient Title Insurance. Needed the inclusion of a COMPLETE & ACCURATE MISSING Schedule B.This is needed information to have if one is to make a responsible decision. Why didn't Pat Kelley have the answers to these questions. Why was Schedule B missing? Not unusual for Pat Kelley to NOT have ALL the information. Yes Kelley and Jason opposed the delay, they were willing to jump into purchasing property without ALL the information. I have seen Jason as being reasonable, but this was NOT a responsible decision. Be careful Jason of getting too closely tied with Pat Kelley. A lot of people voted for Carl Lesser and trust him. Thank you Carl for asking those questions. Pat Kelley barely won.I believe that A lot of these comments are coming from a handful of Kelleys friends. Kelley is trying to blame the board. Pat Kelley is to Blame. The board is to blame for letting Kelley control the whole process of purchasing the land. Something sounds fishy to me and it smells like Kelley. In my opinion, Kelley is trying to blame the board to take attention away from herself. That is not working to her advantage. She would be better off to let this subject die, because I think this whole matter is going to come back to haunt her.
Mary Herda-Sprawka March 01, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Personal attacks and innuendo are uncalled for and are not getting the job done. All the members of the Board were ELECTED. Maybe not your choice, but it is the democratic process. I am in favor of a permanent fire station. The millage passed. We all must move on and toward that goal. If 11485 is untennable, then I trust that the Board will move on to the next best option. Just hoping that the process is as transparent as possible. And Jean, a property belonging to a family named Kopinski was mentioned at the Feb. 19th meeting as a possible alternative site.


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