M-28 closing for three months in 2018

By IAN MINIELLY iminielly@yourdailyglobe.com WAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Wakefield Township Board was informed Tuesday by supervisor John Cox that M-28 is scheduled for a three-month closure in the summer of 2018 to replace the bridge on Jackson Creek. Cox said the township has a handful of residents who live on the eastern side of the creek, which introduces challenges regarding garbage and mail deliveries. Cox said he wanted the township to have enough time to figure out how to handle the issue because it will also impact emergency services, as people will have to take U.S. 2 to M-64 to reach Bergland and the surrounding areas. Cox also said the township has a beaver problem it has been using trappers for, but it is hard to eradicate all of the beavers and there is still a major pond at play, even if all the beavers are removed. Currently there is a beaver pond along one of the trails that’s keeping it underwater and impeding trail development. Besides the damage to the trail, the beavers are taking trees off neighboring properties and the size and capacity of the pond is causing concern for people downstream who could suffer a severe wash-out, should the dam fail. Cox said they have not arrived at a final conclusion on how to deal with the beavers and the pond because they are on private property, but it is something that needs to be addressed. Cox said delivered some bad news to the board. The Western Upper Trail Authority is dissolving because of disagreements regarding the receipt of grants the Department of Natural Resources wanted to split between the off-road vehicle and snowmobile community and clubs. With WUPTA’s dissolving, some of the new trails are at risk of being delayed because the DNR money set aside for their developments was earmarked for the now non-existent WUPTA. Cox said he did not know if the snowmobile clubs could take over some of the ORV trail efforts because they are already busy working on their own trails and taking over maintenance and construction of ORV trails would probably be a difficult task for them to add to their plate. The township opted out of the medical marijuana ordinances so there would be no doubt to people within the medical marijuana field the township is not interested. Cox said no one at the meeting stood up in favor of marijuana and the township is clearly opposed to having it in their area. In other news: —Jeff Pikka was appointed to the zoning board of appeals. —Craig Talsma was appointed to the construction board of appeals and planning commission. —Dale Martin was assigned to the planning commission. —Cox was assigned a new role in addition to supervisor of blight enforcement officer.