Ann Arbor Area Community News
From Conan Smith:
On November 15, the County Board of Commissioners will vote on several contentious issues, including appointments to the Road Commission and Historic District Commission and a proposal to bond for $21 million to, in part, construct a new jail pod with 96 beds.
The Board of Commissioners will appoint one Road Commissioner and five Historic District Commissioners. The future of Gordon Hall and the East Delhi Bridge, two of the County’s most precious historic assets, lie in the balance. Gordon Hall was purchased earlier this year by the Dexter Area Historical Society from the University of Michigan. A key part of the financing for the property involves developing a portion of the land and planting grapes for a winery on another part. Recent debates at the County Historic District Commission have trended toward denial of permission for these two options, which would undermine the funding for the property and jeopardize its long-range preservation. The Road Commission would like to cut a road through a portion of the Gordon Hall property. Neither the County, the County Parks and Rec Commission, nor the Road Commission contributed to the acquisition of the property. The Road Commission closed the E. Delhi bridge in June 2005 and has proposed replacing it with a concrete or iron truss bridge. Citizens have organized but have failed thus far to convince the commission to save the bridge. The final decision will be made by the road commission this year.
After more than two years deliberation, the County Board will issue a bond to expand the chronically overcrowded county jail. The 96-bed addition ($21M) will be accompanied by funding to operate the expansion ($1.2M annually) and staffing of a “Sequential Intercept Team” ($0.5M annually) to reduce future jail bed needs. The bond would be financed in part by savings realized in the police services area and by paying down the county’s $14M capital reserve fund.
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