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Single garbage hauler, wage increases eyed in Brandon

June 19, 2013 - Brandon Twp.- A single garbage hauler for residents, wage increases for township employees, and park development were all part of the discussion at a recent township board strategic planning workshop.

The board is planning for 5-year and 10-year projections, said Supervisor Kathy Thurman, but is concentrating on objectives for the next four years. A workshop was held June 12 to discuss goals.

"It's a work in progress at this point," said Thurman. "We are considering asking voters to approve a single garbage hauler. The township wants to contract with one trash removal service to hopefully save residents money and save wear and tear on the roads."

In September 2009, several northern Oakland communities, including both Brandon and Groveland townships, decided against forming a solid waste authority.

The communities were part of a waste hauling services study conducted by Resource Recycling Systems of Ann Arbor and while the study concluded citizens could realize savings and other benefits from community-wide waste hauling contracts, the company wanted funding to get started. Brandon Township was being asked to contribute between $2,100 and $3,450 to join an authority, but because a survey of residents found 285 respondents split—with 46.6 percent opposed to coordinating services and 53.4 percent in favor—the township board decided against taking action.

Now Thurman said the matter could be placed on the ballot next year.

The township board is also looking at wage increases for all township employees, who have not had a raise since 2008. In 2010 and 2011, municipal office employees actually accepted a 5 percent wage decrease. They were reinstated to 2008 levels in 2012. Township firefighters have remained frozen at 2008 wage levels for the past five years.

Other possible plans for the township include road improvements, pathway and park development, work on ordinances, improvements to township offices to make them ADA compliant, and increased contributions to Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB).

"Once we determine our objectives, then we'll take a look financially to see which ones are feasible," said Thurman.

The board's next strategic planning workshop, expected to concentrate on the recreation department, is planned for 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 26, at the township offices, 395 Mill St.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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