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Orion will keep safety paths clear this winter

November 20, 2013 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

Winter is coming, and so is the promise of some plowed sidewalks.

Jeff Stout, Orion Township operations director, Aaron Whatley, buildings and grounds crew leader, and the Safety Path Committee have been discussing keeping 7.1 miles of sidewalks along Joslyn, Clarkston, Baldwin and Waldon navigable when snow attacks.

The Orion Township Buildings and Grounds personnel will use township equipment and manpower for the required maintenance.

"On my end all I have to do is create a daily log of maintenance. If we cover all 7.1 miles of it, we just have to create a steady stream of maintenance. We'd like to try it," Stout said at the Orion Township board meeting Monday night.

After discussing the question with the township's insurance agent, Keith Potter, Stout said the idea was a go.

The move is in response to multiple residents who have requested keeping a portion of Orion Township's 45 miles of safety paths open all year round.

"Whatever my employees make an hour plus our overhead is all the cost we are looking at," Stout said.

"Since I've been here, which has been one year, I have had this question asked to me by hundreds of residents. People want this. We are trying to respond to the most common request we have gotten about our paths," Supervisor Chris Barnett said.

The paths serve Waldon, Orion Oaks and Webber schools, the PollyAnn Trail, the Civic Center and some churches too.

"You've got a good team. I'd like to hear your commitment though to keep track of the snowfall, to have a good picture for next year," Township Treasurer Mark Thurber told Stout.

The motion to formulate a plan of action was approved by Trustees, with a 7-0 vote.

Stout, Whatley and Barnett will be the elves behind it, promising clean paths.

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