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Letter to the editor: Reader: Renovate Ehman for seniors

September 15, 2010 - Dear editor,

In Orion Township's Outreach newsletter, Township Supervisor Matthew Gibb writes that township residents will be found "asking whether we can survive just one more year without solving how we maintain levels of police and fire protection or safe recreational areas with the declining economy."

(A news report) tells us Orion Township has $3 million accumulated from having the Eagle Valley Landfill in the township.

In this article, Mr. Gibb is quoted, saying, "We have accrued an investment through the hosting of garbage that we owe the community to do something with."

So, if our basic services are in jeopardy, why does Mr. Gibb think that the best thing to do with this money is to build a senior center which is estimated to cost $1.4, no wait, $2.44, no wait, $3.3, no, now he says, "It could easily exceed 4 million" dollars"?

My parents use the current senior center. They have told me that, although they would like more space, most of the people there think spending that kind of money and moving the center away from the village is a bad idea.

I agree with the sentiments published in last week's Review by Steven Auger, member of the United States Green Building Council and president of Stephen Auger and Assoc. Architects.

If we have to spend that money on a senior center, renovating the Ehman Center would be a much better investment in our community.

We'd be saving one of the historical gems that makes Lake Orion such a unique pleasure to live in, and the environment, nearby business, and the seniors themselves would benefit from having a center they can walk to.

Those who drive will be pleased that the Ehman Center already has a parking lot, so they won't have to park on the street as they sometimes have to do at the current center.

I hope the Review will keep us advised of the township meetings on this issue as I'm afraid that the board of trustees is unduly pressured by our supervisor who has preemptively said of renovating "I certainly don't want it to come to that."

Despite his eloquence when waxing poetically on the beauty of Lake Orion ("Where are the people who make the 'Pure Michigan' Ads?"), I'm afraid his disregard for our community's natural beauty has already manifested itself in the urban sprawl that our beloved Gingellville has endured.

Please help us prevent the rest of our township from suffering the same fate with this ill-conceived and expensive misuse of our money.

-Carol Roughton

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