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Addison wants more info about trail proposal

February 16, 2011 - Addison Township needs more information before accepting trail maintenance responsibilities.

That was the consensus reached by the Board of Trustees after discussing Polly Ann Trail's Management Council (PATMC) officials Alice Young and JoAnn Van Tassel, both of Orion Twp., cost-savings proposal during a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 7.

"I am all for trying to make it work better, but I am just wondering how it is going to work," Trustee Linda Gierak said.

The proposal called for the five communities that make up the 14.6 mile non-motorized trail to assume the minor maintenance responsibilities of their section of the trail.

Addison Township has five miles of the trail, Oxford Township has four, Orion Township 3.4 miles, Leonard Village 1.3 miles and Oxford Village 0.90 miles.

Leonard and Orion Township are currently the only two communities that maintain their own section of the trail. Addison Township, Oxford Township and the Village of Oxford rely on the Trail Manager, volunteers and court-ordered laborers to maintain their sections.

According to Young and Van Tassel, the biggest line-item in their budget is $15,000 for the Trail Manager.

"A large percentage of the Trail Manager's time is spent on maintaining the trail. If the various municipalities would assume some or all of the routine maintenance in their respective communities, the Trail Manager's duties could either be curtailed thereby lowering his/her annual compensation, or better utilized for grant writing and promotion of the trail," wrote Young and Van Tassel in a letter to members of the PATMC.

Their second biggest item is $6,000 for equipment, materials and maintenance.

Gierak reiterated her concern over the proposal, saying she wanted to see what the township would be saving with this deal.

"How is this going to work for us in terms of money and what will we have to put out," she said.

Trustee Ed Brakefield, who also serves on the PATMC, said the issue of equipment would be discussed at a future date.

"If we have to buy our own equipment, that means the Polly Ann Trail would have to liquidate a lot of equipment and that would not really be financially wise to get rid of it," he said.

Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson asked Brakefield to provide more information to the board after the PATMC meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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