By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chelsea Community Forum got together for coffee and conversation July 20 at the senior center. Discussion topics are determined by those in attendance each third Saturday of the month at 9 a.m.
This week’s topics included the Chelsea District Library millage renewal, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) bond, and a proposed land development in Lima Township.
First, they talked about the library milage renewal that will be on the August 6 ballot. Board President Sue Lackey and other members representing the library and milage renewal were in attendance to answer any questions about their request of a renewal of 1.9231 mills for ten-years.
The current millage expires at the end of this year. This request is for a millage renewal and not a request for additional money.
With the services the library provides, most agreed that they should continue to receive the communities support. In addition to their bevy of programs, they’ve continued to add new programs and services like having hot spots available for checkout with a library card for those without internet in some rural areas in the community.
One community member noted that he had heard that the millage was thought of as too high, subsidizing some services like those hotspots.
Library representatives responded that the program has almost doubled from their initial 25 hot spots and that they’ve put them in out for rent in town halls as well as with other services organizations.
With internet service important as ever in this day and age, it has been a consistent community topic of making that available to everyone.
Next, the forum talked about the WISD bond that will also be on the Aug. 6 ballot not to exceed fifty-three million two hundred ninety-five thousand ($53,295,000) for High Point School.
That money will be used for erecting, furnishing, and equipping a new High Point School as an addition to the pool and gymnasium portions of the existing building.
In addition to remodeling, re-equipping, and re-furnishing the pool and gymnasium, there would be more purchasing and installing of information technology (IT) system equipment and software and improving playgrounds at the site.
While the cost was surprising at first, according to one in attendance, after looking at the break down of the costs she said, ‘it was a pittance.’
High Point School is a public school, operated by the WISD, whose purpose is to meet the special needs of students with disabilities from ages 3 – 26.
Programs are offered for students with severe cognitive and multiple impairments and the school has services like occupational therapy, speech pathology, physical therapy, a school psychologist, social work, music therapy, adaptive aquatics, and consultations with medical specialists.
Students at this school are from public school districts in Washtenaw County.
Forum co-moderator played devil’s advocate mentioning education buildings in various districts that remain closed or unused.
A response from those in attendance named the central location and specific services that High Point can and does provide are critical for its population.
Finally, the forum talked about a proposed land development in Lima Township. A planning commission meeting is planned for Jul. 22, to discuss the zoning map and a change to the zoning in the area.
With more details to be talked about at that Jul. 22 meeting, that would most likely include a PA425 agreement with the city for water and sewer services, the proposed 40-acre development would include medical buildings, houses, and condos.
Discussion turned broader, talking about the many proposed developments that have been proposed. The open-ended question asked was how the community will continue to deal with that growth when there are already issues to address like having an elementary school closed and already having issues with parking.