By Lonnie Huhman,
The April 6 meeting of the Dexter Forum began with co-moderators John Hansen and Karl Fink asking for topics to discuss and the room going slightly quiet.
However, by the time the hour was through there were a slew of things talked and wondered about. From local news, history and announcements, the well-attended forum again lived up to its role as a great community resource for information.
One topic was how to pay to fix the roads, which led into a side discussion about trucks and weight limits. From there some community news came.
In the forum notes, Hansen and Fink noted forum attendee Bob Steptoe’s contribution to this discussion. Steptoe has experience as a big truck driver, so he gave some insight about trucks and roads.
However, the news came from him talking further on about his former place of employment.
The forum notes said it best.
“Since we operate without the safety net of an agenda we sometimes slide from one topic to another as we did when Bob, the above mentioned truck driver also mentioned that his company, Adair Printing, was closing.”
Adair is located at 7850 2nd St. in Dexter.
Other community news made at the forum has Chuck Colby of Cade Advertising becoming the new president of the board of directors for the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce; Scio Township Clerk Nancy Hedberg being honored by a state organization and the Dexter Farmers Market getting a new manager, who might make an appearance at the next forum.
Colby told the forum the chamber wants to keep getting better at its goal of helping to make the Dexter community the best it can be. He said one upcoming chamber initiative is to develop a community calendar for all to contribute to, so everyone can be on the same page about different happenings and when they are.
Announcements included the upcoming fundraisers for the Educational Foundation of Dexter and Dexter Senior Center.
The local history lesson came from the topic of new condo development in Dexter and its probable impact on traffic. A forum attendee put forth the topic saying the development is good, but what will it mean to the issues of congestion that Dexter already has in many cases.
Dexter city councilman and longtime resident Paul Cousins said some of the reasons for traffic issues might go back to the way Dexter was built and cited how community founder, Judge Samuel Dexter, decided to nestle the town at the intersection of a creek and a river and then brought the railroad in the middle of it all, which led to the bridge being built over Dexter-Pinckney Road, which is where today some of the traffic congestion is for Dexter.
As an important aside, Cousins noted the bridge was designed in 1890 by Frederick Blackburn Pelham, the first African American to graduate from the University of Michigan in engineering.
Cousins said in an effort to relieve some of the congestion through town various traffic solutions have been discussed over the years and some of these never came about. From the idea of taking Dexter-Pinckney Road away from the bridge and instead going out through the field in front of historical Gordon Hall and eventually out to I-94 to extending Baker Road to Central Street, Cousins said traffic has been ongoing topic and probably will remain so.
In the meantime, he said many stuck in traffic in downtown should follow the rule many in Dexter have for a long time, and that’s to stop and smell the flowers or, in Dexter’s case, smell the donuts being made at the bakery.