Sylvan Township needs help from an engineer and the community

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Sylvan Township is looking for an engineer, more community input on broadband and into setting priorities.

Although the Dec. 1 meeting of the Sylvan Township Board was a shorter one, there were some important things talked about and decided. The meeting was held virtually over Zoom.

Starting with seeking help from a consulting engineer, the board unanimously decided to request a proposal from the firm, IMEG, to serve as the township’s consulting engineer.

In his report to the township board, supervisor David Brooks said, “In my conversations with staff, others associated with the water/sewer systems and The Woodhill Group, the need for a knowledgeable engineer comes up over and over. As an engineer, I recognize the importance of such a resource.”

Brooks recommended IMEG, which has an office in Saline. He said he has a decade of experience with them and believes they have the necessary know-how with Sylvan Township and Chelsea.

The township will request a proposal from the preferred candidate, IMEG, and put that before the board, but Brooks also said if there are additional candidates they would explore those proposals.

Another important topic in Sylvan is access to the internet for the community, specifically through broadband. In an effort to keep the community input going on broadband, the township board extended the charter of Broadband Committee through the end of March. The committee has been discussing a variety of topics, from what is the current situation and needs to possible financing ideas, in order to eventually put a report in front of the township board.

The broadband committee chairman Patrick Zieske said they welcome questions and ideas from the public. The committee meets every Monday at 7 p.m. and those interested can get the Zoom meeting link through the township.

The Dec. 1 meeting ended with new township supervisor, Brooks, presenting a list of topics he put together over the past few weeks that have risen in his view as priorities going forward.

In general, they are: reduce the water system deficit, pay off the sewer system debt as efficiently as possible, resolve the 22 issues on the Woodhill list (which includes a deeper look into the water and sewer systems), comprehensive analysis of township operations, expand/improve broadband in the township, improve zoning and the zoning process, and the last one, which was offered up by board trustee Sandie Schulze, is explore increasing revenue without raising taxes.

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