2017-05-18 / Front Page

Richfield residents voice concerns over ORV dust/speed

By Krista Tacey-Cater

Airport Road resident Ken Becker began public comment at a May 16 Richfield Township Board of Trustees meeting by asking the board what is being done about the dust created by ORV traffic around his road and the township.

Supervisor Jim VanWormer noted that the township has been working with the Roscommon County Road Commission and there have also been efforts to divert ORV traffic from Airport Road.

Becker said that he understands the officers of the Richfield Township Police Department are busy, however, he has noticed that “nobody goes 25 [miles per hour].” Becker suggested that the ORV riders be required to ride on the hardtop shoulder of the road to help keep the dust down. He added that “somebody is going to get hurt” with regard to speed and the “brownouts” that are caused by the dust.

VanWormer noted that brining is the responsibility of the RCRC and noted that Old 76 is being worked on. Becker added that brining the shoulders isn’t the answer to the problem because the brine wears away after a busy weekend.

Clerk Pam Scott suggested that residents take ORV rules sheets from the RTPD and distribute them to ORV riders. Trustee Gary Milner noted that he doesn’t want to take business away from those that benefit from the ORV riders, but asked if an ordinance could be created in the township that would require ORV riders to use the paved shoulder of the road. He said the residents of the township are “taking a beating” from the dust and speed.

Scott said in the past there have been meetings with the Roscommon County Board of Commissioners about the ORV ordinance. Becker asked if it would be helpful for residents to attend a commissioners meeting to address the problem. VanWormer noted that attendance at a commissioners meeting could help.

In action items, a resolution was passed to establish a Richfield Township Department of Public Safety Advisory Board. The resolution states that the members of the advisory board are to include the public safety director, chief of police, fire chief, chief of emergency medical services, township supervisor, township treasurer and two private citizens.

A civil infraction ordinance was adopted. VanWormer noted that in the event of an ordinance violation, such as a blight violation, residents will no longer be charged with a misdemeanor, they will receive a civil infraction.

The board approved the addition of three seasonal rustic campground sites at the Richfield Township Campground. With the additional three sites there will be a total of 25 rustic sites at the campground. A transfer of $25,000 was approved from the budget stabilization fund to the park fund. The transfer was made for septic system upgrades to the campground. The township also bought back eight cemetery sites from a resident.

A boathouse ordinance failed for lack of support. VanWormer said the ordinance would limit what could be put on the shoreline of the township’s canals for visual and safety matters.

The board’s next regular meeting will be held June 20 at 7 p.m.

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