Conservancy To Preserve 75 Acres of Trees & Wetlands

by CYNTHIA KMETT

At the latest city council meeting on June 3, council approved another Mondrian property development. This one is for 23 lots in cluster zoning on the north side of Square Lake Road. Plus, the company has joined with the Troy School District to preserve 75 acres of the 81-acre parcel as a donation to the Six Rivers Land Conservancy. The two also are donating $150,000 to set up an endowment fund to take care of the preserved property.

The homes will have a parking lot at the north end of the new subdivision where visitors can park and enjoy the hundreds of trees that will be preserved. Also preserved will be 40 acres of wetland, so hikers might want to consider wearing boots.

This is Mondrian’s sixth Troy subdivision in the past couple of years, and for those who want one, they all have a ranch model home available.
Council used words like “phenomenal” and “fantastic” to describe this result for the large parcel once owned by the Troy School Board.

It was not good news however for the proposed signs to replace those with the gazebo and buildings, which have been up for over 15 years and are starting to look faded. The city has had a goal since 2014 to get a city branding and marketing plan in play. They want to improve entrances to the city, especially at both ends of Big Beaver.

When the proposed new signage was sent to the city’s committee members, their replies were less than enthusiastic. They didn’t find the signs inviting or informative; some didn’t like the navy blue background and said they don’t make Troy seem like an inviting community in which to live or work.

One resident, Cynthia Wilsher, likes the current signs, as she felt they represent Troy’s history. She noted that Troy is a traditional city and should have traditional signs.

Another resident thought the ideas were just fine. Some wondered if the entrance signs – 10’ x 6’ – were a bit large. What about the signs at other intersections designed to look a bit like the flags put up for advertising events and seasons of the year?

Council talked about this topic for an hour and agreed they really hadn’t given the design firm. KMA Design, much direction. Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek said what they were probably all thinking – she was expecting something more sophisticated in a gateway sign. Councilman Dave Henderson reminded them that they would never find a sign everyone liked.

The city did get a contract to put up those new signs and the city, headed by City Manager Mark Miller, wanted to know if council wanted to move ahead with the new design, make changes, or just discontinue the project.

The project is still quite a bit under budget, and it was suggested they have a study session on one of their non- meeting Mondays to see what they have in mind. For the moment, action on new signage was postponed, again.

The next discussion was whether DeLisio should get the contract for local paving again this year, despite the company’s involvement with now-jailed former manager Brian Kischnick.

Councilwoman Edna Abrahim seemed concerned that the company had helped the FBI because they might have problems somewhere else. However, the FBI never came after DeLisio and the city knew nothing about Kischnick soliciting bribes until DeLisio stepped up and complained about it by going to the police and the FBI. In addition, Plante Moran – which is doing the forensic audit report – noted in a letter to the city that “their analytic process did not flag any transactions involving the low bidder, DiLisio Contracting, Inc.”

They all voted yes on the new contract.

During public comment, one resident came to the microphone and wanted to know why council has not passed any new rules on employees dating each other. In the wake of the Kischnick scandals, she thought this was the action they should take. She said all companies have such rules.

As the meeting moved toward closure, Councilman David Hamilton said he was calling for an investigation into who was at Kischnick’s holiday party and why didn’t he find a permit for Mayor Dane Slater’s driveway. Well, Councilman Henderson wished him luck getting information the FBI wouldn’t give the city attorney.