More than 200 people made their voices heard a couple of weeks ago at a Township meeting. They were outraged with the idea that one resident dubbed as a "Taj Mahal" in Cascade.
Initially, board members told the tax payers the goal was to make the Township more appealing to future residents, in order to facilitate the expected growth. But tax payers fought back.
"The existing Town hall is over 40 years old. A lot of people live in houses that are over 40 years old. Things do wear down, it's using the same argument: I live in a 40 year old house, I need a new roof, but do I go out and buy a house that costs 5 times the price of the house that I'm living in? No. You wouldn't do that with your own household expenses, and elected leaders should not do that with public money," Cascade resident Anne Marie Schieber said.
Based on feedback similar to Schieber's, the Infrastructure Committee issued a four-point recommendation.
- The Cascade Charter Township Facility Master Plan and Administrative Office Design Study should not proceed.
- Direct the Township Manager to have an RFP prepared for bids on repairs to the current Township Hall.
- Use the "Needs Assessment" portion of the study to determine the Township's future needs.
- Any future actions or projects to plan for potential new township offices will include at least two public forums and all Township residents will be notified via a direct mailing of those forums.
"I am pleased that our trustees did the right thing. They listened to the tax payers and they responded. It's very easy for elected leaders, when nobody's paying attention to what they're doing, to push their pet projects even though they may not be in the best interest of the public. I think now, when more people are paying attention, there will be more accountability and acting more responsibly with tax dollars," Schieber said.
This is still just a recommendation from the Infrastructure Committee to be considered by the Cascade Township Board.
That meeting is scheduled for July 13 at the Wisner Center. There will be an opportunity for public comment prior to the board taking action on this recommendation.