FLUSHING TWP. — Below are some of the most notable decisions made by the Flushing Township Board of Trustees in 2020, along with key events that happened in the township over the year.
Flushing Township police arrested a home invasion suspect at the Meadowbrook Park subdivision across from Flushing Middle School on Jan. 7. According to police, an 18-year-old Montrose man attempted to break into a home on Meadowbrook Lane during the early morning hours and fired several shots at the house and at a vehicle in the driveway. No one inside the home was injured.
In February, the Board of Trustees voted in favor of exiting the township’s contract with SafeBuilt Inc., which had been Flushing Township’s building inspection contractor since 2018. In lieu of hiring a full-time building inspector, the township replaced SafeBuilt with part-time certified inspectors for building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspections.
In March, the township approved a special assessment and road repair plan for the Meadowbrook Park subdivision on Carpenter Road. Construction on the project is slated to start this year.
The township board also passed a youth nicotine/vaping ordinance to help prevent teen smoking on the properties of Flushing Community Schools. The ordinance establishes a set of civil infraction and misdemeanor guidelines for minors who are caught smoking or who are in possession of a vaping, tobacco or nicotine product on school grounds.
In mid-March, the township closed its administrative buildings to the public as the COVID-19 virus began to sweep through the state. Supervisor Fred Thorsby also issued a local State of Emergency, which made the township eligible for state, federal and county resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The township was finally able to reopen its offices to the public in mid-June with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
Flushing Township Supervisor Fred Thorsby, Treasurer Terry Peck, Clerk Wendy Meinburg, Trustee Sharilynn Willette and Trustee Jenifer Almassy each pitched in to help sponsor the Flushing Area Chamber of Commerce’s networking luncheon in July. Township officials and board members provided funds for food, utensils and tablecloths out of their own pockets and hosted the luncheon at the Flushing Township Nature Park.
Also in July, the township board approved bonus hazard pay for township personnel who worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, including police officers and township office staff.
Flushing Township officials got quite the surprise when a huge sinkhole appeared near the playground area at the Flushing Township Nature Park. Township officials immediately contacted a local contractor to come and fill the hole, which had developed after a water pipe underneath the playground burst and eroded the soil above.
The Board of Trustees also approved the 2020/2021 budget in September and received a favorable audit from Plante Moran, the township’s auditing firm. Due to a shortfall in state revenue, Supervisor Thorsby said that the township will be avoiding capital improvement projects in 2021 and focusing primarily on essential maintenance and keeping staff employed.
Following the November election, incumbent Trustees Linda Minarik, Sharilynn Willette and William Westenbarger each retained their seats on the township board. Challenger Bill Bain also secured a four-year term, unseating incumbent Trustee Jenifer Almassy.
In December, the Board of Trustees approved projects for its next cycle of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Altogether, the township will receive around $70,000 in CDBG funds for the 2022-2024 cycle. About $55,000 will be allocated for blight enforcement, including the removal of two abandoned houses on Coldwater Road. $5,000 will go toward operations at the Flushing Area Senior Center, and $10,000 will be used for a handicap accessibility and main entryway project at Flushing Township Hall.
The township board also voted to reallocate $6,000 from the current CDBG cycle to put toward funding for the purchase of a new van at the Flushing Area Senior Center.