Special committees being formed to weigh in on township issues

FLINT TWP. — Township supervisor Karyn Miller wants to form two committees to provide input on important township issues. She is looking for volunteers.

One committee will be asked to help develop language for a proposed amendment to the vicious dog ordinance. A domestic and wild animal ordinance passed first reading in December then stalled at the second reading when several residents came out to complain about its limited provisions.

One of them was Ken Berg who made several suggestions for changing the ordinance including that pet owners should be allowed to keep kittens and puppies for 12 weeks, not eight weeks, as the ordinance states, He also said language about dogs and cats running at large should be changed to any animal and clearer language is also needed about animal nuisance noises beyond barking.

Other residents challenged provisions in the proposed ordinance limiting households to three pets which does not consider that many pet owners keep them in pairs for companionship.

Miller said she had heard from several people interested in helping shape the terms of the proposed ordinance. After consulting the township attorney, she decided to establish a committee that she expects only to have to meet a few times to “look at where we are and where we need to go.”

Berg, who was present at the Monday night meeting, expressed his willingness to serve on the committee. Miller said she would post a notice on the township’s website to seek additional members.

The second committee she plans to form will be asked to begin planning ahead for renewal of the ten-year Public Safety Millage, which voters approved in November 2014. Miller said she will consult with the fire and police chief about their budget needs and also wants both of them to serve on the committee.

“We need a target (budget goal),” she said. “If we don’t have a target, we are not going to hit it.”

Township voters approved the 3.85 Public Safety millage that was expected to generate about $3 million a year – about $1.5 million to maintain current level of services and the rest to fund public safety improvements. The millage need to offset dwindling revenues due to five years of steadily declining property taxes. If the millage had not passed,

Miller said that budget and staff cuts would be necessary. At that time, the police and fire departments were both operating with reduced staff. Hiring efforts have been ongoing but neither department is yet up to full capacity.

Miller said that she would like for some residents to serve on the millage committee and would also post a message on the township website seeking volunteers.

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