DAVISON TWP. — The Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a utility to vehicle to remove snow from the township’s trail system at its Nov. 9 meeting.
The board voted 3-2 to approve the $28,500 purchase of a Kubota utility vehicle equipped with a plow to handle the removal of snow from the Black Creek Trail.
Previously, the township used a truck equipped with a snowplow to handle the job but following the replacement of asphalt along the trail this summer, officials were advised to use something lighter for snow removal if they wanted to extend the life of the trails.
“We repaved the trails and they are in outstanding condition,” said Supervisor Tim Elkins. “But the current truck used for plowing is damaging the trail system.”
The township typically plows the Black Creek Trail from the city limit in Jack Abernathy Regional Park to Speedway on Irish Road.
Parks Director Casey Reed said the township would need a utility vehicle with a plow or bid the plowing out in order to continue the practice. The other option was not to plow the trails and make them unusable for much of the winter months.
Trustee Matthew Karr said he was in favor of plowing the trails.
“I want to keep plowing it,” he said. “The trails get a lot of use in the winter. If we do it ourselves, we’d get more bang for our buck.”
Trustee Travis Howell said he thought the utility vehicle was a huge purchase for the board to be making a decision on, considering a new board will be sworn in Nov. 20.
“I know the snow can come soon,” said Howell. “This is something I think the next board would have to consider what they would like done.”
Reed said the repaving project came in $15,000 under budget and she said there is unused money, totaling about $5,000, in the parks and recreation budget for this year.
Treasurer Patrick Miller said he also didn’t want to make a decision on the snowplow and said if one was purchased, access to the vehicle should be limited to specific township employees.
“Personally, I don’t like the trucks going down (the trail),” he said. “It’s a bigger blade, it’s going to gouge the pavement. We live in Michigan and we have snow. You walk at your own risk.”
Karr made the motion to purchase the vehicle. The final vote was 3-2 in favor, Howell and Clerk Cindy Shields voting against the purchase.