2018-03-04 / Insight

Hadley village looking for ways to improve

BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com

HADLEY — Officials are looking at ways to reinvigorate the tiny hamlet of Hadley, starting with a blight ordinance passed last year and continuing into 2018 with two ongoing studies related to potentially improved infrastructure.

Chris Tippen, treasurer, Hadley Township, said one feasibility study is to consider putting brick pavers and four lights at the intersection of Hadley and Pratt roads. He said two telephone poles, however, would need to be moved.

The other study, he said, is to determine the feasibility of a sewer system for 27 parcels (mostly business/commercial) in the area.

Rowe Professional Services Co. has been awarded the contracts to conduct the studies.

“Our motivation is to try and spruce up the downtown area,” Tippen said.

The current efforts started, Tippen said, when officials passed a blight ordinance specific to the downtown Hadley area.

He said some businesses had fallen into disrepair, but officials didn’t have any leverage when it came to prompting owners to clean up.

“We’re talking broken windows, roofs coming off, etc., for some of the businesses,” Tippen said.

Tippen said the “goal” is to begin enforcing violations of the blight ordinance soon.

“Some of the board members had some reservations, and I don’t blame them, I do, too, about dumping money in there and the businesses aren’t going to take care of business with regard to cleaning up,” Tippen added.

With the ability to have business owners clean up their property, Tippen said focus has turned to infrastructure.

With regard to potentially relocating the two telephone poles and adding brick pavers and new lighting to the downtown’s main intersection, Tippen said the township was told by officials at DTE Energy that a study needed to be done to determine what is actually attached to them and where they could potentially be relocated. That study is ongoing, he said.

The feasibility of sewer service to the commercial area is another ongoing study.

Township officials are trying to determine levels of support. Currently, businesses in the area use a septic tank-based system.

Tippen said he is aware of at least one business owner who looked at the area to potentially open a restaurant but “they can’t because of the sewer system.”

Another building owner was approached about renting her property out for a bakery, Tippen said, but again, lack of an up-todate sewage system kept the idea from getting off the ground.

So far, Tippen said, officials have held three meetings within the last several months to discuss the study.

Tippen said there are a lot of unknowns, such as if the commercial building owners are interested in covering any potential costs. He said he isn’t even sure township officials are willing to allocate any funds, either.

“I’m not sure what kind of support we have, so that’s what we have to determine,” Tippen said. “I would say we’re in the very beginning stages.”

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