HARBERT — It was reported during the Sept. 10 Chikaming Township Board meeting that the ongoing Red Arrow Highway Union Pier corridor improvements project continues to be on schedule.
Supervisor David Bunte said that the current work to install replacement sewer lines on the east side of the highway to Lift Station 6 was set to be completed sometime between the end of September to mid-October. The I-94 side of Union Pier Road at the Red Arrow Highway intersection has been closed due to water line replacement work. Road closures in the near future will include East and Lakeshore roads to facilitate new sewer lines being installed underneath them.
During the second phase of the project scheduled to take place October through mid-November, infrastructure work will be taking place on the west side of the highway, and at that time there will one lane of traffic going in each direction on the east side of Red Arrow.
There will also be road work done on Lakeshore Road from Berrien Street to Pier Street.
The new streetscape project in Union Pier that began in mid-August is also continuing to make progress.
“We currently have a ballet of construction projects going on in the Union Pier area,” Bunte said. “We ask that motorists continue to be cautious and obey all the reduced speed limits and traffic control protocols in place in that area.”
Bunte said the township residents expected to be impacted by road work on Red Arrow Highway in 2021 would be notified and invited to take part in an informational meeting on that upcoming project along with representatives from the Berrien County Road Department that will take place in the pavilion at Harbert Community Park at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Updates on ongoing projects in Chikaming may be found on the township’s website — www.chikamingtownship.org.
Also on Sept. 10, there was a unanimous vote to approve the township’s audit report for the 2019-20 fiscal year that ended March 31.
Financial highlights noted that assets plus deferred outflows of resources of of the township exceeded its liabilities plus deferred inflows of resources at March 31 by $20,400,273 (net position), an increase of $37,200 over the prior fiscal year. Of that amount, $10,408,527 (unrestricted net position) may be used to meet the township’s ongoing obligations to its citizens and creditors.
At the end of the fiscal year the township’s Governmental Funds reported combined ending fund balances of $3,061,800, a decrease of $272,893 over the prior fiscal year. The unassigned fund balance of $1,964,855 is available for spending at the township’s discretion.
As of March 31 the township’s proprietary funds reported a combined total net position of $13,904,698, a decrease of $38,225 from the previous fiscal year. The unrestricted net position total was $8,946,532.
Bunte said that the township was currently in the process on doing a study on its sewer rates which haven’t been increased in quite some time.
“Our township is financially sound and will continue to be that way,” he stated.
The discussion topic for the evening was on the Lake Michigan shoreline and the revetments lakefront property owners have been requesting permits to install to protect their land and houses.
Bunte said the township had been averaging one or two permit requests per week, but he expected that to slow down as the colder weather season approaches.
He and others commented that while revetments may help preserve properties they may also have negative effects on adjoining properties without revetments.
“Our decking at the Harbert Road lake access has been undermined,” he noted.
Trustee Rich Sullivan said the revetments were also adversely affecting many people in the community who enjoyed taking long beach walks along the shoreline but were no longer able to do that.
Bunte said that he would start putting together a committee to study the issues related to the installation of revetments.