Robert Homan

Plainfield negotiates settlement with Road Commission over canceled project

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Township to reimburse $88,653  by BETH ALTENA The Plainfield Township Board in July voted to reimburse the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) $88,400 the commission invested in an approved widening of Belmont Road that was later cancelled. The KCRC in 2009 proposed the project, which was to be funded mainly by $900,000 in federal grants and also by $200,000 kicked in by the township. After the KCRC had spent over $100,000 on the project, an upwelling of disapproval for the widening caused the board in 2010 to rescind their approval of the project. Township Manager Robert Homan said the KCRC asked to be reimbursed for $106,000 they had spent in good faith after the roadwork was improved, noting they had invested in field surveys, design, permits, staking and acquisition of roadway from residents with homes on the road. The township counter-proposed to reimburse the road commission $41,617 of the non-recoverable costs and pledged to pay $25,000 this year toward upkeep of the stretch of road and $21,000 in the future for the same purpose. The total reimbursement under the agreement from the township to the commission would total $88,653. Trustee Vic Matthews said, “Under the circumstances, we’ve got us a pretty good deal. They could have charged us considerably more.” Trustee Jack Hagedorn expressed concern over how the reversal came about. “Something was wrong with the process. After the final vote there was a huge groundswell of disapproval. Somewhere along the way there was a disconnect.” He said he is glad, as Vic was, that $46,000 would go toward the upkeep of Belmont, which until recently was plagued with potholes. Treasurer Jim Stover was philosophical about the deal. “We made an agreement to be part of the project in 2009 to the tune of $200,000. A year later we changed our mind. I think paying out $88,400 is a good commitment on our part to resolve this and put it to bed.” Trustee Charles Weldon was also for the payment and noted that all the people who were paid for easements were asked to return the money since the widening of the road was cancelled, removing the need for the easement. He said not a single one of the residents who were paid had returned […]

Residents crowd township meeting, demand response

March 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Called “pure intimidation tactics” by Plainfield Township Manager Robert Homan, 140 residents, most angry, crowded Township’s meeting room Monday, March 15, and accused the board of a variety of violations. The meeting began at 7:30 p.m. with a public hearing and presentation by John Short on the township’s Five Year Master Plan for Parks and Recreation. Supervisor George Meek stated that comment was to be restricted to the parks and recreation plan and not on the proposed three-lane expansion of Belmont Road planned by the Kent County Road Commission. During the meeting the board was accused of a variety of illegal or unethical actions. Residents complained the board was violating the open meetings act in several different ways, they offered scathing comments on the lack of implementation of a background check policy, commented negatively about how Kent County Road Commission meetings were advertised and accused Homan of illegally using tax dollars to publish a political opinion in the township newsletter. The board attended open business from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. during which time they voted to approve the background check policy they had prepared. Meek made an announcement stating that all township employees and board members had been checked and none had any violation that would require their inclusion on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. Treasurer Jim Stover suggested making the background check policy even more inclusive. “I suggest not just employees, but any arm of the township such as the Farm Market vendors be subject,” he said. Clerk Scott Harvey said why not make all Plainfield Avenue business people subject as well. “We aren’t in charge of the Plainfield businesses, but we are in charge of the farm market,” retorted Trustee Rebecca Borek. Meek said the board would take the issue to the township attorney. The board also approved expanding the farm market from one day a week to two, Tuesdays and Thursdays; approved a dance permit for Vitale’s of Comstock Park; and issued a medical marijuana moratorium. Meek also told the board and audience that a letter of reprimand was being prepared regarding the article in the township newsletter by Homan that was possibly an improper use of public funds. At 8:45 p.m. Meek opened the meeting for comments lasting […]