Lansing Township Turns to Council On Sewer Squabble

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

"We don't have a quibble with the city's legislative body," Lansing Township supervisor John Daher admitted in open remarks to a Monday night meeting, but "maybe somebody at this table has clout with the administration. We certainly don't."

In a rare double board meeting--the township's Board of Trustees and Lansing city council together--Lansing Township's leadership did not hold back on the issue that first reared its head last month.

Lansing Township applied to Lansing--as is standard procedure--for a permit to hook up to sewer lines as part of a road expansion project near Eastwood Towne Center. They were denied that permit for now in a letter from the city engineer that explained the sewer system is beyond capacity.

"The city of Lansing has a legal and a moral obligation to serve Lansing Township with sanitary sewer," Daher said Monday night, repeating what he called "rumors" that the mayor won't do it until they consider sharing tax revenue from the growing Eastwood Towne Center area. He and his staff called the letter "political" and said they believe there is capacity.

City Council's role Monday night was simply listen and learn. There were 4 members in attendance, as well as the city attorney.

The members who attended said afterwards they worry the township's analysis could be right.

Council president Harold Leeman said he thinks history shows there should be room in the sewer system.

Carol Wood, councilmember-at-large, admits they wish Eastwood Towne Center was in Lansing, and pledged to work toward better regionalism.

During the meeting, she pointed out a history of animosity between the city and township over issues like the soundwall on U.S. 127, which Lansing paid for without help from the township.

Mayor Virg Bernero points that out as an example of Lansing Township's hypocrisy on the issue of regionalism.

His deputy chief of staff, in response to the meeting, said, "Regionalism has to be a two-way street....This isn't an isolated issue. There are a range of issues that are of mutual interest to Lansing and Lansing Township."

The administration stands by the current analysis of the sewer system capacity, but says it's asked for more information from Lansing Township.

Lansing Township could ask DeWitt Township or East Lansing for help with the sanitary sewer lines.


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