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Meridian Township brainstorms how to spend rescue fund

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Meridian Township leaders are working to figure out how to spend $4.5 million coming from the American Rescue Plan. The township needs to spend the money over the next four years

Here are some of the options on the table.

Redeveloping the village of Okemos is a top priority and for this to happen the township will have to bury the overhead powerlines. The village has already received a few quotes from consumers with a price tag of around $2 million. If this plan is approved, it could happen in early 2022.

Township officials are also looking at investing in a new filtration system at the water and sewage plant that is shared with East Lansing. Meridian Township is hoping to offset that cost with the rescue funding. This will keep rates lower for Meridian residents.

Frank Walsh, Meridian Township Manager, says that when it comes to the way this money is spent, he feels it should be up to the residents.

“$4.5 million sounds like a lot of money but when you look at the kinds of projects we will be using it on, water systems, broadband, affordable housing, it’s really not,” Walsh said. “We want want to take our time and make sure we engage our 45,000 residents what they believe will be the best and highest use of those funds.”

Township leaders plan to schedule a public meeting by the end of October. The public meeting should take place in November.

However, Meridian Township leaders say that they aren’t expecting a big turnout during public meetings due to COVID-19 and cold temperatures. The treasurer would like the township to survey residents to get an idea of their priorities.

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