Quinnesec residents voice traffic worries


Staff Writer

QUINNESEC – The Breitung Township Board of Trustees on Monday heard several comments from township residents regarding the landfill in the township and the request for Niagara Development to utilize it.

Residents’ concerns were about the increase in truck traffic and the speed limit with children present.

Yvonne Peterson of Quinnesec said there is a lot of traffic on Wabash and Lake Streets. She said children can’t be seen by drivers from the north, and the addition of speed is an accident waiting to happen.

Peterson asked if a child crossing sign could be installed to warn drivers about the intersection that is downhill, alerting drivers who may not see the children who play in the area.

Tim Paasch of Quinnesec said his fear is also for kids running out in the road.

Sharon Wilcox of Quinnesec added that the township streets are deteriorating and she’s concerned about kids in the road with increased truck traffic to the landfill.

Dan Carlson of Quinnesec added children on the streets and increasing the truck traffic to the landfill is a hazard waiting to happen.

Township Superintendent Joe Rogina said the landfill off Kimberly Road in the township was originally operated by Niagara Paper, and Niagara Development has acquired some 600 acres of this area.

Niagara Development petitioned Dickinson County and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to update the license for the landfill. Currently, the contract states all waste has to be from the county.

“We haven’t met yet,” Rogina said about meeting with county officials regarding the Dickinson County Solid Waste Management plan. “Concerns will be brought to the county’s attention.”

Comments were also heard in regards to the results of the Michigan State Police speed studies and traffic control orders for Quinnesec.

The speed limit for Quinnesec Avenue, Lake Avenue, Menominee Street and Lincoln Avenue was set by the state police at 35 mph.

Trustee Ben Peterson commented that he wishes there was something the township could do to bring it back to 25 mph.

He said he also recently witnessed an SUV almost hitting a child and only missing the child by six to eight inches. Peterson said he remembers when his brother was hit by a vehicle years ago.

Gaudette commented that those who live on residential roads need to drive slower, not just out-of-towners.

If no speed limit is posted in a residential area, motorists are to drive 25 mph.

In other news, trustees:

– Approved putting out bids for the following roads this year: Woodland Drive for paving, fixing South Park as needed, paving Barton, River and Kramer Drive and Menominee Street from Division east to Quinnesec Street.

– In a six to one vote, granted a conditional rezoning permit as submitted by Dave and Shelly Byrne of 600 Campbell St. On June 13, the planning commission recommended approval to the township board to grant conditional rezoning for the Byrnes’ request in a four to three vote following a public hearing.

The conditional rezoning is for Shelley Bryne to operate a Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) office out of her home.

Township resident Sue Reese has voiced her concerns, which include the number of vehicles parked in the driveway during working hours, the number of employees and the square footage of the home that is being utilized for the business.

“I will take this to court if needed,” said Reese. “It will affect our property values and we shouldn’t have to live with this when it’s spot zoning.”

Attorney Bill Fahey said that some situations call for this type of solution and it was up to the township board if this is one of them.

It was noted that a complaint regarding this type of rezoning would have to be investigated by the zoning inspector.

Trustee John Gaudette said the township is not setting a precedent by approving this rezoning, as every situation is different.

“Each rezoning requirement is individual and based on its own merits,” he said. “There are rules and regulations to put it back into what it was.”

Trustee Mary Beth Dixon voted against the rezoning.

– Opened and will have the township superintendent and DPW superintendent look over the three bids received for the township hall re-roofing. Bids were received by Lake State Roofing for $31,880, Markell Company for $19,893 and Tomaszak for $39,700.

– Accepted the 2013 audit report as presented by Debbie Bradford of Rukkila, Negro and Associates CPA’s.

– Approved $3,000 to install fencing at the East Kingsford Park.

– Approved closing the township offices on Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5, in observance of the Independence Day holiday. For July 5, employees can either take a vacation day, personal day or go without pay.

– Approved forwarding the revised dangerous and dilapidated buildings ordinance to the township attorney for legal compliance and review.

– Approved a rezoning request for Paul and Elizabeth Olson to rezone Section 1, town 39 north, range 30 west from industrial to RR-3 rural residential for the couple to build a home.

– Allocated $120 to the U.P. Firemen’s Association for membership.

– Approved an amount not to exceed $200 for lunch food for the Dickinson County Townships Association meeting on July 15.

Lisa M. Reed’s e-mail address is