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Township Board Hears Concerns on Green Lake, Passes 'Super Drunk' Law

Here's a brief recap of the West Bloomfield meeting Monday night.

Green Lake Homeowners Association members will go back to the drawing board in hopes of convincing the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to provide more control over watercraft there.

The West Bloomfield Township Board voted unanimously in September to request the state DNR assist in enforcing a regulated speed limit of 10 mph on the lake, but were turned down in December in part due to a lack of reported problems or hazardous conditions to that point.

"They were being proactive rather than waiting for a safety issue to arise," Clerk Catherine Shaughnessy said at Monday's meeting in , where the board reiterated its support for the request. The board unanimously agreed to make a new request, for a 15 mph limit, in hopes the DNR would see the board's support and change its mind.

The lakefront homeowners association, which says it has the support of residents demonstrated through a petition, has existed since 1981 with a gentlemen's agreement in place that only electric-powered boats be permitted. The fear, association President Emil Hagopian said, is that the quality of technology in electric motors has improved so that increasing speeds are a hazard for residents who like to swim, sail and have family outings that do not require power.

'Super Drunk' law change passed

The board unanimously passed an amendment to aimed at first-time drunken driving offenders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17 or higher — twice the .08 legal limit.

Previously, such cases could only be handled under state laws passed in 2010 that allow for a jail term of 180 days. In February, Gov. Rick Snyder signed bills that allow municipalities to levy local penalties against so-called "super drunk" drivers.

Because West Bloomfield is prohibited under another state law from imposing penalties greater than 93 days jail and fines exceeding $500, "super drunk" charges had to be filed under state law, resulting in fines and costs being paid to the state or Oakland County.

Court costs to the township are likely offset by the portion of the costs and fines that the township will receive, according to township attorney Jeffrey Sherman. "Right now, all of those funds are being shared between the county and and not West Bloomfield," he said.

Nash Acres roadway improvement approved

A public hearing to consider the township equally in the Nash Acres Subdivisions Nos. 2 and 3 saw no opposition to the "special assessment roll" that allows the project to begin. The roll describes the amount to be assessed — more than $8,000 per parcel over a 10-year period — and all of the parcels of land that will benefit from the work.

Fireworks ordinance amendment in the works

West Bloomfield residents excited by the state law signed last year that has lifted the ban on consumer fireworks sales and use would do well to relax. The gained approval from the board to amend local laws to limit the dates and times allowed to ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks to the day preceding, the day of and the day after a national holiday.

More news, sound off

Stay tuned to West Bloomfield Patch for more in-depth coverage of individual agenda items.

Want to sound off on the township board? Leave a comment! Or, even better, email a letter to the editor to tim.rath@patch.com.

Simon July 23, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Even though there is a lack of reported problems with the watercraft, increasing the speed limit would likely bring about new problems that could force the authorities into action. Do they really want to see an accident happen before they strengthen the security?

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