=========================================================== Season 09, Episode 21, Dec 02, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES Karl Fink Chaired the Session 1. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s Update: a) George Santos voted out by the Congress. b) After the terror attacks on Israel on October 7th, tensions have grown but the Congresswoman has worked with the Washtenaw County Sheriff and other police groups to ‘stand up to hate’. c) A temporary budget was passed for most items until January 19, 2024 but for other items the extension is until February 2, 2024. d) There is still no resolution for FAA funding nor for the farm bill authorization. Questions posed included: a) Can the budget process be improved to consider common values v. factions? Is proportional representation a possibility? b) How can we protect the interests of vulnerable populations in the age of extremism? One answer was to build coalitions. Congresswoman Dingell noted that organized outside groups work to pit people against each other. She also offered that we should be aware that Russia and China are playing with social media to interfere with our country’s democracy.
2. Update on the Dexter Senior Center: Ron Miller reported that a new Executive Director has been hired. She is Ann Williams, and her effective start date will be December 18, 2023. The state dollars should be available in February 2024. The Washtenaw ARPA dollars have been received. The Board is working with architects and an expected timeline is expected by the end of December. There are planned trips to the Canton and VanBuren Townships to assist in the visualization of integrated/multigenerational centers.
3. The Michigan Healthy Climate Plan: As residents of the state, we should be aware of what is being planned for the future of the state as it addresses climate change. The entire plan can be found on EGLE’s website. There is a myriad of grants available for counties, cities, townships, and other municipalities. Moreover, HB 5120, basically for windmills and solar panel fields, has flaws that need to be fixed. Finding out what the flaws may be that affect you and your community is recommended.
4. The Pelham Project: The Dexter City Council approved the preliminary site plan for the project. This was not an approval for building. It is anticipated that building approval could occur in 6-12 months.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
======================================================= Season 09, Episode 20, Nov 18, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES Karl Fink and Mara Greatorex Co-Chaired the Session
1. Automated vehicle project on I-94.This project as planned, if completed, will stretch from Detroit to Ann Arbor. The test stretch is between Haggerty Road to Ann Arbor currently. The acronym is CAV, connected automated vehicle. It is a pilot project between MDOT and Cavnue. When completed it is intended to be used by connected buses and shared mobility vehicles such as vans and shuttles before expanding to freight and personal vehicles. Type in “automated vehicle project between Detroitand Ann Arbor” in your search engine to learn more. 2. Stump speech by Marianne Williamson, Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. As is our custom we do not attempt to paraphrase the comments of political candidates.Ms. Williamson shared her philosophical thoughts and processes and took questions from the attendees. *This was an important milestone for the Forum – our first Presidential candidate. We have included a link to the presentation by Marianne Williamson: https://youtu.be/xxFIigireg0?si=p_T5TMAcz0ULXDVI 3. Events a) Encore’s Dan Cooney, Marketing Director, spoke about the latest happenings at the encore with Chuck Colby (Sun Times) reminding us that the Encore has won 23 awards. b) Gordon Hall Christmas Celebrations include ‘Women of Gordon Hall’ on December 3rd and ‘Christmas at the Mansion’ on December 1st. c) The Dexter Community Band performs on December 3rd. d) Lions Christmas Tree Sale begins soon. e) The EarthWell Retreat Center will have a ‘Celebration of Life’ retreat circa Mother’s Day 2024.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
======================================================== Season 09, Episode 19, Nov 04, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES November 4, 2023 Karl Fink Chaired the Session
1. Enter EVs, Gas Tax Decline. How will this affect money allocated to road construction and repair? The question is not answered but alternative measures have been suggested. a) Tax miles driven on EVs b) Mileage tracking c) Workforce: public transportation and density propositions. 2. Daylight Savings Time. Discussion regarding physical effects of the time change and why is it done. It is a federal issue and there is no interest in taking on the challenge. 3. MI Zoning Bills from the Legislature, H5120 – H5123.These bills passed the MI House of Representatives on November 3rd. The concept is that solar and windmill farms can now be erected on some 47000 acres of property with more ease than previously. Zoning laws in townships, villages, municipalities, etc. will need modifications to comply with the legislation. The Public Service Commission would be responsible for the processes involved. This is not eminent domain. Environmental standards and nature preservation need to be considered. There is to be a two-year study to determine recycling of panels and windmills when they are to be decommissioned. The taking effect date is two years away. Webster Twp., SEMCOG, Michigan Farm Bureau and others wrote in opposition to these laws. The laws are headed to the Senate during the week of November 6th. 4. Gelman Plume .The following statement summarizes Congresswoman Dingell comments during the meeting. It is abstracted from her e-news for the week of November 6th. “After several rounds of testing the contaminated site, the EPA has announced that the Gelman Sciences Dioxane Plume is eligible to move forward as a candidate for inclusion to the National Priorities List due to high levels of 1,4-dioxane. The site is eligible based on data from a recently completed site inspection and historical data. The EPA believes the site should be included on the NPL after results showed concentrations of 1,4-dioxane that likely originated from the site were above three times the background levels, or typical levels found in the area…………We’re not finished yet – we won’t stop until we have the final rule and the plan in place – but this is a very important step.” 5. Dexter Bicentennial Update: Cheryl Willoughby updated on the plans for the celebration. Events will start in January 2024. Please visit the website,dexterbicentennial.com for more information. You can inquire about events, review some history, and get involved. 6. Upcoming Events: Listed below are some upcoming events a) Dexter Community Band at Dexter High School on November 12th. b) Christmas tree sale by the Lions starting soon. c) The play ‘Disaster’ by the Dexter Community Players at Columbus Hall November 10 – 12, 2023. d) ‘North Country’ at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on November 13th. e) Kiwanis is open for business.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum ======================================================== Season 09, Episode 18, Oct 21, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES October 21, 2023 Bob VanOosterhout and Mara Greatorex Co-Chaired
1. The Chelsea Hospital Community Survey. The group participated in the survey. To the question regarding strengths and assets of your community, the group listed the following. Community, children, location (near hospitals), parks B2B, Huron River, stability, good government, vibrant school system, support each other, group interaction, accessibility to government officials, diversity, rural setting, public safety, strong infrastructure, wildlife, friendly, accessibility. To the question regarding needs for the community, the group listed the following. Affordable housing, crackdown on drugs, transportation, competency, local control vs control by government agencies, property tax caps, activities for youth, access to mental health, civic awareness, more comprehensive recycling programs and use of non-recyclables. The group had access to a handout that listed preliminary data reviewed by Chelsea and University of Michigan Hospitals that resulted in these categories: Social Determinants of Health, Community factors, Health Behaviors, and Health Outcomes. After this, the group voted on the needs they listed and selected those of highest priority. The results are as follows: Affordable housing, lack of cultural diversity, transportation, activities for youth, access to mental health. This data will enhance the efforts of Chelsea Hospital and provide future discussion for the group.
2. What news came out of the Public Service Commission meeting of October 2023? This was reported in the October 7th notes. Our MI House Representatives were at this meeting and stated that there are Senate bills regarding how the PSC members are appointed with consideration of CEO compensation and limitations on dividends. There are also bills with accountability issues in process.
3. Huron River Clean-Up at 5-points area. One person has been cleaning up this area since 2016. Trash is being left by people, often kayakers, after visiting the party store. No governmental agency has been taking responsibility for safety, maintenance, or clean-up. The location is Webster Township, but the area is Metroparks property. To help correct the issue, community members are encouraged to contact Jim O’Brien, Western Department Supervisor, of Metroparks. By phone at 810-227-8900, x6401, or direct line at 810-227-8910 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Tamra Bezzeg, Park Manager at 734-426-8211 or by email: email@example.com. If so inclined, contact Mr. Robert W. Marans, Commissioner for Washtenaw County on the Metroparks Board. The email for Mr. Marans is firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Dexter Senior Center Update. Currently the money is not available from the SOM allotment. Hence, negotiations are not possible. However, progress on other items connected to the next steps continues. The State’s paperwork is ready and on the way to Dr. Timmis as the DCS fiduciary representative. The expectation is that the paperwork needed for signature(s) will be available this coming week. Meanwhile, methods for operational funding continue. Two examples are Giving Tuesday,coming soon, and the Evening of Art & Music on November 2nd at the Dexter District Library.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
========================================================= Season 09, Episode 17, Oct 07, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTEs
October 7, 2023 John Scharf and Caryl Burke Co-Chaired today’s meeting.
1. How does vacating the Speaker of the House position shape the political nature of the U.S.? Congresswoman Dingell was with us today and explained the process. The rule changed so that only one member of Congress needs to make a motion and have it pass resulted in this circumstance. The issue was the budget bill to keep the government running. Congress people received a 71-page bill Saturday AM. There was no time to consider the bill properly and/or discuss it before the vote.
2. What news came out of the Public Service Commission meeting of October , 2023? Representatives, Public Service Commission members and other stakeholders were present. Public comment was articulate in expressing problems during the past DTE outages. Representative Conlin, with us today, informed us that accountability bills are making there way through the MI legislature to provide some correction to the outage issues. Other topics covered include the controversy over solar via a community grid. Regional providers should be considered.
3. What is the ripple effect of the UAW strike? Issues regarding COLA restoration, eliminating the tier system, length of temporary jobs and job security have been seriously considered. With EVs coming into the market, the integration into the master UAW agreement of these entities is important to the UAW. If the strike goes on there are questions regarding the competitiveness of the U.S. auto makers with non-union, non-U.S. automakers.
4. Dexter City Council a) Planning Commission: Considering self-storage in the industrial park. b) Grand Street Project: Preliminary plans passed. c) Public Nuisance Ordinance: The Council rejected the concept. The plan is to work with The Hilltop group, i.e., Avalon and Faith in Action to resolve the issues. There will be involvement of the Sheriff’s Department as well.
5. Miscellaneous a) Webster Twp. will have a coffee hour with Representative Conlin. b) The last siren test will be today. The testing occurs between March and October when tornados are most likely. c) ARPA funding from Washtenaw County, circa $750,000, has been awarded to the Dexter Senior Center. This will be added to the State of Michigan $8.2 million for the future of the DSC and multigenerational facility. A report to the members of the Dexter Senior Center will occur in a couple of weeks to review progress. d) Dexter Community Schools will be having end of season events, and the community is invited to attend.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
======================================================== Season 09, Episode 16, Sept. 16 , 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES September 16,2023
John Hansen and John Scharf Co-chaired today’s meeting.
Given discussions on environmental issues at the Dexter Forum, you are referred to EGLE. There are many parts of their website that could be of interest to those who attend the Dexter Forum. For perusal, go to Michigan.gov/EGLE.
Paul Brown from DCS was with us today and discussed the need for bus drivers. It is difficult to recruit drivers. Discussion involved salaries, split hours, benefits, training, etc. Some routes, with advance notice, will occasionally be excluded. Drivers can supplement the income by driving for special events. The school bus program is approximately 3 ½ percent of the DCS budget. Several new businesses are open in Dexter and promotions are visible. Area residents are encouraged to browse and shop at these new businesses. There was more discussion regarding the roundabouts at the 5 corners. There will be two rather than just one due to the configuration of the intersections. News from Webster Township. The LaFontaine plans for a car storage lot is indeed fact. There will be community services for trash pick-up on Huron River Drive. The Webster-Church and N. Territorial intersection will not be a round-about but rather a traffic light with left lane inclusion.
Housing in Dexter: 1. The Mill Creek Flats at Grand Street has received preliminary approval for attainable housing with the increased median income at ~ $75,000. This is rental housing. 2. Plans for Main Street are going back to Planning. 3. The Broad Street plans await a DDA meeting. 4. The end of Grand Street where the B2B Trailhead now resides cannot be developed further. The best plan would be to have public restrooms and a kiosk. 5. Dexter has been asked to annex the former Kingsley property (45) acres from Scio Township. The annexation would mean the City of Dexter would need to prepare another well application. Discussions and plans continue.
The Michigan legislature is back in session. Representative Carrie Rheingans reported on some legislation moving forward, namely, climate, energy, drug costs, ban guns when misdemeanors are involved, new state grain, ‘wild rice’, new holidays as honorariums but not time off. Sue Shink will host a Town Hall on Tuesday, October 3rd 6 – 7:30 PM at Mill Creek Middle School Cafeteria, 7305 Ann Arbor St., Dexter, MI 48130. Mark O reviewed upcoming events in the area.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
======================================================== Season 09, Episode 15 #205 Sep 02, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES
Karl Fink and Caryl Burke Co-chaired today’s meeting.
1. Gravel Trucks – Roads and other buildings are causing the increased view of the double load haulers we have seen lately. They are not disqualified from road use. Per Michigan law only double haulers with fuel are disqualified from Michigan roads. This does not, however, eliminate the increased wear and tear on our roadways.
2. Pledge of Allegiance – In Dexter Township, the pledge has been discontinued before township meetings as some board members were not amenable to parts of the pledge. Discussion ensued regarding the beginnings and modifications over time. Comments included how the agendas of organizations are set and views on divisiveness. One suggestion was to substitute the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
3. Dexter City Council Issues a) Renovation of current fire station – The petition regarding the fire station and placing the issue on the ballot in 2023 was discussed. Given the state formula and the time for required language revision, the postponement was an evident process. The issue will go on the November 2024 ballot. A temporary fire station will be necessary during the renovation period. $200,000 has been set aside for the renovation. The facility will most likely be the new City Hall. b) Zoning – Concerns were expressed about the ways decisions were being made and how properties were being handled. This is of particular concern for Mill Creek and any building near park lands.
4. Miscellaneous a) Gordon Hall Days are next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9. There will be lots of events. b) The NPR fundraiser at Hill Auditorium with Peter Sagel, host of Wait! Wait!...Don’t tell me was packed. The interview with Bob Seger was especially interesting and entertaining. c) Congresswoman Dingell reported that the Town Hall regarding the issues with DTE is tentatively scheduled for October 5th at WCC. Public comments are needed. The VA Hospital in Ann Arbor was out of electricity and issues with generators caused great distress for patients and staff. Contact your state representatives or city, township, village to find out how to comment. Internet resources are also available. d) Some flooding issues are related to municipalities allowing building in 100-year flood plains. e) John Hansen will lead the meeting on September 16th while Karl Fink is away. f) Mark related upcoming local events.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
======================================================== Season 09, Episode 14 #204 Aug 19, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES-
Karl Fink and Bob Van Oosterhout Co-chaired today’s meeting.
The Forum has been asked by Chelsea Hospital’s SRSLY to respond to a survey in September/October regarding physical and mental health needs of the community to include those of youth. The group present said yes to the request. Jason Maciejewski, Washtenaw County Commissioner, District 1 was present and reviewed happenings in the county. Subjects reviewed follow: 1. Budget. The Commissioners are looking at budgeting the $220 million for the general fund.
2. Broadband. There is $14.2 million for infrastructure. About 1/4th to 1/3rd has been expended to date with completion targeted by the end of 2025.Our ability to obtain federal/state dollars (American Rescue Plan) was greatly enhanced by the earlier research and data collection by the collaboration of western Washtenaw communities (Western Washtenaw Advisory Committee). Being ‘shovel ready’ proved to be pivotal in obtaining the funds. Please refer to the Washtenaw County website for additional broadband information.
3. The County is also interested and participating as needed in the health issues survey as stated above.
4. B2B Trail. Parker Road to the east should be completed this year. Next year the section from Dancer to the Milling Silos and the final branch between Dexter and Chelsea to follow. Maintenance of the trail will be in control of the jurisdictions through which it traverses. Hence, it could be state, county or Metro Parks.
5. Round-Abouts. The round-about at the downtown Dexter bridge is projected for 2027. This project will help with traffic flow but no solve all the issues. There is a plan for a Five Point round about near the Dexter Cider Mill. It is forecast for 2026.
6. Millage Issues. Currently millage amounts have been approved by the voters for roads and health. However, a senior millage is being proposed. Therefore, there is consideration of a cooperating millage or core millage to encompass the separate needs rather than a separate millage for each need. This would of course need to go before the voters.
7. Chelsea Courthouse. There is a statutory requirement for a courthouse based on population but has not been relevant in many jurisdictions. Due to safety issues at the Chelsea Courthouse, domestic violence cases have been moved to Saline. The least dangerous cases are being held via Zoom. Hence, space evaluations are in play.
8. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The question was asked whether any of this money had shown up in Dexter. Congresswoman Dingell was present and responded that, yes money has shown up in Dexter and other areas of Washtenaw County. One example is the Dexter Senior Center $8.5 million from money allocated to the State of Michigan. Other grants are available for cities, townships, and communities from Department of Energy dollars. All entities must pursue these dollars. As with broadband, ‘shovel ready’ projects are more likely to obtain the available grants.
9. Other subjects. The questions about increased gravel truck traffic in Dexter were not able to be answered at this meeting nor were media literacy and cultural thinking. Thanks were expressed to Ed and friends for a successful program at the Kiwanis. Sabers and swords and knives demonstrated to perfection!
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
========================================================= Season 09, Episode 13, #203 AUG 05, 2023
DEXTER FORUM NOTES-
Karl Fink and Dale Leslie Co-chaired today’s meeting.
Electricity Reliability was the first topic of discussion. Ed brought up the disruption to people and businesses. Ann Arbor was affected greatly. Many homes and businesses were without power for 3-4 days. Why? Debbie Dingell contacted DTE. She also talked with ITC. ITC is the transmission line organization that contracts with DTE. ITC claims that DTE is not making the investment necessary to maintain power during storms. Congressperson Dingell will organize a town hall regarding electricity maintenance with involved parties and the public. The date, place, and time TBD. Stay tuned. Outages are longer. Will charging EVs overload the system? Redoing overhead lines to underground is very expensive. Is a national infrastructure bill needed as a remedy? Some states have several utility companies, e.g., Iowa with shy of 200! Can regional areas decide to be their own utility company, e.g., as Ann Arbor is contemplating. It’s a very expensive venture. Ray asked questions about the developments in Dexter, specifically Pelham and Grand View Commons. Is growth good or bad? Concerns about buildings blending with the current ‘village’ or ‘old town’ emphasis. Traffic issues as Dexter is a one-way funnel with no direct way around town. Public comments can be effective regarding zoning and what is to be built. Public comments were good regarding these two developments, but the pressure regarding Dexter’s future cannot be reduced.
Jim Carson updated the status of the Dexter Senior Center (DSC). $8.5 million is on track from the State of Michigan given the efforts of elected officials and others. There is a federal grant request in process but no further news currently. The Dexter Community Schools will be the fiduciary for the facility. The facility will be multigenerational. The current Wellness Center, which is up for sale, is under consideration. However, other locations will be evaluated. The Ann Arbor YMCA is likely to be the management group for the facility when selected. There will need to be discussion for ongoing operational support from the municipalities whose population will be using the facility. There are 422 members of the DSC currently with anticipation of reaching 500 by the year’s end. Gordon Smith, the executive director, has resigned. The DSC Board will step in along with the Program Director, Angela Johnson, until a new Executive Director is selected.
There was also discussion regarding declining enrollment at colleges and universities. There are several reasons for this and mentioned were: § Population decline § Emphasis on vocational education § Cost of college
Ed mentioned his rapier fencing demonstration to be held at Kiwanis and Mark shared announcements of happenings in the area.
Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
======================================================= Season 09, Episode 12 #202 July 15, 2023 DEXTER FORUM NOTES
Karl Fink and Mara Greatorex Co-chaired today’s meeting.
Concern was expressed regarding the shut down of 15 lakes in Michigan. Most were due to bacterial infestation. Representative Conlin stated that some were due to PFAS and algae blooms. PFAS is everywhere and largely used in firefightingfoam, on military bases and commercial airfields as well as in products used by everyone.Comment: Please review the information on Michigan.gov/pfasresponse. You may want to pay particular attention to the information on drinking water and residential wells.A book recommended for review is Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Don Egar. Currently there is a split sewer and equalization area for retarding run-off under consideration, and a uniform septic code bill has been introduced in Michigan. Concern about lead in water pipes was also expressed. In 2018, after the Flint water crisis, the Michigan Lead and Copper rules for pipes was updated. ALL lead (delivery pipes) water service lines in the state must be replaced by 2041. EGLE can set regulations. Some systems in municipalities are struggling to maintain pipes properly. This mandate does not include water pipes in homes although water filtration systems for some businesses such as day-care and others are required. Pipes in homes for most will be the owner’s responsibility. Some exceptions for help with home replacement of pipes do exist. A reference article about this can be found in the Detroit News dated February 2, 2022, titled, ‘Some Lead Water Pipes in Michigan Homes Can Be Replaced Free’. Bridge Magazine, a Michigan nonpartisan, nonprofit news source, reports that there has been a push through of laws without hearings. This has been a recent complaint for the lawmakers currently elected. However, it is pointed out that the laws recently passed had hearings previously. Proposition 1 regarding term limits and financial disclosures are beginning bi-partisan talks for fulfillment. There is no budget signing by the governor scheduled at this time. The process was arduous. Kerry Kafafian gave an update on the Many Hands development. There will be staff housing on the grounds, a community center, organized farm projects, and trails that are ADA compliant. The site is modeled after Life-Sharing in PA, C+VA and WVA. Fifteen potential corporate partners have demonstrated interest in the project. Committees are being formed. If you are interested in participating, please contact Kerry. Civility was discussed given the latest political fistfight in Michigan between two GOP legislators. Do we need workplace violence policies and ethics committees in the state legislature? What is driving these outbursts? Is it the concept of winning at all costs rather than working together? Or is it being driven by freedom causes, agitation, turbo coarseness, fear? Comment:This was difficult to discern from comments made at the forum. You may want to Google the term ‘democratic paradox’. Cheryl Willoughby via Ron reported that the St. Joseph festival will be part of the Dexter Bicentennial activities. Bob Van Oosterhout reported that Braver Angels has announced the ‘Rise for America’ campaign which offers citizens the chance to get involved and take action to help build bridges between opposing sides. By fostering respectful dialogues and engaging in deep listening, individuals can resolve divisive conflicts and create connections that change relationships to strengthen our democratic republic. Some ways to take action include host a documentary party, attend and amplify a Braver Angels “Depolarizing Within” workshop, coordinate a Braver Angels ambassador led presentation, train to be a debate chair or create your own event or action step. Also consider https://braverangels.org/rise for a program to prevent rising violence and extremism through authentic and respectful community conversations where participants learn about and discuss the role of media in spreading hate and divisiveness. It goes from September through spring of 2024. Finally, consult https://www.courageousri.com. If you are interested in more information and /or bringing any of these events to Dexter, please contact Bob at email@example.com or his website at www.bringtruthtofear.org. Respectfully submitted, Lois Ann Beerbaum
======================================================== Season 09, Episode 11 #202, July 01,2023 ***Karl Fink and Gordon Smith co-chaired today’s session.***
Two of our Washtenaw County legislators, Jennifer Conlin and Sue Shink, shared that the Dexter Senior Center will receive $8.5 million from the State of Michigan. The funds will be in the hands of the Dexter Community Schools as they are the governmental agency that will be responsible for the dissemination of the funds. The project will be multigenerational and most likely the current Dexter Wellness Center, now up for sale, will be the site for the development . Five Healthy Towns is most likely to be a partner in the development and sustainability of the center. Additional partners to provide sustainability will be sought. Congressperson Dingell shared that federal dollars have been applied for but there is no news as of this date. Zach shared that a trailhead is being planned by Chelsea for the B2B. The question was raised whether Dexter should also have a trailhead. Currently the best location for a trailhead would be where the current fire station is located. Questions were pondered why the Dexter City Council proposed renovating the current fire station rather than building a new one on the Meadowview site. A petition is being organized for signatures to have this issue placed on the ballot which will not be possible until 2024. Since the park area is currently used by some 400,000 people, not having a trailhead interferes with B2B and park plans. In addition, a trailhead located in Dexter would bring more revenue to Dexter businesses. The Courageous Conversation group is reaching out to more communities. More information on this topic can be obtained by talking with Bob Van Oosterhout. A question was asked about the Gelman plume. Congressperson Dingell shared the result of the open meeting held in Ann Arbor on June 28, 2023. NOTE: This is a complicated issue to report. Hence, Congressperson Dingell’s July 3, 2023eNews is posted here for your reference.
Gelman Plume Update On Wednesday, we held a forum to provide updates on the Gelman Dioxane Plume. Attorney General Dana Nessel joined us for this important conversation. Representatives from the EPA and EGLE, and many of our community officials from the areas most impacted by the plume were available to answer questions. I reiterated that the best way for us to make progress is by being united and working together at the community level with federal, state, and local government officials. We have a shared responsibility at all levels of government to finally get this decades-old contamination plume cleaned up for the health and safety of future community generations. For way too long, the plume has been spreading through groundwater in Ann Arbor and Scio township and surrounding communities, posing a concerning threat to our families and the surrounding environment. People involved in this have been living with the plume for 40 years. The EPA was very clear that they are moving through the process of evaluating and sampling the site to be listed on the Superfund National Priorities List, a list of the most severe sites identified for long-term cleanup. They indicated that they are aiming for the fall of 2024. One more round of testing is underway but had the original testing not indicated it would likely qualify, this round would not be underway. All parties also assured that water is being tested regularly by many entities and that results are being coordinated. If any danger appears, EPA has an Emergency Response Team in Ann Arbor as well as EGLE and local resources. The Attorney General filed a new Consent decree to put a stronger standard in place that Gelman must also be cleaning up to protect the community. None of this is where we want to be. For too long, there were many opinions, reluctance to take certain steps, much disagreement, and corporate avoidance of being held accountable. We are all working closely on every step of this process. Real progress is happening with all working together to clean up this site. None of it is ideal- it's taking way too long, people worry, and everyone wants facts and action. A Superfund designation would allow federal cleanup to begin on the plume, hopefully delivering more certainty for families in these areas. And the federal government has more power to make polluters pay. While the Superfund listing process is comprehensive and will continue to take time to complete, every government agency involved in this process is committed to seeing it through efficiently.
Zach asked the group to opine about more trees being planted in the City of Dexter. Discussion ensued with Cheryl stating that 200 saplings would be available during the bicentennial celebration for people to plant on their premises. Gordon Hall raffle tickets are available. Last year 1200 tickets were sold. Tickets on sale for Gordon Hall days September 9-10, 2023. A tea is also being planned. Cheryl reported on the latest for the Dexter Bicentennial. The Post Office will help with a specific hand stamp. There will be storytelling from long term residents. To date, 150 businesses will be involved. T-shirts will be coming soon to Dexter stores in downtown. Work with churches and proclamations continue. Paint Dexter in August 2024 with 75 artists in downtown Dexter. The United Methodist Church is now Huron River Methodist Church. Based on our collective experience during the February 2023 ice storm, Lois requested a contact for researching consolidation of contacts for residents who need assistance. To date reaching a helpful entity has proved very difficult. Mark shared the local events update. Respectfully submitted, Lois Beerbaum
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