Tension Flares With Water, Sewer Line and Haslett Schools’ Superintendent

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By Jennifer Raye
The Meridian Times staff writer

HASLETT, Mich. – Meridian Township’s proposed urban service boundary has the potential to decrease enrollment at Haslett Public Schools due to its cut-off of water and sewer services in an undeveloped subdivision, said Mike Duda, Haslett Public Schools’ superintendent.

The proposed urban service boundary will be cutting through an undeveloped subdivision, on Haslett Road, which, in the future, could bring young families into the Haslett area. The hundred potential homes in the area would be divided between those with city sewer and water and those on septic and well water.

“Young families would not want to build there, with less city-ready homes that means less children and lower enrollment,” Duda said.

Duda raised concern at the Sept. 20 board meeting. “This needs to not be so restrictive, with no city sewer and water, it decreases the density in that area, which has the potential to impact Haslett Schools,” he said.

Reactions from board members ranged from full support to no support at all. He has not spoken to any engineers about this boundary issue.

As of Oct. 15, Bob Schroeder, the developer for the area, may not want to continue developing without city services, Duda said.

“I have no idea about his remarks, “I have not heard or seen his comments,” said Mark Kieselbach, director of community planning and development for Meridian Township.

Schroeder was given a two- to three-year time limit to get zoning and development approvals. Because of the economy and dropping housing prices, he did not meet the time limit. The area will be revisited, but zoning could determine the types of lots the subdivision will have. With larger, more rural lots, a private septic system would be used. With smaller lots, a private septic system cannot work.

“I agree this area should be included, if it’s going to be developed. Right now it’s split,” Kieselbach said.

The township board has not made a decision about the exact location of the boundary. The urban service boundary was moved from an action item on the agenda minutes to a discussion item after the complaints from residents. The township board will be meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18 to discuss the boundary and other township issues.

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