By Diamond Henry
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff reporter
BATH — Bath Township leaders have a pretty clear idea as to how residents want to pay for community needs: using grants and existing township funds.
That’s according to Bath Charter Township’s recently-published results of a community survey regarding the township’s strategic plan.
Once sent out to the community, citizens recorded votes and opinions based on the plans and goals given and how to go about them. Citizen results showed that “grants” and “leveraging existing Township funds” were the most popular results as to how to pay for the goals.
Ryan Soucy, the Planning Director of the Bath Township Board of Trustees discussed the strategic plan, the community survey and the goals the township is hoping to accomplish.
“The public is most interested in seeing grants because there’s no kind of strings attached with the use of taxpayer funds. They would be hopeful to see sort of ‘free money’ being used in that process,” Soucy said.
According to the survey, “Grants” received responses ranging from 100-165 and “Leverage existing Township funds” ranging from 90-160 responses out of 312 respondents to the survey.
“Leveraging existing Townships funds, that had a lot of interest because that money is there; it’s ours and it’s kind of the taxpayers saying what they want done with their money,” said Soucy.
Soucy may have only been there for a little while, but he seems to be correct about the citizens.
“I look forward to seeing what they accomplish with the results,” said Kristi Colby, a citizen of Bath who took the survey.
When asked why she took the survey, Colby said, “I took the survey so my voice could be heard; put out there in my community,” said Colbi. Colbi wanted to get Bath’s community and identity to strengthen.
The strategic planning could potentially benefit citizens outside of Bath also.
Nancy Hoyland, a citizen of DeWitt, works at the Bath Senior Center.
“I may not live in Bath, but I hope they improve the senior center. We need a lot more space,” said Colbi.
Luckily for Hoyland, senior center renovations are a part of the plan. With 266 residents responding, it seems to be a much-sought request.
The other categories for improvements include library, park improvements, multipurpose building, non-motorized pathways, and road improvements. There were also sub-categories which can all be found in the community survey results with all the logistics.
“The survey was created to gather public opinions on the Board of Trustees draft strategy for the strategic plan,” said Soucy.
According to Soucy, who started as Planning Director about four months ago, the plan started to develop around January 2015. The Bath Township Board of Trustees partnered with consulting firm J.T. Consultants to help in the decision making process of devising the strategy.