Controversy in Meridian Township due to CATA's proposed BRT system

By Riley James
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

CATA plans on adding two designated bus lanes right down the center of the Grand River Avenue corridor for the Route 1 bus. The bus rapid transit (BRT) system is expected to improve certain aspects of Grand River Avenue including traffic congestion, safety, and attractiveness. “CATA is not changing the entire system to a BRT system. CATA is proposing to change Route 1 to a Bus Rapid Transit line to improve travel for all modes along the corridor,” said Debbie Alexander, the assistant executive director of CATA. “When buses operate in their own lanes and use stations for boarding, the speed of travel for the bus rider is improved by up to 13 minutes, and the flow of auto traffic is improved because buses are not stopping frequently to drop off and pick up passengers along the 8.5-mile corridor,” said Alexander..

Low crime rates contribute to Meridian's quality of life

By Chris Hung
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Despite having slightly above average violent crime rates compared to townships of similar population, Meridian Township residents report above average living conditions and quality of life. In the 2015 National Citizen Survey on Meridian Township, in which 331 residents were polled, 98 percent of respondents reported feeling safe in the neighborhoods. In downtown or commercial areas, 96 percent of residents felt safe. 92 percent of residents responded that their overall security was rated positively. An integral part to the township’s safety and security are the 39 sworn officers that make up both Meridian’s police force.

Drain improvements throughout Meridian raise concerns in more than one aspect

By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

By observing the trends in Meridian Township it should come to no surprise that when it comes to projects the processing time for development takes awhile, and typically lots of money. Daniels Drain Improvement Project is something to not be surprised about either, regarding the price and times for construction and the consequences without it. Many may be unfamiliar with the project, which will soon be totally approved, but it is important for the residents to take notice on what is going on, especially with concerns for the prices and construction time, or the repercussion of not fixing the drain. Daniels Drain Improvement Project is to rebuild a drain system and the part of which is breaking down near an Okemos condominium complex. There have been many special meetings and general township board meetings as well to discuss the project, such as points of what they will do and who will be paying for it. 

This repair of the drain is due to an issue that is affecting the water servicing parts of the community.

Okemos High is cracking down on athletic concussions

By Tamar Davis
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

OKEMOS — With girls’ soccer season getting ready to start and football just months away, Okemos High School is trying to prevent and control concussions like never before. Okemos High School Football Head Coach Jack Wallace tries his hardest to make sure his players don’t get concussions during the game and also during practice. “The level of concern is very high for concussions in todays society,” Said Wallace. “My personal level of concern is very high for concussions because they happen so much in contact sports. There are times when players get concussions and were never aware of it before the symptoms let them know they had a concussion.

New apartments to be built on Grand River Avenue

By Riley James
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

No later than this spring, Campus Village developers plan to build a new apartment complex on Grand River Avenue in Meridian Township. The actual address where the new complex will be built is 2655 Grand River Ave. According to Greg Schaefer, vice president of operations, the apartments should be available in August of 2017. “We decided to propose this development because we felt there was a need in the market for more housing along the Grand River corridor. With the proposed BRT system along Grand River [Avenue] we feel this is an excellent time to increase density along the corridor by incorporating a mixed-use design with some of the existing retail.

Main Meridian-to-Lansing link of Michigan Avenue in need of repairs

By Julie Campbell
Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Damaged roads seem to be a huge problem across Michigan, one that grows over time. It’s almost as if potholes and bumps on the roads are a way of life for all Michigan residents. Although there are often efforts to repair these problems, there is one street — the main route between Meridian Township and Lansing — that seems to have been left behind on the road repair list: Michigan Avenue. Michigan Avenue is supposed to be the fastest, easiest route from Meridian Township to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for the Meridian Township Fire and EMS, something needs to be fixed. If they have trouble getting to the desired location to help those in need, they’re going to have to find a different, longer route.

April showers bring May … garlic mustard? Township's annual battles with invasive plants about to begin

By Chris Hung
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Finally unshackled by the grasp of winter, the arrival of spring means the return of green nature, including with them, the threat of invasive plant species. On Meridian Township’s 2016 strategic goal list, it includes a plan to continue in managing invasive species in its many parks and land preserves. The list includes garlic mustard, buckthorn, autumn olive, Japanese knotweed, Japanese hedge parsley and phragmites. While Michigan’s and Meridian’s flora is host to many species of invasive plants, garlic mustard is considered one of the worst and fastest spreading. It is a biennial plant, meaning it has a lifespan of two years.

It's youth baseball season in Meridian Township

By Tamar Davis
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Baseball and softball seasons are approaching very fast, and they can provide a great season for children in the grades of Kindergarten through eighth grade. Serving the residents of Okemos, Haslett, East Lansing and now Williamston, the recreation department in Meridian Township is looking to continue to provide a healthy outlet for children to turn to after their school day is over. U12 Baseball league coach Todd Hall and Recreation Specialist Mike Devlin both believe baseball and other sport leagues the township provide are opportunities for children to do other things that are good for them physically and mentally. “Our youth should want to be more active around this age,” said Hall. “This gives them something to do instead of just being stuck in the house and playing video games all day.

Meridian Township Garden Club proposes an official butterfly for Michigan

By Julie Campbell
Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Michigan is one of only three states without an official butterfly or state. The Meridian Township Garden Club realizes this and wants to make a change by declaring the Black Swallowtail as the official butterfly of Michigan. The Black Swallowtail overwinters in Michigan as a pupa, making it a full-time Michigan resident. This butterfly is easy for school groups to study the butterflies. “Some butterflies reside in tall trees, but the Black Swallowtail prefers flowering areas and natural areas filled with red clover, common milkweed, butterfly weed, and other Michigan plants,” said Peggy Bryson, treasurer of Meridian Township Garden Club.

With water woes in Flint, people are looking twice at their taps in Meridian

By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

To most people’s knowledge the water crisis in Flint is something to not take lightly by any means. With the concern of the water quality in surrounding neighborhoods, no matter how far or close, they may have a little to be concerned about as well. Due to the water crisis in Flint, the residents of Meridian Township wonder, and perhaps worry about the potential lead levels in their township’s water system that could arise. “Though I currently live in East Lansing, I am originally from Okemos and have thought about this situation happening before when Flint broke loose. Not just for my community alone, but all of Michigan.