Citizens petition board for railroad quiet zones

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By Erin Gray
The Meridian Times

Meridian Township Board Clerk Brett Dreyfus received a petition from Meridian citizens who want quiet zones for the two local railroads.

The petition was signed by 25 citizens.

“The issue has enough momentum that I would like to see this issue placed on the next board meeting on the Nov. 3 agenda, simply for discussion,” Dreyfus said.

Dreyfus said there are concerns with the length and times of the train’s horn, and that he will review railroad regulations before the next meeting. He said he would like to see citizens have opportunities to voice their opinions on the subject.

The Board also agreed to discuss Meridian’s largest landfill, which has about 30 years before a new one needs to be constructed.

Trustee John Veenstra said construction for a new landfill will be complicated because of local opposition,so he favors an increase in recycling.

“I think what we need to do is reduce the amount of trash going into the landfill so it won’t get filled up in 30 years, and that means increasing the rate of recycling,” Veenstra said.

Veenstra said more recycling bins and opportunities should be added to apartment complexes in the township to reduce trash.

Daniel’s Drain project, involving the fixing of a broken drain near Okemos condominiums, was voted to be put into action at the next board agenda.

“We have been meeting and meeting on this and I think we need to move forward,” said Trustee Ron Styka.

The project of fixing the drain entails a 20-step process, according to Styka, with the first step being a petition.
“It is not until step seven that we are actually going forward, so I say let’s get started next time with step one,” Styka said.

The Township Board is also set to discuss the personnel manual section on the use of medical marijuana in the workplace and the motion of paid maternity leave for township employees.

Veenstra said he thinks the medical use of marijuana should not be banned in the township workplace.
“Obviously we don’t want someone driving high or working while they’re high,” said Veenstra, “But I would say if they can perform their job satisfactorily, they should be permitted to use medical marijuana because it is legal under state law.”

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