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An unsightly mess

 

Shaner Ave. (Nelson Township) between 17 and 18 Mile Roads has recently been turned into an unsightly mess. The mess is not only in the ditches along the road, but also left on the properties of current residents. Consumers Energy and the Kent County Road Commission came through with heavy equipment and cut a long wide path of trees and brush. This ugly defacing of Shaner was done most recklessly and without regard for the properties on which their work was done. Several property owners have lost large trees, which now lay on their properties in large hunks or piles. Heavy equipment was used to mow down brush and topple trees. In some of the areas where work was done, a lot of debris was left. Tree trunks and uprooted trees lay on the wide swath of loose and lumpy mounds of water-soaked soil that was also dug up. Pieces of shredded brush lay on the narrow shoulder of the road, being a hazard for bikers, walker, and joggers. Ditches were damaged where the heavy equipment went on and off the road, which will result in water backing up into residents’ yards when it rains, if the ditches aren’t repaired. This all was done to accommodate the development project, White Pine Ridge, now in progress on Shaner and 18 Mile Roads. We residents on Shaner appear to have to deal with the ugly side of progress at work. In the beginning, Nelson Township officials appeared to believe that the condominium development would give something back to the community. So far it has only been costly for the Township, particularly in attorney’s fees. This is only the beginning of many adverse effects that the development will have on residents along Shaner and 18 Mile Roads. I ask: will it be progress or progressive devastation to a peaceful quiet and uncrowded rural community?

Mary Stidham, Nelson Township

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One Response to “An unsightly mess”

  1. Part of the routine maintenance efforts of the Kent County Road Commission is to trim and cut trees along the right of way. We do this to get brush away from the edges of the road and out of the ditches. The efforts improve visibility for drivers and those using non-motorized transport, thus improving safety within the right of way. Clearing the brush also improves drainage. Because the initial trimming is done mechanically with a tractor, we do have crews return within a few weeks for a final clean-up. This is currently taking place.

    Our efforts on Shaner Avenue are not connected to a specific condominium development, but rather align with our normal, ongoing maintenance efforts throughout the county. Where the power company’s contractor has damaged ditches, or other aspects of the right of way, they will be required to return when conditions allow and restore the area.

    We invite residents to contact us with concerns using the Report an Issue online form at kentcountyroads.net

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