With the approach of the master plan workshop, Orion Twp. Celebrate Success • Oakland County Times

With the approach of the master plan workshop, Orion Twp. Celebrate successes

With the approach of the master plan workshop, Orion Twp. Celebrate successes

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 11, 2021)

Township of Orion, MI – During an almost two-hour gratitude party that ended with Supervisor Chris Barnett wiping tears from his cheeks, Orion’s state of the township address showed what the community had accomplished and endured over the past year.

Barnett said that when the COVID pandemic hit, “Our community kicked in. It was remarkable and we did it together.

Hundreds of deliveries of food and essentials have taken place in the community, with a pantry being set up with Woodside Church. But beyond just helping with food, Orion Township has put its employees, who might otherwise have been put on leave, to work to watch over the most vulnerable residents. “We have made over 10,000 calls to seniors, veterans and disabled citizens from our staff to their homes,” the supervisor said. “Most people were just excited to be verified, and one of the cool things about this senior appeal program is not just that we have been recognized by the state through MParks for our plan. COVID response team… country. “

City departments were already used to teamwork, and the investment in team thinking put them in an excellent position to meet the challenges of the past year.

“Right before the pandemic, we spent almost a full year with our staff trying to figure out who we are?” Who do we want to be? What is the best version of the Township of Orion? Barnett said.

Among the results was the township’s new vision statement “Exceeding the expectations of our residents on a daily basis for how local government can serve them”.

“It will be on the wall of our new building,” he said. “It should define everything we do.”

COVID closures have given city leaders a chance to assess, adapt and find new savings. The Township of Orion began the fiscal year with a budget that is expected to result in savings of $ 5,546. Instead, they left with an additional $ 1,356,695 in the general fund.

A laundry list of successful projects was shared on the giant screens of Woodside Church where the event took place. A large part of viewers took to Facebook to see successes like the addition of disc golf at Camp Agawam, the opening of Miracle Field in the fall of 2019 for players of all levels, the addition of a park pocket giant ‘Playful Dragon’ on Baldwin Road, the completion of the Baldwin Road Corridor Project, the ongoing construction of the new Civic Center and a host of private developments we can be proud of including Woodbridge Hills and Pomeroy Living Villas.

To make it even easier to attract quality development, Orion Township is emerging as a redevelopment-ready community, which means working with the state to improve all aspects of development.

Working with others is part of the reason for the community’s success, and the Supervisor shared several ways that Orion’s leadership connects with neighbors for stronger solutions to problems. Barnett, who recently won a Michigan Municipal League Leadership Award, is one of two city officials sitting on the county’s economic task force with Royal Oak Mayor Mike Fournier. He is also vice-president of SEMCOG (South East Michigan Council of Governments) of which he will be president next year.

In the Township of Orion, the Village of Lake Orion has its own council and its own successes to celebrate. The village has created a social district that allows you to drink outside drinks from licensed companies in certain areas. Nine bars and restaurants are participating. Another good news is that $ 314,709 in COVID grants have been awarded to support local businesses.

And yet, with all the successes, there was still sadness and conflict.

With the year starting in the midst of the COVID pandemic, the challenges were felt a bit by local officials, like walking a sharp-edged Legos trail. But as the state of the township video shows, over time these pieces have come together. People began to make healthy choices, volunteers and donors rallied to meet needs, and various groups and services came together until a more harmonious path was mapped out.

But along the way, there were losses. Rallies and events were missed and lives lost due to illness. Businesses have struggled. Some closed. And people had to find different ways to connect.

The sadness expressed on stage by Barnett concerned the loss of a good friend and active resident of Orion Township. In January, Anthony Reighard died at the age of 43, unrelated to the pandemic. And her image was shown at the end of a slideshow full of faces and community effort, bringing tears to the eyes of members of the audience and the supervisor himself.

“He owned a local M&B Graphics business. But he was literally involved in just about everything that was going on around town. He was a supporter of all nonprofits and charities and was one of the nicest people you could ever meet, ”Barnett said when asked about his friend later. “We were similar in that neither of us really knew how to say the word no. But whenever I stopped to visit him, he always stopped his extremely busy schedule and engaged with me. Such a sweet man who has always given himself 100% for our community.

As Orion progresses, community members, including residents and business owners, are encouraged to attend an Open House on Master Planning on June 16 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Orion Center, 1335 Joslyn Rd.

The open house is one of the many opportunities for residents to give their opinion on the Township of Orion master plan. This spring, an online survey was conducted and a second open house will be held in the fall.

More information:

Official website of the canton of Orion

Oakland County News Page Times Lake Orion / Orion Twp

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