Message from President Pam Hansen Re: Construction related activities in the Village Center

Hello Villagers:

I’d like to give you a late season update on several construction related activities in the village center. 

Drain Sewers: If you wondered about the enormous amount of digging on the west side of Franklin Road, you were not alone.  A few weeks ago, the engineers reported that the storm sewer system in the village center was not working properly and needed attention. When they investigated, street crews found some drains were plugged with sediment and the pipe itself was cracked in several places. They recommended replacing about 350’ of pipe along the west side of Franklin Road. We agreed and the new pipe is being installed now. It should last many years with regular drain maintenance. 

Light fixtures: Eight streetlight poles and ten small pathway lights will be installed along Franklin Road in early winter. Each pole will have horizontal banner arms and will have an electrical outlet near the base. They will be dark gray in a “Bishop Crook” style and will be made from heavy aluminum. Light will be directed down, not toward the sky. Interestingly, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) guidelines, which the design team followed in selecting fixtures, advises lighting styles that match previous lights or are more contemporary in style if the village has no known history of streetlights. The team selected a pole design that is reminiscent of a traditional streetlight but are plain and will complement the various building styles in the village. Click to view Light Pole update.

Restoring the Tree Canopy:  We have permission from all of the impacted private property owners to plant trees on their properties, going a long way toward restoring the tree canopy that existed in the village up until the early 70s when Dutch Elm disease claimed many existing trees.  This fall you will see newly planted trees in front of the Slade House, Franklin Post Office, Comerica Bank, Perlmutter’s, the Lakeside Building and the Costello’s building as well as on some other properties in the ROW.  A few trees will be planted in the spring. The Village has committed to caring for the trees for at least two years to help assure their survival.   

Rock Wall: Instead of sloping the lawn to the street, as planned in front of the Van Every building on the east side of Franklin Road near 14 Mile, a split stone capped wall will be installed where the “rusty” rocks were removed to retain the original flat lawn.  The wall will be short and will allow visitors to sit on the flat stone top.  The planned stone wall is reminiscent of similar retaining walls in the village.  We may need to delay installation until spring to avoid undue congestion near the cider mill.    

Final Road Paving: It is very likely the final layer of asphalt on Franklin Rd will not be laid until spring 2021. The project had a late start due to COVID, lawsuit-related delays and the unexpected extent of the drain replacements. The engineers and contractor think it preferable to add the final lift after plantings and other finish work is done in the spring. Drivers should not experience road roughness and the road will be maintained as usual during the winter. 

I feel very sure everyone is looking forward to moving past the digging! Please call the office at 248-626-9666 if you have any questions.  The village web site is a good place for updates and is where you can find past streetscape updates. 

Best Regards,

Pam Hansen
Village President