Community gets update on what's next for City of Northville
Posted on 05/07/2019
Mayor Roth on stage at Schoolcraft's VisTaTech Center.The State of the Community held April 17 at Schoolcraft College’s VisTaTech Center drew 200 people to hear updates from area leaders: Northville Mayor Ken Roth, Northville Township Supervisor Bob Nix and Northville School Superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher. U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, of the 11th District, was a special guest. The luncheon was hosted by the Northville Chamber of Commerce.

Rep. Stevens welcomed the audience and provided an update of her first 100 days in office. Her initiatives will focus on early education and the promotion of science courses for girls, as well as scientific advances in the United States. She noted that southeastern Michigan has the ability to become the leading technology hub for electric cars and autonomous vehicles. She encouraged her constituents to contact her office in Livonia if they need help with any issues involving the federal government.

Mayor Ken Roth covered a wide range of topics during his talk. He proudly noted that the 10 percent of the City-owned streets will be improved or enhanced this construction season, due to the passage of the street bond last fall. He said finances for repairs are coming in lower than expected, and any excess funds will be returned to taxpayers.

The mayor said the City needs to communicate better with taxpayers about where general tax money goes. As an example of funds collected, he noted of a $6,000 tax bill, the City receives only $2,146 – the rest goes to the county, state, schools and for millages.

He touched on the Rural Hill Cemetery extension plan, which will allow it to continue burials for another 10 to 15 years. He gave a nod to the mixed-use building that’s going up at the corner of Cady and Griswold, across from Tipping Point Theatre, which he believes will re-energize that part of town.

Of the PUD for the Northville Downs property approved by the Planning Commission on April 16, he said it allows for a “unified strategic plan” rather than piecemeal development of the Downs area and “the City will get benefits from it.”

As the building and planning process advances, he was optimistic about the new apartment buildings proposed by Watermark Residential on two sections of Cady Street, with fully enclosed parking for tenants. There is also nearly 19,000 ft2 of commercial space associated with that project, which is part of the Hunter Pasteur Homes PUD.

He also noted that daylighting the portion of the Rouge River currently hidden under the Northville Downs racetrack property will be a huge asset for all residents and the community at large. The proposed 8.3 acre linear park would allow that area to be an attractive connection and gathering place between downtown and Hines Park. Plus, he said, the City won't have to pay for it. However, he did mention to Rep. Stevens in front of the audience that federal funding may be needed.

Addressing the traffic issue, he noted that traffic circles (aka roundabouts) have done well in Oakland County and he is in favor of bringing one to Northville. He said there’s been no fatalities involving roundabouts in Oakland County. The big area of concern is at 7 mile and Sheldon, which currently gets congested at rush hour.

Watch his speech here.