CLINTON TOWNSHIP—Clinton Township’s Strategic Vision Plan, derived from community surveys and multiple stakeholder sessions, is a working document to guide the Township through the steps needed over the next three to five years, to create positive change, and continue to improve the quality of life in Clinton Township.
According to Township Supervisor Bob Cannon, the number one priority of the plan is to ensure quality roads by defining opportunities to support roadway maintenance, including funding, education, and a communication campaign.
“Most of our main roads are in good condition, and a part of that is because of pressure we put on the state and county, but we're willing to participate financially when possible,” said Township Supervisor Bob Cannon. “Clinton Township relies on the Macomb County Department of Roads for its source of funding for road improvements. We don’t have our own road department like our neighboring cities have, and while we’ve had some success managing our roads within these constraints, the growing need for maintenance calls for a different approach. We need a new, sustainable strategy for funding the improvement of our roadway network,” he said.
Cannon added that a significant component of the road strategy requires lobbying at the state level to change how road funding is accomplished. He believes the task will not be easy. “Public Act 51, which was passed nearly 70 years ago, defines the formula in which road funding is allocated throughout Michigan. It is an antiquated formula that shortchanges not only Clinton Township, but creates winners and losers when it comes to funding allocation. Creating a strategy to rethink this approach is the objective of our top priority,” he said.
Alongside roads as a top priority is the need to produce an economic development strategy with financial incentives to strengthen commercial corridors.
“We’re all aware of the decline of retail business, made worse by the global pandemic,” said Cannon. “The increase in commercial vacancies along our business corridors, like Gratiot and Groesbeck, are the main areas of focus as we move the Township forward. Strategies such as tax incentives, code enforcement, streetscape improvements, and mixed-use developments can help us achieve our vision for economic development. In addition, there is a desire to create a new community gathering place or downtown,” he said.
Cannon pointed out that the Board has already taken steps to advance economic development with the search for an economic development director who will work with the County and create and launch an economic development strategy.
Deputy Supervisor Liz Vogel, who directed Strategic Planning for the Township, said that process revealed three other priorities - marketing and communication of the Township’s assets, enhancing its non-motorized network by connecting existing pathways, and developing a river trial system to increase accessibility to the Clinton River. “Our community survey and stakeholder sessions indicated that many residents feel we need to promote what’s good about Clinton Township," she said. "Marketing and communicating our assets begins with an updated and interactive website that serves both internal and external communication."
Cannon believes that the Township’s trails and paths, when connected, will further open up areas for residents to recreate and travel in safety. Central to this plan is connecting the ways in and out George George Park, the Clinton River Spillway, and Freedom Trail.
The Clinton River was identified as another valued asset through community surveys and stakeholder and committee workshops. Its three branches merge in the heart of Township and have been symbolically added to its new logo design. Developing a river trail system that addresses debris removal, daylighting, and funding sources is the fifth top priority.
“Our Recreation Department will lead in the effort to connect to the non-motorized transportation network, parks, and other communities, develop access points for first responders, acquire strategic properties, and allow for fishing access,” said Cannon. “They’ll do this by pursuing federal, state, and regional funding, develop a wayfinding and signage program and host one of Macomb County’s River Run Wild programs.”
As implementation of the strategic vision plan begins, the Strategic Plan Committee may expand to include those from stakeholder groups, Township Staff, or interested residents.
To read more about the Strategic Vision Plan, go to https://ohm.filegenius.com/downloadPublic/9l4yqzeg2nep31e