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Article published October 11, 2012
New zoning measure passed
JACKSON TWP — While some residents remain skeptical about the new, growth-oriented zoning ordinance enacted Thursday night, supervisors say it is necessary to move the municipality forward. About 20 people attended the public hearing that preceded the township meeting, and many expressed concern about promoting development in the traditionally rural township. Supervisors chairman Jay Grinnell said that while the township has experienced little growth during the past several years, expenses have risen. He said roads are in bad shape, public works employees plow snow with antiquated trucks, the township building is deteriorating and needs a new roof, and the police department is housed in a rented building that is in poor condition. Grinnell said the budget has shown a deficit for the last few years, with no revenue relief in sight. He said township leaders cut and rearranged personnel to tighten expenses, and still face financial difficulties. Grinnell said the only two choices to alleviate the township’s fiscal problems were a dramatic tax increase or a push toward development and the tax revenue it brings. “The township was going backward fast,” Grinnell said. “The majority of people in this township have been thanking us and are happy to have growth.” The supervisors voted unanimously to approve the new zoning ordinance.