2017-05-17 / Local News

Burlington’s American House earns spot on Historic Michigan Road

By Lauri Rice
Contributing writer

Architect Brent Mather with R & B Architects, LLC updated Burlington Town Council on the American House preservation project at that group’s May 9 meeting.

The project will be completed in three phases and is estimated to cost $240,000. However, the cost can go as low as $160,000 if the community continues to invest “sweat equity” and do the work themselves, Mather said.

Phase one consists of stabilizing the structure of the site to keep it from deteriorating further. Phase two will rehabilitate the house to its 1917 state while also adding accessibility and protecting artifacts. Another part of phase two will rebuild the barn using the current foundation and as many salvaged materials as possible. There is also an option of adding parking across the street and a festival lawn behind the barn. Phase three deals with interpretation and the exhibition of artifacts.

The house has been added as a stop along the Historic Michigan Road and can be viewed in the historic byway’s new catalog.

Other business

Several residents turned out to discuss chickens being allowed in town. Council members Teddy Huffer and Steve Michael explained that the town follows the county’s ordinance on farm animals and the residents in violation must contact the county to request an exception. A couple of residents attempted to talk the Council into allowing the chickens. One resident stated, “we are a farming community,” in hopes of swaying the Council. Another resident said the town should not be worrying about chickens and weeds but should be paying more attention to crime.

Council members want to help with the situation, but cannot satisfy everyone. Michael said, “Our sole purpose is to make this town livable for everyone. We have to have laws.” He planned to meet privately with the couple to discuss issues.

It was reported Burlington’s town clean-up was a success. Four dumpsters were filled and taken away. There were also at least five loads of sticks picked up.

A pavilion was donated to the park. The Park Board is determining where to place it in the park.

The Fire Department reported it may not need to replace the current siren. The VFD may be able to convert the current three-phase siren into a single phase. They also are looking at ways to rearrange electricity.

The Council is hoping for a timely response to the income survey. The current grant application needs to be completed soon so that a construction grant can be applied for later this summer. The next construction grant will go toward slip-lining wastewater lines and manholes.

The Police Department reported 28 calls for service, three assisting another agency, 34 citations, and 19 warnings.

The next meeting will be June 13 at 7 p.m.

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