A total of 323 houses sold last year, at an average cost of $323,000, according to township Manager Michael A. Silvestri. Things are looking sunny in a still-gloomy economy. As of Jan. 1 the township population was tallied at 21,378 people.
Silvestri addressed Peters Township Chamber of Commerce members at the annual State of the Township lunch—sponsored by Dollar Bank—on Wednesday. New projects were discussed, including the "inevitable" drilling and proposed crematory issues.
"Our goal is to design as restrictive of an ordinance as we can, but one that permits it," Silvestri said in regard to drilling. "And, that's generally how council feels.
"We'll probably increase the size of properties to larger than 20 acres, so residents can have the confidence that (drill sites) are not going to go everywhere."
With an $18 million budget, the township will commence quite a few summer projects, including road work and paving program expansion, housing and recreation renovations.
In August, the Bebout Trail Bridge replacement project is set to commence, with the bidding process taking place in June.
Silvestri, on behalf of the township, is glancing into the future while these projects continue.
"It's a very pivotal period in Peters," he said. "Baby boomers are looking for less maintenance and children aren't interested in purchasing 'mansion-style' homes.
"There is a housing mix that is needed. It won't be a drastic change, but it will be very controversial."
The township is looking into "skinnying-up" Route 19 in the future, Silvestri said, which he noted would include removing a turning lane among other changes. Transit for bikers and pedestrians might be needed to keep the community vibrant, he said.
Nearly 25 new developments are taking place in the township, including public, commercial, multi-family residential, and new and ongoing residential single family homes.
Plans for a Right By Nature grocery store in place of what was once Ethan Allen are set, Silvestri said, as are plans for St. Clair Hospital's outpatient center construction, which arrived Wednesday morning. The Paramount Senior Living facility should be completed by September, he said.
Silvestri discussed the newly formed tax collection district, which means one collector countywide, effective Jan. 1, 2012.
Stay tuned for a new township website, which Silvestri estimates to be complete in the next few months, in conjunction with the creation of township Facebook and Twitter pages.