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A tax free solution

October 25, 2012
The Daily News


I have been a taxpaying resident of Breitung Township for 18 years.

I recently found out that the township doesn't have an issue with residents utilizing township property for their own personal use.

For the last 4 years my husband and I have watched our neighbor cut trees, clear and mow the vacant township lot adjacent to his yard. Recently we watched him haul load after load of firewood from this lot.

We have brought this to the townships attention on many occasions only to be told the township doesn't have any written rules regarding the use of township property.

In fact we were told by the township that they believe it "looks good" and they may have to find a way to provide this neighbor with a certificate for community hours for "cleaning up this lot."

Just because "it looks good" doesn't mean it is right and just. We petitioned the township board to purchase this lot over a year ago, because it also is adjacent to our yard.

The board agreed to accept bids for the lot; they received three bids.

One from us, one from our neighbor and another from the neighbor to the west of the lot.

At the meeting that they were supposed to open the bids, the board decided not to sell the lot after all and kept the bids sealed.

Since then our neighbor has continued to use the lot as his own. He has created a wood pile and continues to "clean up" more of the lot on a regular basis.

Recently he removed some shrubs from around his house and dumped them in a back section of the lot, just north west of the sign he mounted to a tree facing my yard stating "No Dumping," how ironic.

If this lot belonged to him and I and my family started cutting trees, mowing and utilizing it at free-will, I can guarantee that he'd have an issue with it.

Yet he doesn't think twice about utilizing a lot that he doesn't own. Ironically, the township doesn't seem to care either. We've been told he is just taking scrub trees and "cleaning up" the lot.

I don't consider pine, birch and popple trees up to six inches in diameter scrub trees.

All you Breitung Township residents that are looking for additional yard space and/or firewood; I have found you a tax free solution.

Find a vacant township lot, start your chain saw, grab a rake and start "cleaning" it up and utilize it for your personal use.

Obviously the township doesn't have an issue with it, as they've just set precedence in my neighborhood.

Angela Gustafson




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