Member Highlight: Erie Township
Erie Township was a founding member of TMACOG in 1968. Leaders in the small township see the value in regional cooperation, but they still want to maintain their country lifestyle. When a master plan for the township was developed in 2012, public comments to the planning group made it clear that residents value the peace and quiet above all else. The township is zoned and the 4.500 residents want to keep any industry in the region currently zoned industrial.
The primary land use in the township is agriculture, with another significant amount that is wetlands and shoreline. The township has approximately 1,000 acres of wetlands. Hundreds of those acres are managed by The Nature Conservancy or are part of the Erie State Game Area and protected from development.
Agriculture is the largest business in the township. Township Clerk Jolene Upchurch said that it’s been a good year for farmers so far. “People were able to get in the fields to plant, and we’ve gotten enough rain,” she said. “It’s looking good so far.” Other business in the township revolves around the waterways. There are several large creeks and drains that cross the township, all draining into the North Maumee Bay on the east coast of the township. The Ottawa River has its mouth in Erie Township. There are businesses that provide boating supplies and several marinas that serve sport fishermen.
The township area includes the City of Luna Pier which operates independently from Erie Township. The other focus of population is the unincorporated community of Erie. The spread out population of the township is served by volunteer firefighters at two stations and a four-person police department. Police and fire helped put on a recent road race in the community. Runners raised $4,000 for the Miracle Network with a 5k race.
Township Clerk Jolene Upchurch said that the road budget will be spent this year to repair two bridges on Minx Road and do some repairs to Rauch and Suder roads.