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Shelby Board to Consider Fire Chief Promotion, Permission for Overnight Bridge Work

The promotion of Acting Fire Chief James Swinkowski and a zoning ordinance for proposed M-53 bridge work are on the table for the board of trustees meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15.

A zoning variance that will allow bridge repairs to take place during the overnight hours and approval of a contract for Shelby Township's new fire chief are among the issues officials will take up at tonight's township meeting.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has three bridge repair projects on its 2013 agenda that will shut down portions of the 21 Mile, 22 Mile and 23 Mile road bridges over the M-53 freeway.

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To speed up the process – and minimize the inevitable aggravation to motorists – MDOT has proposed performing the work overnight and on weekends.

However, as Shelby Township's zoning ordinance only allows for construction between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the township would need to approve a temporary variance for work during this timeframe.

Whether the board approves such a variance will largely depend on what it considers to be the greater nuisance – the impact of construction noise above and beyond that of the freeway itself on area neighborhoods or larger and longer traffic back-ups created by lane closures during high commute times.

Another item on tonight's agenda is the promotion of Acting Fire Chief James Swinkowski to the official capacity of fire chief. Swinkowski was appointed to fill the vacancy of

Should the township board approve the contract associated with this role, Swinkowski's promotion would be effective Jan. 16, with an option to extend or terminate the agreement on Dec. 31.

As fire chief, he would receive an annual salary of $104,500, plus benefits.

The board of trustees meet Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Shelby Township Municipal Building at 52700 Van Dyke. See the full meeting agenda here.

Stay with Patch for more on these and other township stories.

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