6520 Center Street, PO Box 68
Ellsworth, Michigan 49729
Phone: 231-588-6126
Email: bankstownship@bankstownship.net

August 2016

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, August 22, 2016

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6 P.M. by Supervisor Thomas Mann. Present were Supervisor Mann, Clerk Donna Heeres, Treasurer Katy Postmus, Trustee David Rasmussen and Trustee Tom Cooper. Also present: Sheriff Dan Bean, Mary Faculak, Mark Groenink, Don Miles, Bob Dutcher, Jerry Rasmussen, Tom & Becky Richards. Andy Veenstra arrived at 6:05 pm. Kevin Makarewicz arrived at 6:50 PM. Tina Sundelius arrived at 6:55 PM. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Sheriff Dan Bean addressed the Board with his Annual Report. Banks Township had 79 calls to 911 in July 2016, 71 in 2015, 19 of which were medical calls comparted to 12 in 2015. He met with property owners on Bay View Drive to attempt to settle the issues we reported to him. He encouraged us to regulate fireworks by ordinance as State Laws restrict them only between 1 am and 8 am. He has followed up on the dumping issue at Fox Mission Trail. TorchFest 2016 on July 4th weekend showed 623 hours worked in 3 days. While total calls were up, they were not as major of issues. Traffic and parking were better controlled and therefore, so was trespassing. He is down two road patrol officers, one corrections officer, and three dispatchers. He will meet again with community leaders in late September regarding issues of concern.
  3. Public Comment: Lakeshore Drive: Don Miles questioned the amount of taxes paid for roads by Lakeshore Drive property owners. He commented that the supervisor’s letter to property owners didn’t address PA 181 in the options. Tom & Becky Richards are new property owners on LSD and are building a new home. They are interested in learning about the ongoing issues and working on a solution. Bob Dutcher stated he has a petition signed by 24 of the 30 property owners who are in favor of fixing the road. He stated the supervisor’s letter raised questions and asked if a special assessment were levied, would the property owners have a say in the width and ditching. Bob stated there is water still standing in the ditches and “terrible work done on the road”. Letter from Christine Abramowski with her personal traffic survey documenting 57 vehicles passing her home on August 6. Don Binns stated that proves we are not a low volume road and that “only three properties will lose their front yards” if widened and paved. Also, need guardrails on the ridge, regardless of gravel or blacktop. Bob Dutcher stated $26K was spent to ruin the road by the ACRC. “If the road is kept in the current condition year around, I wouldn’t be here asking for blacktop. Why did they ditch the way they did? Let’s place speed limit signs.” Mr. Richards stated he is in favor of paving the road “if it is done right”. He encouraged a meeting with the neighborhood and expressed willingness to set up a conference call so that property owners not nearby could participate. Board Response: Supervisor stated, based upon our and Road Commission’s attorney’s opinion, standards would still need to be followed. Liability is the critical issue for the ACRC if the State Specifications are not followed. Trustee Rasmussen stated he walked the length of LSD over the weekend, after 2.5 inches of rain, and “the culverts were running, the road is in incredible shape considering the rain.” Treasurer Postmus asked “is it better now or before the Afton Stone?” to which Mr. Binns and Mr. Dutcher both agreed, it is better now.
  4. Public Comment: Mary Faculak reported the Village of Ellsworth is moving forward with the establishment of a DDA for the Village. She provided information about the availability of grants for communities with a DDA and suggested Atwood could have a DDA create to be able to capture some of these grants. The Business community needs to be contacted to assure they are in favor of it first. She expressed willingness to assist with setting up this meeting. She reported that Acme Township has established a DDA and plans to improve lighting and install sidewalks and a median in the highway. Green Light East Jordan, business model competition that includes Banks Township, has an application deadline of September 11 and the presentations will take place October 12 at Castle Farms. The Breezeway Facelift is underway between East Jordan and Ellsworth! Paddle Antrim kicks off in Ellsworth on Thursday September 15 with the registration and opening party at the Ellsworth Pavilion.
  5. Township Park: Kevin Makarewicz, of C2AE, presented the plans for the park improvements and requested approval to submit to Michigan DNR and to advertise for public bids once the plans are approved. He reported the DEQ and Antrim Conservation District permit applications have been filed. Fees for the permits ($100 DEQ & $300 ACD) will be invoiced to the Township. The project includes parking lot expansion with 2 handicap and 2-4 motorcycle paved parking, enhance toilet facility, accessible pathways to the overlook, barrier free tables and grills at both ends of the park. Site furnishings to include a bike rack for 6 bikes, 2 BF tables, 1 BF bench, 2 accessible grills with reuse of existing benches, tables and grills. Approximately 27,000 sq. ft. will be disturbed. The DEQ is not concerned with erosion with this project. Items that were anticipated to be part of the local match include boulders and people power for planting of the beach grass. Extras will be the welcome sign with a brass logo of the passport grant. Kevin suggested we add additional directional signage on US 31, Rex Beach Road and Old Dixie Highway. Amendment to Contract: Kevin explained engineering costs have gone over the anticipated expenses by over $7100. He asked the Township to consider paying an additional $3500 to split this with C2AE. MOTION Mann, seconded by Heeres, to amend the contract to pay an additional $3500 for engineering fees. Roll Cal vote: Heeres: Yes; Mann: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Rasmussen: Yes; Postmus: Yes. MOTION CARRIED.
  6. Fire Department: Chief Mark Groenink reported on the Pallet Mill Fire and thanked BC Pizza in East Jordan for contributing 15 pizzas and the East Jordan Police Chief for personally donating bottled water and Gatorade for the firefighters. Also, for the JVAA for having an ambulance on scene during the fire to protect firefighters. Five Fire Departments were involved in fighting this serious fire. Chief reported Elizabeth DeKorne has joined the department and would like to take EMT training. She is employed at a local farm. Cost has gone up to $2300 for tuition and supplies, testing fees will be additional as will wages and mileage. The Board agreed to cover this expense provided Elizabeth gives at least one year of service to the department following completion of the training.
  7. Township Hall: Jerry Rasmussen reported there was a wedding reception here last Saturday and the lift did not work; he had tested it mid-week and became trapped in it. The company was contacted and came out within a couple hours and “fixed” it, only to have it fail again on Saturday. Lots of day rentals, not too many weddings. The roof leaked again during the driving rainstorm. Trustee Rasmussen will investigate a rubberized product that could be used to seal the roof before the insulation is installed. Two estimates for cleaning of the duct work were received: Stanley Steamer $987 and GT Carpet Cleaners $788. MOTION Mann, seconded by Postmus, to award the work to Stanley Steamer. MOTION CARRIED. Jerry reported the parking lot was inspected by John Skop who says seal coating would not solve the problems and suggested repaving in the spring. Window washing quote for $750 from Matt Gerber was received. MOTION Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to hire Matt to do the windows. Discussion followed. MOTION was amended and seconded as above to hire Matt to clean the windows on the lower level and the front entry foyer only this time. MOTION CARRIED. Building Renovations: David Rasmussen reported the final inspection is completed and the project has passed inspection.
  8. Zoning Administrator: Andy Veenstra reported 1 permit was issued in this month and many phone calls. Discussion on trailer sites being advertised on Rushton Road, house on Old Dixie Highway that need to come down and blight issue on Coeling Road that need follow-up by ZA.
  9. Minutes: The minutes of the July 18, 2016, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  10. The treasurer’s report of incomes and balances was given. General Fund Balance: $197,227.34 with $150,000 due from the Fire Fund; Fire Fund Balance: $110,186.01; Roads Fund Balance: $78,138.44; Vehicle Fund Balance: $90,395.11; Liquor Fund Balance: $968.40; Grand Total: $476,915.30. Investment yield is up to .6%.
  11. Bills represented by the attached list were presented for approval for payment. MOTION was made by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED. Discussion was held regarding the joint summer recreation program with the Village and the need for additional revenues to fund the program. It was suggested the player fees be increased slightly as they are the lowest in the area and that scholarships be available for families that can’t afford the fees. MOTION Heeres, seconded by Cooper to contribute an additional $400 for the 2016 program. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Planning Commission: Trustee Cooper reported that Planning Consultant Jessica Spencer presented a slide show regarding a DDA in Atwood to the planning commission at the last meeting. He stated that the business owners need to be “pulled in” to the project before it continues. Ordinance revision relating to Short Term Rentals is still on the table. Garage Sales ordinance is abandoned for this time. Greenbelt Ordinance revision has been sent to the County Planning Commission for review.
  13. Correspondence: Meeting with Antrim County regarding letter of agreement related to tax roll maintenance and printing will be September 7 at 3 pm at the COA Building (Postmus will attend); Fundraiser for Great Lakes Center for the Arts at Bay Harbor is September 17; MTA Regional Meetings coming up September & October (Clerk plans to attend); Campground License for Wieland’s Whistling Pines was received; Charter Communications franchise renewal procedures prior to June 2019 expiration of franchise; Paddle Antrim minutes; Letter to Michigan Dept. of Treasury regarding deficit elimination plan for Fire Fund was shared.
  14. PA 116 Application by Thomas Cooper: Letters of support from Antrim County Planning Commission and Antrim Conservation District were shared and the application was reviewed. MOTION Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the application and forward to Michigan Dept. of Agriculture: Farmland and Open Space Program. MOTION CARRIED.
  15. Cemeteries: Hines Tree Service has removed the tree at the Ellsworth Cemetery and clean it up, ready for seeding. No Bill yet.
  16. Roads: Letter was received from Sean Boyer requesting Lore Road be paved. Brandt Road repairs held up well with the recent hard rains. Norwood Township’s portion of Lakeshore Drive has drawings and stakes out for ditching and paving. Cost is estimated at $225,000 for .6 of a mile. Public meeting is scheduled for August 24. Letters received from the Solomon Family, Rollin & Priscilla Gish, and Greg Moceri opposed to paving LSD. Discussion regarding hire a private engineer to assess LAD and make recommendations. MOTION Heeres, seconded by Cooper, to approve up to $3500 for third party evaluation with recommendations for LSD. MOTION CARRIED.
  17. Election Report: Clerk reported 488 voters cast ballots in the August 2 Primary Election. Both EMS proposals passed in Banks Township, as did our road millage (316-128).
  18. Public Comment: There was no further Public Comment.
  19. Next meeting September 19 at 6 PM.
  20. The meeting was adjourned at 9:48 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk