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

August 2019

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, August 19, 2019

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 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: Attorney Bryan Graham, Tina Sundelius, Julie Waterman, Erin Heeres, Wendy Sutherland, Candace Hoeksema, Rick & Kathy Luther, Tom Richards, Dave Heeres, Greg Kirby, Jarris Rubingh, Phil Edwards, Bob White, Ed Niepoth, Michelle Merrifield, Judy Bradtke, Al d’Entremont, Alex Busman. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation. Hugh Campbell arrived at 7:30 P.M.
  2. Public Comment: Judy Bradtke, Lore Trail, spoke of continued problems with STRs that won’t be resolved without Board action. She is upset with absent STR property owners and urged the Board to move forward with adoption of the Ordinance.
  3. Public Comment: Rick Luther, Timberlane Drive, gave a rebuttal to comments that the Ordinance will lower property values and stated that is false. Only will lower the value if you want to sell the property as a business. He said he has tried to make peace with the neighbors by introducing himself to renters and offer advice regarding local businesses. He stated the notion that the economy is boosted with these visitors is also false in that they have “brought their own food” and are not looking for places to spend money while here.
  4. Public Comment: Al D’Entremont, Antrim Lane, objects to need to enforce quiet hours at his STR; “Do I look like an enforcer?” “Even the Sheriff is not interested in sending a deputy to partiers.”
  5. Public Comment: Greg Kirby, Lore Trail, supports the need to adopt an Ordinance. Suggested restriction of the number of weeks a property can be rented like Milton Township Ordinance does and stop the continuous rentals. He voiced concern over septic systems not being sufficient for the additional use that comes with rentals. “Part of the permit should assure the septic is adequate.”
  6. Public Comment: Tom Richards, Lakeshore Drive, former city manager for Harbor Springs, stated the minimum stay is unenforceable. He stated we are headed in the right direction with the proposed ordinance.
  7. Public Comment: Bob White, 5304 Church Road, Central Lake Township, asked if Antrim County (sheriff) does not enforce noise complaints. Supervisor Mann responded that complainants need to call 911 for noise complaints.
  8. Public Comment: Dave Heeres, East Jordan Road, owner of Yettaw Cottages for 15 years, stated he has had one complaint in that time and that was over fireworks. He stated the Township should not make an ordinance that effects all of the township for a couple of problem areas.
  9. Public Comment: Kathy Luther, Timberlane Drive, stated their area does not have an association but properties do have deed restrictions and allows residential use only.
  10. Treasurer Comment: Treasurer Postmus stated that deed restrictions can be enforced by the property owners.
  11. Public Comment: Rick Luther, Timberlane Drive, stated 2 of the 87 parcels in the subdivision are available for business use per the deed restrictions.
  12. Public Comment: Judy Bradtke, Lore Trail, stated the absent landlord has provided phone number of the renters and said “you take care of it, shut your doors and windows” so can’t hear the noise. She did not call the sheriff.
  13. Public Comment: Ed Niepoth, Kearney Township resident, asked if a survey of the township residents has been done on this topic. He was advised there were a few questions in the Master Plan survey that addressed the issue.
  14. Attorney Comment: Attorney Bryan Graham stated it is not the township’s responsibility to enforce deed restrictions, it is a private matter and other owners must enforce deed restrictions. The expense of enforcement is on the owners and not the general taxpayers.
  15. Clerk Comment: Clerk Heeres stated that her research has discovered the before mentioned Milton Township Ordinance has not been adopted and has been sent to a committee for review.
  16. Public Comment: Jarris Rubingh, Antrim County Farm Bureau President, announced that a grant has been received to clean up discarded tires in Antrim County. Through an agreement with Wayne County, Antrim County has been awarded $2500. Supervisor Mann added that the Township has received grants annually for the past several years for $2000 for tire disposal in conjunction with the Township’s Annual Clean Up Day. He expressed appreciation to Jarris for his help in disposing of the larger tractor tires as the Township’s grant funding no longer will accept large tires.
  17. Public Comment was closed at 6:21 PM.
  18. Presentation: Attorney Bryan Graham presented a revised STR Licensing Ordinance proposal and explained the revisions since last month’s meeting. He stated the Township can’t enforce Deed Restrictions, only the property owners’ association or the property owners themselves can enforce them. There is no legal problem if a license is granted under the ordinance and the property has a deed restriction. He stated that the police uphold disturbing the peace complaints. Enforcement actions under the STR Licensing Ordinance would be on the property owner. He expressed the challenges of balancing the interests of competing property owners. He stated that generally, there are more nuisance issues with STR versus LTR. He stated the County is not able to enact a noise ordinance, but townships may. With a noise ordinance, the offense could be on the offender or the property owner who allowed the noise to happen. Standards he prefers in a noise ordinance include the reasonable person standard. Violations are handled in court and the complainant must testify. Single complaints may be overlooked. A pattern of bad behavior, (complaints) could force enforcement. If identical noise ordinances are enacted, participating townships may contract with Sheriff Dept for enforcement.
  19. STR Licensing Ordinance: MOTION was made by Mann to enact the STR Licensing Ordinance for Banks Township as revised and presented at this meeting. Seconded by Postmus. Roll Call Vote: Cooper: NO; Rasmussen: NO; Mann: YES; Postmus: NO; Heeres: NO. MOTION FAILED.
  20. Comments: Attorney Bryan Graham stated: If noise is the problem, enact a Noise Ordinance with neighboring townships and contract with the Sheriff Department and Prosecuting Attorney to enforce it. He will provide a draft noise ordinance for the Township Board to consider.
  21. Supervisor Comments: Supervisor Mann thanked the Planning Commission, the Public, the township attorney and the Board for all the input and research that has gone into this Ordinance preparation. The thoughtful consideration has led to the decision tonight and what’s best for the township.
  22. Minutes: The minutes of the July 15, 2019, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  23. Township Hall: The new sign has been installed out front and looks very nice. Will need some further pruning of the shrub to allow it to be better viewed. The lift maintenance was completed last week, and it was found to be working properly with the previously replaced parts.
  24. Treasurer’s Report: The school reimbursed us for the May Election. Report of incomes and balances was presented by the Treasurer. A donation for cemetery upkeep at Antrim City Cemetery was received. General Fund Balance: $301,489.47, with $60,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $152,463.24. Liquor Fund: $1,134.24. Roads Fund: $126,530.04. Vehicle Fund: $76,186.07. Grand Total: $657,803.06. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  25. Zoning Administrator: Dave Muladore reported three zoning permits have been issued and on progress of blight elimination on Coeling Road; the next step is a civil infraction ticket. Follow-up on a complaint of a cargo container that is rusted out and unsightly near Lake Michigan found that the owners are very interested in having it removed. ZA was able to connect them with a company to help them remove it.
  26. Planning Commission Update: Trustee Cooper reported on last week’s meeting with many motocross enthusiasts present. The owners’ attorney submitted an application to our attorney without the fee and was directed to submit along with the fee to the ZA. The PC will update their Bylaws at their September meeting.
  27. Appointments: Supervisor Mann appoints Joni Wieland to the Planning Commission for another 3-year term to expire July 1, 2022. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Cooper, to approve the appointment; MOTION CARRIED. Supervisor Mann appoints Don Miles, Jack Danbert, Dennis Penfold, Mike McDuffie and Jeff Cook to the ZBA for one-year terms to expire July 1, 2020. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the appointments; MOTION CARRIED.
  28. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported on three meetings plus a closed session of the AA since she last attended our meeting. In June, there were 12 runs to Banks Township; 43 in the past year. The AA has concerns over building & maintenance costs. They are exploring options for a different building. They have a purchase agreement for property outside the City of East Jordan and are exploring funding options. She explained the difference between the two ambulances that have been ordered: Type 1 and Type 2.
  29. Village DDA: Julie Waterman reported on two recent meetings of the DDA. New banners will be placed at the 5 entrances to the Village. Bylaws are being developed. Membership and term assignments have been established along with task/committee assignments.
  30. Village Report: Hugh Campbell reported on the Village’s grant application for sewer system has been submitted. They expect a $6-7 million grant for the $8 million project. Remainder will be financed with a 2% interest loan. Properties will be assessed approximately $45 a month plus usage fees. Start date expected Spring 2021. A purchase offer has been made on a 40-acre parcel outside the Village for the wastewater treatment facility. They have applied for a grant from NLEA to tear down the old Shooks Building and clean up the site. Sidewalks will be replaced on Center Street. Verizon has an antenna on the tower but not working yet. The pavilion for the Community Square is set to be ordered. It will be in kit form and the Building Trades class will assemble it. The Board offered to cost share if a more decorative design was chosen.
  31. Breezeway: Clerk reports funding for the replacement signs is short $1500. The Task Force has asked for assistance from three municipalities. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Cooper, to support this project with up to $500. MOTION CARRIED.
  32. Sheriff’s Report: There were 81 calls in July from Banks Township for Sheriff Dept assist, 16 were medical calls.
  33. Library Reports: Reports of usership of Central Lake and Charlevoix Libraries for year ended June 30, 2019, were reviewed.
  34. Cemetery Conference & Award: Deputy Clerk Sundelius reported on the Michigan Association of Municipal Cemeteries conference that she and Clerk Heeres attended last week. Heeres was award the Cemeterian of the Year Award for work on the Atwood Catholic Cemetery.
  35. Correspondence: NW Mi Housing Summit is October 18 in Traverse City; Charter Communications announced reduction in rates for unreturned equipment; Marion Township Master Plan Update is being prepared; DEQ authorization for shoreline stabilization in section 36 of Range 9W; DEQ revision of permit to add a 3’x35’ cantilevered section of deck to the previously permitted one; letter from property owner within the Village with multiple comments about troubles with a contractor; Mi Dept of Ag & Rural Development responded to a complaint concerning manure application in Banks Township. The farmer was found to be practicing “appropriate manure application for crop utilization with an odor management plan in place.”
  36. Fire Department: Trustee Rasmussen and Chief Groenink have not been able to meet yet to discuss the yard at Atwood Fire Hall. It was suggested the ATV be stored in the Ellsworth Station for the winter to make it more accessible.
  37. Ordinance #3 of 2019: Ag Zone Lot Sizes: MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to adopt this ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Cooper: Yes; Rasmussen: Yes; Mann: Yes; Postmus: Yes; Heeres: Yes. MOTION CARRIED. Ordinance will become effective 8 days after publication. (September 6, 2019)
  38. Ordinance #4 of 2019: Marihuana Establishments: MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to adopt this ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Cooper: Yes; Rasmussen: Yes; Mann: Yes; Postmus: Yes; Heeres: Yes. MOTION CARRIED. Ordinance will become effective 8 days after publication. (September 6, 2019)
  39. Roads Committee: Estimates for road repairs have been sent to the committee for review and recommendations. The asphalt overlay cap on Clay Pit Bridge has not been applied. The bolts on underside of the bridge have been ground off to prevent injury to boaters passing through. C48 near Slough Road has two major potholes. Essex Road and Rushton Road are falling apart. Supervisor will contact ACRC regarding these issues. Also, the north driveway at Antrim City Cemetery has washed out. Trustee Cooper agreed to repair it.
  40. Township Park: Proposal from BD Services for refurbishing the BBQ Grills at the park with new pipe and paint was presented. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, accept the proposal to have this work done for $325. MOTION CARRIED. Reviewed proposals regarding the steps to the water: Cost to remove all wood and debris from the stairway is $400. Cost to replace loose/rotten 4×4 posts, cement into place, add a stringer to underside of steps to make secure and paint the stairway and rails is $750. Discussion. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to accept the proposal to restore the steps for $750. MOTION CARRIED.
  41. South Arm Township Contract: Discussion on need to revise the contract for fire & rescue services that has not been increased in approximately 15 years. Clerk will send letter of intent to the SA Twp Board.
  42. Township Hall: A request for additional tables for the upstairs was received. Clerk will get prices on 6’ Mity-Lite tables.
  43. Treasurer: Postmus requested authorization from the Board for online access of the Charlevoix State Bank accounts. Online Access will allow her to view checks & deposits along with other functions necessary for her work. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve this request. MOTION CARRIED.
  44. Next Meeting: September 23 is the date for the next meeting. (due to conflict with taxes due on September 16).
  45. Public Comment: There was none.
  46. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk