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

December 2019

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, December 16, 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: Mark & Cindy Groenink, Tina Sundelius, Julie Waterman and Hugh Campbell. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: there was none.
  3. Minutes: The minutes of the November 25, 2019, regular meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to approve the minutes with addition to item #21: “cost estimates on the modifications & lettering on a new grass fire truck”. MOTION CARRIED.
  4. Fire Department: Chief Groenink reports he does not have estimates on the modifications & lettering on a new grass fire truck yet. He announced that Antrim County may be purchasing 800 mghz radios for all departments & trucks. Each Fire Dept may need to buy their own handhelds or may stay with VHF handhelds and pagers. Supervisor Mann appoints Mark Groenink as Fire Chief. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus to approve the appointment. MOTION CARRIED. Chief announced his appointments of officers: Assistant Chief Tom VanStedum, Captains Brian VanderArk & Chad Woodbury, EMS coordinator Marlin Sweet, Secretary/Treasurer John Hastings. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus to approve the appointments. MOTION CARRIED.
  5. Village: Hugh Campbell reported the Village has a police officer that will be shared with Central Lake. Pavilion materials have been delivered. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Heeres to contribute $3000 for the “extras” on the pavilion, as long as the shingles match the hall roof. MOTION CARRIED. The Woodenshoe Holiday Festival was successful. Discussion was held on need for a designated leader for the event, especially the sing-a-long. The Road Commission meets this week to discuss the sale of property near the recycle station to Dollar General. The former Shooks Market building is scheduled to be torn down this month. The DDA is conducting site evaluations for environmentally contaminated sites. The grant applications for the wastewater treatment site & system have been submitted. The State of the Community forum is January 15 at 5:30 PM. The village is designated a “redevelopment ready community”. The new website is up & going. Hugh states is not as easy to update as he had hoped. Still learning!
  6. Township Hall: Clerk reports the building has had lots of use. A few electrical issues have surfaced and are being addressed. Discussion on the tree, building and grounds decorations for the future as the group who have been voluntarily do it for many years have announced they will no longer do it. The lights on the tree are due to be replaced next year (3-year average lifespan). It was suggested to purchase a large artificial wreath for the township hall as the cost of live wreaths are high. Will need 20-30 25ft strands of LED lights, tree topper, misc cords & splitters. Looking for volunteers for future projects.
  7. Treasurer’s Report: Report of incomes and balances was presented by the Treasurer. General Fund Balance: $295,398.25, with $60,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $127,963.99. Liquor Fund: $2091.71. Roads Fund: $103,619.12. Vehicle Fund: $76,642.36. Grand Total: $605,715.43. Interest rates are down slightly to 1.75%. American Tower payment was down this month, Treasurer is keeping an eye on it as has switched to direct deposit. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus, to gift $30,000 to the Fire Fund from the General Fund; Gift $30,000 to the Vehicle Fund from the General Fund; Pay $60,000 to the General Fund from the Fire Fund to complete the loan payoff for the trucks. MOTION CARRIED.
  8. Zoning Administrator: Report from ZA included info on an application to install a test solar panel by Harvest Solar with future interest in a solar farm. Zoning Ordinance does not address solar – planning consultant will provide sample solar farm ordinance for review. A permit for a pole building on Rushton Road was issued. Structure on Lake Michigan that was installed with a variance will be removed per the restrictions of the variance. New laptop for the ZA has been set up and delivered.
  9. Planning Commission Update: Trustee Cooper reported several people were present at the last PC meeting regarding the motocross track. Attorney Worden, representing Matt & Erin Heeres, is negotiating for a compromise and stated at the meeting “we know camping is legal”. PC member stressed that while this was the attorney’s statement, “the HDNWM regulates camping” and “it is not a legal land use without permits”. The court hearing has been rescheduled for February 5 at request of Attorney Worden & his clients. Public Hearing on the text amendment application and language pertaining to STRs is scheduled for 6 PM on Tuesday, January 14 at the township hall. A sample events licensing ordinance was distributed. Mission statement is being developed for the PC. Several meetings may be cancelled this winter/spring due to members being away.
  10. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported on a special meeting that was held December 4 to approve ballot language for the March 10 election. The AA Board is investigating a complaint on lights/siren use including the legal requirements.
  11. Village DDA: Julie Waterman reported on a meeting that was held this evening. Future projects were discussed including ribbon cuttings, movie nights, clean-up day promotion & ideas. The DDA will be part of the State of the Community meeting on January 15.
  12. Breezeway: New signs are scheduled to be installed over the next month. Pictures of the Clare welcome center display were shared.
  13. Correspondence: East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Auction will be held on Saturday, January 25 at Castle Farms. Board of directors election ballot was provided. Schedule for workshops presented by MTA for Authorities & Responsibilities and Township Board’s Role with the Board of Review, along with Board of Review Training sessions were shared. Changes to channel lineup for Charter TV were shared. Letter from Janell Van Divner, Clerk of Friendship Township in Emmet County to Senator Wayne Schmidt regarding local control for gravel/sand mining operations was shared. Sheriff’s report of 911 calls during November was shared: 21 car/deer accidents and 10 medical calls led the list of 76 total calls.
  14. Zoning Administrator Contract: current contract renews on January 1, 2020. Contract was reviewed. Discussion was held with plans to review/revise prior to April 1 fiscal year start.
  15. Banks Township Historical Society: Draft Request for Proposals for improvements to the building were shared. Ad will be placed in the Antrim Review mid-January with deadline for proposals to be mid-February.
  16. Website Update: Deputy Clerk has begun gathering photos and information for the new website. ProWeb will begin building it as soon as down payment is received.
  17. Copier/Printer: new copier/printer has been installed.
  18. Cemetery Ordinance: Review was postponed until next meeting.
  19. Clean Up Day: Scheduled for Saturday, May 9.
  20. Township Board Meeting Dates for 2020: January 20, February 17, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16, December 21.
  21. Board of Review: Supervisor reported that Mark Megregian has moved from the Township and resigned from Board of Review. Supervisor appoints Richard Diebold to replace Mark Megregian on the Board of Review, term ending December 31, 2020, and Alex Busman to be alternate member, term ending December 31, 2020. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen to approve these appointments. MOTION CARRIED.
  22. Roads: Correspondence received from Antrim County Road Commission with projected allocations for each township for road funding was shared. Our portion is $50,040, an increase of nearly $20,000. Discussion on other areas to add to our work list for 2020. Supervisor will contact ACRC for estimates.
  23. Application for Land Combination/Divisions/Boundary Adjustments: Assessor Amy Jenema has prepared a new application form based on the new legislation that recently became effective. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to approve the application form with the following change: page 3 to become page 1. MOTION CARRIED. The fee schedule for these activities will be discussed/adjusted in January.
  24. Public Comment: There was none.
  25. Board Comment: Trustee Rasmussen reported snowplowing at Atwood Fire Hall has been done by Chad Woodbury, one of the firemen. Discussion regarding what does the contract say about frequency/snow amounts to be plowed as plowing has occurred with very small amounts of snow.
  26. Next Meeting: Monday January 20, 2020, at 6 PM.
  27. The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk