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

February 2015

Banks Township Board Meeting

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6 P.M. by Supervisor Thomas Mann. The meeting was rescheduled from February 16. Present were Supervisor Mann, Clerk Donna Heeres, Treasurer Katy Postmus, Trustee David Rasmussen, Trustee Tom Cooper. Also present: Andy Veenstra, Mark Groenink, Kevin Makarewicz and Tina Sundelius. Jerry Rasmussen arrived at 6:54 PM. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public comment: There was none.
  3. The meeting was recessed to hold a Public Hearing on the proposed grant applications for improvement to the Township Park.
  4. The PUBLIC HEARING on the Park Project was opened at 7:05 PM. As advertised, the public hearing was call to discuss and receive comments on proposed improvements at the Banks Township Park and grant applications that are proposed to be submitted to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Recreation Passport Program to help fund the proposed improvements. Kevin Makarewicz, of C2AE in Gaylord, gave a summary of the history leading up to this application including acquisition of clear title to the property in 2014. Deadline for application is April 1, 2015. Cost estimates, site plan and amenities were reviewed. The scope of the project was outlined and questions answered. The issue of need for easement at the entrance of the park was discussed. Matching funds, reimbursement for costs and engineering fees were discussed. The Public Hearing was closed at 6:45 PM.
  5. The PUBLIC HEARING on the Fire District Budget for 2015-16 was opened at 7:46 PM. The Supervisor explained his proposed budget with a .7 mil tax rate and $40,000 gift from the General Fund to the Fire Fund. He noted that the .4 overall reduction in Fire millage is to help offset the ambulance authority millage approved by voters in 2014. Chief Groenink advised the Board that the Ellsworth Fire Hall is cramped for space and he would like to begin planning for a 30×30 addition to the Ellsworth Fire Hall in the next several years. He also advised that the Grass Fire Truck will soon need to be replaced. The Public Hearing was closed at 7:12 PM.
  6. Minutes: The minutes of the special February 9, 2015, Board Meeting were presented. MOTION Cooper, seconded by Postmus, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  7. Fire Department: The Fire Board met tonight to review equipment needs. Chief Groenink requested replacement of 5 carbon cylinder air tanks used with Scott Air Tanks. These will replace heavier aluminum units. MOTION Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to purchase 5 carbon cylinder air tanks from Douglass Safety Systems for $820.68 each. S&H will be additional. MOTION CARRIED. The Lucas II Compression System that was funded by the GT Band will be ordered tomorrow. Discussion on cost increase from COLI for service at the Fire Hall was held. Rates expected to increase approximately $15/month in July with no allowance for pre-payment. Will check with Charter for comparable rates/service.
  8. Township Hall: Jerry reported the rentals are slowing up finally! He plans to re-paint the downstairs rooms as authorized previously. Clerk will contact Jennifer Aenis for color suggestions to keep with the era of the building and allow for neutral colors for renters to decorate around. MOTION Mann, seconded by Heeres, to purchase paint and supplies from Atwood Hardware if possible. MOTION CARRIED. Building Committee Report: Preliminary drawings from the engineer were presented. Committee will meet with the engineer tomorrow to address details.
  9. Zoning Administrator: Andy informed the Board that one letter of violation has been sent.
  10. The treasurer’s report of incomes and balances was given. General Fund Balance: $259,885.59 with $180,000 due from the Fire Fund; Fire Fund Balance: $38,757.48; Roads Fund Balance: $138,989.80; Vehicle Fund Balance: $60,053.15; Liquor Fund Balance: $1367.80; Grand Total: $499,053.82. American Tower is up to date on payments.
  11. Bills represented by the attached list were presented for approval for payment. MOTION Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Ambulance Authority: Supervisor Mann reported that the ambulance authority has adopted a budget for its first fiscal year.
  13. Township Park: Discussion was held regarding plans for the park improvements. Concern was voiced over cash shortage with a reimbursement grant. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper, to adjust the Recreation Passport Grant application to remove the beach enhancement and reduce the bathroom remodel to $3,000, add slope stabilization +/-$11,000 and increase the engineering fees as needed for the project to a total of less than $60,000 total project cost; and to place application for the Trust Fund Grant on hold for this year. MOTION CARRIED.
  14. Salaries: A resolution to maintain the same salaries for township board members for the coming year was offered by Mann and seconded by Rasmussen. Roll Call Vote: Heeres: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Rasmussen: Yes; Postmus: Yes. Resolution was declared adopted by the Supervisor. Wages for the elections workers, Board of Review, Fire Board, Planning Commission and ZBA were reviewed.
  15. Planning Commission: Action on the proposed re-zoning in Section 36 Range 9 West was tabled pending Planning Commission review at their next meeting.
  16. Newsletter: Clerk will send out postcards to announce clean-up day and encourage property owners to go to the Banks Township website to see newsletter that is being published by Tina Sundelius.
  17. Property & Liability Insurance: Terrorism Insurance Coverage: MOTION Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen, to not purchase terrorism insurance coverage with our property & liability insurance. MOTION CARRIED. Values of vehicles and buildings were reviewed and felt to be within appropriate limits.
  18. Election Report: Clerk reported 160 voters cast ballots for the February 24 Special Election for Ellsworth Community School. Both proposals passed by wide margins. The electronic poll book computer was serviced prior to the election and found to have a severe infection which was probably the cause of the troubles in November. The EMP did have complications in that the download of data from the QVF by the County Clerk’s Office was incomplete and cause difficulty with entering voters living in South Arm Township. The Automark device and Accuvote device both had minor issues on Election Day and were repaired by the Clerk after consultation with the appropriate tech support.
  19. Correspondence: Sheriff’s report of 911 calls for January was shared. The grant has been received from the GT Band for a Lucas 2 cardiac compression unit for our fire department and the device is ordered. MDOT Public Planning meeting is set for March 3 at 1 PM in Traverse City. The elected officials will meet at 10 am at the same location to provide input regarding future road projects on the State Highway System.
  20. Meeting Changes & Budget Hearings: The Board will meet in regular session on Monday, March 16, at 6 PM and will hold Public Hearing on the Budgets (all but the fire budget) during the regular Board meeting.
  21. The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres
Banks Township Clerk