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

January 2019

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, January 21, 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 Tom Cooper and Trustee David Rasmussen. Also present: Sheriff Dan Bean, Mike & Jane Lynsky, Julie Waterman, Tina Sundelius. Bob Slaski arrived at 6:13 PM. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Mike Lynsky, property owner on Lore Trail, addressed the Board questioning if there is a noise ordinance in the township. He stated he has submitted a letter regarding short term rentals and asked that it be shared at the Public Hearing next week.
  3. Public Comment: Bob Slaski stated that STR is a controversial issue. He stated the public did not want STR ordinance in 2016. He hopes there is greater public input on the subject before this ordinance is adopted.
  4. Public Comment: Sheriff Bean gave his report on 911 calls in Banks Township in December 2018 and for the entire year of 2018 citing comparisons to prior years. Total of 871 in 2018 compared to 789 in 2017 and 782 in 2016. His department was short 4 staff members over the summer; now has three new officers on the road. The K Nine Unit has a new dog and new handler. There is a new dispatcher after two had begun training and left. Still needs one more dispatcher. Regarding the Marijuana Law, he asked the Board to Opt Out of allowing facilities and sales in the Township. Supervisor Mann asked if there has been any decision on the township’s request for enforcement by the sheriff department of our proposed STR agreement. Sheriff stated the agreement has been sent to the county’s attorney for review. Sheriff stated that it is appropriate to have a noise ordinance referenced in the STR ordinance as it allows for adoption later and negates the need for amendment to the STR. He stated it has been his experience that noise ordinances are very difficult to enforce.
  5. Public comment was closed at 6:33 PM.
  6. Minutes: The minutes of the December 17, 2018, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to approve the minutes, amending item #8 to include $20/hour rate and start date of December 18 and item #14 to add the total contract amount and payment schedule. MOTION CARRIED.
  7. Fire Department: A letter was received from Risk Management Division of our insurance carrier asking for status of their recommendation to implement driving record information gathering for personnel driving departmental vehicles or their own vehicles on behalf of the department. Will send to Fire Chief to find out status. The lettering on the ambulance vehicle and two fire trucks has been completed and looks very nice. The Fire Budget hearing will be held on February 18 as part of our regular meeting, beginning at 6 PM.
  8. Township Hall: Trustee Rasmussen reported the lift company has replaced a sensor in the top of the door that was improperly aligned. They recommend we use the lift more to keep it in working order. He now has a direct line phone number for the repair man. Some painting has been done and beadboard installed on the walls of the lower level. Several new ceiling registers have replaced broken ones and others have been cleaned and painted. The new toilet has been installed in the ladies’ room. Supervisor stated the upstairs looks great and is very functional. He expressed an interest in matching the theme that is upstairs to the downstairs. Flooring, ceiling, lighting and exterior doors will be considered for next budget year.
  9. State of the Community Event: Was held Wednesday, January 16 with Mary Faculak as moderator, Aaron Gaffney from the School, Hugh Campbell from the Village, Deana Jerdee from Paddle Antrim, Claire Karner from Beckett & Raeder, Rusty Powers from Village DDA and Thomas Mann from Banks Township giving addresses to the approximately 40 people in attendance.
  10. Village of Ellsworth DDA: Julie Waterman, member of the newly formed DDA, reported the group has adopted By Laws, elected officers and has begun making plans for a Farmers’ Market with Community Nights this summer and the next phase of the Community Square. She will be the market master for the Farmers’ Market and is attending training seminars for that purpose.
  11. Treasurers Report: Report of incomes and balances was presented by the Treasurer. General Fund Balance: 257,779.98 with $90,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $161,596.33. Liquor Fund: $1869.45. Roads Fund: $68,393.01. Vehicle Fund: $65,228.06. Grand Total: $554,866.83. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Clerk Heeres reported for ZA: no new permits have been issued. He is investigating blight violations on Coeling Road and has allowed the farmhouse owner time to clean up. Promise was to have cleaned up in the spring. He has communicated with property owner on Lake Michigan regarding property owner’s request for a second dwelling on his large parcel that is not allowed under our zoning ordinance.
  13. Planning Commission: Trustee Cooper reports the Planning Commission will hold a Public Hearing in conjunction with the Township Board’s PH on January 28 at 6 PM. The PC is receiving comments on language amendments related to STRs. The PC has canceled their February and March meetings due to lack of a quorum due to members being on vacation.
  14. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported the AA has received a grant from the Charlevoix Community Foundation for $7050 towards the purchase of an EMS transport ventilator. Jay Peck, JVEMS Director, will be attend a future township board meeting to explain an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation that would allow other municipalities to join the authority. A new ambulance vehicle was approved by the AA at a cost of $208,393. Purchase of a used vehicle was approved to replace the ECHO 1 vehicle that is in poor condition. The Budget for 2019-20 was introduced to the AA Board. Michelle Whiteford, new office staff, has completed her certification as an ambulance coding specialist. Recent figures show billing collections have increased.
  15. Correspondence: Par Plan Newsletter was shared; Letter from Watershed Center regarding update to the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan; Letter from Charter Communications regarding transfer of the cable franchise in Banks Township to Spectrum Mid-American LLC; Receipt of dividend of $604.44 from the Accident Fund; Letter from Ellsworth/Atwood Community News announcing the publication will not be published for an unknown period of time; Letter from Antrim County Administration Office seeking applicants for the Housing, Veterans’ Affairs, and Antrim Creek Natural Area Commissions; Letter from Ellsworth St Clair Lake Fireworks group summarizing their efforts since 2004 and asking for additional funding for fireworks; Letter & publications from Dept of Ag of the State regarding PA 116 programs.
  16. Recreational Marihuana: An Ordinance to prohibit marihuana establishments in Banks Township was presented. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to adopt the ordinance based on the wishes of the voters at the November 2018 election. Rasmussen: Yes; Heeres: Yes; Mann: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Postmus: Yes. Ordinance #1 of 2019 was declared adopted. Adoption Date: January 21, 2019. Publication Date: January 31, 2019. Effective Date: March 2, 2019.
  17. Township Hall Sign: Proposals for replacement sign for front yard of the building were reviewed. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to order a 25.5” high by 35.5” long by 2” thick, two-sided, sand blasted, wood grain textured urethane foam sign with gray color tones from Signs, Letters & Graphics of East Jordan for $1186. MOTION CARRIED.
  18. Scrap Tire Grant: Supervisor Mann reported the township has been awarded a DEQ grant for scrap tire clean up in the amount of $2000.
  19. Zoning Fee Schedule: Information gathered by Deputy Clerk Sundelius was reviewed. Clerk was asked to make a recommendation for fee adjustments at the next meeting. PUBLIC COMMENT: Bob Slaski suggested a longer duration that a permit is valid should be considered. He suggested 5 years.
  20. Summer Tax Collection: An agreement for summer tax collection by the Township Treasurer for the School has been reached. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to accept the agreement with the school for 2019. MOTION CARRIED.
  21. Board of Review: Dates & times have been set for the BOR. Organizational meeting will be held March 5 as required by State Law. Regular meetings will be Monday, March 11 from 3 PM to 9 PM and Thursday, March 14 from 9AM to 3 PM.
  22. Zoning Administrator: Per the contract, he is due for a Performance Evaluation. The log book will be asked to be provided as part of the performance evaluation. Supervisor Mann, Trustee Cooper and PC Chair Don Miles will be asked to perform the evaluation.
  23. Piano on Stage: The Clerk was approached regarding the Board’s interest in giving away the piano that is on the stage. Discussion was held and decision to keep it where it is at this time.
  24. Meeting Date Change: The March 18 meeting will be rescheduled for March 25 to better manage end of fiscal year bills, etc.
  25. Budget Public Hearings: Public Hearing on the Fire Budget will be held on Monday, February 18 during the regular meeting that begins at 6 PM. Public Hearings on the remaining budgets will be held on March 25 during the regular meeting that begins at 6 PM.
  26. Police Power Ordinance for Short Term Rentals: The Public Hearing is scheduled for Monday, January 28 at 6 PM at the Township Hall.
  27. Public comment: Bob Slaski commented that he has been keeping all comments regarding STRs from the minutes. He stated minutes from November and December are not posted on the website.
  28. Next meeting Monday, February 18 at 6 PM.
  29. The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk