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

July 2018

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, July 16, 2018

  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, and Trustee Tom Cooper. Trustee David Rasmussen arrived at 6:10 PM. Also present: Andy Veenstra, Stephen Erwin, Barry Cole, Heidi Cooper, Julie Waterman, Judy Bradtke, Rick & Kathy Luther, Dave Heeres. Jerry & Jan Rasmussen arrived at 6:14 pm, Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Barry Cole addressed the board and audience stating that he is running for Probate Court Judge on the November Ballot. He is a Mancelona attorney and has long experience in representing people in probate court. His goal, if elected, is to change outcomes of families in the court systems.
  3. Public Comment: Dave Heeres, resident on St Clair Lake and taxpayer for many parcels in Banks Township, addressed the Board with complaints on lack of enforcement of zoning regulations: campers on lake lots for many more than 45 consecutive days, noise from loud music and fireworks until after midnight, blight issues not being addressed, and more. He asked the Board to enforce the rules that have been established. He then changed his address to his report from the County Commission: Litigation is expected on failure to maintain water levels on the chain of lakes. The rivers are “choked” and can’t be dredged, the Village just “fixed” Bridge Street and now has guaranteed flooding of homes on St Clair Lake, most which have escaped being totally flooded by an inch in the recent past. Jet Skis on the inland lands with activity after dark, within feet of docks and fishing boats, and general nuisances were discussed as was the lack of response from the Sheriff Dept to complaints about them. He thanked the Board for the new appointee for the ACNA, Terry Grear, who will replace long time member Jake Veenstra. He announced that he is running for another term of office, in spite of these issues! Supervisor Mann responded with comment on the need for a Joint Noise Ordinance, even a county wide one, that the Sheriff has indicated could be enforced if every township has the same rules.
  4. Public Comment: Judy Bradtke of Lore Trail thanked the Board and Planning Commission for addressing Short Term Rentals. She feels regulations with have a “huge positive impact” and make communities “resident friendly”.
  5. Public Comment: Kathy Luther, Timberlane Terrace property owner for 55+ years, stated many homes in that subdivision are third generation owned. There are nine businesses (short term rentals) on the road with absentee owners and no managers on site. There is no one to connect with for problems. Rick Luther stated the “ad for a rental in the next subdivision that stated sleeps 20 has been removed and the unit is not being rented this year.”
  6. Public Comment: Clerk reported letters have been received and shared with the board: Kathy & Rick Luther, Judy Bradtke, Barbara & Sam Dorchen, Jennifer Barron, Krista Kay, Jim Bradtke. Also, the STR letter and application form from the City of Charlevoix was shared.
  7. Public Comment: Heidi Cooper of 11690 Essex Road, addressed the Board and stated she is a landlord on AirBnB. She lives on site with her rentals and has a friend who is an absent owner who has a manager for the rental. She stated regulations are needed for STRs and noise. She wants to be involved to help craft the plan.
  8. Minutes: The minutes of the June 18, 2018, regular Board Meeting were presented. Discussion was held on item #18. Minutes were amended to reflect Jerry Rasmussen’s intent to resign as rental officer, not as janitor. Also, to correct typo in item #36. MOTION was made by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to approve the minutes as amended. MOTION CARRIED.
  9. Fire Department: Clerk reported the cost for internet service at the fire hall in Ellsworth is increasing to $90 a month. Need to investigate the need for the services at that building. Lettering on the new ambulance vehicle/ 6640 has not been applied yet. Trustee Rasmussen reported on a friend who had fallen in her home and the great response time from both the rescue squad and Jordan Valley Ambulance. Very professional care was provided. Comment was made about need for siren and lights to be used when ambulance is traveling. Seal coating will be done on Wednesday at both fire halls and township hall. Marking will be done on Thursday at the township hall.
  10. Township Hall Report: Jerry Rasmussen will continue to do janitorial services, inside and out, for the township hall. Jan Rasmussen has offered to do rental reservations and coordination along with serve safe responsibilities for $200 a month. Deputy Clerk Sundelius has also offered to perform the rental services. Discussion. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to accept Jan’s proposal for events management, misc. cleaning and serve safe duties for $200 a month effective July 17, 2018. MOTION CARRIED. Jerry’s compensation to be further discussed. Will ask both of them to help develop job descriptions for each position. Discussion was held on who pays for using the hall was held. Jerry reported that the furnace that serves the west side of the upstairs was repaired. Both old furnaces have new motors now. Circuit board was getting hot. Downstairs screens are still at the hardware as only half were repaired. The lift seems to be working properly after another repair visit from A4Access. The lift was self-leveling every half hour or less. Signs will be added to “use buttons as directed” and Do Not Force the Door”. Clerk will contact service manager to see if any parts have already been replaced. Jerry will place black dirt and grass seed along the sides of the new driveway. Village has agreed to place gravel where needed where driveway connects to parking area at the Community Square. After meeting with Township and Payne and Dolan representatives, the Village agreed to cost share on the driveway work.
  11. Treasurers Report: Report of incomes and balances was provided. Checks from American Tower for bonus on site lease and Norwood Township for Fire Contract were received. General Fund Balance: $271,112.69 with $90,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $136,123.86. Liquor Fund: $910.75. Roads Fund: $44,190.50. Vehicle Fund: $64,483.08. Grand Total: $516,820.88. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to pay the bills as presented adding $3000 to Carter Cemetery Preservation to be paid when work is complete. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Veenstra reported on 2 permits since last meeting. A report was given on the Coeling Road blight situation. Complaints of 2 campers being lived in year around and 2 more that have exceeded the time limit on Six Mile Lake Road were received. A call regarding loss of access via old railroad property now in private ownership on Iron Horse Lane was received.
  13. Planning Commission: STR comments were received. The greenbelt and STR Brochures are still in the works. New officers were elected: Don Miles, chairman, Rick Diebold, vice-chair, Joni Wieland, Secretary. Notices about the survey have been mailed. Complaints of firearms & fireworks being discharged at Timberlane Terrace late at night was heard. Many complaints but not sure if calls were made to 911 at the time. Will ask the local DNR officer to attend our meeting next month. Draft ordinance for STR has begun. Supervisor reappoints Bill Austin to a 3-year term on the PC, to end June 30, 2021. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen to approve this appointment. MOTION CARRIED.
  14. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported the AA lease issues are continuing. They may consider relocating the ambulance service.
  15. Correspondence: Par Plan Newsletter was distributed. Triston Cole’s “Coffee Break News” was shared. Notice of sale of Dunn’s Business Solutions was shared. Letter from Auditor regarding Clerk working as election inspector was shared. Sheriff’s report of 911 calls was reviewed. There were 69 calls from Banks Township to 911 in June. Antrim Conservation District Quarterly Newsletter was shared. Annual Report for the Health Department of NW Michigan was shared. Beckett & Raeder’s newsletter was shared.
  16. Street Lights: Cost for a new pole will be set at Essex Road intersection is estimated between $900 and $1400. At Richardson Road, it is estimated to be $5,000 or more. Discussed having a solar powered light installed. Supervisor will investigate options and contact Norwood Township for their input.
  17. Park Update: No action yet from engineer. Ditch needs to be filled ASAP as it is a hazard and park is being used a lot. Treasurer Postmus will contact engineer to get the project moving.
  18. ACNA: Supervisor appoints Terry Grear to fill the vacancy on the ACNA commission. The term will end December 31, 2019. MOTION by Heeres, support by Cooper to approve the appointment. MOTION CARRIED.
  19. Audit Report: Was received from Baird Cotter & Bishop and distributed to Board members.
  20. Zoning Administrator: Andy Veenstra requested additional compensation for his job. He agreed to have this discussion in open session. He has been zoning administrator since May 1, 2007 with no change in compensation. He met with Supervisor Mann, Trustee Cooper and PC Chair Don Miles and job expectations were reviewed. Permits have increased as well as complaints. Discussion on enforcement needs as well as issuance of permits. ZA needs to be more timely in follow-up on both and response to inquiries. Record keeping has not been shared with Board when requested. Protocol for violation enforcement was reviewed: two registered letters to property owner with copy of second letter to attorney. If non-compliant after attorney sends letter, a ticket is issued. Andy stated, “tickets were taken from me”. Examples of neglect were discussed. Contract terms were reviewed, and expectations outlined. He was asked by supervisor to carefully consider if he wishes to continue in this role and report to supervisor his decision within 7 days.
  21. Board of Review: will meet July 17 at 4 PM.
  22. Antrim County Road Commission: Cost Share Policy was discussed. Cost sharing will improve; planning for projects needs to be two years out. Have not heard about Lakeshore Drive study yet. Problem areas were reported on Atwood Road west of Veenstra’s where the shoulder has washed badly on the hill on the north side. The ditches on US 31 that were dug out last year are a muddy, wet mess. Essex corner continues to have loose gravel on the roadway. Clay Pit Bridge work is still not complete, and the bolts are hazardous beneath the new bridge.
  23. Library Reports: were received from Central Lake and Charlevoix Libraries. For Central Lake, 37 Banks Township residents made 213 visits. For Charlevoix, 187 Banks Township residents checked out books. Our population is 1609 as of 2010 census.
  24. Cemeteries: Work on the markers at the Catholic Cemetery will begin on Wednesday. Clerk reported several more sales at Antrim City Cemetery. Very few saleable lots remain. Trustee Cooper reports he had 2 yards of gravel delivered to AC cemetery on the north driveway and he spread it.
  25. Elections: Clerk reported the new QVF voter registration system is not working properly on her computer. She has spent several hours with the Help Desk at the Bureau of Elections and also with our IT to see if the system and computer will communicate properly. Not working yet. The new election tabulation equipment and voter assistance terminal have been delivered and training has taken place for clerk, deputy clerk and three inspectors. The Elections Commission slate of inspectors for the August 7 Primary were presented. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to approve the slate. MOTION CARRIED.
  26. Good Samaritan: Proclamation honoring Mary Peterson for her work in forming and managing the Good Samaritan Family Services for the past 28 years will be presented to Mary at the July 23 surprise retirement party for her.
  27. Discussion Items: Cost recovery ordinance, pending legislation effecting assessing, and article in MTA Focus magazine spotlighting Banks Township, written by Clerk & Deputy Clerk was held.
  28. Public Comment: There was none.
  29. Next meeting Monday, August 20 at 6 PM.
  30. The meeting was adjourned at 9:57 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk