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

June 2017

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, June 19, 2017

  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 and Trustee David Rasmussen. Also present: Jarris Rubingh, Mark Groenink, Tina Sundelius, Bill Hott, and Dennis Caren. Andrew Veenstra arrived at 6:15 P.M. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Dennis Caren, Six Mile Lake Road, stated he was upset about the proposed gravel pit because the trucks are loud and hard on the road. He also stated that the fireworks display was amazing but the cannon fire 21-gun salute was overwhelming and could the cannons be pointed in a different direction, he is located directly across the lake from the firing spot.
  3. Public Comment: Bill Hott, Six Mile Lake, wanted to know how many signatures are needed on a petition to oppose the gravel pit. He identified the truck traffic and noise are the problems.
  4. Public Comment: Jarris Rubingh gave the board an update from the Farm Bureau. A hunting season for sandhill cranes has been approved due to destruction of corn. However, it is not allowed to eat them, they are to be left in the field to deter other cranes. Farmers were called in (by the Sheriff Dept.) to help in a situation where 3 cows were not being cared for and Animal Control had been contacted. The cows were taken to auction by the farmers for the owners.
  5. Minutes: The minutes of the May 22, 2017, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to approve the minutes correcting a typo in item #7. MOTION CARRIED.
  6. Fire Report: Mark Groenink stated that EMS Director Cody Randall is moving to Beaver Island. A new EMS director & representative to the Ambulance Authority Board need to be appointed. The Norwood Fire Protection contract was reviewed. There were 2 runs during the past year. MOTION by Cooper, seconded by Rasmussen to approve the contract. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Heeres: Yes; Rasmussen: Yes. MOTION CARRIED.
  7. Township Hall: In Jerry Rasmussen’s absence, Clerk reported that the hall has been busy. Rasmussen was upset Saturday of Pig Roast because the hall was left messy, chairs were missing and the hall was booked for the day. The appropriate individuals have been contacted.
  8. Building Committee: The Acoustic panels have arrived; the upstairs lights have been ordered. Rotary Charities will be contacted requesting an extension of 90 days to complete the installation and file the report. Atlas Electric will be contacted to schedule the installation of the lights when they arrive in approximately 6 weeks. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus to have Blue Fin Painting re-stain the front of the stage. Cost will be time & materials. MOTION CARRIED. Discussion on internet service and wireless availability at township hall & historical society building. Proposals from Mission Computers & The Computer Doctor were reviewed. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen to switch internet providers at the Fire Hall to Charter. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Mann, to hire The Computer Doctor to upgrade the wireless internet at the hall, redistributing it to the BTHS, including a hotspot for guests. MOTION CARRIED.
  9. Treasurer’s Report: Postmus reported that Metro Act funds were received and that interest rates have increased to 1.02%. General Fund Balance: $212,874.39 (Balance due from fire fund: $120,000.); Roads Fund: $57,413.44; Fire Fund: $112,160.14; Vehicle Fund: $91,031.38; Liquor Fund: $1,422.86; Grand Total: $474,902.21. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper, CARRIED, to approve the bills as presented.
  10. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Veenstra reported that 3 permits were issued this month, 2 new homes and 1 garage. A CCC antenna application is being reviewed for Bill Austin’s silo. ZA is researching exact heights allowed: the silo is 68 ft. and the proposed antenna is 30 ft. Blight Violation Status: ZA reported the blight violation on Coeling Road has made progress but still there. The requested 2-week extension has expired and further extension has not been applied for. Another letter will be sent. A draft of the new violation and blight form was reviewed and updated.
  11. Planning Commission: Cooper reported there was a large audience at the Planning Commission meeting. Sand and gravel extraction at the Six Mile Lake gravel pit was discussed and will be on the August PC agenda for decision. Warren Nuffer wants to purchase the “little house” from the school’s building trades and put it on his property but it is too small. The PC is considering an ordinance revision to accommodate “little houses.” He also reported that the short-term rentals & noise ordinance discussions are continuing. The MTA training, Findings of Fact portion was very helpful. Appointments: MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Heeres to approve the Supervisor’s appointments of Steve Parafin and Don Miles to 3-year terms on the PC, expiring July 1, 2020. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus to approve the Supervisor’s appointments of Mike McDuffie, Dennis Penfold, Jack Danbert, Jeff Cook and Don Miles to 1 year terms on the ZBA, expiring July 1, 2020. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Ambulance Authority Report: Cody Randall needs to be replaced as the Board’s representative as he is leaving the area. Cody has done a great job serving Banks Township as EMS director & Ambulance Authority Rep. He will be greatly missed.
  13. Township Park: Postmus reported that the project is wrapping up and looks good. She brought mock ups of a sign for the park 48X48. Approval was given to Postmus to pursue the purchase of the signs. Discussion was held on unchaining the 3 older tables and purchasing a trail cam to monitor theft and destruction. A motor home across the street from the park appears to be in violation of zoning and Andy was asked to talk to the owners. Postmus was asked to talk to the sign company about also replacing the sign at the township hall.
  14. Cemeteries: Rasmussen reported that 2 trees in the Ellsworth cemetery are dead or dying. Permission to contact Mike Meriwether or Mike McDuffie to diagnose situation and offer solutions. He has new locks and will change on the storage buildings. The cemetery truck and trailer has been sold.
  15. Correspondence: A letter from a resident on Lore Road who would like to have the pavement extended to the end of the road. PA116 agreements for Marvin Rubingh were received. MTA ParPlan 2012-13-14 dividends were received. The village council minutes were reviewed, noting a huge increase in Summer Recreation participation, and campground usage. Also, a non-motorized pathway along Lake Street within the Community Park will be completed this summer. Sheriff’s report of 911 calls and MTA letter were read.
  16. Assessor Contract: MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Mann to approve a 3-year contract with AD Assessing beginning May 1, 2017. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Heeres: Yes; Rasmussen: Yes. MOTION CARRIED.
  17. Clay Pit Bridge Road: Mann reported that Senator Wayne Schmidt says there is no state money left for bridges. Discussion was held on the need for clarity on what the $35,000 bid would do for the bridge. Steps from the road to the water have been recommended by fishermen. A MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper to table the decision until more information is provided. MOTION CARRIED.
  18. Charter Franchise: Franchise offer from Charter Communications was reviewed. Will send to attorney for review.
  19. Principles of Governance: MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen to adopt MTA’s principles of governance. MOTION CARRIED.
  20. Public Comment: Jarris Rubingh suggested a Planning Commission subcommittee meet with Marvin Rubingh to negotiate regulations for the proposed gravel extraction SUP. The Board commends the Pig Roast Committee on its efforts for an overall great event for the community. Congratulations to Banks Township Citizen of the Year Hugh Campbell. The presentation of the award was made at the June 12 Village Council Meeting.
  21. Next meeting Monday, July 17 at 6 PM.
  22. The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 P.M

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk