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

June 2018

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, June 18, 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, Trustee David Rasmussen and Trustee Tom Cooper. Also present: Deputy Clerk Tina Sundelius, Bob Cooney Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney, Julie Waterman, Krista Kay, Shane Bush, Laurie and Terry Greer, Tim and Sandy Pienta, Heidi Cooper, Mindy and Stan Kouris, James and Judy Bradtke, Greg and Lynn Kirby. Jerry Rasmussen arrived at 6:05 pm, Don Miles at 6:08 pm, Hugh Campbell at 7:00 pm. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Bob Cooney addressed the board and audience stating that he is running for 86th District Court Judge because Judge Phillips is retiring. He talked about the great results he has gotten with both Sobriety Court and Drug Court which he started 2 years ago.
  3. Public Comment: Greg Kirby-Lore Rd- Addressed the Board about the challenges of Short Term Rentals in his area. He believes that a written ordinance regulating them is necessary. He stated that he is not opposed to Short Term Rentals but wants rules that everyone can live by. He would like to see a special meeting to update and adopt an ordinance. Supervisor Mann stated that the Planning Commission and Township Board would reopen discussion on the topic. Planning Commission Chair Don Miles explained the process of developing and adopting an ordinance and the necessity of public input in that process.
  4. Public Comment: Judy Bradtke-Eastport- Stated that she is not opposed to family and friends sharing homes but was unhappy with her neighbors running a business by renting out theirs. She said that VRBO has 300 listings in Banks Township. She believes most of these were owned by people living far away and stated she is not opposed to renters who live near their rentals. There is no one around to monitor the situation and these people do not care about the community. She said the renters are creating havoc and she is afraid of retaliation if she calls the police. She stated that she is suffering due to renters disrupting their peace and safety. The sheriff says there are no laws in place so the renters that pollute the beach and stay up all night “drinking and drugging” are not breaking the law. She mentioned Torch Lake Township’s ordinance that prohibits rentals less than one month. She urged Banks Township to be strict with regulations.
  5. Public Comment: Terry and Laurie Grear- Timberlane Drive- Stated that Short Term Rentals (STR) have a negative impact on the community, they do not obey the speed limit and party on the beach until 4 am. He mentioned that according to the property owners’ deed restrictions and abstract, only 4 lots may be used as a business. They have nine rentals at least.
  6. Public Comment: Krista Kay-Simmons Bluff- She rents a cabin that was built in 1955 by her father. She began renting the cabin in the 1960’s. She is on Air BnB, advertising her cabin as a place to relax and get quiet. She has a good reputation and has a lot of regulations for renters that require them to respect the property and environment. Renting the cabin has been a positive experience for her and that she is “generating the economy by being in this rental business”. She said she never has had any problems with a renter.
  7. Public Comment: Tim Pienta-13363 Timberlane Drive- His property adjoins a shared beach for multiple families. Last week a group of college men partied there until 5 am. In White Pine Shores subdivision, there is one 13 bedroom rental and several other rentals.
  8. Public Comment: Stan Kouris- Patchakee Trail- Wanted to know what defines a Short Term Rental. The answer was less than 28 days.
  9. Public Comment: Heidi Cooper-11690 Essex Rd- She has two rentals through Air Bnb. She asked if there was a Noise Ordinance or a Drunk and Disorderly Ordinance that can be used to regulate renter’s behavior. She stated she has not had these problems with her renters but has had problems with locals disrupting her renters who come to seek tranquility. She mentioned Acme Township’s newly adopted STR ordinance that seems satisfactory to both sides, may be over ruled by a pending state legislation.
  10. Public Comment: Laurie Grear- Timberlane Drive- Asked, “How did Torch Lake Township get their very restrictive ordinance passed?”
  11. Public Comment: Lynn Kirby- Lore Rd- Asked, “When the (proposed Banks Township) ordinance was drafted, who’s voice was heard?” (In reference to an ordinance that the Planning Commission drafted 2 years ago that was set aside after the public hearing was held.) She stated that regardless of what happens at the state level, we need an ordinance and regulations now.
  12. Supervisor’s Response: Supervisor Mann stated that all public input was appreciated thanked the Planning Commission and Township Board for hearing the complaints and working toward a solution.
  13. Public Comment: Julie Waterman- Best Road- Stated that the Ellsworth/Atwood Community Newsletter’s article on how to get involved was first rate.
  14. Public Comment: Terry and Laurie Greer- Timberlane Drive- Expressed concern about how the sand has washed in and the cement slabs have washed out at the boat launch at Antrim County Natural Area. The launch is unusable. They stated that they appreciated the response they got when they complained about the toilet not being cleaned. Don Miles, member of the ACNA Commission, stated that the cement was going to be removed and the issue was actively being worked on. Both Terry and Laurie expressed an interest in serving in some capacity within the township for the months that they are here.
  15. Closed Public Comment at 7:04.
  16. Planning Commission Report: Don Miles stated that at the June 12 meeting, STR were discussed and that the PC would like some direction on the topic from the Township Board. They have done a great deal of research on other township’s ordinances and suggest a 2-pronged approach to STR issues. A nuisance/blight/noise ordinance or police power ordinance and zoning of STR. Claire Karner, Planning Consultant, stated that Norwood Township limits their STR in zoning to a 7-day minimum and are looking at adding a police power ordinance to better regulate. The issuance of permits was discussed. Postmus asked why the work on the noise ordinance was dropped. Components of the ordinance were discussed. Terry Greer asked when fireworks were allowed. During the 10 national holidays, the day before and the day after each. MOTION by Mann to have the Planning Commission revisit the draft STR Ordinance and make amendments to address concerns of the public. Seconded by Cooper. MOTION CARRIED. Master Plan Update: Claire Karner stated that work was just beginning. The master plan influences and supports the zoning ordinance. The future land use map needs to identify uses for the next 25 years with changing needs and growth. Public input stations will be established, and an online survey launched. She asked if there were any specific issues to be included in the survey, snowmobile trails and flooding, soil erosion were mentioned. Discussion was held on the probability of worsened flooding due to the raising of Bridge Street roadbed over the culvert.
  17. Village Report: Hugh Campbell stated that Paddle Antrim was establishing a water trail-way from here to Elk Rapids. Half of the Village Waterworks property has been sold to the Pallet Mill and the other half to Fred Taylor. The property has been owned by the village since 1920. The sewer feasibility study doesn’t look good. The village is passing a Blight Ordinance, asked township’s status on this. The village truck is to be replaced due to an accident. The village is in the process of doing $108,000 in road paving. He says the village council is not in favor of helping the township pave the Hall Driveway. A long discussion and trip outside to look at the driveway was made. Hugh proposed an overlay would be sufficient. Clerk to set up a meeting ASAP with representative from Payne & Dolan, township and village representatives to establish the best method for repairing the driveway.
  18. Township Hall Report: Jerry Rasmussen said the hall has been very busy, could he get a separate phone for the hall. He has been using his personal number. The lift is still not working. Dave Rasmussen talked to the salesman. The Board discussed legal issues of lift. Jerry resigned as rental officer effective July 16. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to get a separate phone for hall rentals. MOTION CARRIED. Hugh Campbell offered to donate an older iphone for this use. Postmus to take care of getting the phone set up. Sundelius volunteered to take care of rentals temporarily. Will be paid by the hour for her services.
  19. Treasurers Report: There was an anonymous donation for $10,000, with no strings attached, given to the township. Discussion on most appropriate use for the money was held. MOTION by Heeres to put the money in the Vehicle Fund, seconded by Rasmussen. MOTION CARRIED. General Fund Balance: $228,091.80 with $90,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $122,963.44. Liquor Fund: $1258.99. Roads Fund: $40,465.80. Vehicle Fund: $64,323.36. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to pay the bills as presented and withhold the lift payment until satisfactorily repaired. MOTION CARRIED.
  20. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Veenstra provided a report to Supervisor of 6 permits issued since last meeting. No reports on violations. He will be on vacation June 15-25.
  21. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported the AA will meet on June 20.
  22. Correspondence: Sheriff’s report of 911 calls was reviewed. There were 81 calls from Banks Township to 911 in May. Bills for the May election were sent to Central Lake, Ellsworth, Charlevoix and CharEm and all payments have been received. Bill for Fire Services was sent to Norwood Township. Letter from NLEA recognizing financial investment of Banks Township was received. Letter from MTA recognizing membership renewal and promoting MTA services was received. Letter from Antrim Conservation District informing of the district’s legal authority and availability, under contract, to collaborate with townships to add enforcement of zoning/buffer ordinances. Letter from TART trails regarding the TVC to Charlevoix Trail with announcement of state funding of $2.4 million to support trail development for this corridor. (Missing from the report was information on the segment from Elk Rapids to the northern Antrim/Banks Township boundary.)
  23. Minutes: The minutes of the May 21, 2018, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Rasmussen, seconded by Mann, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  24. Street Lights: Lamps changed to LED in all lights in Atwood. A new pole will be set at Essex Road intersection soon. Awaiting a quote for Richardson Road light. Norwood Township has agreed to cost share with us with Banks Township covering the installation and they will cover the monthly cost for this light.
  25. Park Update: Park was again flooded. The lack of culvert beneath the driveway to the north of the park is felt to be a factor. Clerk made an onsite visit today and spoke with Kevin Markiewicz of C2AE about need for an alternate plan and need to fill the eroded area soon as people are (trying) to use the park. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to authorize Kevin Markiewicz to petition the DEQ to place an emergency drain at the park. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to get recommendation for fill material for the gully and get it filled ASAP to avoid a problem at the site. MOTION CARRIED
  26. Roads: Lakeshore Drive meeting summary from Ann Chastain was reviewed. Burt Thompson, of the ACRC, is working with Northwest Design Group to study LSD and develop a plan for improvements. The drainage issues and sharp curve safety issues are being addressed.
  27. Clay Pit Bridge: Reports of bolts extending below the bridge and being a safety hazard to boaters have been received. Contact with ACRC found they are aware and they will repair.
  28. Audit: Completed in May and reports expected soon.
  29. Pest Control: Proposal from Kritter Katchers for $250 and Evergreen Pest Control for $179 were received. MOTION was made by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to approve the proposal from Evergreen for $179. MOTION CARRIED.
  30. Township Hall Windows: Only one proposal was received from Matt Gerber for $750. MOTION was made by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to approve the proposal from Matt Gerber for $750. MOTION CARRIED.
  31. Board of Review: Supervisor Mann appoints Steve Erwin as alternate member of the Board of Review. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the appointment. MOTION CARRIED.
  32. Zoning Board of Appeals: Supervisor Mann appoints Mike McDuffie, Dennis Penfold, Jack Danbert, Jeff Cook and Don Miles (PC Chair) to the ZBA for one year. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the appointments. MOTION CARRIED.
  33. ACNA: Jacob Veenstra has resigned from the ACNA. Supervisor, on behalf of the Board, expressed gratitude for Jake’s years of service to the Township on this commission. Supervisor will contact potential candidates and plan to make appointment next month.
  34. Tax Rate Request: Per the adopted budgets for the Township, the allocated millage to be levied on December 1, 2018, for the general fund is .9939, the roads fund is .9939, for the fire fund is 1.1. Form L-4029 was signed by the Supervisor and Clerk.
  35. Fire Depts & Twp Hall Parking Lot Sealcoat/marking: Two bids were received: Quality Seal Coating: Twp Hall crack fill & seal and striping $1850; Ellsworth FD crack fill & seal $400; Atwood FD crack fill & seal $900. Asphalt Maintenance Service: Twp Hall crack fill & seal and striping $900; Ellsworth FD crack fill & seal $250; Atwood FD crack fill & seal $570. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to award all the bids to Asphalt Maintenance Service. MOTION CARRIED. Township Hall parking lot to be done after the driveway is repaved to allow complete marking to be done.
  36. Cemeteries: Brian Darrah reported there are 7 trees that need to be removed at the Catholic Cemetery in addition to the overgrown brush around the markers. He offered to remove them, leaving the stumps flush with the ground for $1200. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann to have Brian do with work. MOTION CARRIED. Cemetery Equipment that is no longer in use was discussed. Cooper offered to exchange his time and use of his tractor at the park and cemeteries for the old, used equipment. The Board was in favor of this and Rasmussen agreed to assist with setting the values.
  37. Elections: Clerk reported she has completed six hours of training on the new QVF voter registration system. Deputy Clerk was not able to attend the training and will have to schedule for a later time. The new election tabulation equipment and voter assistance terminal will be delivered on July 11 to the County Building and a limited number of inspectors from each jurisdiction will be trained that day, along with the Public Accuracy Testing. All inspectors must attend a two-hour inspector training session on June 29, four separate classes will be offered.
  38. Discussion was held on excellent communication skills of the PC chairman Don Miles and his willingness to communicate directly with the public during and between meetings. He is a huge asset to the Township. Thank you, Don. Compensation for his expanded role as PC Chairman was discussed.
  39. Pig Roast/Citizen of the Year Report: Clerk reported large attendance and enjoyment of the Pig Roast. A special announcement and recognition of Citizen of the Year, Joni Wieland, was made on June 7 by Supervisor Mann and Clerk Heeres at a special meeting of the Ellsworth Lions/Lioness Clubs. Also, Rep Tristan Cole and Senator Wayne Schmidt joined us at the Pig Roast for a public presentation to honor Joni.
  40. Public Comment: There was none.
  41. Next meeting Monday, July 20 at 6 PM.
  42. The meeting was adjourned at 10:33 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk