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

March 2015

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, March 16, 2015

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6 P.M. by Supervisor Thomas Mann. The meeting was rescheduled to 6 PM due to time expected to exceed 3 hours. Present were Supervisor Mann, Clerk Donna Heeres, Treasurer Katy Postmus, Trustee David Rasmussen, Trustee Tom Cooper. Also present: Jan Olach, Jerry Rasmussen, and Judy VanderArk. Andy Veenstra arrived at 6:35; Sheriff Dan Bean arrived at 6:50; Burt Thompson arrived at 7:08. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public comment: Jan Olach, president of the Ellsworth Lioness Club, gave a presentation regarding community service provided by the Club and asked that the $50 fee for use of the Township Hall be waived.
  3. Public comment: Judy VanderArk announced that she plans to retire from cemetery/park service after this season. She reported the Township’s truck needs a new tire but otherwise it and the trailer are useable for another year. She said there was difficulty hauling black dirt to the cemetery last year when Carter Cemetery Preservation was here due to holes in the trailer. She asked for more notice of his arrival this year. The mowers take a beating on the uneven ground and crew is not able to clean them due to no water at the sites. Some welding is needed due to hitting uneven ground. Two will need new batteries this year. Discussed selling extra equipment, as is, on clean-up day. Discussed investigating other providers for mower repairs. Judy reported the Catholic Cemetery is “deadly” and difficult to maintain. Question of whose responsibility it is to maintain this cemetery since the Township does not legally own it. She also mentioned gravel is being thrown on the Essex Flag Site and inquired if paving the shoulder of the road might help. The Township Park has more erosion around the benches. Question of need to move the benches or fill in around them for safety, understanding they will be moved in 2016 if grant funding is received. The base of the steps to the waterfront is chronically wet due to “seeps” coming from the back of the property.
  4. Public comment: Sheriff Dan Bean presented his 911 report; announced the new, more user friendly county website is launched; a change in concealed weapons permitting is scheduled to occur December of this year; snowmobile trail issues that have (hopefully) been resolved.
  5. Public comment was closed at 7:05 PM.
  6. Township Hall: Jerry reported the painting has been started, rental reservation calls are coming in! Jerry requested purchase of three carts for 8 foot tables at a cost of $887.37 delivered. MOTION Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, CARRIED, to purchase three table carts from Mity Lite as described above. He asked if the Board would consider having the building sprayed for bugs this spring. He will bring a quote to the board next month. Katy will also bring a quote for window washing. Building Committee Report: David is meeting with Atlas Electric tomorrow @ 8:30 am about the electrical project. Updated preliminary drawings and cost estimates are expected soon from the engineer.
  7. Road Commission Report: Burt Thompson addressed the Board with information on the May 5 ballot proposal for increasing the sales tax to 7%, removing the sales tax from fuel, change in State Aid funding, adding tax of 14.9% of wholesale to fuel which will all go to roads, increasing fees on heavy trucks and a phase out of depreciation on vehicle registrations. He is in favor of the new proposal and feels it is the best way to improve funding for road maintenance and repairs. A short discussion was held on the condition of Lakeshore Drive.
  8. Zoning Administrator: Andy reported on the 1997 Dangerous Buildings ordinance and procedures necessary to remedy a dangerous building (roof caved in) on Old Dixie Highway. He has a letter drafted to the property owner to learn what their plans are for the building.
  9. The meeting was recessed at 7:57 PM.
  10. The Public Hearing on the General, Roads, Vehicle and Liquor funds budgets was convened at 7:58 PM. The Supervisor presented the budgets and gave rationale for his adjustments. Questions were answered. The Public Hearing was closed at 8:35 PM.
  11. Minutes: The minutes of the regular February 25, 2015, Board Meeting were presented. MOTION Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper, to approve the minutes amending item #5 to explain the reduced fire millage rate more clearly. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Fire Department: Supervisor reported the grass fire truck is in for repairs.
  13. The treasurer’s report of incomes and balances was given. General Fund Balance: $328,709.32 with $180,000 due from the Fire Fund; Fire Fund Balance: $75,873.04; Roads Fund Balance: $179,888.46; Vehicle Fund Balance: $60,057.59; Liquor Fund Balance: $1,368.03; Grand Total: $645,896.44.
  14. Bills represented by the attached list were presented for approval for payment. MOTION Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  15. Planning Commission: Cooper reported the PC is working on a proposed amendment that would allow a Parent Parcel to be 10 acres rather than 20 acres as currently specified. The proposed re-zoning in Section 36 Range 9 West was recommended to be denied/rejected. MOTION Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen, to reject the proposed rezoning in Section 36 Range 9 West as recommended by the Planning Commission. Roll Call Vote: Mann: yes; Postmus: yes; Cooper: yes; Rasmussen: yes; Heeres: yes. MOTION CARRIED and rezoning request is denied.
  16. Ambulance Authority: Supervisor Mann reported that the ambulance authority has approved an insurance plan for its employees. The Authority is ready to begin operations on April 1, 2015.
  17. Newsletter: Clerk shared draft version of township newsletter that will be mailed to property owners approximately April 1. Consensus is to post Tina Sundelius’ newsletter on our website with a disclaimer that the Township is not responsible for any content in it. Our newsletter will also be posted on the website.
  18. Township Park Grant Application: MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus, to adopt resolution #3 of 2015 “Banks Township Park Improvements: Recreation Passport Grant Program 2015 Application”. Roll Call Vote: Mann: yes; Postmus: yes; Cooper: yes; Rasmussen: yes; Heeres: yes. The Supervisor declared the resolution adopted.
  19. Board of Review: Supervisor reported the meetings were very slow with 26 appeals heard.
  20. Budgeted Transfers & Amendments: MOTION Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, CARRIED, to transfer $30,000 from the General Fund to the Vehicle Fund as budgeted. MOTION Postmus, seconded by Cooper, CARRIED, to authorize the Clerk & Supervisor to make the necessary budgetary amendments.
  21. The next meeting will be held Monday, April 20, 2015, at 7 PM.
  22. The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres
Banks Township Clerk