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

March 2017

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, March 20, 2017

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6 P.M. by Supervisor Thomas Mann. Present were Supervisor Mann, Clerk Donna Heeres, Treasurer Katy Postmus, and Trustee David Rasmussen. Absent: Trustee Tom Cooper. Also present: Mark Groenink, Don Miles, Tina Sundelius, Jerry Rasmussen, Tom Cooper, Heidi Cooper, Jarris Rubingh and Julie Waterman. Brian VanderArk arrived at 7:30 PM. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Heidi Cooper and Tom Cooper addressed the Board to announce their plans for a small campground in The Preserve at Rocky Top Farms. They reported the neighbors have been contacted and are in favor of the proposal. They are requesting a Special Use Permit from the Planning Commission. The Public Hearing on the proposal will be scheduled for the May 9 meeting.
  3. Public Comment: Jarris Rubingh addressed the Board, inviting the Firemen to attend a Farm Bureau sponsored Farm Safety and Emergency Response Training to be held April 25 at 6 PM at the Bud Boss Farm in Marion Township.
  4. Public Comment: Tom Cooper announced a Climate workshop on Global Warming that will be held April 29 at noon in the Traverse City Open Space.
  5. Fire Department: Fire Board meeting was held at 5 PM today. Approval was recommended for 5 new pagers @ $475 each (Total $2257) plus some chargers & batteries. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, CARRIED to approve the purchase. Chief Groenink announced Nate St Pierre has joined the department and will begin Firefighter I training as soon as practical. Nate lives near Atwood and is a welcome new member!
  6. The meeting was recessed and the Public Hearings on the budgets was convened at 6:35 PM.
  7. Supervisor Mann presented the General, Vehicle, Roads and Liquor Fund proposed budgets. Public Comments were received. Jarris Rubingh asked about the county’s policy of only funding 10% of road costs. The Public Hearings were adjourned at 7:23 PM.
  8. The Regular meeting reconvened at 7:24 PM.
  9. Budget Adoptions: MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to adopt the Fire Fund budget for 2017-18 with 1.1 mil tax levy. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes, Mann: Yes, Heeres: Yes, Rasmussen: Yes. Absent: Cooper. MOTION CARRIED, BUDGET ADOPTED. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to adopt the General Fund budget as amended. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes, Mann: Yes, Heeres: Yes, Rasmussen: Yes. Absent: Cooper. MOTION CARRIED, BUDGET ADOPTED. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to adopt the Roads Fund budget as presented. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes, Mann: Yes, Heeres: Yes, Rasmussen: Yes. Absent: Cooper. MOTION CARRIED, BUDGET ADOPTED. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to adopt the Liquor Fund budget as amended. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes, Mann: Yes, Heeres: Yes, Rasmussen: Yes. Absent: Cooper. MOTION CARRIED, BUDGET ADOPTED. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to adopt the Vehicle Fund budget. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes, Mann: Yes, Heeres: Yes, Rasmussen: Yes. Absent: Cooper. MOTION CARRIED, BUDGET ADOPTED.
  10. Fund Transfers: MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to transfer $500 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for administration fees. MOTION CARRIED.
  11. Minutes: The minutes of the February 20, 2017, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Township Hall: Jerry Rasmussen reported that the hall has been busy with activities and rentals. He recommends the urinal be replaced with a wall unit as the current one leaks and is beyond repair. He plans to do more painting downstairs. The front doors have been adjusted and now close/latch better. The Wesleyan Church is planning community services on Easter weekend. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Mann, to waive the fee for Easter weekend use of the township hall by the Ellsworth Wesleyan Church.
  13. Roads Committee: Brian VanderArk presented the report from the Roads Committee. First recommendation is to repair Clay Pit Bridge due to safety concerns and to place overlay on Coeling/Boss Road. Investigation of possible grant funding to help with the bridge project was suggested. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to follow the recommendations of the Roads Committee to repair the Clay Pit Bridge and repair Coeling/Boss Road. Discussion followed with concerns about the low number of dwellings and low traffic counts in comparison to other roads. The rapid deterioration of the pavement will make the surface unsalvageable in a short time. MOTION CARRIED.
  14. Planning Commission: PC Chair Don Miles reported on the meeting held last week. Discussion was held on the campground presented earlier by the Coopers, issues surrounding communications towers, blight concerns, as well as Julie Waterman’s request for a self-sustaining farm on her property on Coeling/Best Road. Currently, the zoning does not allow this use. Clerk suggested to PC Chair that laws may have changed since the ordinance was written regarding the Mobile Home district (Waterman’s property is in it) and it might be something that could be amended rather than a rezone of one parcel or a variance. An application is being prepared for a mining operation on Six Mile Lake Road. Communications towers/antennae issues are being addressed by the Zoning Administrator and applications are expected to be filed soon. Interviews are being scheduled in early April with three candidates for Planning Consultant. Mann, Cooper, Miles & Lynn Spearing (village representative) will conduct the interviews. Noise and Short Term Rental regulations continue to be discussed. The PC hopes the owners of STR will work together on self-regulation. Repeat of Public Hearing on the Green Belt amendment will be held in conjunction with other Public Hearings, possibly in May. ZBA: Don Miles reported on the recent ZBA Hearing on a variance application to allow a storage structure (boat house type) within the front yard setback on a parcel on Lake Michigan. He stated it was a difficult decision process and was approved with the ZBA adding one condition regarding removal.
  15. Zoning Administrator: Andy reported three permits were issued this month. He has been working on a parcel division application to divide a three-acre homestead from acreage. Some confusion on current language in the ordinance. Don Miles will contact legal counsel to assure correct information is available.
  16. Building Committee: Clerk reported on proposal from Marshall Music for 90 acoustical panels for the ceiling of the township hall upstairs great room. Cost of the materials, including shipping, is $8567.94. Installation was estimated to be about $2000. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to proceed with ordering the panels at a cost of $8567.94, delivered, in a chocolate or peat color to blend with the ceiling and make deposit on the project to Marshall Music. Roll call vote: Postmus: Yes, Mann: Yes, Heeres: Yes, Rasmussen: Yes. Absent: Cooper. MOTION CARRIED. Clerk will meet with historical buildings architect on Tuesday, March 28, regarding lighting project.
  17. Treasurer’s Report: Incomes & balances were shared. General Fund: $394,817.96 with $120,000 due from the Fire Fund; Fire Fund: $130,033.69; Liquor Fund: $1920.41; Roads Fund: $136,418.42; Vehicle Fund: $90,807.57; Grand Total: $653,998.05. Comparison of balances from March 2016 was done. Bills represented by the attached list were presented for approval for payment. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to pay the bills as presented plus pagers, batteries, chargers and acoustical panels deposit. MOTION CARRIED.
  18. Ambulance Update: Written report from Cody Randall to the Supervisor announced the budget was adopted; the warranty on the blown engine had expired: cost to replace the engine is estimated at $15,000; decision reached to scrap this ambulance and keep the one that was slated to be replaced with used ambulance from Boyne Falls: lights and parts will be salvaged to place on the BF unit.
  19. Correspondence: Signed contracts have been received from Charlevoix & Central Lake Libraries and will be processed and sent to Library of Michigan. Notice that EMS license will be extended from September 30 to December 31 this year and annually thereafter. ParPlan News was distributed. Draft version of the Banks Township News was shared. Sheriff’s report of 911 calls for February 2017 was shared: 54 total calls from Banks Township. Household Hazardous Waste Collection sites for Antrim Conservation District were shared. May 13 in Elk Rapids, August 6 in Bellaire and a new site on September 23 in Mancelona. Clerk has been awarded $1000 in scholarship funds for continuing education through Michigan Townships Association Township Governance Academy. Letter received from Municipal Underwriters of Michigan regarding their business plan. Michigan Association of Municipal Cemeteries annual conference is August 16-18 in Frankenmuth. Village Council minutes were reviewed.
  20. Board of Review: 2017 session is complete. Eleven appeals were heard. The BOR recommends adoption of a policy of a proportional poverty exemption rather than an all or nothing policy. Supervisor will contact legal counsel to assure the township has authority to do this.
  21. TV/Monitor for Meeting Room: A 42” used monitor was donated for our use. However, consensus is that it is not large enough to be of value. Postmus will order a larger screen for use in meetings to display budgets, agendas, other displays and allow the board & public to better visualize items being discussed. Clerk will contact Village to cost share the unit and installation of cables and electricity outlet. Wi-Fi for FD and BTHS: still working on. Discussed installing Wi-Fi for public access and a hotspot at the township hall. Clerk will contact Mission Computers for a proposal.
  22. Mutual Aid Agreement with Antrim County: Will ask Fire Chief for input prior to adoption.
  23. Equalization/Treasury Agreement with Antrim County: tabled for more input from Assessor.
  24. Budget Amendments: MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the budget amendments as itemized in the attached list. MOTION CARRIED.
  25. Cemetery Buildings: Trustee Rasmussen will inventory equipment as soon as keys to the buildings are turned in. Also, consensus to have Brian Darrah complete the fence removal, sell the truck, and change the locks on the buildings. Clerk to meet with Brian to get insurance certificates and other details finalized.
  26. May Board Meeting: Rescheduled for May 22, instead of May 15.
  27. Public Comment: There was no Public Comment.
  28. Next meeting Monday, April 17 at 6 PM.
  29. The meeting was adjourned at 9:48 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk