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

May 2018

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, May 21, 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: County Commissioner David Heeres, Fire Chief Mark Groenink, Deputy Clerk Tina Sundelius, David Bell and Julie Waterman. Jerry Rasmussen arrived at 6:09 pm. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: David Bell, property owner in Forest Home Township on Intermediate Lake, addressed the Board concerning the high-water levels on the Chain of Lakes over the past several years. He reported that Drain Commissioner Mark Stone has said the Intermediate River is “silted in” following 50+ years of not being dredged. According to Mr. Bell, Mr. Stone has said this is cost prohibitive. Mr. Bell is recommending an outside expert be retained to evaluate the entire Chain of Lakes and offer solutions. He is asking for support from the township boards along the chain to encourage the County Commissioners to take action and use other resources to maintain the water at the court ordered levels. The County Commissioners’ sub-committee on Lands and Infrastructure is supervisor of the Drain Commissioner.
  3. Public Comment: David Heeres, County Commissioner for District 1, addressed the Board and stated the County Commission is now well aware of the problems on the Chain of Lakes and has been investigating measures to alleviate the flooding.
  4. Minutes: The minutes of the April 16, 2018, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  5. The meeting was recessed for 5 minutes to allow the Board to inspect the recently purchased ambulance vehicle.
  6. Fire Department: Chief Groenink reported the Dept assisted East Jordan and Central Lake with two structure fires this past month. There were 5-6 rescue runs. The old ambulance vehicle was sold for $2000. The new unit went in service the evening that it was delivered. Lettering will be added soon. The motocross race was held this past weekend with 226 participants, including 20 youth. Two persons were transported to the hospital for treatment by East Jordan ambulance, plus two others were injured and sought private transportation to the emergency room. Six EMTs and the rescue vehicle were on the scene for many hours to assure immediate medical care for injuries. Several band aids were applied as well. The association was paid $250 for this. Discussed if this was an appropriate amount and recipient for the funds. Guidelines will be developed for stand-by status/first aid station services after consultation with insurance agent and others.
  7. Township Hall: Jerry reported the building has been used quite a bit. The new bulbs have been installed and two sconces along the front of the stage opening. The lift is not working and request for service has been sent. Should be repaired tomorrow. Clerk presented three proposals for 80 folding chairs to replace the blue chairs upstairs. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Mann, to purchase 80 tan folding chairs from Uline for $1730.40. MOTION CARRIED. Clerk was authorized to sell the blue chairs for $150. The roof replacement is complete and has been dry inside! Six screens on the downstairs windows were damaged and the roofing company has agreed to pay for the repairs. Proposal was received from Matt Gerber for window cleaning. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to hire Matt to clean the windows. Discussion was held about availability of another company in the township. MOTION FAILED. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Heeres, to authorize the clerk to obtain a second proposal and hire the low bidder. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper to obtain two proposals for pest control and authorize the clerk to award the work to the lowest bidder. Pest control to be done prior to window cleaning. MOTION CARRIED. Parking lot: no bids were received when we advertised. Will solicit from two or three companies for parking lot sealing and re-lining and also the fire halls driveways. Driveway proposal: One bid was received from Payne & Dolan for $16,270. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to accept the bid from Payne & Dolan to replace the driveway at the township hall. MOTION CARRIED.
  8. Roads: Contracts for Slough Road to improve 1700 feet with 3 inches of hot mix pavement at cost of $70,000 with township’s share of $63,000 and Toad Lake Road to improve 2550 feet with 4 inches of gravel at a cost of $22,500 with township’s share of $20,250 were presented. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper to approve the contract for Slough Road with 75% deposit to be paid upon signing of contract. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Cooper, seconded by Mann to approve the contract for Toad Lake Road with 75% deposit to be paid upon signing of contract. MOTION CARRIED.
  9. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer’s report of incomes and balances was presented. No American Tower payment yet this month. Proceeds ($2000) from the sale of the rescue vehicle was received and deposited in the Vehicle Fund. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED. Clerk distributed the financial reports for last fiscal year along with adopted budgets for this year.
  10. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Veenstra provided a report to Supervisor of 4 permits issued since last meeting. Complaint was investigated regarding a Hoop House (green house) in an Ag zone. It is movable and permitted in Ag as long as meets setbacks. Discussion on best ways to handle neighborhood complaints ensued. Report was made of sheriff deputies responding to a complaint who were at the wrong address and were excessively rude to the occupants of the (wrong) house. Discussed need for more follow-up on complaints (multiple) on Coeling Road with more junk cars appearing weekly. ZA was asked to do this follow through.
  11. Planning Commission: Cooper reported Marv Rubingh has withdrawn his gravel extraction application for now. The PC discussed the need for ZO amendments to address gravel extraction for personal use. A joint meeting with the Township Board and PC to discuss master plan objectives is scheduled for June 12 at 6 PM. Treasurer Postmus asked if could be set for 6:30 rather than 6 PM as she has a timing issue. Clerk Heeres is not able to attend at all. PC has not elected officers yet, will wait until July meeting after new appointments are made. Steve Parafin has resigned from the PC due to other obligations. Supervisor Mann accepted the resignation, with thanks for Steve’s service, and appointed Richard Diebold to fill the vacancy until July 1, 2020. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen to accept the resignation of Steve Parafin and approve the appointment of Richard Diebold to the PC to fill the vacancy. MOTION CARRIED. Supervisor re-appoints Bill Austin to the PC for three-year term ending July 1, 2021. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Cooper to approve the re-appointment of Bill Austin to the PC for a three-year term. MOTION CARRIED. Blight ordinance needs to be revisited. Short term rentals: more complaints of business in residential neighborhoods have been voiced. Clerk will forward all emails regarding this subject to the PC to help with understanding of the issues and formulation of a plan for regulations. The Planning Consultant will be asked to provide options. Forms were reviewed and decision to add the ZA’s phone number to the forms was made. MOTION by Cooper, seconded by Mann, to approve the forms with the addition of the ZA’s name and number. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. ZBA: The ZBA granted a variance to Brian and Anita Hoeksema to allow a tool shed to be constructed within the front yard setback adjacent to the ROW on US 31. Discussion on ZA permit issuance for a porch addition in Atwood on US 31 that should have had ZBA review and variance prior to issuance.
  13. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported on the May 16 meeting. The building lease is still the biggest issue they are dealing with. Run report for April and YTD were shared.
  14. Breezeway Task Force: Garage Sales coming up. Proposal for new signs has been received and task force is looking for funding sources.
  15. Correspondence: Sheriff’s report of 911 calls was reviewed. Minutes of the Village Council meeting were reviewed. MTA letter outlining 70 new lawmakers to be elected in November, efforts to keep members informed and advocacy for townships at the state and national level. Letter from Participating Plan with distribution of dividend for 2014-15 underwriting year. Letter from Duane & Christine Abramowski in response to Lakeshore Drive meeting invitation (received too late for the meeting). Will send to Ann Chastain for compilation.
  16. Clean Up Day: Collection was down by 4 Cu yd from last year. Tires way up! Preferred Waste 2 did a great job of organizing the site and had plenty of employees on hand to help. Our many thanks for the use of their property for the event. Supervisor also expressed thanks to volunteers from the Fire Dept who help: Larry Essenberg, Mark Groenink, Daryl Richards, Brian VanderArk, Jesse Anderson, and Brittney Powell.
  17. Atwood Street Lights: Supervisor reports GLE will change bulbs in all lights to LEDs. Installation of a street light at Richardson Road and Essex Road intersections will cost $1500 to $2000 each. Supervisor will contact Norwood Township to cost share on the Richardson Road light.
  18. American Tower: Application to add Sprint/Nextel Antennae to the Atwood tower was reviewed. MOTION By Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen to approve the addition of these antennae to the tower in Atwood and authorize the Supervisor to sign the agreement. MOTION CARRIED. Proposal for Lease extension for 50 years until December 16, 2077 was reviewed. It includes a $40,000 signing bonus, increased lease payments and a continuation of the 25% revenue share monthly. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to approve the lease and authorize the Supervisor to sign it. Discussion. Roll Call Vote: Postmus: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Heeres: Yes; Rasmussen: Yes. MOTION CARRIED.
  19. Township Park: No proposal yet from Kevin Makarewicz of C2AE. Postmus suggested filling the ditch for safety. She will contact Kevin before doing so as may not fit with the plans for remediation. Rasmussen reported he is still in search of components for the security camera.
  20. ACNA: Jacob Veenstra wishes to resign after serving on the commission for many years. Recruitment of a replacement will begin. Supervisor will plan to make appointment in June.
  21. Citizen of the Year: Supervisor and Clerk announced choice for Citizen of the Year. Tribute to be ordered from Rep. Cole.
  22. Cemeteries: Mowers and equipment will be inventoried and priced in preparation for sale.
  23. Public Comment: There was none.
  24. Next meeting Monday, June 18 at 6 PM.
  25. The meeting was adjourned at 10:01 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk