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

November 2017

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, November 20, 2017

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Supervisor Thomas Mann. Present were Supervisor Mann, Treasurer Katy Postmus, Clerk Donna Heeres, Trustee David Rasmussen and Trustee Tom Cooper. Also present: Deputy Clerk Tina Sundelius, Andrew Veenstra, Mark Groenink, Bill Austin, Don Miles, Don Binns, Kathy Lame, Bob & Sue Dutcher, Greg Moceri, Joe Carroll. Steve Chellis arrived at 6:05 PM. Jack Danbert arrived at 6:07 PM. Dave Heeres arrived at 6:10 PM. Jerry Rasmussen arrived at 6:45 PM. Hugh Campbell arrived at 7:40 PM. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Bob Dutcher, 10867 Lakeshore Drive, addressed the Board and referenced a letter he had sent to the Board, asking for answers to his questions.
  3. Public Comment: Don Binns, 11085 Lakeshore Drive, addressed the Board asking “what is the Board’s position on planning for road (improvements) like Norwood has done? Could have saved a lot of time and money. How are you standing on that position?”
  4. Public Comment was closed at 6:04 PM.
  5. Board Response: Supervisor Mann stated he appreciates the public input. He stated the Board has made the road the best we could, we did what we planned to do and made it the best we could afford. The electric poles that were moved at “GLE expense” were a cost that was passed on to all rate payers. Our research with the State Representative, State Senator and ACRC has found that no money has been set aside for Lakeshore Drive by the State. A recent meeting with ACRC revealed $27 million of work needs to be done on the primary roads in Antrim County and there is $4 million to work with. Lakeshore Drive should be widened as mandated by the ACRC Policy and our attorney says we need to follow it. Banks Township Road Millage generates approximately $89,000 annually. The 35 parcels on Lakeshore Drive generate approximately $5,500 of that total.
  6. Minutes: The minutes of the October 16, 2017, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Mann, to approve the minutes, correcting the ZA report in item 14 to read “Zoning Administrator’s Report: Veenstra reported he has had a lot of activity this month but only one permit issued. He has drafted a response to the complaint on Timberlane Drive. He feels it is not in violation of the variance that was issued. He was called by a property owner to report unlicensed vehicles on a neighbor’s property. Upon investigation of that property, he was informed the first complainant has at least two additions to their house that were done without permits. He has tried to contact the Building Dept. to check on the permit status of the additions.” MOTION CARRIED.
  7. Fire Department: Chief Mark Groenink announced three new members of the department: Brittney Powell, currently enrolled in an EMT course, Jesse Anderson, and Doug Cary, EMT. All are firefighter candidates and will enroll in training as soon as available. The annual dinner will be held Tuesday, December 5 at 6PM at A Matter of Taste. The State License Inspection was rescheduled due to an emergency run during the inspection. The Election of Officers will be held at tomorrow’s meeting. Travel & Expense Report for 6 months ended October 31, 2017 was reviewed.
  8. Roads: Supervisor Mann commended the Roads Committee for their thorough review and consideration of needs for the township. He asked the Roads Committee members to join in a forum to meet with Lakeshore Drive residents to develop consensus on a plan for the road. The Committee recommendations include paving Slough Road to the top of the hill, placing gravel on Toad Lake Road from South Dennis to Mitchell. Steve Chellis commented: 90% of the people in this Township don’t know Lakeshore Drive exists. Greg Moceri commented: “What needs to take place? Quite frankly, the road (Lakeshore Drive) is decent.” Supervisor Mann outlines 4 possible solutions that he can offer. Cost estimate for paving of Slough Road from C-48 to the top of the hill is $70,000 with $66,900 being the township portion. Cost estimate for gravel on Toad Lake Road is $22,500 with $20,250 being the township portion. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Heeres, CARRIED to approve the contracts for Slough Road paving and Toad Lake Road gravel for early 2018. MOTION CARRIED.
  9. Township Hall: Jerry Rasmussen reported work is progressing on the retaining wall and driveway widening. He needs to obtain more large rocks to be able to complete the project. The urinal in the men’s room is completed. Tiles will be placed on the floor. The roof continues to leak after the ridge vent was foamed shut and tar placed on visible nails. Discussed need to advertise for bids to replace the roof in the spring. The sconce and chandelier light bulbs that were sent with the dimmable fixtures are not dimmable. That is probably the cause of them burning out. Will find replacement, dimmable bulbs and replace all of them at once when able. The commemorative plaque was displayed: installation & location for mounting was assigned to the Clerk. The community meeting and dedication of the township hall that was held on November 8 was attended by approximately 70-75 people. The Board appreciates the generosity of Ginny & Gregg McCallum from A Matter of Taste for their donation of the chili and fixings, set up and serving and Scotty Bruce from MI Farm Market for the donation of the cheesecake bites.
  10. Treasurer’s Report: Postmus reported on the incomes & balances for the month: General Fund Balance: $125,673.66 (Balance due from fire fund: $120,000.); Roads Fund: $23,753.33; Fire Fund: $117,161.39; Vehicle Fund: $91,465.45; Liquor Fund: $2,399.95; Grand Total: $360,453.78. Tax bills will be mailed soon. 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.
  11. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Veenstra reported he has issued two permits (tool shed & house) this month. He is scheduled to meet with Assessor and surveyors regarding Little Torch Subdivision lot line adjustments. He reported the water at the Timberlane Property increased 2” after heavy rains. Township legal counsel has sent a letter to the complainant in support of the ZA position. The violation on Coeling Road has begun expanding again with more junk cars on site. ZA will draft another letter to the property owner with copy to legal counsel for further communication with the property owner. He asked for consideration of a compensation increase due to his job duties being increased dramatically. He was asked to develop a list of his responsibilities and present his log book for the Board to consider.
  12. Planning Commission: PC Chairman Don Miles reported 3 members were present at the last meeting. Proposal from Beckett & Raeder for Master Plan Update was reviewed. Discussion on the availability of the Intercoastal Waterways Grant. If received, we would have to wait to begin the Master Plan review and update until October 2018. A meeting with legal counsel is scheduled to determine the completeness of the application for SUP for gravel mining. Zoning amendment for storage containers was clarified to include “a) Containers with less than 200 sq. ft. and containers greater than 200 sq. ft. that were in place prior to the effective date of this ordinance would not need a permit and would not be subject to the development standards. b) Containers with less than 200 sq. ft. placed after the effective date of this ordinance would not need a permit but would need to meet the development standards of the ordinance. c) Containers that are greater than 200 sq. ft. placed after the effective date of the ordinance would require a permit and need to meet the development standards of the ordinance. The PC does not believe that any change needs to be made to the ordinance but that this clarification should be sufficient to answer any questions that you or Andy might receive regarding implementation.”
  13. Zoning Ordinance Amendments: MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Mann, to adopt Ordinance 1 of 2017 “Greenbelt Ordinance”, to amend Articles III and IV, of the zoning ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Rasmussen: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Postmus: Yes; Heeres: Yes. MOTION CARRIED and Ordinance 1 of 2017 was adopted. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to adopt Ordinance 2 of 2017 “Telecommunications Ordinance”, to amend Articles III, IV, VI, VIII of the zoning ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Rasmussen: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Postmus: Yes; Heeres: Yes. MOTION CARRIED and Ordinance 2 of 2017 was adopted. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper, to adopt Ordinance 3 of 2017, “Cargo Containers Ordinance”, to amend Articles III and IV of the zoning ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Rasmussen: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Postmus: Yes; Heeres: Yes. MOTION CARRIED and Ordinance 3 of 2017 was adopted. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus, to adopt Ordinance 4 of 2017, “Economy Efficiency Units”, to amend Article III and VI of the zoning ordinance. Roll Call Vote: Rasmussen: Yes; Cooper: Yes; Mann: Yes; Postmus: Yes; Heeres: Yes. MOTION CARRIED and Ordinance 4 of 2017 was adopted.
  14. Village Report: Hugh Campbell reported on the Ellsworth/Banks Township Recreation Plan currently being updated. Committee has met once and also gathered input at the November 8 Community Meeting. May need to meet one more time prior to a Public Hearing to be hosted by the Village in January or February. Separate resolutions by Banks Township and the Village will then approve the plan. Report of community input from the November 8 Community Meeting was shared. Verizon Wireless will be adding an antenna to the water tower to improve cell phone service for residents. Gourdie Fraser has been hired to do the feasibility study for sanitary sewer system for the Village and the kickoff will be November 29. The Village’s DDA has been appointed and Thomas Mann, Township Supervisor and Village resident was appointed to represent Banks Township. The Holiday Festival is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13 at 6 PM at the Township Hall.
  15. Correspondence: DEQ Notice of Authorization for new garage and addition to an existing house, including new drain field for John Bennett Donaldson was received. An email from David Michael regarding lack of full transcription of his letters and statements into the minutes when requested. Clerk’s response to Mr. Michael, based upon MCL 15.261, was shared with the Board. Health Dept. kitchen inspection was shared. Sheriff’s report of 911 calls for October was shared. Press Release from Raven Hill Discovery Center regarding its selection as one of six sites for the Water Ways statewide exhibit tour for 2018-19 was shared. Letter from Heidi Shaffer of the Antrim Conservation District regarding recent flooding in the community & damage at the Township Park from the rains. Letter from Robert Dutcher regarding Lakeshore Drive. Letter from Rollin & Priscilla Gish regarding Lakeshore Drive. Letter from Tom Richards regarding Lakeshore Drive.
  16. Township Park: Treasurer Postmus reported we can close the project with the Recreation Passport Grant; reimbursement for the expenditures is anticipated soon. The damage done from the recent storm was not the fault of the project engineering or construction. She met with both the engineer and construction manager who concur the design of the park was not the issue. Options are being developed. Notice of extension of the soil erosion permit has been granted. Don Miles, PC Chair and resident of Lakeshore Drive, noted the water from South Brinkers Road is diverted to the east side of the park and makes its way through the park to Lake Michigan due to an obstruction not allowing the water to continue north.
  17. Computer Back-up: Bids for off-site back-up for the clerk’s computer were discussed. Banyon Data Systems proposal includes only Banyon Programs for $119 annually. Mission Computers proposal complete clone of the computer and is $12/month plus .20 per GB for total of $36 per month. Alternate proposal from Mission Computers would be file level backup that would require reinstallation of software prior to downloading and replacing documents from this backup. Cost is $12 per month for this backup. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper to contract with Mission Computers for the clone backup of the Clerk’s computer for $36/month beginning immediately. MOTION CARRIED.
  18. Election Report: Special election held on November 7 for CharEm ISD Regional Enhancement Millage: 1 mill for 10 years and Charlevoix Public Schools bond proposal for school renovations both passed. One election inspector had a severe asthma attack when two people wearing strong perfume came into the building. She had to seek medical assistance.
  19. State Champion Football Team: The cooperative football program between Central Lake and Ellsworth High Schools, in its first year with 8-person team, won the State Championship at the Yooper Dome in Marquette! Discussed cost sharing with the Village for commemorative street signs. A proclamation will be prepared to present to the team and coaches.
  20. Board Policy: A policy for public comments at Board meetings was presented. MOTION Mann, seconded by Postmus, to adopt the policy was made. MOTION CARRIED.
  21. Handicap Lift Contract: Trustee Rasmussen reported we had opted for no extended warranty on the lift. Load tests were done when it was installed and not since. Contracts for Premium Service and Basic Service were presented by A4Access, the vendor for the lift. Action tabled for more information at next meeting.
  22. Summer Tax Collection: A resolution by Ellsworth Community School to collect summer taxes was shared. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Cooper, to authorize Treasurer Postmus to begin negotiations for collection.
  23. Board of Review: Supervisor Mann appoints Richard Diebold as alternate member to the Board of Review to replace Steven Parafin. Term to commence immediately and end December 31, 2018. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Heeres, to approve the appointment. MOTION CARRIED.
  24. Antrim Creek Natural Area: Supervisor Mann appoints Jacob Veenstra to a two-year term beginning January 1, 2018. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Heeres, to approve the appointment. MOTION CARRIED.
  25. Public Comment: Don Miles commented on Lakeshore Drive and stated he supports a forum when all property owners can be available, have it well publicized and ask the roads committee to attend. He stated the road is better than 5 years ago, is too narrow, has dangerous curve that need widening to improve the line of sight, is not well drained and has huge drainage issues. He stated, “contractors have harmed the road surfaces and don’t repair” the damage they created.
  26. Next meeting Monday, December 18 at 6 PM.
  27. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 P.M

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk