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

November 2019

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, November 25, 2019

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Supervisor Thomas Mann. The meeting was rescheduled from November 18 due to Clerk being out of town for a training. Present were Supervisor Mann, Clerk Donna Heeres, Treasurer Katy Postmus, Trustee David Rasmussen and Trustee Tom Cooper. Also, present: Mark Groenink, Tina Sundelius, Julie Waterman, Travis Chellis, Steve Chellis, Wendy Sutherland, Judy Bradtke, Lynn Kirby, Barb Bersuder, Erin Heeres, Brandie Sowash, Phil & Laura Edwards, Robert Russell, Marvin Rubingh, and Simon Farmer. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation. Hugh Campbell arrived at 6:20 P.M. Shirley Tornga arrived at 8 P.M.
  2. Public Comment: there was none.
  3. Minutes: The minutes of the October 21, 2019, regular meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  4. The regular meeting was recessed and Public Hearing on the proposed Noise Ordinance was opened at 6:06 P. M. Supervisor Mann explained the background on the proposal and asked for comments that pertain only to this ordinance.
  5. Lynn Kirby: Lore Road: Support of the noise ordinance. The Board spent 2 years on the STR ordinance and at the last minute it was denied. This ordinance is proposed by the board and it is owed to us. Without adoption, there is a loss of confidence in this board.
  6. Simon Farmer: S. Dennis Road: Against the ordinance as it will restrict activities. He encourages the use of land and community. The enforcement officer would have to actually go out.
  7. Steve Chellis: Essex Road: How & Who will enforce it? There are snowmobile runways & I have never complained. Against the ordinance. Will people who are complaining have to sign the complaint?
  8. Travis Chellis: Essex Road: How much will it cost the township? The county sheriff has to accept the ordinance to enforce it. The township attorney has to take it (violators) to court. It will cost too much and is too vague. Needs times and decibel readings.
  9. Erin Heeres: Byers Road: Too Vague. Not up to date with old fashioned terms.
  10. Wendy Sutherland: Byers Road: How does this impact farmers repairing equipment? Ag areas still need to do work.
  11. Marvin Rubingh: Rubingh Road: Opposed to the ordinance. If someone “toots” their car horn to hurry their child, it would be a violation. Too restrictive.
  12. Judy Bradtke: Lore Trail: In favor of the ordinance due to the situation in her neighborhood. She reads it as repeated activity. Most problems are between midnight and 2 am.
  13. Erin Heeres: Byers Road: “Nobody want noise @ 2 am” and “Can get ugly fast”.
  14. Wendy Sutherland: Byers Road: suggested adding a “quiet time”.
  15. Barb Bershuder: In favor as long as the sheriff is involved.
  16. Travis Chellis: Essex Road: Can the ordinance be zone specific?
  17. Marvin Rubingh: Rubingh Road: The ordinance would not apply to farming operations as under RTF act, farming is exempt from local regulations.
  18. The Public Hearing was closed at 6:32 P. M.
  19. The regular meeting was reconvened at 6:33 P. M.
  20. Village: Hugh Campbell reported that Dollar General wants to purchase property at the recycle station to build a store. The building materials for the Community Square Pavilion is due to be delivered tomorrow morning. The footings have been started. The Community Holiday Festival is Wednesday, December 11 at 6 PM. The State of the Community forum is January 15 at 5:30 PM. The winner of the Pitch Night, Breezeway Paddle sports, will open a rental trailer next summer in Ellsworth. The Shooks Market building is to be torn down soon. Claire Karner, consultant with Beckett&Raeder has left the firm for another job. The Village Police Officer position is empty due to a resignation. The wastewater project is progressing with the closing on the purchase of property for the system to be in January 2020.
  21. Fire Department: Chief Groenink reports he is awaiting costs estimates on the modifications & lettering on a new grass fire truck and then will present to the Board. Runs were up 5 over all in the past 12 months. Two firemen, Mark Groenink & Andy Veenstra, were hit by deer on the way to a weekly fire meeting last week. Clerk is working with them to apply for reimbursement of their comprehensive deductible as they were on fire dept business when the accidents happened. Nathan Humble has rejoined the department. Jacob Veenstra will be retiring December 31. The annual dinner will be held on January 7 at A Matter of Taste, beginning at 6 PM.
  22. Township Hall: Clerk reports railing on front stairway was damaged. Repair costs were $180. Discussion on how to determine who was responsible ensued. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to refund security deposits to both renters since we are not able to assign responsibility for the damage. MOTION CARRIED. The kitchen has passed Health Dept Inspection.
  23. Treasurer’s Report: Report of incomes and balances was presented by the Treasurer. General Fund Balance: $318,438.52, with $60,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $149,738.82. Liquor Fund: $2090.17. Roads Fund: $103,568.72. Vehicle Fund: $76,539.78. Grand Total: $650,376.01. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  24. Sheriff’s Report: 63 calls were received from Banks Township in October.
  25. Zoning Administrator: Still working on two of the three parcel divisions applications. Investigating variance that was granted for structure on Lake Michigan as reportedly, one of the conditions for the variance is no longer being met. Court Hearing on four civil infraction violations is set for December 11 at 10:30 am. Discussed need to review ZA contract as it is up for renewal January 1, 2020.
  26. Planning Commission Update: Trustee Cooper reported he did not attend last week’s meeting. Julie Waterman reported that the PC is not opposed to the text amendment application but not sure the Ag District is the place for motocross use. Possible Public Hearing on the application on January 14.
  27. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported Boyne Valley Township is holding a public hearing to determine resident wishes for joining the JVAA. The purchase of the property for a new building has been delayed until January 2020. The AA will place a request for millage on the March 10 Ballot. A press release has been prepared to announce the new ambulance vehicles. The Executive Committee is working on salary schedule for the director and has recommended an increase to $70,000 retroactive to April 1, 2019. Banks Township had 10 runs in October of this year or 7.4% of the total. Year to date runs are 82 or 6.6% of the total for an average of 4.1 runs per day.
  28. Village DDA: Julie Waterman reported on a meeting that was this evening. Set Farmers Market Dates for 2020: May 9 thru October 12. She announced Bellaire is holding a winter indoor market on Fridays from 9 am to noon. Marci Palajac has been elected secretary of the DDA effective January 1 to replace Julie. The Pitch Night Winner, Breezeway Paddle Sports, is planning to start a business in Ellsworth in the spring. The Pig Roast future is looking brighter with some new volunteers stepping up. The Village Market listing price has been lowered to $60,000.
  29. Breezeway: New signs have been ordered for spring installation. East Jordan and the Breezeway have been featured at the Clare rest area and that display will remain through March 2020.
  30. Correspondence: ParPlan newsletter was distributed. Township Hall kitchen inspection was completed by the Health Dept and passed. Sheriff’s newsletter was distributed. Announcement from Charlevoix Public Library regarding search for replacement of Library Director Linda Adams. Notice from Ellsworth Community School of intent to collect summer property taxes in 2020. Invitation to Antrim Conservation District annual meeting and 75th anniversary celebration on December 4 at 5:30 pm at the Banks Township Hall. Group dividend statements from Accident Fund for $391.20 for 2017 and $672.36 for 2015 were received. Letter from Peter Ballantyne in support of the noise ordinance but that he favors it to be part of a short-term rental ordinance.
  31. Banks Township Historical Society: Shirley Tornga was present to discuss desires for improvements to the museum building. Discussion of LED light fixtures to drop in the ceiling tiles, replacement ceiling tiles, replace front door, assess the possible leak near the chimney. Shirley reported that long time BTHS President Walter Murphy has resigned due to poor health and Jim Nicola was elected president with Shirley as vice president. She recapped the activities of the past year including a grant from the People Fund of Great Lakes Energy for upgrades to the Little Stone House. She stated that all of the improvements that were discussed for the museum building were priorities, but she also stated her long-range plan was to relocate to a pole barn near the Little Stone House. She agreed that the front steps should remain, be cleaned up if possible. The stones in the floor bed are cracking and also need to be assessed. Trustee Rasmussen will evaluate the chimney leak, Clerk Heeres will have the lock on the door evaluated and obtain a proposal if possible, to grind, strip and epoxy finish coat the front steps. An RFP for Painting the tracks, replacing the ceiling tiles will be prepared for review at next meeting. Investigation of possible Consumers Energy rebates for lighting will be done.
  32. Website Update: Proposals from ProWeb and STG for website redesign were again reviewed. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, CARRIED, to hire ProWeb to redesign and support our website.
  33. Zoning Administrator: Proposals for a laptop for the ZA were reviewed. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, CARRIED, to purchase a laptop and annual support from Mission Computers for $945.
  34. Copier/Printer: Proposals for a replacement copier for the office were presented. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to purchase a Kyocera from Kopy Sales, Inc. for $1724. Village agreed to pay half of cost of the machine and the monthly maintenance fees. MOTION CARRIED.
  35. Parcel Divisions: During research of a parcel division request by Mike Fascetti for a parcel on Lore Road, it was discovered the survey/deed was incorrect and all of the ROW on Lore Road was included in his parcel. It should have been only to the center line of the road with the remainder to the property owner on the other side of the road. Mr. Fascetti is willing to get this cleared up but asks if the township is willing to waive the fees to process this application. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to waive the fees on this parcel division application. MOTION CARRIED. A parcel division on Rushton Road is sought by Larry Hirchfield for a series of divisions and combinations. Sale of the parcel is contingent upon township approval of the divisions and combinations. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Cooper, CARRIED, to approve the parcel divisions/combinations per the described plan for zoning purposes. Laws have changed regarding parcel divisions and our assessor has drafted a new application form to address those changes.
  36. Special Events Ordinance: Claire Karner prepared a draft ordinance that would allow non-conforming uses infrequently.
  37. Board Comment: Trustee Rasmussen reported US 31 from Banks Township to the City of Charlevoix is scheduled for resurfacing in 2021. Detour is to be Atwood Road and Marion Center Road.
  38. Public Comment: There was none.
  39. Cemetery Ordinance: Review was postponed until next meeting.
  40. Next Meeting: Monday December 16, 2019, at 6 PM.
  41. The meeting was adjourned at 8:53 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk