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

October 2018

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, October 15, 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 Tom Cooper and Trustee David Rasmussen. Also present: Norman Hayes, Bob Slaski, Jim Stapleton, Shelly Hope, Julie Waterman, Judy Bradtke, Tina Sundelius. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Judge Norman Hayes, candidate for Probate Court, addressed the Board. He told a fictional story of “Baby Jane” to illustrate the many facets of his responsibilities as a Probate Court Judge from wills, estates, family law, abuse/neglect, emancipation hearings, limited guardianship, personal protection orders, divorce & custody cases, guardianship and conservatorship cases.
  3. Public Comment: Bob Slaski spoke at length on the issue of Short-Term Rentals. He stated that he has 2 rentals on Timberlane Drive and that he is willing to work with residents to change the atmosphere in the neighborhood. He stressed that he believes the shared waterfront is the “flashpoint” of the issue. The lawsuit between Timberlane owners and an owner in White Pine Shores has been finalized with only 15 ft of frontage with 25 ft of easement for the shared waterfront. Each lot owner has 1/87th interest in this 15 ft of waterfront. He expressed concern that the prior draft of the STR ordinance was “targeted at renters”. He suggested a change to Section 4.22 of the Zoning Ordinance to not allow renters to use the private shared beach.
  4. Public Comment: Shelley Hope expressed concern about the “almost vigilante” behaviors of some of the residents when they come across unfamiliar people on the beach. She suggested a “good neighbor policy should be adopted”.
  5. Public Comment: Judy Bradtke feels a noise ordinance goes hand in hand with a Short-Term Rental ordinance. She asked the board to make sure the ordinance is well defined and enforceable.
  6. Public Comment: Jim Stapleton asked about the complaints that have been received about White Pine rentals. He was advised that many neighborhoods throughout the township have had complaints about STR.
  7. Public comment was closed at 7:03.
  8. Minutes: The minutes of the September 17, 2018, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  9. Fire Department: Supervisor Mann reported Chief Groenink is still working on getting lettering for the new Rescue Vehicle.
  10. Township Hall: The hall has been moderately busy. Trustee Rasmussen reported a new part has been ordered for the lift as it was found to “drift” 1.75” in 15 hours of non-use. Service Manager has ordered a replacement part and will install with next trip to the area. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus to have the Treasurer release the check written in June for lift repairs now that questions about the lift and contract have been answered. MOTION CARRIED. Rasmussen will follow up to make sure part is installed. Discussion on sprinkler system at the community square and interest in extending to include the front yard of the township hall. Supervisor Mann will talk to Village President. Clerk reports has not been able to find an installer for the carpeting for the front steps of the BTHS building. Will hope to find someone in the spring.
  11. Treasurers Report: Report of incomes and balances was presented by the Treasurer. Postmus reported that all funds were up compared to a year ago. General Fund Balance: $218,487.04 with $90,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $132,594.78. Liquor Fund: $916.27. Roads Fund: $44,862.06. Vehicle Fund: $64,844.07. Grand Total: $461,704.22. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  12. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Clerk Heeres reported on 2 permits for new houses, 1 for a pole barn and 1 for home improvements have been issued this month. ZA is investigating blight violations. Contract is ready to be signed.
  13. Planning Commission: Trustee Cooper reports lots of visitors at the last PC meeting. The Greenbelt Guide has been sent to the printer. Master Plan review is progressing. A discussion was held on whether a pole barn should be allowed to be built before a residence as well as minimum square footage for buildings.
  14. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported the AA met Sept.27. The AA has signed the lease but are still looking for another building. Heather Jackson is the new accountant. The annual inspection went well. The October meeting has been canceled. John Dobel, the representative to the East Jordan City Council has resigned because he moved to Wilson Township.
  15. DDA for Ellsworth: Supervisor Mann reported Julie Waterman will be the new market master for the Farmers’ Market in Ellsworth next year. The DDA is working to make the farmers’ market more attractive to vendors and patrons with a festive atmosphere and music at the community square. More to come.
  16. Breezeway Task Force: Clerk Heeres reported the three Saturday Breezeway Cruise events showed more than usual number of participants, many who were very aware of the coupons in the bags and the free lift tickets for Boyne Mountain chair lift rides.
  17. Correspondence: Par Plan Newsletter was shared; Letter from Rick and Kathy Luther regarding STR’s was shared; American Waste has purchased Preferred Waste 2 as of October 1, 2018; Sheriff’s report of 911 calls in September was distributed- total of 109 for the month with 22 traffic stops, 18 medical calls and 3 car/deer accidents; Notice from Ellsworth Community School of resolution to collect summer taxes in 2019 and negotiate with tax collection entities; Press releases announcing the re-dedication of the Atwood Catholic Cemetery were shared; application for scrap tire cleanup grant from MDEQ was shared.
  18. Police Power Ordinance for Short Term Rentals: Mann and Heeres reported that they met with the attorney and he sent a copy of an ordinance for the board to consider. The board then spent the next hour and a half combing through the ordinance from the attorney and one from Norwood Township, to assemble a fit ordinance. The notes will be sent to Attorney Graham to incorporate in the ordinance. Will plan to meet as a Board with attorney in November with tentative Public Hearing in January; potential adoption in February and effective date of April 1, 2019. Enforcement: Attorney has suggested a contract with Sheriff Dept. or a neighboring township’s enforcement officer.
  19. Township Park: Treasurer Postmus and Trustee Rasmussen met on site with Soil Erosion Officer Heidi Shafer and MDC engineer. MDC submitted a proposal for a shorter berm and shorter culvert to remedy the erosion at the park. The new bids were very close to the same as a past bids and the work required is less than half. The proposal needs clarification from the contractor. Hopefully, revised bids will be brought back next month for consideration.
  20. Zoning Administrator Contract: Attorney was in favor of contract following review. MOTION by Heeres, second by Mann, to approve the contract and authorize the Supervisor to sign on behalf of the Board. MOTION CARRIED. The complaint form has been updated and provided to the ZA. The job description will be forwarded to the PC for review and suggestions.
  21. Marion Center Road: Mann reports that, according to ACRC manager Burt Thompson, the repavement of the Antrim County portion of Marion Center Road should be completed by Nov. 15.
  22. Township Hall Gutter Bids: Four bids were submitted. However, none of the bids took into consideration the detail and facia that the gutters will strap to as well as the overall slope needed with such a long building. The anchoring system is in question and all proposals are too vague. Trustee Rasmussen will talk to all contractors and report back next month.
  23. Snowplowing Bids: Two bids submitted from Boss Landscaping & Sommer Solutions. MOTION by, Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper, to hire Sommer Solutions for snowplowing at the township hall, two fire halls, the cemetery vault, the hydrant on Old Dixie Highway. MOTION CARRIED.
  24. Township Hall Sign: Several designs & ideas were shared. It was agreed that a sandblasted sign would be best, a more detailed design is needed. Heeres will contact the Wood Shop for a more personalized design.
  25. Cemetery: Rededication of Atwood Catholic Cemetery: Details of the October 25, 4 PM, event were discussed. Clerk Heeres suggested a sign for the Catholic Cemetery is needed. Discussion on painted vs an engraved rock. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to have Heeres pick out a rock sign up to $1100. MOTION CARRIED by vote 3/2 with Heeres and Rasmussen voting Nay on the amount to be spent.
  26. Consumers Energy: Supervisor Mann reported that Consumers Energy will be clearing branches from power pole areas this month. They will be using a low flying helicopter.
  27. Election Inspectors: MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to appoint election inspectors as recommended by the Elections Commission. MOTION CARRIED.
  28. DTE Energy: Clerk reported DTE energy technician came out to inspect the meter on the township hall as no natural gas had been used since early June. Two units had been used last week so the meter was fine, it was SUMMER! The Fire Hall meter still has not been billed, usage is about $2000 worth since installation. The technician and the clerk both contacted the billing department.
  29. Public comment: There was none.
  30. Next meeting Monday, November 19 at 6 PM.
  31. The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk