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

October 2019

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, October 21, 2019

  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, and Trustee Tom Cooper. Absent: Trustee David Rasmussen. Also, present: Mark Groenink, Tina Sundelius, Julie Waterman, Robert Russell, Julie Chellis, Erin Heeres, Candace Hoeksema, Andrea Hoeksema, Phil & Laura Edwards, Wes Fogle, Stacy Nelson, Don Miles, Judy Bradtke. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation. Hugh Campbell arrived at 7:30 P.M.
  2. Public Comment: Laura Reid-Edwards addressed the Board in opposition to the commercial motocross track on property adjacent to hers. She stated it is not allowed under the zoning ordinance and the zoning ordinance must be upheld.
  3. Minutes: The minutes of the September 23, 2019, regular meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Cooper, seconded by Mann, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  4. Fire Department: Chief Groenink reports need for a new grass fire truck due to age and condition of current 1988 vehicle. He had priced a couple and found price range of $36-40,000 before customization. He expects addition $15-20,000 to get it ready to go. Hose testing was completed last week and 12-50 ft sections of 1.5” hose and 4-50’ sections of 2.5” hose need to be retired due to age and damage. Chief asked for authorization to replace this hose with 10 sections of 1.5” for $84.50 each and 2 sections of 2.5” for $135 each. Total of $1445 with S/H. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Mann, to approve this purchase. MOTION CARRIED.
  5. Township Hall: Clerk reports six new tables and cart have been ordered for upstairs. The lift had an issue when overloaded with four people and was checked out by A4Acess. The lift malfunctions with more than 750 pounds and stops. Caution signs will be posted. Cost of this service call was $250.
  6. Treasurer’s Report: Report of incomes and balances was presented by the Treasurer. General Fund Balance: $299,287.97, with $60,000 due from the Fire Fund. Fire Fund Balance: $148,933.07. Liquor Fund: $2088.42. Roads Fund: $103,513.52. Vehicle Fund: $76,417.46. Grand Total: $630,250.44. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  7. Sheriff’s Report: 67 calls were received from Banks Township in September.
  8. Zoning Administrator: Two permits were issued in the past month. Three parcel divisions are being processed.
  9. Planning Commission Update: Trustee Cooper reported on last week’s meeting, held at the Moms & Tots Center. Many visitors interested in the motocross issue were present. ZA reported he attended the September 29 event that was illegally held. It was noisy but well organized. The requested ZO change regarding motocross tracks was tabled. The PC identified possible changes to the ordinance. Julie Waterman was welcomed as the new member. Attorney is developing language to address short term rentals in the ZO.
  10. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported she was not able to attend the last meeting.
  11. Village DDA: No meeting.
  12. Breezeway: Shortfall on funding for the new wayfinding signs. Still trying to secure. The Breezeway Cruises were held September 28, October 5 & 12.
  13. Correspondence: Letter from Laura Reid-Edwards dated 10/21/2019 in opposition to the commercial motocross track located on Church Road stating “they continue to host commercial events on agriculturally zoned property which is not allowed according to our zoning ordinance and master plan. We would appreciate the townships enforcement of our zoning ordinances.” Sheriff’s report of 911 calls totaling 67 was shared. Sheriff’s monthly newsletter with safety tips for Trick-or-Treat was shared. Charlevoix County Planners Forum scheduled for October 30 from 4:30-8:30 at the Charlevoix Public Library. Michigan Septic Summit is scheduled for November 6 from 9:30 to 4 at Hagerty Conference Center in Traverse City. Letter from Charter Communications regarding $5/month rate increase for TV Silver & Gold. Phone call from Timberlane Property Owner re: STRs, visitors/str guidelines, shared beach on Timberlane now with 15’ frontage only, structure on the beach that is washing out.
  14. Roads Committee: Estimates received from ACRC for road improvements. Scott Road from Old Dixie Highway 400ft east to reshape existing grade, place and compact 4” of 22A gravel 32 ft wide, pave 30 ft using 3 inches of asphalt and restore shoulders. Estimate of $45,000. Church Road: approach at Atwood Road: pave approach 28 ft wide and 20 ft long with hot mix asphalt two inches thick, gravel along shoulders. Estimate of $2500. Resurface Church Road from Essex to C-65 $87,000. Bennett Hill Road gravel from Church Road to Farrell Road $65,000; would be a cost share with Central Lake Township. Gravel Scott Road with 4” of 23A gravel, 28’ wide from Old Dixie Hwy to US 31. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to gravel Scott Road as described for $55,000; Chip seal Church Road as described for $87,000; Pave the Church Road apron on the north side of Atwood Road as described for $2500. MOTION CARRIED. Supervisor will again contact CL Twp to make plans for Bennett Hill Road gravel project in the future.
  15. South Arm Township Fire/Rescue Contract: Clerk reported contact from SA Twp Clerk that the contract that we offered has been accepted. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Mann, to approve the contract for fire/rescue services with South Arm Township, effective November 1, 2019. Proceeds from the payment will be allocated 50/50 between Fire Fund and Rescue (General Fund). MOTION CARRIED.
  16. Website Update: Four proposals were presented for consideration. Consensus to further consider proposals from STG and ProWeb based upon cost and recommendations from Clerk & Deputy. Board will study the two proposals and address at November meeting.
  17. Property/Liability Insurance: Clerk reports proposals will be available for review in January.
  18. Banks Township Historical Society Building: Clerk reports conversation with Jim Nicola, new president of the organization, regarding building needs. Front door needs replacement including threshold, and probable install of panic hardware. There is a leak near the chimney that needs to be investigated. Front steps carpeting is all worn and torn: they prefer it be removed and steps cleaned/painted. Main room ceiling tiles are stained from roof leaks and need replacement. Light fixtures are missing bulbs and need upgrading. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper to pursue restoration plans and renovation of the building. MOTION CARRIED.
  19. Township Park: New seed has sprouted, grounds looking good. Ditch is full of water after recent rains. Clerk reports no communication from neighbors following letter about artesian well drainage. Will resend the letter.
  20. Zoning Administrator: Supervisor recommends a laptop computer for the zoning administrator’s use as he has been using his phone. Will request proposal from Mission Computers.
  21. Appointments: Supervisor Mann reappoints Laurie Grear to the Antrim Creek Natural Area Commission for a two-year term to expire December 31, 2021. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Heeres, to approve the appointment; MOTION CARRIED.
  22. Noise Ordinance: Clerk reports receipt of two emails in favor of the ordinance. Draft noise ordinance was reviewed. Set public hearing on the draft ordinance for Monday, November 25 during the regular meeting that begins at 6 PM.
  23. Village Report: Hugh Campbell reported Atwood Road from US 31 to Ellsworth will receive a 2” overlay of asphalt in 2021 or 2022. Village purchased 43 acres on Pleasant Hill Road and has applied for a USDA grant to cover the cost. Also, applied for a 1.75% loan for sewer system for the entire Village. A Public Hearing on this grant application will be held on October 29 at 7 PM. EGLE is now involved in the cleanup and removal of the former Shooks Market building on Center Street. Keith Stewart, owner, is eligible for a 50% MEDC grant for the transformation of this property. Village has received permits for the construction of the pavilion at the Community Square. The materials are expected to arrive soon, and construction will begin as weather permits. Village Police Chief John Morris has resigned, effective January 1, 2020. Applicants for the position should apply with the Village Office. Dollar General is looking for property to build a store within the Village Limits. Holiday Festival is scheduled for Wednesday, December 11 from 6 to 7:30 PM.
  24. Public Comment: Erin Heeres stated the Zoning Administrator never said the motocross event was illegal. “He was underquoted and misquoted.” “The Front Porch made a nice donation of food to the workers after the event.” “Sheriff Deputy visited twice by our request.”
  25. Public Comment: Candace Hoeksema stated the event is “good fun, clean, no parking on the side of the roads.”
  26. Public Comment: Julie Chellis stated her family rides mountain bikes as well as motocross. She feels this trail is appropriate for mountain biking as well as motocross. “It is awesome.”
  27. Cemetery Ordinance: Several sections of the draft cemetery ordinance were reviewed in detail with amendments made. More to be reviewed at next meeting.
  28. Next Meeting: Monday November 25, 2019, at 6 PM, including public hearing on Noise Ordinance.
  29. The meeting was adjourned at 8:24 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk