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

September 2017

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, September 18, 2017

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Supervisor Thomas Mann. Present were Supervisor Mann, Clerk Donna Heeres, and Trustee Tom Cooper. Treasurer Katy Postmus arrived at 6:10 PM. Absent: Trustee David Rasmussen. Also present: Deputy Clerk Tina Sundelius, Andrew Veenstra, Jerry Rasmussen, Jarris Rubingh, Sheriff Dan Bean, Barbara Hatfield-Elkin, and Patrick Mikula. Hugh Campbell arrived at 6:15 PM. David Michael and David Michael arrived at 6:18 PM. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Presentation: Sheriff Dan Bean presented his annual report. He informed of marijuana issues and the recent medical marijuana legislation. He encouraged us to take formal action rather than no action on the issue. He reported the cost of Torch Fest to ACSD was $22,000 for the 4-day festival. There were fewer problems this year than last: more animal bites, especially pit bulls. The department is short staffed in the dispatch division.
  3. Public Comment: Barbara Hatfield-Elkin, property owner at 9498 Six Mile Lake, addressed the Board regarding the proposed gravel mine application that is being considered by the Planning Commission. Comments were in opposition and included “50 trucks per day, traveling too fast”; “businesses should fit in to community, not detract”. “When Drenth Brothers property changed from C/R to commercial, there was no fencing/screening done as required by the zoning ordinance.” (There was not a rezoning of this property. /Donna Heeres, Clerk)
  4. Public Comment: David Michael, property owner at 3625 Six Mile Lake, adjacent to the proposed gravel mine property, addressed the Board regarding issues he has with the Planning Commission not having minutes posted, states minutes were posted and then removed from website. Also, he claims his statements were improperly transcribed. He stated definitions in the zoning ordinance are not fully defined: example: on reclamation of the property. Further comments were regarding the noise level of trucks superseding the 70 decibels limit in the (draft) noise ordinance.
  5. Board Response: Supervisor Mann stated the approved Planning Commission minutes will be posted per the request of the public. They have never been posted before. The PC meeting agenda will be posted 7 days prior to the meeting.
  6. Public Comment: Patrick Mikula, 8790 Ellsworth Road, commended the 911 personnel for service provided at his residence recently. They were fast, efficient and professional, despite being a holiday weekend! He asked when will PC minutes be available. Board Response: Minutes are to be available 8 days after the meeting. Approved PC minutes will be posted on the website.
  7. Public Comment: Barbara Hatfield-Elkin asked to receive draft PC minutes. Clerk will ask PC Secretary to make draft minutes available on a “subscription” basis.
  8. Public Comment: David Michael asked that the decision on the gravel mine application be delayed until people with summer homes are back in town in May.
  9. Public Comment: Jarris Rubingh, 8305 Essex Road, reported Farm Bureau representatives met with State Rep Triston Cole regarding the ACRC. He stated management issues and cost sharing issues as cause of the poor roads in the county. He reported TB is still present in the deer herd and a spring hunt in March of 2018 is a possibility. He commented on the suggested delay in decision on the gravel mine application is “crazy”, “if it’s important to you, get in your car and be there.”
  10. Public Response: Barbara Hatfield-Elkin responded that she faxed in a letter when there was a snow storm that prohibited travel.
  11. Public Response: David Michael agreed “roads are bad; wt. limits on trucks are not enforced; they are surely overweight.”
  12. Board Response: Trustee Cooper stated MDOT watches closely and tickets drivers if the trucks are overweight.
  13. Public comment closed at 7:04 PM.
  14. Minutes: The minutes of the August 21, 2017, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Cooper, seconded by Mann, to approve the minutes, amending typo in item #7. MOTION CARRIED.
  15. Township Hall: Sconces have been installed. Two sconces were not installed as no wiring had been run to sides of stage. Discussion on placement of wiring and fixtures. No decision was reached. Awaiting sound testing to evaluate the improved acoustics. Urinal not installed in men’s room yet. Mop sink faucet is not what was ordered, was to match the one upstairs. Clerk will contact the plumber. Upstairs walls need dusting & cleaning: Jerry will work on it. New photos have been placed on the website to show the lighting and acoustical panels. Front exterior doors are still not tight. Clerk will contact the contractor. One upstairs furnace was repaired when AC quit working; was a loose wire. Downstairs furnace was leaking and determined to have a faulty heat exchanger; will be covered under warranty.
  16. Treasurer’s Report: Postmus reported on the incomes & balances for the month: General Fund Balance: $138,570.84 (Balance due from fire fund: $120,000.); Roads Fund: $31,313.82; Fire Fund: $120,865.20; Vehicle Fund: $91,285.09 Fund: $1050.58; Grand Total: $383,085.53. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper, CARRIED, to approve the bills as presented.
  17. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Veenstra reported not a lot of activity this month. Little activity on the Coeling Road property. Complaint on Timberlane Drive was investigated and pictures taken. Does not appear to be out of compliance during his visit to the site. Supervisor added that legal counsel had been asked to review this case as well. Sprint is changing equipment on the Atwood Tower. No permit necessary but notification is necessary.
  18. Planning Commission: Cooper reported he missed the last PC meeting. There were lots of public comments. The application for Special Use Permit for gravel mine was pulled and will be resubmitted. It was reported the Elmer’s Pit on Essex Road was sold without reclamation of the property.
  19. Congratulations: to Friske Orchards for being a finalist in the Governor’s Excellence Award for Energy Efficiency for a migrant housing unit they constructed on their farm on Doctor Road.
  20. Village Update: Hugh Campbell, Village President, announced that the Village is trying to get certified as a redevelopment ready community and a rising tide community. Both certifications will allow for increased grant eligibility. They are in the process of updating the recreation plan that is joint with Banks Township. The Low/Mod Survey is still not completed as many surveys have not been returned.
  21. Correspondence: Letter of thanks from NLEA for membership; Letter of Map Amendment from FEMA for Lot 19 White Pine Shores to remove a garage from the Special Flood Hazard Area; NWM Housing Summit scheduled for Oct 16, 9 am to 3 pm, in Traverse City; Village of Ellsworth Master Plan Update is available on their website; Notice of vacancy on the Dept. of Health & Human Services/Meadowbrook Governing board was received; Letter from Richard Diebold, Six Mile Lake Road with multiple photos of a stain on the road extending from a driveway on Six Mile Lake Road, across the bridge, through town, and south on C-65 for several miles.
  22. Township Hall & Park Dedications: Discussion on ribbon cutting and dedications for our renovated building and park. Set November 8, beginning about 6 PM. Will plan the ribbon cutting for the park at our October 16 meeting, weather permitting. Clerk will coordinate the gathering with Village officials and our planner to include several other topics.
  23. Township Park: Security Cameras have not been ordered due to confusion on what system is going to work. Clerk to contact Habitec for recommendations and make application for grant funding through the ParPlan.
  24. Roads: Coeling Road chip seal coat is completed. Clay Pit Bridge to be completed in the next month. It is estimated the bridge will be unavailable for crossing up to 4 hours. Will coordinate notification of property owners with the ACRC.
  25. Zoning Ordinance Amendments: Clean copies of the proposed amendments as approved by the PC have not been located. Action tabled until available.
  26. Stone House dedication: The 100-year-old stone house & property on High Street was donated to the BTHS. Dedication of house will be held on September 29, 2017 at 5:30 PM with a fundraiser dinner at the Front Porch to follow. A tribute was prepared and signed by the Board to show appreciation to the donors: Gloria Jean Anderlie and Kinda Hupman.
  27. Charter Franchise: A second franchise agreement with Charter was requested. When cable was first available to Banks Township, there were two companies providing services. Charter has since purchased both. The franchise agreements transferred but with separate start dates. MOTION by Cooper, seconded by Postmus, to approve this franchise agreement with CC Mich/Charter. Roll Call Vote: Heeres: YES; Postmus: YES; Mann: YES; Cooper: YES; Absent: Rasmussen. MOTION CARRIED.
  28. Medical Marijuana Resolution: Tabled for further information.
  29. Phragmites: Clerk reported contact with Antrim Conservation District. Very little Phragmites has been identified on our Lake Michigan shoreline. Awaiting proposal for treatment. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to authorize Heeres to contract with ACD/vendor to treatment for Phragmites in Banks Township. MOTION CARRIED. Clerk reported Eurasian Milfoil is present and gaining hold in St. Clair Lake. She is working with the ACD to have it assessed and treated next year.
  30. Cemeteries: Discussion on selection of vendors for work. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to revisit the decision for cemetery grading & graveling made last month. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to not have the work done now and assess the driveway needs for repair and possible paving. MOTION CARRIED.
  31. Public Comment: None
  32. Next meeting Monday, October 16 at 6 PM.
  33. The meeting was adjourned at 9:14 P.M

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk