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

September 2018

Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, September 17, 2018

  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, and Trustee David Rasmussen. Trustee Tom Cooper was absent. Also present: Deputy Clerk Tina Sundelius, Mark Groenink, Julie Waterman, Joni Wieland, Bill Austin, Don Miles, Kathy & Rick Luther, Judy Bradtke, Lynn & Greg Kirby, Charles Dickens. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
  2. Public Comment: Rick Luther addressed the Board and comment on Short Term Rentals. He stressed rental regulations should be appropriate for the neighborhood, not just for the size of the house. He requested appropriate liability insurance be required that would cover other subdivision owners’ liability in case of a lawsuit involving shared property.
  3. Minutes: The minutes of the August 20, 2018, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION was made by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
  4. Village Report: The Village has been awarded Low/Mod status for income of the residents. This means they may qualify for more grants.
  5. Fire Department: Chief Mark Groenink reported there are four members starting Firefighter 1 training. (Brittany Powell, Elizabeth DeKorne, Jesse Anderson and Nate St. Pierre.) Jesse Anderson has purchased a home on Coeling Road so will remain a township resident. Measuring has been done for the Rescue Vehicle’s lettering. The Internet at the Ellsworth Fire Hall has been discontinued.
  6. Township Hall: Clerk is working on job descriptions with Jan & Jerry. Jan will make updates to renters’ checklist. The lift is still drifting. Will hold A4Access check until assured is repaired. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to renew the Twp Hall Trac Phone for a year for $99. MOTION CARRIED. Discussion on need for rain gutters for the township hall. Will seek bids for this and for snowplowing for this winter.
  7. Treasurer’s Report: The treasurer’s report on the incomes & balances for the month was given: General Fund Balance: $233,752.83 (Balance due from fire fund: $90,000.); Roads Fund: $44,807.71; Fire Fund: $132,771.25; Vehicle Fund: $64,728.24; Liquor Fund: $914.47; Grand Total: $476,974.50. 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.
  8. Zoning Administrator’s Report: Heeres reported for ZA Dave Muladore: He accompanied the Clerk to look at some “hot spots” in the township and reviewed paperwork on August 24. First permit to be issued tomorrow for internet antenna co-location on a silo. Dave has had a few calls, is getting files sorted and reviewed. Draft ZA contract and job description was reviewed. Zoning violation and blight complaint form will be printed and provided to ZA for use. Notice of violation has been prepared for unlicensed motor home on lot in Timberlane Terrace. Notices also being prepared for two other properties. Procedure as outlined by Attorney Peter Wendling was reviewed.
  9. Planning Commission: PC Chair Don Miles reported lots of STR comments have been received by the PC. Joni met with several property owners and rental property owners. The brochure that has been in preparation for past year is on hold, anticipating updates following action on STR Ordinance adoption. The Greenbelt brochure is ready to go and Irene Shooks and the Clerk will work together to have mailed out with updated property owners’ mailing list. The draft PPO for STR was reviewed and updated to reflect some of the Township Board’s concerns from August. The Master Plan survey had 96 surveys completed. Major themes: more relaxed zoning, more zoning enforcement, recreation & tourism, STR’s, etc. The PC is proofing the land use maps and will update. An action plan is being developed for implementation of the Master Plan. MTA Regional Meeting will be held October 22 at Treetops in Gaylord. Don Miles & Donna Heeres to attend. Networks Northwest is hosting a Housing summit on October 22 in Traverse City. Claire Karner, planning consultant, will attend. The next meeting will be held at 4 PM on October 9 due to scheduling conflicts.
  10. Ambulance Authority: Julie Waterman reported that the Authority has not met since our last meeting.
  11. Breezeway Task Force: Heeres reported that the BTF met on September 11 at the Wilson Township Hall. A grant has been submitted for signage replacement. Wilson Township asked the BTF for input on a zoning issue regarding a change of use of a property along the Breezeway. Fall Cruises are scheduled for September 29, October 6 & October 13.
  12. DDA for Village of Ellsworth: Supervisor Mann attended the first meeting. Rusty Powers is interested in running a Farmers’ Market on Friday evenings in Summer 2019 at the Community Park with entertainment.
  13. Correspondence: Letter from Auditor confirming Metro Act permit fees can be split in General Fund and Roads Fund to cover cost of legal fees paid by the General Fund or could be placed 100% in Roads Fund (as the Board has done.) Letter from Antrim County Administration Office with request for applicants for several opening on county committees. Will be poste on the website. Letter from Landmark Dividend with request to evaluate our cellular tower lease. Notice of Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference in Charlevoix on October 3 & 4. Thank you card from Paddle Antrim for letter of support. Chain Of Lakes Water Trail newsletter was shared. Sheriff’s report of 911 calls for August was shared. 17 medical calls & 20 traffic stops were part of the 107 total calls. Letter from ParPlan Risk Control agent was shared with suggestions for reducing our risks. Letter that was sent in support of the Breezeway grant application was shared. Letter announcing Crowd Funding campaign for Green Light East Jordan was shared.
  14. Short Term Rental Police Power Ordinance: The proposed ordinance was reviewed in detail. Several questions were posed regarding the procedure for revocation of a STR “license” and if the fines would compound. A question regarding the number of permits to be allowed per neighborhood, zoning district or township as a whole was discussed. Also, if a prior performance record might allow preferential granting of license or refusal of one. Appeal process for property owners/renters was questioned. Common area issues such as renters using small commonly owned areas such a beach or picnic area and liability issues involved for the other owners should someone be hurt were discussed. Discussion on how to verify if property is a STR vs just a friend/family staying in a home. It was felt the “guest log” as suggested in the proposed ordinance is not sufficient and certainly should not contain personal information that could be accessed by other renters. Public Comment: Greg Kirby suggested use of “tourist homes” and “vacation homes” as separate categories. He stated the Acme Township ordinance limits the total number of permits to 50. He stated the attorney can draft language regarding fines and collection. “The Acme ordinance covers most of our township points.” “Local residents will police the rentals for you.” MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Mann, CARRIED, to send the proposal and our questions to the legal counsel for review and completion before a public hearing will be scheduled by the Township Board. Supervisor Mann, on behalf of the Board, thanked the Planning Commission and property owners involved in the drafting of the STR PPO.
  15. Township Park: Another washout occurred on August 28. Rasmussen & Postmus inspected soon after and took photos. They recommend removal of the east/west portion of the pathway that leads to the top of the stairs and move the bench. An Artesian well has been installed on the property to the north of the park and is draining continuously into the ditch. Soil Conservation Officer is aware. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen to have Postmus contact MDC to move the bench, remove the east/west pathway and place a berm along the east boundary of the property by the ditch for emergency restoration of the park. Repairs/restoration to not exceed $7,000. Roll call vote: Rasmussen: Yes; Heeres: Yes; Mann: Yes; Postmus: Yes; Absent: Cooper. MOTION CARRIED. Mollicone property: The crew has really torn up the access to the beach and is using the parking lot for a staging area for supplies. Good thing we required a bond for this project.
  16. Zoning Administrator Contract: Reviewed and modified. Will send to legal counsel for review before signing. Job description for zoning administrator was reviewed and additions will be made, will be sent to PC for review prior to adoption. Complaint form will be found and updated for ZA to use.
  17. Blight Issues: Complaints received on several properties on Coeling Road: family living in an RV again this year; junk yard on three properties; another property with 2 RV’s being used as residences with LP tanks connected. ZA will be asked to investigate and send violation notices.
  18. Cemeteries: Catholic Cemetery Re-Dedication: Bishop offered his services at 3 PM on Friday, October 26. This date/time won’t work for various reasons. Clerk will contact him again for availability on alternate days of week with preferred time of 4 PM. Antrim County Transportation will be contracted to provide shuttle from Rocky Top Preserve to the cemetery and back.
  19. Banks Township Historical Society: Carpeting proposal approved last month was for carpet only, installation and repairs/removal of old carpet was not included. Clerk will continue the search for installer.
  20. Roads: Marion Center Road work is on hold due to strike of the Operating Engineers Union. Antrim County end probably won’t be even started this year. Clay Pit Bridge is having washouts on both sides of the bridge. Pavement has not yet been placed and bolts on underside have not been cut/filed. Lakeshore Drive: No word from Burt Thompson of ACRC on repairs he could propose. The intersection of Slough Road and East Jordan Road where paving was placed this summer is wearing and gravel is washing as the pavement did not extend far enough into the corner. Supervisor to contact Burt with these concerns.
  21. Public Comment: There was none.
  22. Next meeting Monday, October 15 at 6 PM.
  23. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 P.M

Respectfully submitted,
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk