Banks Township Board Meeting
Monday, December 18, 2017
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 Tom Cooper. Trustee David Rasmussen arrived at 6:14 PM. Also present: Deputy Clerk Tina Sundelius, Julie Waterman, Brian Darrah, Andrew Veenstra. Kevin Makarewicz arrived at 6:32 PM. Jerry Rasmussen arrived at 6:36 PM. Hugh Campbell arrived at 8:00 PM. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.
Public Comment: There was none.
Minutes: The minutes of the November 20, 2017, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Cooper, to approve the minutes as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
Fire Department: The annual dinner has been rescheduled, due to power outage, for Tuesday, January 9 at 6PM at A Matter of Taste. The State License Inspection was completed, and several medications needed to be purchased to stock the unit. The Election of Officers was completed: Chief Mark Groenink, Assistant Chief Tom VanStedum, Ellsworth Captain Brian VanderArk, EMS Director Marlin Sweet, Sec/Treas John Hastings. The Atwood Captain officer is vacant due to the retirement of Miner (Jim) Veenstra after 35 years of service. Supervisor Mann confirms these appointments. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Cooper, to approve the appointments. MOTION CARRIED. The bill has been sent to South Arm Township for services November 1, 2016 – October 31, 2017. There were two medical runs during that time frame.
Township Hall: The hall has been busy with rentals and activities. Jerry Rasmussen has been working on completing the men’s room remodel and the flooring will be completed soon. Discussed need for floor mats on stairway and upstairs to protect the floor from snow and water.
Treasurer’s Report: Postmus reported the winter tax collection is underway. She reported on the incomes & balances for the month: American Tower annual and monthly payments were received. General Fund Balance: $113,108.48 (Balance due from fire fund: $120,000.); Roads Fund: $23,785.18; Fire Fund: $101,235.63; Vehicle Fund: $91,558.38; Liquor Fund: $2400.90; Grand Total: $332,088.57. Bills represented by the attached list were reviewed for approval for payment. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Postmus, to approve the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.
Zoning Administrator’s Report: Andy Veenstra reported no permits were issued this month. He had difficulty responding to an inquiry via email so called the person to respond. Discussed need to continue enforcement efforts on the Coeling Road blight situation, also a second property north of that with multiple junk cars needs to be notified. Andy stated no increase in compensation in 10 years and workload has increased. Supervisor Mann stated there have been many quiet years too with no cut in compensation. Discussion was held regarding need for complete, professional and timely responses to inquiries by the ZA and more complete documentation of inquiries, responses, duties performed, and time spent. Andy was asked again to submit a log book in support of his work and the Board will consider workload and/or compensation adjustment. He was also asked to offer suggestions for split of duties with another person.
Township Park: Kevin Makarewicz, of C2AE, reported on the Park Project completed in September. In mid-October, a rain storm with more than 7.5 inches of rain in a very short time, flooded the park and caused major erosion damage. He has inspected the park along with contractors from MDC who completed the project and discovered 5 small pipes that go under the 2-track east of the park and into the wetland. Additionally, drainage from S. Brinker’s Road is diverted under Banks Township Park Road and joins the wetland. He reminded us that the Dunes Management Division and the Corps of Engineers would not allow us to drain these wetlands when they reviewed our application for Recreation Passport Grant the first time in 2014. He suggested we might be eligible for a Hazard Mitigation Grant through the Emergency Management Office of Antrim County. He was asked to investigate this on our behalf. He suggested a series of drainage tubes to aid in distribution of the storm water from the east side of the property towards the lake. Discussion was held regarding possibly incorporating a “water feature” with a small bridge for the accessible pathway to cross the water. He will return to the board with additional suggestions.
Planning Commission: Trustee Cooper reported several members of the audience at the December PC meeting with comments regarding the Gravel Extraction SUP application. The legal counsel and planning consultant agree that the application is incomplete, and the PC voted to return the application for resubmission within 6 months with all components included. The PC is working on amendments to the application process and fee structure. Letters (email) from David Michael were read and photos that he included were shared along with the Clerk’s responses to his questions/comments. It was noted by the Clerk that his complaints and the photos were of the adjacent gravel operation that is in South Arm Township.
Ambulance Authority Update: Julie Waterman, Banks Township representative on the AA Board, reported the authority has been reviewing the audit report. She voiced concerns over not having access to materials she needs to be able to represent us. She will discuss with Jay Peck, JVAA director.
Cemeteries/Parks: Brian Darrah, contractor who provided service to our cemeteries and parks in 2017 presented a contract for services for 2018. No changes were proposed. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the contract for 2018. MOTION CARRIED. Discussion was held on the presence of a fungus on trees in the Ellsworth Cemetery. The trees need to be pruned in the winter and some will need to be removed due to the extensive infestation. Brian was authorized to take care of this problem and will submit an invoice when complete. The brush will be burned on site late winter.
Correspondence: HAVA Grant Agreement for voting system hardware, firmware and software was completed by the Clerk; Congratulations to the Rowe Inn on their award for Best European wine list in the state and silver award for its American wine list; Sheriff’s report of 911 calls for November was shared. Of note, there were 87 calls to 911 from Banks Township in November; Letter from Dwain Abramowski regarding care & maintenance of Lakeshore Drive was shared; Notice of widespread outbreak of Hepatis A virus infections in Michigan was received and posters describing symptoms and control of transmission were posted in the kitchen; the Par Plan News was distributed.
Village Update: Village President Hugh Campbell reported the Wooden Shoe Holiday festival was successful despite attendance being lower than previous years. The council is searching for solutions to the speeding on Lake Street. The joint Ellsworth/Banks Township Recreation Plan committee will meet on December 27 at 5:30 pm to complete the plan. Public Hearing on the plan will take place on February 12 during the Village Council meeting with adoption by the council and township board to follow. The Low/Mod study is still not complete as a few households have not yet responded. The Pig Roast committee is seeking an administrator; this will be a paid position. The Village has also contracted with Mission Computers for off-site backups. Their backhoe, with about 200 hours and 6 days past warranty, had the transmission go out. They are working with the company on repairs.
State Champion Football Team: A draft proclamation was shared. Tonight, the team was being honored at the Ellsworth High School, between basketball games. Supervisor will contact coaches and ask them to attend, along with players, our January 15 Board meeting.
Article for MTA Focus: Deputy Clerk Tina Sundelius has been preparing an article for submission to the monthly magazine to showcase Banks Township.
Handicap Lift Contract: Trustee Rasmussen had nothing to report. Tabled for more information.
Township Board Meetings for 2018: January 15; February 19 with fire budget hearing; March 19 with rest of budget hearings; April 16; May 21; June 18; July 16; August 20; September 17; October 15; November 19; December 17.
Zoning Ordinance Re-format: Clerk reported the Planning Consultant was not able to integrate the recent zoning ordinance amendments into the Word document Zoning Ordinance. Many issues with formatting, spacing and text size were found. It was recommended the entire ordinance be re-formatted into a more recent version of Word. The chapters would be saved individually to enhance the ability to update easily. The Table of Contents would provide a “clickable” link to the appropriate chapter. A pdf version would be posted on the website. Cost Estimate is $750-800 and will be billed hourly. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Postmus, to approve this project & expense. MOTION CARRIED.
Catholic Cemetery: Clerk reported receipt of a letter from Scott Schwander of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War regarding a damaged marker of a Civil War Veteran in our Catholic Cemetery. The Clerk has contacted David Carter of Carter Cemetery Preservation to obtain a recommendation from him for repairs to this marker and others in the cemetery. Clerk will contact Mr. Schwander to find out if any funding is available from his organization to cover the cost of these repairs.
Public Comment: There was none.
Next meeting Monday, January 15, 2018 at 6 PM.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:44 P.M
Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk