Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, February 20, 2017

  1. The meeting was called to order at 6 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: Andy Veenstra, Tim Maylone, Sheriff Dan Bean, Vince Currier, Cody Randall, Don Miles, Tina Sundelius, Jerry Rasmussen, Brad Waterman and Julie Waterman. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.

  2. Public Comment: Tim Maylone, owner of Cherry Capital Connection, addressed the Board, announcing his hopes to build out internet connections in rural areas. He questioned our zoning ordinance regulations restricting such construction in the more rural areas of the township. He urged the PC to make it easier for service providers to obtain permits, etc. ZA Andy Veenstra and PC Chair Don Miles responded that the ZO does allow this use in all areas of the township; in some zones a special use permit is required. Vince Currier, owner of property on Brown road, complained that a tower was built next door to him without a permit or public hearing. Also, a pole has been erected within the ROW on Richardson Road with intent of installing internet services. He stated these towers and poles have devalued his property and he doesn’t want to look at them. He asked for investigation by the township ZA & PC. Supervisor Mann advised him that now we are aware of the tower and pole, the ZA & PC are investigating the situations. Mr. Currier also voiced concern for the age of our firemen who are now asked to provide service to Norwood Township, where he lives. He urged recruiting new, younger firemen. Supervisor assured him that we are aware and have been recruiting. He asked that any potential new recruits be referred to the Fire Chief.

  3. Public Comment: Sheriff Dan Bean addressed the Board with the 911 Report- total of 57 calls from Banks Township in January 2017. His department is short staffed due to a variety of reasons. He reported scam phone calls are more prevalent and urged people to let calls from numbers that are not familiar to them to go to voice mail rather than answering and allowing the callers the opportunity to record responses that are sometimes used to fraudulently use your credit cards, etc. The 911 Millage Renewal will be on the May 2 ballot. The proposal is for 5 years, up to .5 mil and replaces the phone surcharge that was formerly used to fund the program. He announced the November Drug Presentations held in Central Lake and Ellsworth were very well attended and raised awareness of those present. Additional presentations are being scheduled in Elk Rapids and Mancelona in the next couple of months. The new law regarding Marijuana Dispensaries goes into effect this year. If municipalities take no action, the dispensaries are prohibited. Discussion on beat up vehicle that is often left in our parking lot was held and is still under investigation. A free disposal site for sharps is set up for March 14 from 2 to 4 pm, June 20 from 10am to noon, September 13 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm and December 6 from 8:30 to 10:30 am at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center.

  4. Public Comment: Tina Sundelius reported the Ellsworth/Atwood Community News will run an article in the next issue on the need for member and volunteers for the Historical Society and Banks Township Fire and Rescue Department.

  5. Public Comment: Don Miles asked if the site plan for the Banks Township Park will include a 50-ft. greenbelt on the lakeshore as recommended by the greenbelt regulation in the zoning ordinance, Section 4.11. Supervisor responded that will be brought to the attention of the engineers.

  6. Minutes: The minutes of the January 16, 2017, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Cooper, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the minutes as presented adding dollar amounts for the GTBB 2% grant application. MOTION CARRIED.

  7. Township Hall: Jerry Rasmussen reported that wedding reservations are up significantly this year. (11) He reports that renters are not leaving the building clean and he plans to provide them with a list of things to complete and require a signature that the cleaning was done. He suggested consideration of providing a speaker/PA systems be given. Clerk reported acoustical testing has been done and analysis is being completed to develop a plan for number and placement of the panels. Samples of lighting fixtures were shown. Discussion on need for ceiling fans and it was decided that fans are needed to circulate the air. Clerk will contact another designer for assistance. No icicles have formed with the new insulation in the attic. The sloped ceilings were able to receive blown in insulation to about 8” depth. Trustee Rasmussen feels that is adequate and no longer need to consider boxing in the slopes. The front doors do not close or latch properly and will be examined. Advertising for rentals will be placed in wedding publications.

  8. The meeting was recessed at 6:47 PM. The Public Hearing for the 2017-18 Fire District Budget was convened at 6:48 PM.

  9. Supervisor Mann presented his proposal for Fire Budget based upon 1.15 mils and an increase of run pay by $1 to $15. Public comment was received. Supervisor’s proposal was adjusted based upon comments and will reflect 1.1 mils.

  10. The Fire Budget was adjourned at 7:11 PM and the regular Township Board meeting was reconvened at 7:12 PM.

  11. Fire/Rescue Pay: MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen, to increase the compensation for fire and rescue runs to $15, an increase of $1 per run, effective April 1, 2017. ROLL CALL VOTE: Rasmussen: YES; Heeres: YES; Mann: YES; Cooper: YES; Postmus: YES. MOTION CARRIED. MOTION by Heeres, seconded by Cooper, to make the loan payment for the fire trucks of $30,000 from the fire fund to the general fund. MOTION CARRIED.

  12. Ambulance Authority Update: Cody Randall reported on the Authority’s activities. The Budget is a large topic currently. Biggest changes for the coming year are in compensation for shift pay ($25/shift which is new). Additional budgetary change includes increase of director’s compensation from $50,500 to $60,000. He has not had a COLA in 3 of past 4 years and is the lowest paid in the area. He does not get run pay in addition to salary. Consensus of Banks Township Board was this is not unreasonable for the quality of service provided. One ambulance engine died, under warranty, so hopeful will be replaced at no cost. The new ambulance is in service. Have 3 of 4 units running now. Purchase of 2 used Life Paks and used monitors was approved. Also, buying used ambulance from Boyne Valley at a cost of $15,000. It is like one currently in use but has fewer miles. With upgrades, it will cost about $50,000. A new part time paramedic has been hired.

  13. Planning Commission: Trustee Cooper reported on the meeting held last week. Discussion were held on the presence of communications towers that were installed without proper permits. Survey of surrounding townships on noise ordinances found a great variety from no regulation to very strict regulations. Discussion will continue. Planning Consultant position has had three letters of interest. Supervisor will set up interview in April.

  14. Zoning Administrator: Andy reported that structures in Banks Township need zoning permits. Antrim County Building Department does not require permits if under 200 sq. ft. He stressed that setbacks include overhangs, not just foundations. He is researching regulations pertaining to antennae. He reported verbal communication with violation complainant as had an email glitch. Property Owner in violation is completing an application for variance. Discussion on blight violation: ZA agreed to contact the violators this month.

  15. Treasurer’s Report: Incomes & balances were shared. General Fund: $146,259.50 with $150,000 due from the Fire Fund; Fire Fund: $83,468.96; Liquor Fund: $1,919.67; Roads Fund: $52,369.17; Vehicle Fund: $90,741.97; Grand Total: $374,759.27. Tax Collection is wrapping up. The check for $4678 that was received from American Tower was for back payment on a lease agreement. Check received from property owners for their portion of improvements to Premore Road. Bills represented by the attached list were presented for approval for payment. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.

  16. Cherry Capital Connection Franchise Offer: Tim Maylone presented an offer of franchise agreement to provide internet service to Banks Township. It is a 7-10 year plan for expansion of services. Proposed agreement will be sent to legal counsel for review and a public hearing will be scheduled in conjunction with our May 15 regular board meeting.

  17. Libraries: Supervisor reported on negotiations for renewal of library contracts with Central Lake and Charlevoix Libraries. Central Lake contract will be for $2100 for four years and Charlevoix $4000 for four years. Additionally, the penal fines will be divided 40/60 and will include those funds held in escrow since the Jordan Valley Library contract was terminated. Contracts will begin June 1, 2017. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the contracts described above and authorize the Supervisor to sign them. ROLL CALL VOTE: Rasmussen: YES; Heeres: YES; Mann: YES; Cooper: YES; Postmus: YES. MOTION CARRIED.

  18. Salary Resolution: Resolution #1 of 2017 was offered by Heeres, seconded by Postmus and adopted by ROLL CALL VOTE: Rasmussen: YES; Heeres: YES; Mann: YES; Cooper: YES; Postmus: YES. MOTION CARRIED. Salaries set for 2017-18 as: Supervisor: $16,000; Clerk: $24,000; Treasurer: $22,000; Trustees: $2500. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Mann, to establish a per diem rate of pay for officials to attend training, conferences, etc. at $90 per day, may be pro-rated for partial day. ROLL CALL VOTE: Rasmussen: YES; Heeres: YES; Mann: YES; Cooper: YES; Postmus: YES. MOTION CARRIED.

  19. Annual Meeting: MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Postmus, to not hold an Annual Meeting in 2017. ROLL CALL VOTE: Rasmussen: YES; Heeres: YES; Mann: YES; Cooper: YES; Postmus: YES. MOTION CARRIED.

  20. Road Improvements: Letter from Burt Thompson, manager of ACRC, informed us of plans for improvements to the entire length of Marion Center Road as a joint project with ACRC and Charlevoix County Road Commission.

  21. School Tax Collection Contract: Contract for services to collect summer school property taxes for Ellsworth Community Schools was negotiated by Treasurer Postmus. MOTION by Postmus, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the contract and authorize the Treasurer, Supervisor and Clerk to sign it. ROLL CALL VOTE: Rasmussen: YES; Heeres: YES; Mann: YES; Cooper: YES; Postmus: YES. MOTION CARRIED.

  22. South Arm Fire/Rescue Protection: The current distribution of $2500 payment is $1700 for Fire Fund and $800 for Rescue Dept. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Mann, to continue with this distribution. MOTION CARRIED.

  23. Cemetery Marker Maintenance: Discussed need for periodical cleaning of markers with repairs as needed. Will ask Carter Cemetery Preservation to provide us a proposal for every 5 years maintenance.

  24. Newsletter: Plan to mail postcards approximately April 1 and have 6-8 page newsletter on website at same time. Clerk will coordinate production of newsletter. Articles should be submitted by March 15.

  25. Wi-Fi at BTHS: Clerk reports Historical Society has again asked to obtain Wi-Fi for their building. Discussion was held on contacting Charter Communications to allow Banks Township to redistribute internet connection to its own properties (BTHS and FD). Discussion regarding purchase of tv/monitor for the meeting room. Postmus will investigate.

  26. Correspondence: Notice of regulation change for the Sanitary code, effective January 30, 2017, was received. Notice of price adjustments for Charter Communications was received. Minutes of Village of Ellsworth meeting were shared. Notice from MTA of proposal to eliminate State’s income tax is before the House tomorrow. Notice that SBA Communications was awarded the exclusive Commercial Wireless Telecommunications Site Management Agreement in partnership with the State of Michigan to manage State owned tower sites for commercial wireless builds and collocations. This is in relation to the State Police tower located in Banks Township on Brown Road. Notice of commencement of construction on Old State Road over the Jordan River was shared. Letter from TART Trails regarding Antrim County Commissioners delay of approval of the Traverse City to Charlevoix trail pending more study and input from constituents. Letter from Antrim County Administration Office regarding committee vacancies was received.

  27. Public Comment: There was no Public Comment.

  28. Next meeting Monday, March 20 at 6 PM. The General, Roads, Vehicle & Liquor Budget Hearings will be a part of this meeting.

29. The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna L. Heeres, Banks Township Clerk