Banks Township Board Meeting

Monday, June 20, 2016


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 David Rasmussen and Trustee Tom Cooper. Also present: Dave Heeres, Larry Essenberg, Bob Dutcher, Don Binns. Jerry Rasmussen arrived at 6:20, Hugh Campbell arrived at 7:08, Marv Rubingh arrived at 7:40. Supervisor Mann led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation.


2. Public Comment: Bob Dutcher and Don Binns addressed the Board on Lakeshore Drive issues. Bob reported the ditching done by the ACRC to help with drainage of the roadbed has created standing water in the ditches. A culvert was replaced due to it rusting out and another drainage pipe at the south end was unplugged. Both are draining water from the swampy area on the east side of the road. He complained that the ditch is on the wrong side of the road in many places and are uneven and unsightly. Are they done? Don Binns stated that connection of Lakeshore Drive to Banks Township Park Road is impossible due to the wetlands.


3. Supervisor comments: Supervisor Mann informed those present that we are still awaiting estimates from the ACRC manager of possibility and costs of making Lakeshore Drive connect to Banks Township Park Road. He reported that nearly $35,000 has been spent by Banks Township on Lakeshore Drive in the past few years. He outlined what he sees as options for Lakeshore Drive: 1) Leave it alone. 2) Township fund paving of the road, including prep work at a cost of 3-4 years of revenue from road millage. 3) Split the cost of the paving/improvements with property owners reducing the taxpayers burden to 1 ½ to 2 years of road millage and adding special assessment to properties on Lakeshore Drive. 4) Lakeshore Drive residents ask the Township to abandon the road and homeowners’ association takes ownership and can pave a 10 ft. path if they choose. Additional discussion on making recommendations to the ACRC to swap maintenance of Lakeshore Drive with Six Mile Lake Road (portion in Charlevoix County) to allow to provide maintenance to the road without travelling through another county to get to it.


4. Public Comment: Dave Heeres announced his candidacy for re-election as District 1 Commissioner for Antrim County. He also shared a petition for replacement of the culvert on Bridge Street bridge and reminded the Board that Clay Pit Bridge is not safe for heavy traffic and should be replaced.


5. Announcement: Clerk Heeres announced the receipt of a $30,000 grant award from Rotary Charities for insulation, acoustic panels and electrical fixtures for the Township Hall. Citizen of the Year was presented to Marilyn Ferweda on Monday, June 13 at the Ellsworth Village Council Meeting, by Supervisor Mann and Clerk Heeres.


6. Minutes: The minutes of the May 23, 2016, regular Board Meeting were presented. MOTION by Rasmussen, seconded by Cooper to approve the minutes amending Item 4. Fire Dept.: Clerk reported the pumpers and ladders were tested recently to assure they are working properly. The activity report was shared: 22 Fire & Misc. Runs and 37 Rescue Runs in the Nov 1- April 30 reporting period. This is an increase of 11 fire/misc. runs and decrease of 13 rescue runs from the comparable period the previous year. MOTION CARRIED.


7. Public comment: Hugh Campbell reported the water project is wrapping up with new meters for all customers and a system to read the meters remotely to better process billing. The Village passed a resolution to set up a DDA and would like the Township to consider the same for Atwood. They will hold a public hearing in 30 days. He proposed a joint DDA Committee for both areas. The DTE Energy pipeline has been delivered and installation to begin soon. Plans are to be connected by October 1. Along with the Township paving project on Pleasant Hill Road, the Village will pave Bridge Street to connect with Pleasant Hill Road. Landscaping and fencing installation continues at the Community Square. He reported on a meeting with State Representative Triston Cole with discussion on medical marijuana dispensaries along with the Bridge Street Culvert. The Village PC will consider ordinance amendment to restrict dispensaries with in the Village limits. The Village will utilize their grant funding from the Michigan Townships Participating Plan for two security cameras: a stand-alone system at the pavilion and a camera to connect to our system to cover the Community Square. (The township parking lot camera will be installed at the same time as these two are installed.


8. Township Hall: Jerry Rasmussen reported one wedding reception is scheduled for this weekend and one for October, one that was scheduled for June was cancelled. He reported the building was left dirty/messy after Pig Roast activities and pancake breakfast with trash bags not taken to the dumpster along with just poor cleanup. The Fireworks display was incredible but had low attendance overall for them and the Pig Roast. Attendance issues may be linked to the changing dates over the recent years. Building Renovations: David Rasmussen reported the final set of exterior doors arrived and are finished and ready to install. The cabinets are installed. The laminate top will be installed on the countertop tomorrow. The sink will be hooked up as soon as the plumber can complete it. The outlets in front of the stage are working erratically. Discussion on wall sconces and chandeliers. It was agreed more styles need to be considered. Acoustic panels are being investigated. The insulation project has ventilation issues and will need to frame down on the inside of the sloped wall/ceilings to allow that area to be properly insulated. Proposal is being prepared. The sign for the Banks Township Community Hall blew down in the windstorm recently. Two bids were obtained for pest control and the clerk awarded the bid to the lowest bidder.


9. Public Comment: Marvin Rubingh thanked the Board for providing Clean Up Day Services. The huge number of tires that he brought in came from a 10-acre parcel that he recently purchased and is in the process of cleaning up. He commented on the parking area at the Community Square. He urged the Board to not adopt zoning ordinances that will limit the opportunities for entrepreneurship activities such as garage sales and short term rentals. He urged maintaining freedoms for property owners.


10. The treasurer’s report of incomes and balances was given. General Fund Balance: $181,219.75 with $150,000 due from the Fire Fund; Fire Fund Balance: $99,163.91; Roads Fund Balance: $74,296.75; Vehicle Fund Balance: $90,313.17; Liquor Fund Balance: $1,341.89; Grand Total: $446,335.47.


11. Bills represented by the attached list were presented for approval for payment. MOTION was made by Heeres, seconded by Postmus, to pay the bills as presented. MOTION CARRIED.


12. Planning Commission: Trustee Cooper reported three public hearings are scheduled for July 12 at 6 PM. Greenbelt, garage sales and short term rentals.


13. Ambulance Authority: The accounting method used by the administrator has been questioned and the Authority Board is addressing this issue.


14. Correspondence: Packet of materials and very lengthy letter from Michigan Townships Participating Plan Risk Manager was received and will need review. Correspondence with Amy Jenema & Attorney Bryan Graham over FOIA policy related to assessment records was reported. Sheriff’s report of 911 calls for May 2016 was shared. A letter was shared from MTA announcing “On The Road” meetings to be held in September and October this year and the change of the Annual Educational Conference to April 10-13 in Lansing. Dividend check for 2012-13 and 2011-12 from Michigan Townships Participating Plan was received. Update on the TC to Charlevoix Bicycle Trail was shared. Tip of the Mitt Annual Membership Meeting will be held July 19 at 9:30-noon at NCMC in Petoskey.


15. Roads: Lakeshore Drive discussion including emails from property owners and data compiled by Supervisor Mann with population stats, millage and mileage data. MOTION by Mann, seconded by Cooper, to approve the contract for Brandt Road repairs at a cost to the Township of $5,580. MOTION CARRIED. Proposal for Toad Lake Road repairs was reviewed and action was tabled at this time.


16. Emergency Generator Hookup: Letter from Leslie Meyers of the Emergency Management Office of Antrim County was read. Leslie gave us a rough estimate of $5000 for installation of hookups for a using the mobile generator that is owned by Antrim County. The Board consensus is to obtain a firm bid for this installation and then proceed with application for grant funding from the ParPlan in its next grant cycle.


17. DTE Energy: Clerk contacted heating contractors for confirmation of furnaces being able to be converted to natural gas and completed applications for the Township Hall and Ellsworth Fire Hall for conversion. Also, the Ellsworth Farmers Exchange was asked to not “keep full” the tanks at these two buildings. Everything looks good to proceed.


18. Cemeteries: Trustee Rasmussen reported the cemetery crew have removed the fence on the west side of the Atwood Cemetery and still working on the posts. They have been cleaning up the buildings and will take old donated paint to the hazardous waste collection site on August 6. The tree at Ellsworth Cemetery is scheduled to be removed this week.


19. Zoning Board of Appeals & Planning Commission: Supervisor Mann appoints Dennis Penfold, Mike McDuffie, Jack Danbert, Jeff Cook and Steve Parafin to the ZBA for terms of July 1, 2016-17. MOTION Heeres, seconded by Rasmussen, to approve the appointments. MOTION CARRIED. Supervisor Mann appoints Joni Wieland to the Planning Commission for three-year term of July 1, 2016-19. MOTION Heeres, seconded by Postmus, to approve the appointment. MOTION CARRIED.


20. Audit Report: For fiscal year 2015-16 was distributed.


21. Public Comment: There was no further Public Comment.


22. Next meeting July 18 at 6 PM.


23. The meeting was adjourned at 9:02 P.M.


Respectfully submitted,




Donna L. Heeres

Banks Township Clerk