2012 Meeting Minutes
January 10 th , 2012
Williamstown Township
Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Call to Order
The Williamstown Township Board of Trustees convened at 7:00 p.m. at the Williamstown Township Hall located at 4990 Zimmer Rd., Williamston, Michigan.  Supervisor Mickey Martin called the meeting to order, reviewed the agenda, and explained procedures for public comment.
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call
Present: Trustee Wilbrink, Treasurer Eyster, Trustee Wright, Supervisor Martin, Clerk Gaffner, Trustee Hayes and Trustee Williams.
Public Comment
John Kane, 5170 N. Williamston Rd.: regarding public awareness of business license ordinance and updates of minutes to website.
Public Comment closed at 7:04.
Police Report
Chief Hall reviewed year end information.  Calls for service is approximately the same number with Sheriff’s count the previous year.  Meridian sends an officer on ambulance calls.  The department has enjoyed being of service to the Township. Will begin servicing the park by locking and unlocking the gate.  Chief Hall attended the meeting with Supervisor Martin regarding speed limit issue on Mitchell Rd.  The state police have an impact on the speed limit for the area.  A study will be conducted on the site.  The major concern is pedestrian traffic on the road.  The new sidewalk is helpful. 
Police did complete their night shoot within operating hours of the gun club. This will be a yearly occurrence.  The force will begin a 12 hour schedule beginning Dec 31st.  This will help patrol in the school zones, during business traffic, and allows more officers on patrol and on shifts. This will vary the hours of presence in the township.  Neighborhood watch signs are ordered and should be in soon.  Officer Jeff Adams has been instrumental in the number of watches in the Township. 
Consent Agenda
Treasurer Eyster moved the consent agenda consisting of:
Approve the Minutes of 12/06/2011 Township board meeting
Treasurer’s Report, December 2011
Building inspectors report – December 2011
General Fund Accounts Payable paid, check 19442 and checks 19468 through 19491for a total of $19,673.33
Police Fund Accounts Payable paid, check 1019 & 1020 for $46,555.75
Payroll Checks paid 41685 through 41717 and EFT 106-109 for a total of $23,641.01
General Account Payable checks to approve 19492 through 19509 for a total of $5,705.93
Police Account Payable check 1021 for a total of $2,843.50
Revenue and expenditure report ending 11/30/2011 and 12/31/2011
Amend Budget – Move $1,208.40 to Park Lands and $1,500 to Art Tour Restricted from contingency.
Seconded by Trustee Hayes
Motion Approved
Planning Commission Report
Chair Fielek presented the survey that the Planning Commission has requested be included in the assessment notices to guide the Planning Commission in the update the Master Plan.
The Board suggested the following changes:
∙   Change the font on the response to be a bit different for ease of reading.
∙   What is intensive development:  what types are we mentioning? 
∙   Suggest removing or reword 3(D) or 3(E)
∙   3(i)  clarify
∙   Should a map of the township be added?
∙   Give reference to a map-direct to the website. 
∙   Formatting:  go back to a-d response to save room.
∙   Higher density development:  should this be clarified?
∙   Mixed use:  define better
∙   11.   Wider shoulders or sidewalks- change to two separate questions.
∙   14.   Clarify that this is private land 
Unfinished Business
Business License Ordinance
Review has been completed by the Township’s attorney and consultant.
Language was corrected regarding business “owned or operated”.
Trustee Hayes moved the Williamstown Township Board Approve the adoption of the Business License Ordinance (Business Registration Ordinance).
Seconded by Treasurer Eyster
∙   4.04(c) should have petition filed with clerk- not registration agent.
∙   Clarification of when an ordinance is reviewed or created from the PC or Board.
∙   This is a stand-alone ordinance.
∙   Not part of the Zoning Ordinance.
∙   Does not encompass planning issues.
∙   Mechanism to know what businesses are in the Township.
∙   Higher cost to go through PC.
∙   Only applies to businesses in commercial districts.
∙   Does not apply to home based business/occupations.
∙   Some questions/concerns from businesses. 
∙   Explanation has helped with questions from affected businesses.
∙   Ag-C is included as ag businesses are allowed in this district.
∙   4.02(a) should be certified mail.
∙   Should send second notice to make sure it has been received.
∙   Expensive to send by registered mail.
∙   Will develop a policy to insure everyone receives proper notification.
∙   4.02(C) requiring too much information here.
∙   Change “and” to “or/and”  contact person is needed
∙   More than one is good for contact
∙   Information would be helpful.
∙   Not much different from personal property tax information.
∙   Residential addresses could be removed.
∙   Could ask for emergency contact numbers.
∙   Business addresses, phone number and 3 emergency contact info.
∙   Option for additional information.
∙   Change “shall to may”.
∙   E.  do we have a hazardous chemical survey
∙   Material safety data sheet on file and labeled with business
∙   We need to know where to get the information
∙   Registration agent is supervisor.  Written request to hearing with the Board should go through clerk.
∙   5.02   question of why not charitable or religious establishment.
∙   Comfortable with how 5.02 is currently worded.
∙   2011 needs to be changed to 2012.
∙   Purpose of ordinance
∙   Conformation that a business is working within correct zoning district
∙   Help businesses from moving into inappropriate area
∙   Safety
∙   Township should not be policing businesses and charging
∙   It will be helpful to facilitate appropriate businesses
∙   Matter of educating businesses
∙   Additional fees hurting business along with Personal property tax, police assessment, etc.
∙   Enforcement clause should be included.
∙   Board would choose how to move forward with oversight of businesses
Trustee Hayes amended motion to include: changing “may to shall” and change of “registration agent to clerk in 4.02(C).
Motion by Trustee Wilbrink for a roll call vote.
Motion died due to lack of support.
Motion Approved.
Budget 2012-2013
Cemetery Committee requested $100,000 be added for capital improvements to put in roads, etc.   
Historical committee would like to keep in $1500 for registration of the school as a historic structure.
Increase 751-882 to $3500 from $ 2000.
Additional $1000 of funds for acquisition of materials for the school.
Most of $2000 in budget is for acquisition.
Historical barns: would like to have a pictorial history of barns in the area.  May use the photos as a fundraiser for future acquisitions.  Have discussed doing the same with historic homes also.
Green Zone Map
Clerk Gaffner moved the Williamstown Township Board Approve the Green Zone Planned Development District Boundaries map dated 5/19/2011 in accordance with the Township  Zoning Ordinance Article 25.00C adopted by the Township Board on December 6, 2011.
Seconded by Trustee Williams
Discussion:  none
Motion Approved
New Business
Poverty Exemption resolution
Trustee Wilbrink move the Williamstown Township Board approve the 2012 amendments to the Township Poverty Guidelines Resolution #97.
Seconded by Treasurer Eyster
∙   Roll date was changed to reflect 2012
Roll Call vote:  Yea:  Trustee Hayes, Clerk Gaffner, Trustee Wilbrink, Treasurer Eyster, Trustee Wright, Mickey Martin, Rick Williams.
March meeting date
Current date conflicts with March Board of Review and Public Hearing.
Agreed to change the meeting to Wednesday March 7th at 7:00.
Rentals (discussion)
Supervisor Martin gave an explanation of the letter in packet.  Economic times has turned a lot of owner occupied homes into rentals.  The Township currently does not deal with licensing or control of number of rentals in neighborhoods, etc.  Request that the Board have the PC look at the issue due to number of calls and concerns being addressed by the Township.
Discussion included:
∙   Not case of buying for rental but needing to move and needing to rent out.
∙   Residents don’t want to have subdivisions turned to rentals.
∙   Economic times have increased rentals.
∙   Do we want to require licensing?
∙   Possible to limit rentals to a percentage?
∙   This would be unfair and difficult.
∙   Not as large an issue as in EL.
∙   Would like the Board to have the PC review this issue.
∙   Property values increasing will limit rentals
∙   Concern over condition and maintenance.
∙   Residents looking for security within area.
∙   Currently must be a family unit
∙   Family definition has been helpful
∙   Occupied home better than a vacant one.
∙   Home foreclosures hurting the neighborhoods.
∙   Over 50% rentals is sign of declining neighborhood.
∙   This is mostly concerning lower valued homes.
∙   Rentals in barns and unapproved apartments:  has become an issue
∙   Not up to code for residential living.
∙   Reasons: financial, family.
∙   Inspections are still needed.
∙   How to proceed.
∙   Violation notice- come into compliance
∙   Violation of building code
∙   If we don’t know about a violation- is the Township liable?
∙   If we do know and don’t do anything our liability is evident.
∙   Assessors have found some of the violations.
∙   Would like to know the extent of our liability.
∙   Need to enforce the Township Ordinance
∙   Property reassessment every 5 years.
Will request the Planning Commission to place the rental issue on the agenda.
Policy units police assessment
Clerk Gaffner move the Williamstown Township Board approve Township Board Police Services Assessment policy #11. 
Seconded by Trustee Wright
Treasurer Eyster has put the policy in a format for ease of understanding the policy.
∙   Good policy language.  Makes it clear who is assessed and for what. 
∙   “Partitions” should be changed to “petition”. 
∙   This gives residents the policy and procedures for corrections, etc.
∙   If not charging a business, why charge mobile homes or residences.
∙   Difficult to know number of units for a business location due being able to reconfigure units.
∙   Residential units are defined.
∙   Does not seem equitable to charge a vacant residential unit vs. business unit.
∙   Definition of business unit is in question.
∙   Residential unit is well defined  by the census
∙   Distinction is being made in the policy
∙   This policy is a logical way to proceed.
Motion carries
Willow Village Letter
Letter addresses being assessed for every trailer in the park whether inhabitable or not. 
∙   Not all trailers are occupied. 
∙   Some are not able to be occupied. 
∙   Those not being able to be occupied should be removed.
∙   Complaints from neighbors on condition of park.
∙   Blight ordinance may need to be enforced.
∙   Should be made inhabitable or removed. 
∙   Can petition for future assessments once units are removed.
∙   Incentive to remove trailers to retroactively return assessments.
∙   Should not give incentives without consulting attorney.
∙   Should not violate policy we just passed.
Departments & Committees
∙   Training dinner being held at Spags on January 19th at 6:00  Please RSVP
∙   MTA conference in Detroit the last week of this month.
∙   Park gates are being locked.
∙   Cemetery is sending out RFP’s for construction.  Ready to start improvements in June.
∙   Signage and education needs for Mitchell Rd.
∙   Parks Committee doing a comprehensive plan for capital improvements
∙   NEISA board addressed the issue of firefighters speeding to fires through neighborhoods.  Any complaints should go to fire hall.
Public Comment for agenda & non-agenda items**
Supervisor Martin closed public comment at 9:00 p.m.
Publication of Business Ordinance and Poverty Guidelines:  Clerk
Review of rental issue:  Planning Commission
Trustee Hayes moved to adjournat 9:02 p.m.
Ernie Gaffner