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2003 Meeting Minutes
JANUARY 7, 2003
PRESENT: Supervisor Mickey Martin, Treasurer Nancy Fink, Clerk Susan Hiner, Trustee Steve Zaban, Trustee Martin Wright, Building Inspector Walter Aven, Township Attorney Vince Spagnoulo and Recording Secretary Lori Pincumbe.
CALL TO ORDER
Supervisor Mickey Martin called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. She provided an overview of the meeting agenda and made a request for any changes. Supervisor Martin asked that the agenda language be corrected to read “Hideaway Woods Tentative Preliminary Plat Extension.” She also added the topics “Rentals in the Township” to Complaints and “Request from Williamston Greenhouse Proprietors” to New Business. No other additions or corrections to the agenda were made at this time.
Supervisor Martin made a request for any additions or corrections to the consent agenda. No changes were made. Clerk Hiner moved to: 1) approve the 12/3/02 Regular Meeting Minutes; approve the 12/17/02 & 12/26/02 Special Meeting Minutes; 3) approve the list of bills paid and to be paid; 4) approve payroll; and 5) accept and place on file the Treasurer’s Report and the Building Inspector’s Report. Motion supported by Trustee Zaban. Motion passed unanimously.
PUBLIC COMMENT FOR NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Citizen Al Leblanc (President, Pebblebrook Subdivision Association) thanked the Board for the most recent newsletter and wished all a Happy New Year. Citizen Franz Wilbrink identified a typographical correction on the office postings for the Board Workshop Schedule. The posting should read “Board Workshop Meetings will be held on the 3rd Tuesday of the Month.” Mr. Wilbrink asked Supervisor Martin if there was any truth to the rumor that the Township and the City of Williamston were negotiating a joint venture to build a wastewater treatment plant. Supervisor Martin responded that the rumor was false and that this was the first she had heard of such a thing. Mr. Wilbrink also asked if there was any truth to the rumor that the Township was reconsidering Charter. Supervisor Martin said that this rumor was also false and there had been no discussion of this topic.
Poverty Guidelines Resolution
Supervisor Martin reported that the federal guidelines identifying poverty income levels had been recently adjusted and, therefore, the Board must now pass a resolution to adopt the revised criteria into Williamstown Township’s ordinance. She explained that the poverty guidelines allow property tax relief to citizens that meet specific financial criteria. She added that this provision has always existed and that actual income levels are typically adjusted annually at the federal level to meet changes in economic conditions.
Trustee Wright, supported by Clerk Hiner, moved to adopt by resolution all new federal income level poverty guidelines into the Williamstown Township Ordinance.
Roll Call Vote:
Trustee Steve Zaban Yes
Trustee Martin Wright Yes
Treasurer Nancy Fink Yes
Supervisor Mickey Martin Yes
Clerk Susan Hiner Yes
Motion passed unanimously.
Hideaway Woods Tentative Preliminary Plat Extension
Mr. Kraft stated that this tentative plat was originally approved in the fall of 2000 with six (6) conditions. First, there was a question about the city sewer capacity at this location because you cannot have lots of this size without sewer hook-ups. The applicant received some leverage on December 10, 2002 when the Honorable Judge William E. Collette granted ten (10) residential equivalent units (REUs) of wastewater treatment capacity from the City of Williamston’s wastewater treatment system. Attorney Spagnoulo stated that this order is not final because there has only been a partial judgment.
Mr. Kraft reported that the Planning Commission has recommended approval of a 12-month extension with conditions 1,3,4,5 and 6 remaining attached (condition 2 of the original approval has been met and does not need to be carried forward).
Mr. Kraft reported that during discussion at the Planning Commission meeting, there was a question about how the sewer line will cross adjoining properties. He added that he did not feel a clear answer was provided. He said that the Planning Commission also decided not to make a decision on the cul-de-sac arrangement until the final changes to the plat were made.
Supervisor Martin called for questions from the Board (none) and asked the applicant if there was any information he would like to add. Carl McIntosh, representing the applicant, stated that he was comfortable with the Planning Commission’s decision.
Supervisor Martin stated that she had met with the City of Williamston. The City said that they feel they have capacity at the plant for the additional sewer but do not have capacity in their sewer lines near this location. They have previously experienced backups in this area (2001) and have had to discharge to the river because of insufficient line capacity. The City said that when this applicant submits an actual request for sewer hookup, the City will forward the request to the DEQ with notation that they have had backup problems.
During their meeting with Supervisor Martin, the City also described previous problems on Linn Rd. with the sewer extension at Forest of Nottingham Condominiums. Because the sewer line had been installed before the road, the City incurred unnecessary costs when installing the road. The City wants to avoid this situation from happening again by requiring the design for this plat to include a roadway even if it never is built. If the developer decides to go forward without a roadway to get to the 10 taps, the City also wanted the developer to be aware that they would incur a cost for the City reviewing all the plans again. Supervisor Martin summarized that the City wanted the Township to be aware that the developer must satisfy several more steps before they would be eligible for sewer hookup.
Supervisor Martin provided clarification about jurisdiction for these properties (because they are located in the 425 area). The City will collect property taxes for the proposed ten (10) properties. In return, owners will receive water, sewer, leaf pickup, and police coverage. The Township will have jurisdiction over the properties for issues pertaining to voting, building inspection, assessing and enforcement of ordinances.
Citizen Al LeBlanc asked where Hideaway Woods was located. Supervisor Martin responded that it is the development located across from Williamston High School.
Trustee Zaban made a recommendation, supported by Trustee Wright, that the Board support the decision of the Planning Commission to allow for a 1-year extension of the tentative preliminary plat submitted for Hideaway Woods with conditions 1,3,4,5 and 6 remaining attached (condition 2 eliminated for having been met). Motion passed unanimously.
Annual Meeting Date
Supervisor Martin recommended that an annual meeting date be scheduled prior to the end of the 2002/2003 fiscal year. Trustee Zaban made a motion that the Board conduct an annual meeting prior to the March 4, 2003 Regular Board Meeting to begin at 7 p.m. Motion supported by Trustee Wright. Motion passed unanimously.
Supervisor Martin read a letter into the minutes from Najah and Camille El-Haddad, proprietors of Williamston Greenhouse. Mr. and Mrs. El-Haddad submitted the letter to request grant assistance to help enhance their curb appeal on Grand River now that the road construction in front of their business is complete. The letter stated that their business has suffered financially because of the extended construction activity.
Supervisor Martin invited the El-Haddads to address to the Board. Camille El-Haddad reiterated that the summer road construction had hurt their business. She said that this impact on their business was magnified further because they are simultaneously faced with higher gas bills and a suffering economy. She said that they would very much like to continue doing business in the Township and would appreciate any assistance the Township can offer to help them continue. She said that other businesses along the Grand River corridor are currently enhancing their façade now that road construction is complete. She said that Williamston Greenhouse had also planned to put up a new sign and improve the appearance of their building exterior once the construction was complete. She said she had not originally considered approaching the Township Board but was urged to do so by customers who told her that businesses located within the City limits were receiving a $6,000 grant to upgrade their appearances. Her customers thought there might be a similar grant available for Township businesses. Supervisor Martin stated that the City has a Downtown Development Association that is likely handling those requests but that there is no such entity in the Township.
Supervisor Martin suggested that the Township could do some research with the State of Michigan to see if any grants are available. She asked Mrs. El-Haddad if they had searched for grants on their own. Mrs. El-Haddad said that they had not. Treasurer Fink recommended that Mrs. El-Haddad come into the Township office and that she could assist her with an internet search for grant possibilities.
Supervisor Martin asked if the owners carried any business interruption insurance. Mrs. El-Haddad said that she did not believe her policy included that provision. Attorney Spagnoulo recommended that she contact her agent because she may have coverage. Treasurer Fink suggested that the El-Haddad’s also investigate the possibility for a property tax exemption for 2003 (it’s too late to apply for exemption in 2002) and added that guidelines are available in the Township office. Supervisor Martin added that she plans to include an explanation of the Property Tax Exemption process in the next newsletter.
Supervisor Martin summarized that, to her knowledge, the Township had never provided grant assistance to a Township business in the past and that it may not be legal for the Township to assist a business using taxpayer money without some type of matching support from the State. However, she added, the Township office is willing to do whatever can be done to help.
1040 E. Grand River Rezoning Request RE to B-2 – Young Kim, Tabled 12/3/02
Planning Commission Chairman Dan Kraft provided background information for this request. He stated that the Planning Commission had previously recommended denying the request because, although the current zoning for the parcel in question allows for use as a greenhouse, it does not allow for a retail sales operation. At the December Township Board Meeting, the Planning Commission was requested to re-evaluate their decision because it appeared that everyone involved was comfortable with the proposed use but that they were prevented from allowing the request because they were bound by zoning requirements that may need to be amended. The Township Board had offered several options for the Planning Commission to consider.
Mr. Kraft stated that the Planning Commission had reviewed each of the options suggested by the Township Board and decided that it was most reasonable to amend the description of the RE zone (the existing zone for this parcel) so that a greenhouse retail operation could be allowed. The Planning Commission felt that this was only a slight modification to the description and that the wording could limit this new provision to the Grand River corridor only. The Township Planner (Chris Doozen) agreed that this was the best option. This recommendation will require that a public hearing be held.
Supervisor Martin asked if there were any comments from the applicant. Todd Chamberlain, attorney representing the applicant for the zoning request, stated that he appreciated the Board and the Planning Commission’s attention to this matter. He summarized that he felt the process is moving on a path that will accommodate the property owner’s needs and, at the same time, incorporate the concerns of the Planning Commission and the Board. He said that he had learned of the Planning Commission’s recommendation earlier in the afternoon and had not had the opportunity to discuss the information fully with Mr. Kim. However, he stated that his client (Young Kim) is very much interested in having this process proceed as quickly as possible. He said he understands this to mean that Mr. Kim needs to file an application for an ordinance change and to do so expeditiously. Mr. Chamberlain asked that his rezoning request be again tabled while Mr. Kim’s application is being processed through all the requisite public hearing steps since the process is moving toward a satisfactory resolution for both sides.
Supervisor Martin asked Mr. Spagnoulo what the legal requirements were for repeatedly tabling a request without action by the Board. Mr. Spagnoulo stated that he presumed Mr. Chamberlain’s concern is based on the fact that if a request is denied, the applicant has specific timetables to meet in order to appeal a denial with the Circuit Court. Mr. Chamberlain concurred but said his applicant had no interest in filing an appeal since the process is moving in a satisfactory direction. If the Board formerly declines the request, the applicant must file with the Circuit Court within a 30-day appellate period.
Mr. Spagnoulo asked Supervisor Martin what concerns the Board had with repeatedly tabling the issue while Mr. Kim’s application moves through the public hearing process. Supervisor Martin said that the Board had never repeatedly tabled an issue in her experience and so her only concern was whether it was legally permitted to do so. Mr. Spagnoulo said that it looks like there is a way to solve this issue in a manner satisfactory to both the applicant and the Township but understands that Mr. Kim wants to protect his right of appeal. He reminded the Board that, after a 6-7 month application process, there is still a possibility that Mr. Kim’s application to amend the zoning ordinance to include an RE exception by special use permit may not pass. If this happens, Mr. Kim will likely ask the Board to vote to accept or deny his request. Mr. Spagnoulo said that one option, short of litigation, was that the Township could agree with the property owner to waive the argument of 30 days. Mr. Spagnoulo suggested that the Board table the issue at this meeting and allow Mr. Chamberlain and him to meet to find an agreeable solution to address these legal timetable issues. Mr. Chamberlain concurred.
Supervisor Martin asked if there were questions from any other Board Members. No questions were asked.
Trustee Wright made a motion supported by Trustee Zaban to table the Young Kim zoning issue again to the February 4,2002 Board Meeting so that the Township attorney and Mr. Chamberlain can work out the timetable details. Motion passed unanimously.
Supervisor Martin stated that Mr. Kim must next file an application requesting a text amendment to the ordinance. She reiterated that text amendment requests are reviewed as a whole by the Township one time each year in October. Applications to be discussed at the January Planning Commission meeting were due by January 7, 2003. But, she said that if Mr. Kim returns an application to the Township office by 4 p.m. on January 9, 2003, the Planning Commission has agreed to include it on this month’s agenda (applications need to be received with sufficient time for distribution and review by the Township’s planning consultants). Supervisor Martin provided Mr. Chamberlain a copy of the application.
Mr. Howell (Project Manager-Swanson Design) presented the final design proposal for the remodel/expansion of the Township office building. Supervisor Martin provided an overview for the reasons the Board had originally decided to upgrade the building. She said that the building was built more than 30 years ago. It had functioned very well during its existence but the building was now out of date and requires a lot of work to be done in order to make it function properly. For example, the parking lot pavement and lighting need to be replaced, the bathrooms and entrance/exit doors need to be made handicapped accessible, etc... She said there are also many areas where the building no longer meets building code requirements. She stated that these existing conditions seem inappropriate for a government facility. She added that the office space has also become increasingly inadequate. She said that the proposed re-design incorporates the Township’s projected needs for the next 20 years.
Mr. Howell began his presentation by stating that he had been meeting with the Township since September 2002 and felt he had a good understanding of the issues faced by the Township. He summarized that the major issues are: 1) the office space is crowded and inefficient, 2) there is a lack of meeting space, 3) there is a lack of long term storage space in the building and off-site storage is currently required to accommodate the Township’s storage needs, 4) the building has no obvious entrance identity, 5) the exterior of the building is dated, 6) the heating and cooling systems are inefficient and uneven throughout the building, 7) the electrical supplies are inadequate to accommodate the computers and other high tech equipment that has been added to the office in recent years, and 8) the parking lot condition and lighting is inadequate.
He stated that the Township started with four (4) options for redesign ranging from a minor remodeling to replace the existing building with a completely new building. Over the past four months, the project was narrowed to tonight’s proposal that includes remodeling the current building and putting a small addition on the front and back of the building. Supervisor Martin added that Swanson Design was also responsible for the recent Wheatfield Township hall redesign where many of the same concerns existed.
Mr. Howell presented a drawing of the proposed floor plan. He described each of the new proposed building uses (see attached drawings). He highlighted: 1) the new front and back entrances, 2) new file storage space, 3) new office space including enclosed space for appropriate offices, 4) fire rated storage space, 5) a new conference room, 6) remodeled restrooms to meet code 7) remodeled and extended kitchen area, and 8) rental space/meeting space that can be flexibly adjusted in size.
Next he summarized the site modifications included in the proposal: 1) the entire parking lot will be pulled up and re-paved and parking capacity will be enlarged from 50 to 70 spaces, 2) the exterior of the main entry will be updated to match the new addition, 3) exterior stucco will be added to tie the building together, 4) the exterior sloped soffet will be removed, 5) the upper windows in the banquet area will be removed and windows will be placed along the west wall to improve banquet room lighting, 6) the street sign will be relocated to a more visible position and 7) new solid (non-glass) double wide doors will be added to the back entrance.
Supervisor Martin called for questions from the audience. Mr. Spagnoulo asked if, by making this modification to the building, the Township was no longer “grandfathered” and now must comply with all handicap rules. Mr. Howell responded that the Township would now need to comply. Supervisor Martin added that the Township has several residents that require assistance to use the current building. Supervisor Martin stated that the plan is for the Township offices to move to the current banquet hall space on the south side of the building during the renovation and then move back once the north half of the building is completed.
Citizen Dexter asked how many square feet would be added to the building and what the cost per square foot would be. Mr. Howell responded that the two additions to the front and back of the building total approximately 1000 sq. ft. The remodel of the remaining building will also add approx. 400 sq. ft. of useable space. He said that Swanson Design had done an in depth cost estimate at the request of the Township. As a result, they had calculated an estimated subtotal cost of $376,659. By adding a 10% contingency they calculated a total cost $459,825 for non-mandatory tasks. He added that this number does not include the mandatory parking lot lighting/repaving, roof repair, phone system and security system upgrades which will have to be done whether the renovation takes place or not. These mandatory improvement costs will total $88,486. Therefore, the total cost for essential and remodel improvements is $548,311.
Attorney Spagnoulo asked what tasks were included in the $70,000 site improvement and maintenance upgrade cost. Mr. Howell responded that this cost includes taking up and repaving the parking lot and adding adequate lighting. He added that site drainage will not change.
Citizen Dexter stated that the proposal seemed like a lot of money for 1000 additional square feet of building. Treasurer Fink responded that this project cannot be looked at simply on the number of square feet being added because the Township will be gaining much more than 1000 sq feet. She clarified for Mr. Dexter that this cost covers remodeling the entire building to upgrade many non-compliance, inadequate and inefficient work areas. She said the Township is gaining a more modern and useable building.
Trustee Zaban added that in the 15 years he has been involved with the Township there has been no money spent on the building with the exception of about $300 in landscaping and the cost of a roof repair. He said there should have been more money spent on the building previously and that the parking lot should have been done a long time ago. Mr. Howell made a comparison to other relevant projects based on his firm’s previous experience and determined that the Township’s estimate was about $20/sq. ft. below the cost of similar projects.
Supervisor Martin reiterated that there are several problems with the building that absolutely must be repaired including the electrical system (the current system cannot handle the computer networking needs of the office) and the phone system (the current phone system is wholly inadequate).
Trustee Zaban added that his biggest concern with the building has always been security. The lighting in the parking lot is inadequate (the proposed upgrade includes 6 more lights outside). There will be one main entry instead of two. There will be an alarm system and better security on the doors (which will have improved locking mechanisms). Supervisor Martin stated that the Township has been advised by the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department to have a building alarm system-especially due to the computer hardware on-site. She added that many Township citizens will also be using this space as a rental hall. The current rental fee is only $60 which is an incredible bargain. With upgrades, the Township will be able to legitimately charge more for space rental.
Citizen Al LeBlanc asked if the entire roof must be replaced during the remodel. Supervisor Martin said that the roof was re-shingled 2 years ago (the plan had been to wait for the renovation but couldn’t because of serious leak problems). Attorney Spagnoulo said that from his perspective (he works with several Townships) our existing office is not extravagant. Supervisor Martin asked Mr. Howell to compare the renovation costs without any additions to the costs to doing a complete remodel (an option considered at one of the early proposal stages). He said that that option had an estimated cost of $58,000 without including the mandatory changes to the parking area, etc… He estimated that just remodeling half the building would cost about $300,000.
Citizen Katie Lo asked if the cost of tearing up the parking lot included hauling the material away. Mr. Howell responded that it did. She asked what the Building Inspector thought of this proposal. Mr. Aven responded that he thinks the remodel is long overdue-especially when you have a government building that is not handicap accessible. He added that it appears to be an excellent cost proposal for all that will be accomplished. Attorney Spagnoulo asked if there was concern about having the new additions match the existing building. Mr. Howell said his firm has a lot of experience addressing this type of problem and have had good success in the past. Al LeBlanc asked how the heating and cooling system will be affected by the remodel. Mr. Howell said that the existing heating and cooling system will remain. He pointed out on the site drawing where new heat systems will be added. Treasurer Fink added that a zone heating system is more appropriate for this type of building because there are spaces that aren’t used at different times.
Supervisor Martin asked for additional questions from the audience or the Board.
Franz Wilbrink asked how the Township planned to pay for the renovation. Supervisor Martin said that the Township has been setting aside funds for the project in the same manner that has been done previously for the Township Park and the road construction on Mitchell and Vanneter Roads. She added that the Township’s accountant feels that the renovation can be accomplished without jeopardizing the Township’s reserve. There will be no need for tax increases. Katie Lo asked if the new renovation design will eliminate the need for off-site storage. Clerk Hiner responded that off-site storage would no longer be necessary and the renovation should accommodate storage for a projected 15 years.
Trustee Wright said that the Board had looked at a number of options and that the proposal presented tonight gives the Township the most for our investment. He added that his primary concern was that the proposal incorporate projected Township needs for the next 20 years. He said that he felt that Swanson had provided a reasonable cost estimate. Trustee Wright said that by taking a middle of the road approach, the Township is getting the most for its money. He said he realizes that it’s a lot of money but he believes the Township needs to provide an adequate building for its staff and its citizens. He added that the Board put a lot of consideration into avoiding driving up the costs.
Mr. Howell said that when Swanson prepares an estimate, their goal is to be within 10% and err on the high side. He said that if the bids come in too high, the Township has three (3) options: 1) the project can be cancelled, 2) the Township can decide to pay the higher price or 3) we can re-evaluate the options within the project and eliminate tasks to bring the project within budget.
Trustee Wright said that he believes that the costs presented by Swanson are conservatively on the high side. He said that he’s very comfortable with the proposal that has been developed. Walt Aven said that it is a good time to request bids because of the economy and because it is winter so construction work is slow. He added that money in savings isn’t earning interest. Trustee Wright added that there are a lot of contractors looking for work.
Supervisor Martin requested a motion on whether to proceed. Trustee Wright made a motion for the Township to move forward with the building expansion project as proposed. Clerk Hiner supported the motion. Supervisor Martin called for a roll call vote.
Roll Call Vote:
Trustee Steve Zaban Yes
Trustee Martin Wright Yes
Treasurer Nancy Fink Yes
Supervisor Mickey Martin Yes
Clerk Susan Hiner Yes
Trustee Wright asked if the administrative changes taking place this year with the cemetery management would result in a cost savings for the Township. Supervisor Martin said that it cannot be determined yet but it is expected that there will be some savings. Trustee Zaban suggested that this savings could help to defray renovation costs. Supervisor Martin said that all spending at the Township will continue to be watched very closely.
Mr. Howell reported that he had already collected proposals for the soil borings and survey that must be performed. He said that soil borings have been proposed for $1,063 by PSI and Leedy Survey Group had submitted a site survey proposal of $2500 if the project area is surveyed and $3500 to survey the entire site up to the wooded area. Trustee Wright asked if this survey could be performed in a manner to resolve the Dexter property line issue currently being evaluated by the Township. Supervisor Martin agreed that this might be an option. Mr. Howell stated that Leedy Survey Group and PSI will invoice the Township directly. Supervisor Martin asked for a copy of the bids. Mr. Howell stated he would fax them the following day. Mr. Dexter asked when the survey would occur and Mr. Howell responded it would occur within the next couple of weeks. Clerk Hiner added that she would call Wheatfield Township to ask them about handling hall rental requests.
Mr. Howell presented a schedule for meetings and collecting bids. He projected that work would begin sometime after April. He will request that the bids include a completion date. Supervisor Martin said that it looks like a good schedule. She added that meetings with Township Board members are best held after 5 p.m.. Mr. Howell said that he would mail the contract on Thursday of this week. He said they use the AIA standard contract format. Mr. Howell said that he will be bringing color selections to the next meeting and asked if the Township had any strong opinions about color. The Board suggested he bring a range of color choices.
Dexter Legal Description
Supervisor Martin summarized that Mr. Dexter has approached the Township because the legal description of his property is not matching up with any survey of the property. He needs to resolve this discrepancy quickly because he wants to re-mortgage the property. Mr. Dexter believes that the Township property overlaps his property by 19 ft. and that the problem appears to be caused by a survey monument error. Mr. Dexter has submitted an explanation of the problem prepared by KEBS Surveying on his behalf.
Supervisor Martin said that the Township attorney has reviewed the KEBS letter and made three recommendations to the Township: 1) an independent survey can be done by a third party firm to confirm the information presented by KEBS, 2) the Township can look at the problem practically and accept the memo from KEBS as fact or 3) the Township and Mr. Dexter can wait for Ingham County surveyors to re-monument the survey point in question. Trustee Wright asked whether the county has a schedule that could be accelerated to complete this re-monumenting as soon as possible. He said it was his opinion that if the County cannot re-monument soon, then the Township should get it done by a third party.
Mr. Dexter said that the property has been surveyed four (4) times and each time they come up with a different answer. Until the county redoes the monument it won’t come out accurate. Vince Spagnoulo said that the Kebs letter uses the term “may be in question” which is a little loose, making it difficult to make a decision based on the letter alone. Mr. Dexter stated that if the 19 feet in question does belong to the Township, then he will no longer be in conformance with road frontage rules. Supervisor Martin said that the property would be “grandfathered” in that instance. Mr. Dexter said that when the Township purchased 41 feet in 1994, the error in the survey should have been discovered.
Attorney Spagnoulo said that he has worked with similar situations. He told Mr. Dexter that it is appropriate for him to go to his refinancing company, tell them the situation, and tell them the Township has agreed that when the issue is resolved it will quit claim any deed over to Mr. Dexter if necessary. Mr. Spagnoulo said that the Township is able to make that type of promise. That way Mr. Dexter can get approval by his title insurance company. Mr. Dexter responded that he didn’t think his title insurance company would agree and asked if the Township could prepare a letter. Mr. Spagnoulo said that Mr. Dexter should contact the title company, ask what they need from the Township and then the Township will do what is right once the correct survey is made.
Treasurer Fink asked if the Township could request the County re-monument this location ahead of schedule. Clerk Hiner said that she will contact Bob Foltz tomorrow at the Ingham County Tax Mapping office to inform him of this issue and request that this location be re-monumented immediately. She will also forward him copy of the letter describing the history of the problem prepared by KEBS. Mr. Dexter said there is a proper locatable monument. White Surveying used the intersection but he should have used the monument 62 feet south.
Vincent Spagnoulo told Mr. Dexter that he could have his representative from the title insurance company (Bill McGowen, Michigan Banker’s Title) contact him to clarify the criteria needed. Supervisor Martin said the Township will do whatever is the correct thing to do.
Supervisor Martin reported that the Special Meeting to discuss the cemetery had been held last month. She said that she had also met with Betty Honey who represents the City on the Cemetery Board and Ms. Honey had stated she was very happy that the Township will be running the cemetery correctly. Supervisor Martin said that Betty Honey will remain on the Board and will be presenting the new cemetery protocols to the City Board next Monday. Ms. Honey asked that the information regarding the fulltime maintenance man be revised to show that he will work part time as a cemetery employee and part time for the Township as a maintenance man so that it will be clear that the City is paying for the cemetery portion of these costs only.
Supervisor Martin summarized that, under the new administrative structure, all money will run through the Township, all checks will be written by the Township, and all investments will be made in the Township’s name and in accordance with specific state statutes governing Township investments. She said that Treasurer Fink is in the process of making these corrections. Trustee Wright asked if the Township now has all of the cemetery records. Clerk Hiner said that she believes that we do.
Supervisor Martin said that the next task is to prepare a job description for the new general maintenance/caretaker position. This person will work with the sexton as well as take care of all the Township properties including the park.
Supervisor Martin said that she has spoken with Gerald Gorton who currently works as the helper at the cemetery and he has stated that he would like to continue. He currently makes $12 per hour but goes on unemployment through the winter. She added that Mr. Gorton has requested an increase from $12 to $15 per hour. Trustee Wright said that he thinks the new position is a lot more involved than what Mr. Gorton has been previously doing. Trustee Wright said that he feels the Township should advertise the position and hire the person most qualified. He said that Mr. Gorton is welcome to apply for the new position and his experience will be considered. We are looking for a person that can perform the cemetery duties as well as maintain the building and grounds. Supervisor Martin said that this was a reasonable option. She added that she is not comfortable with increasing Mr. Gorton’s wage to $15 at this time. Treasurer Fink asked if the Township is obliged to rehire Mr. Gorton when his unemployment ends. Attorney Spagnoulo said that he will review this situation in more detail and advise the Township of the proper personnel procedures.
Franz Wilbrink asked if the new position would be full time. Supervisor Martin said that it would and that the job description would include snow removal, lawn mowing, and building maintenance.
Supervisor Martin said that the job description needs to be completed and then the position could be advertised. The ad will state that hourly wage will be based on experience. Supervisor Martin said that she will meet with Vince Spagnoulo to clarify all of the issues. Trustee Wright added that the Township needs to formerly appoint people to the Cemetery Board with terms. Supervisor Martin said that Harold Powell currently represents the Township, Betty Honey currently represents the City, and Wayne Fate holds the At-Large Board position.
Trustee Wright made a motion that Clerk Susan Hiner be appointed to the Cemetery Board as a Township Board representative. Trustee Zaban supported the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
4377 Red Maple
Supervisor Martin stated that the memo regarding her conversation with Mr. Cotter had been included in the Board packets for information only. Mr. Cotter was not present at the Board meeting.
1890 Barry Rd
Mr. Decker had submitted a letter to the Township requesting that Barry Road be repaved. Supervisor Martin said that the cost to repave the road could not be justified by the traffic counts but she had informed Mr. Decker that his request would be forwarded to the traffic committee and let them make their decision. Supervisor Martin said that she plans to contact Joe Pulver to see what material is being used for road salt on this road.
Rentals in Williamstown Township
Mr. Canarile had previously asked if the Township should consider adding a rental licensing section to its Township ordinance. Supervisor Martin said that her research on the subject indicates that having a licensing requirement actually encourages rentals. She said the City of East Lansing had to add this provision because they have so many student rentals. However, it doesn’t make sense for a Township of our size so the legal recommendation is that we move forward without any changes.
Trustee Zaban reported that he and Supervisor Martin had attended the last NIESA meeting together and had presented the letter prepared by the Township Board. He stated that NIESA had been very amicable toward the letter and understood where the Township was coming from with their request for a fire department presence in the Township. They agreed that any expansion of the fire department should come out to the Township. Trustee Zaban also reported that NIESA is planning to expand their existing building at a cost of approximately $50,000 and that they plan to add a new tower.
Trustee Wright said there was no new activity to report. He asked whether the drain commissioner had asked about the site and Supervisor Martin reported that they had not.
Supervisor Martin stated that this is the 50th anniversary meeting and asked if any Board members planned to attend. Supervisor Martin said that she had too much work to do in the office. Trustee Zaban and Treasurer Fink said that they prefer to go to the informational meetings and that this meeting was going to be primarily social so they did not plan to attend.
Supervisor Martin reported that this meeting would be hosted by Williamstown Township. They have requested that the date be changed to February 5th to avoid conflict with the big MTA meeting. Clerk Hiner asked if the Township would be providing food. Supervisor Martin said the Township would provide appetizers.
Supervisor Martin reported that the next library meeting would take place Wednesday January 22, 2003. Clerk Hiner said that she will try to attend this meeting and Trustee Wright said that she would be a good representative because her family uses the library frequently.
Supervisor Martin presented a proposed budget for the 2003/2004 fiscal year (effective April 1, 2003). She said that the Board would need to approve a new budget at the February Board meeting. She requested that each Board member review their relevant budget categories and make recommendations for any adjustments. She said that the renovation is included but will need to be increased based on the Swanson Design information presented tonight. The cemetery and park changes still need to be added. She said that hourly employee increases have been included in the proposed costs for Deputy Clerk, Deputy Treasurer, Office Manager and Planning Assistant. No increases were made to the meeting compensation amounts. She said she had a question about the Cable Commission. That is the only committee that doesn’t get a $65 stipend (they currently receive $25). Trustee Wright said he has served on this committee in the past and that they don’t meet very often so it is not a significant budget concern but they certainly should be compensated at the same rate as the other committees. Supervisor Martin agreed that compensation for the Cable Commission needed to be consistent with other Township committees.
Clerk Hiner added that there will need to be a budget amount in place for elections even though there will be no election held in 2003. The county has recommended we budget $2000 per precinct for acquiring new voting equipment. There will be additional funds provided by the federal government. Supervisor Martin asked for an itemized estimate of those costs.
Supervisor Martin requested that Board members provide any other budget recommendations and remember that any expenses over $200 need to be included in the budget. She requested the information as soon as possible so that a revised copy can be distributed before the February Board meeting.
Trustee Zaban made a motion to adjourn supported by Trustee Wright. Motion passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 10:52pm.
Susan L. Hiner Lori A. Pincumbe
Clerk Recording Secretary