2004 Meeting Minutes
JANUARY 4, 6, 2004
PRESENT:  Supervisor Mickey Martin, Clerk Susan Hiner, Treasurer Nancy Fink, Trustee Steve Zaban, Trustee Martin Wright and Recording Secretary Lori Pincumbe; ABSENT:  None.
CALL TO ORDER
Supervisor Mickey Martin called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.  She provided an overview of the meeting agenda and made a request for changes or additions.  No changes were made. 
PLEDGE
CONSENT AGENDA
Supervisor Martin reviewed the items included in the Consent Agenda packet:
Regular Meeting Minutes 12/02/03:  Supervisor Martin changed “building materials” to “building plans” (Complaints, p. 3, sen. 4) and deleted “…workshop scheduled for December 6” (Other, p. 5 ).  Treasurer Fink changed “Williamston …” to “Williamstown Township community and businesses” (John Kane-Hotel Tax, p.2)  and  “Treasurer Fink said there is a document stating volunteers can spray…” to “Jerry Fulcher said…” (Reports-Parks, p.  ).  Frans Wilbrink corrected his address from “1701 Zimmer” to “4701 Zimmer.”
December Treasurer’s Report-Township & Cemetery – No comments.
Accounts Paid, Accounts Payable and Payroll – Payment to “Swanson Design” was held until work is 100% complete.  The “Foster, Smith” invoice is for correspondence on the 457 Plan and the “Sloan” invoice was higher because we have two septic tanks and bother were pumped.
Building Inspector Report – No comments.
Treasurer Fink made a motion to accept the Consent Agenda contingent on her review of the Treasurer’s Report and those financial reports normally reviewed by the Treasurer.  Motion supported by Trustee Wright and passed unanimously.
PUBLIC COMMENT FOR NON-AGENDA ITEMS - No comments.
NEW BUSINESS
Planning Commission Report
Meeting Minutes
Supervisor Martin recommended that because the proposed Mixed-Use Overlay District contains so many significant changes to the ordinance, it would be appropriate to notify all property owners in the district area of the proposed changes before making a final recommendation to the Board.  Chairman Kraft agreed and suggested notification be taken one step further by publishing the complete wording for the proposed Mixed-Use Overlay District in the Enterprise before it is presented at a public meeting.  Treasurer Fink asked Mr. Kraft for clarification of the term “R&D” and the phrase “excepting boarding facilities” with regards to veterinarian offices boarding animals in their care.  Mr. Kraft explained that R&D refers to research and development facilities and suggested the term “boarding” be clarified further in the text to address boarding by veterinarians.
Maire Rezoning Request (1345 Sherwood Road) from Ag-SF to RR Chairman Kraft explained that the Planning Commission had deliberated towards their decision on this request by considering each of the ten (10) criteria for rezoning specified in Section 27.06.C.4 of the Williamstown Township Zoning Ordinance.  He pointed out a clarification to the October 21, 2003 Planning Commission minutes provided by Chris Doozan of McKenna Associates in a letter dated December 2, 2003 which confirms that if this rezoning is approved, it will be possible to divide the property into four (4) lots.  Mr. Kraft reported that the Planning Commission had determined that the Maire rezoning request was not in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the Township’s residents and it was their recommendation to the Township Board to not grant this request. 
Trustee Zaban asked Mr. Kraft how many parcels the property could have been divided into if the applicant had requested rezoning one step down to RE.  Mr. Kraft stated that it would have allowed the property to be divided into two (2) lots.  He added that the property is also within 1/20th of an acre (200 square feet) of eligibility to split in its current Ag-Sf zone under the open space criteria (a variance would still be required).  This gives the applicant two (2) options in place of rezoning to RR.  The calculation for splitting under the open space criteria requires that the size of the property be at least 5.25 acres multiplied by the number of lots it will be split into (in this case 2).  This parcel would need to be 10.5 acres to divide under the open space criteria which it nearly meets because it is 10.46 acres.  The applicant would be required to get a variance for the remaining 1/20th of an acre.  Mr. Kraft reviewed that a public hearing on this rezoning request had been held in October, it had been deliberated in November, and was planned for recommendation of denial at the December Board meeting but delayed until the Board’s January meeting at the request of the applicant.
Supervisor Martin reviewed the Planning Commission’s findings that:  the request is not consistent with the Master Plan; uses are available to the applicant in the property’s current zone; adequate RR properties are already available in the Township; and no errors have been made in the past that would justify granting this request.  Mr. Kraft stated there was a great deal of concern by the Commissioners that granting this Ag-SF rezoning request could potentially change the character of the Township because it sets a bad precedent for any parcel north of Sherwood to jump two (2) zones.  Trustee Zaban asked why the applicant hadn’t requested a one step rezoning to RE.  Mr. Kraft said the developer was asked that question but did not explain.  He added that the only way the applicant can divide into more than two (2) lots under RR is by tearing down the historical home on the property which would be unfortunate.  Supervisor Martin reviewed the documents pertaining to this request that had been received by the Board in their packets: original application (8/26/03); McKenna review letter (10/13/03); rebuttal letter from Mr. Maire (10/16/03); support petition for Mr. Maire’s request (submitted by applicant 10/21/03; letters of concern from citizens presented at Planning Commission 10/21/03 meeting from Donald & Francis Schmidt, Constance Kowalk, William Young, Mary Miller, the estate of Charles Tadgerson, and Floyd and Audrey Goodman.
Carl McIntosh (1145 Wild Cherry) addressed the Board on behalf of the applicant.  Mr. McIntosh explained that Mr. Maire could not attend tonight because he is wintering in Savannah, GA but had relayed his comments to him and they both believe that this petition has merit and is provided for in Section 27.06 of the Zoning Ordinance.  He said the Master Plan is not mentioned anywhere in 27.06 but was referred to frequently by the Planning Commission during their discussion of the criteria.  Mr. McIntosh’s main argument points were that it is not financially feasible for a 10 acre parcel to be used for agricultural purposes and pointed out that no 10 acre parcels in this area of the Township are being used this way (more than half of this property is covered with trees that would need to come down and he doesn’t believe the Township wants to see this property used for an agricultural operation); if rezoned, the parcel would be consistent with the Kampe farm across the street; their request does not create unlawful exclusionary zoning; the property would be compatible with surrounding properties in most instances; and the request is consistent with the purposes of the ordinance with regards to size, etc….  He said that he doesn’t agree Mr. Maire’s questions posed in consideration #9 of his rebuttal letter have been answered by the Commission. 
Mr. McIntosh said it concerns him that most of the discussion in support of denying this request revolved around the fear of setting a precedent but by definition, you don’t establish a precedent until there is a like situation.  He said he has reviewed the Township map and doesn’t see any like situations where an Ag-Sf property is surrounded by small parcels.  If a like situation did occur, he argued that each parcel has to be considered on its own merits. There is already an RR zoning line on the south side of the Maire property and they are just asking that the line be moved to the north side of the parcel.  This would restore the zoning on this parcel to RR as it was on the previous Master Plan.  Supervisor Martin stated that she had checked the records and the owner had not objected to the rezoning when this change to the Zoning Ordinance was made in the early 1990’s.  Mr. McIntosh said he did not say there was an objection at that time but there was a comment made by a Board member that the applicant had benefited from a lowered assessment after this rezoning but it is his understanding that assessments have nothing to do with zoning and are based on market value.  Supervisor Martin agreed that assessments are made on market value and not on zoning.  Mr. McIntosh said that the Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance are documents that need to be occasionally revisited and tweaked. He pointed out that the Commission is doing just that with its proposed Mixed-Use Overlay District discussed tonight.  Mr. McIntosh restated his and Mr. Maire’s request that their rezoning request be approved tonight by the Board.
Don Schmidt (4550 Zimmer Road) stated that his property abuts the Maire property and asked whether someone  purchasing the two (2) ten acre parcels next to his property would  be able to request a similar rezoning.  Supervisor Martin said that it is possible.  Mr. McIntosh said those parcels cannot legally be split because they don’t have 330’ of road frontage.  Supervisor Martin agreed they could not be split as they exist but could be if the owner was willing to put in a public road. 
Supervisor Martin pointed out that the applicant is not limited to an agricultural use but is entitled to apply any use listed in the Zoning Ordinance from Section 11.02 down.  She also agreed that the Board does occasionally make changes to the Zoning Ordinance.  However, they do not necessarily make every change requested.  Trustee Zaban commented that if this request is denied, the applicant can still pursue the two (2) other options discussed tonight.
Trustee Zaban made a motion that the Board accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation for denial of the Maire rezoning request based on the criteria they provided.  Motion supported by Treasurer Fink.  Motion passed unanimously.
Windybrook Tentative Preliminary Plat
Chairman Kraft identified Windybrook Subdivision on the Township Zoning Map.  The proposed subdivision is 35.2 acres with 16 lots and 52% dedicated open space.  Mr. Kraft reported that at the December Planning Commission meeting, the Commission had recommended tentative preliminary plat approval subject to the developer satisfying six (6) conditions set forth in McKenna’s recommendation letter dated 12/11/03 and the conditions that they place seedlings around the McGarey property and install bollard type lighting at the subdivision entrance.  Mr. Kraft reported that since the Commission’s December meeting, the developer has resubmitted a corrected plan which addresses many of the concerns.  That plan has been reviewed by McKenna Associates and they summarized their recommendations in a letter dated 12/29/03.  There are two (2) remaining conditions: approval by all other agencies with jurisdiction over subdivisions of this type; and Township approval of the subdivision’s covenants and restrictions. 
Dennis Forsberg (T.A. Forsberg) stated that they had worked hard with the Planning Commission over the past couple of years.  Supervisor Martin asked for clarification of hatching marks on the new plan and Maynard Beery (T.A. Forsberg) said they identify places where seeding mixtures will be spread to prevent ragweed, etc…from sprouting since this is former farmland.  Tom Grover (3790 Zimmer Road) expressed concern about potential “track-out” of mud as construction vehicles go in and out of the development.  Supervisor agreed this is a concern and said the Township usually asks developers to clean tires on their vehicles before leaving a construction area.  The Building Inspector notifies the contractor when trackout becomes a problem and citizens are encouraged to report problems they see to the Township.  Treasurer Fink asked if there was any existing drain tile in the old farm field.  Maynard Beery responded that the area north of the main tree line running north south may have had drain tiles at some point but he doesn’t believe that it was ever systematically tiled.  Chairman Kraft pointed out that the Commission’s requirement for 100 conifer seedlings around the McGarey property is subject to Drain Commission approval.  He noted that this item was not included in the 12/29/03 McKenna letter but still exists.  The Drain Commission will probably not have a problem with trees because they will improve drainage.  Trustee Wright stated that this condition has actually been met because the trees are now included on the plan and it is only their placement that will be at the McGarey’s discretion.  Chairman Kraft concurred.
Trustee Wright made a motion to approve the tentative preliminary plat for Windybrook Subdivision with the two (2) conditions listed in the McKenna letter dated 12/29/03.  Motion supported by Clerk Hiner and passed unanimously.
Hideaway Woods No, 5 - Extension of Tentative Preliminary Plat with Conditions
Chairman Kraft reported that the Planning Commission recommends the Board grant a one year extension of the Hideaway Woods No. 5 tentative preliminary plat subject to the existing conditions.  The Commission makes this recommendation with recognition that the applicants have been working hard with the City of Williamston to resolve their sewer issues and the fact that they have already met two (2) of the original six (6) conditions.
Mr. Carl McIntosh (McNeer) summarized his position on the status of the six (6) remaining conditions by stating: there is still disagreement whether sanitary sewer has been allocated to Mr. Perkins; the Township has control over review condition and he asked if the review has been done so it can be removed; the Health Department has completed their review; and the cul-de-sac condition has been met.  He said that in his opinion the only issues remaining are the sewer condition and the covenants and restrictions document which cannot be completed until the sewer decision has been made.  He said the court date on this issue is scheduled for February 6, 2004. 
Trustee Wright made a motion to extend the tentative preliminary plat with existing conditions for Hideaway Woods No. 5 for one (1) year.  Motion supported by Clerk Hiner and passed unanimously.
Supervisor Martin told Mr. Kraft that she would like to ask the Planning Commission to look at the R.O.S.E. or Open Space Overlay District because when she looks at a plan like Mr. Forsberg’s she doesn’t see any benefit to the Township.  It appears that both RE and RR zoning get 2.07 units per acre.  She questioned the benefit of R.O.S.E. to the Township in the RE district (which has a 5 acre minimum lot size).  Without R.O.S.E., the developer would have only been allowed 7 lots but with R.O.S.E they were able to create 16 lots.  Supervisor Martin said that developers of  RR properties get a benefit because they can cluster the homes on the good soils.  Without R.O.S.E. they might not get as many lots because they can’t build on the poor soil areas.  With R.O.S.E. they can set poor soil areas aside as open space and cluster more lots on the good soil areas.  Chairman Kraft said the benefit to the Township of a developer using R.O.S.E. stops at the RR district.  Supervisor Martin favors developers getting a benefit in the RE district for setting aside open space,  just not such a big one (one unit for every three or every 4 acres would be more appropriate).  That way the developer still gets a bonus and the Township has some benefit also.  Chairman Kraft said he will put this issue on the Planning Commission agenda.  Treasurer Fink commented that she endorses the Planning Commission’s plans (stated in their minutes) to consider requiring that open space under R.O.S.E. be contiguous.
Complaints
986 Gulick Road –  McAlvey
Supervisor Martin said she has left messages for Mr. McAlvey but he has not responded.  Trustee Wright explained that the Township is still waiting for plans and the Board had given Mr. McAlvey a one month extension last month. Treasurer Fink recommended writing Mr. McAlvey a letter stating the Board needs the required information by a specific date or will be forced to require the trailer be removed.  Supervisor Martin agreed to forward this letter.
Building Permits – Newspaper
Supervisor Martin reported that the Lansing State Journal (LSJ) had contacted the Township to request copies of all building permits be provided for publication in the newspaper.  She said she told them that building permits have always been considered public information by the Township and are available for review at the Township office.  The previous Board had made a policy not to publish this information in LSJ due to resident complaints and because it takes unnecessary time for Township staff to do so. She told LSJ they are welcome to review permits at the Township office any time.  Trustee Wright said he sees no benefit to the Township with providing LSJ with this information; Inspector Aven agreed. 
The Board agreed to continue with the Township’s existing policy.
Charity Match - Capital City Rifle Range
Supervisor Martin reported that Capital City Rifle Range would like to hold a charity match with proceeds donated to the Township.  Trustee Wright said any donated money would be useful at the park or possibly to update the baseball field and said as long as there is no legal reason preventing the Township from accepting their donation the Township should agree.   
Budget
Supervisor Martin explained that she had prepared a draft budget for both the Township and Cemetery and asked for Board input.  She said that money is getting harder to come by.  She has broken down some categories so they can be monitored closely and asked the Board to identify any other areas where they would like to see more detail.
Supervisor Martin said she plans to provide the City with a copy of the Cemetery budget and ask them what their financial commitment is going to be for next year.  Supervisor Martin said that the Cemetery Committee had met with her recently and made a recommendation that the Township spend up to $25,000 on a new building with 3 bays to store existing equipment and a half bay for use as a workshop area.  This item has been included in next year’s budget.  Trustee Wright recommended the building have electricity, plumbing for a bathroom and heat.  Frans Wilbrink (4701 Zimmer) said that the cost of the building the Board is talking about could be higher than $25,000 if a drain field is required.  Trustee Wright said that if costs become unreasonable a portable may be used instead of installing a bathroom. 
Supervisor Martin explained that the Board needs to call for a February public hearing on the budget so recommended the budget be further worked on at the January Workshop meeting.  The Board agreed to call for a February public hearing at the January workshop instead of tonight so they have additional time to provide input. 
Frans Wilbrink asked if subcontracting the assessing job to an outside assessor had been looked into to see if it would save money.  Supervisor Martin said that when she first joined the Board she requested a proposal from Assessment & Valuation Services.  The proposal was $22,000 per year to do “all of it” but only included twelve (12) office days.  Mr. Wilbrink commented that many surrounding communities use outside assessors and it might be good for the Township to seek proposals from other consultants for comparison.  Trustee Zaban pointed out that surrounding townships all have lower SEVs so they have a smaller assessing workload than Williamstown - for instance Williamstown has an SEV three times larger than Wheatfield.  Supervisor Martin said that when she started, the assessor salary was set at the same level it had been for Norm Obst. 
Mr. Wilbrink asked why the Supervisor’s salary is budgeted for a 10% increase and no other Board member shows an increase.  Supervisor Martin explained that she had asked Treasurer Fink and Clerk Hiner if they wanted an increase and both had declined.  She said she has requested an increase because she works more hours than anyone else.  Treasurer Fink said that anything related to the physical plant tends to be handled by Supervisor Martin because she lives closer.  Roger Philip (5353 Barton Road) asked what percent increase other staff in the office were being given and Supervisor Martin said they are getting a 1.5% raise based on the Consumer Price Index.  Mr. Philip said her increase seems high when compared to that standard increase.  She said that she has not had a raise in four (4) years and will be willing to cut back her hours to 12 or 18 if that is what the citizens prefer.  She said it is up to the Board to decide whether to allow the increase.  Mr. Wilbrink asked if it was also possible for employees to get merit raises so that good employees can be retained.  Supervisor Martin said that she will be recommending a merit raise later in this meeting.
Development Rights – Split Fee Waiver
Supervisor Martin stated that, since the Peltons gave the Township development rights to 95 acres of their property, she is requesting that the Township grant them a waiver of the $125 fee on the property split they are currently making for their grandchildren.
Trustee Wright made a motion to waive the split fee for the Peltons for one split due to their granting the Township the development rights to 95 acres.  Motion supported by Trustee Zaban and passed unanimously.   
Abandon Request for Idlewood Street
Supervisor Martin reported that the Township had received a petition for abandonment of Idlewood Street located on Zimmer Road next to the Hilty property.  It is landlocked and not being proposed as an access point.  Tom Grover (3790 Zimmer Road) has asked to acquire the property once abandoned.  Mr. Grover explained to the Board that Bob Hilty has asked him to send a copy of the complete letter from the Road Commission and he will have his attorneys review the document before he signs off.  Mr. Grover said that he currently maintains the property and plans to plant some trees on it for screening.  Trustee Wright asked if there was any other interested party.  Mr. Grover said his neighbor is not interested in the property and has signed the petition.  Supervisor Martin said a similar transfer was done previously for Francis Street in Meadowdale Subdivision.  She said that if Mr. Grover does take over the property, he will be given a new legal description and taxes will be collected on the former easement property.
Trustee Zaban made a motion to notify Ingham County Road Commission that the Township Board is in favor of the petition for abandonment of Idlewood Street.  Motion supported by Trustee Wright and passed unanimously.
Supervisor Martin said she would forward a letter to Ingham County Road Commission. Mr. Grover said he expected Bob Hilty to respond within the next few weeks.
Federal Poverty Guidelines
Supervisor Martin explained that the Township is required to adopt poverty guidelines at the start of each year.  At this point there is only one person in the Township that uses this option and they are well qualified for it.
Trustee Wright made a motion to accept the federal poverty guidelines as follows:
“FEDERAL POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR 2004 ASSESSMENTS
The following are the federal poverty guidelines as of 12-31-03 for use in setting poverty exemption guidelines for 2004 assessments. Please see STC Bulletin No.5 of 1995 for additional information regarding the use of these guidelines.
 
Size of Family Unit
Poverty Guidelines
1
$8,980
2
12,120
3
15,260
4
18,400
5
21,540
6
24,680
7
27,820
8
30,960
For each additional person. Add
3,140
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: PA 390 of 1994 states that the poverty exemption guidelines established by the governing body of the local assessing unit SHALL also include an asset level test.”
Motion supported by Treasurer Fink and passed unanimously.
Supervisor Martin explained that, along with poverty guidelines, the Township must also annually set asset limits.  Current limits allow the property owner to own one vehicle and one home.  Frans Wilbrink asked what would happen if the owner marries and the spouse brings another vehicle to the home.  Treasurer Fink said that becomes a credibility issue.  Supervisor Martin explained that a homeowner can only make less then $8980 per year to qualify.  Treasurer Fink added that social security is not included in the calculation because it is not taxable income.
Trustee Wright made a motion that the Township set the asset level so that the applicant can own one house and one automobile. 
Discussion
Treasurer Fink said she would like to see the Township allow some leeway so that exceptions can be made for  exceptional situations.  Supervisor Martin said she was not sure if this was legally possible.  Treasurer Fink questioned if there was a provision for the Board of Review to make considerations. Supervisor Martin will investigate the issue with State Treasury.  Motion supported by Trustee Zaban and passed unanimously.
Street Lights
Supervisor Martin read an e-mail from RobertMayer to Ingham County Road Commission (ICRC) and their response.  The Mayer e-mail requested street lights at the Meridian/Haslett and Haslett/Shoeman intersections.  ICRC responded that intersection lights are the Township’s responsibility.  Supervisor Martin stated that Mr. Mayer has not contacted the Township directly but historically the Township has put one street light at the corner of Rodeo Trail and Sherwood.  In this situation, the Township pays the electric bill and then is reimbursed by the Rodeo Trail residents with a special assessment.  Trustee Wright said he would like to know what a streetlight costs for one year of use.  Supervisor Martin stated that there are homes at the Shoeman/Haslett intersection so a light would affect those property owners.  There is currently no home at the Haslett/Meridian intersection.  Treasurer Fink commented that George Durak had also previously requested a light at the corner of Newman and Meridian.  Chairman Kraft suggested  a reflector be installed instead of a streetlight because installing streetlights opens the Township up for requests that every street be lighted.  Supervisor Martin agreed that reflectors would be a good option.  Treasurer
Fink and Trustee Zaban expressed concern about long term maintenance of reflector signs.  The Board decided to wait until Mr. Mayer contacts the Township before considering the issue further.
Cemetery Minutes
Treasurer Fink stated that the GMAC Bond investment recommended by the Cemetery Committee does not  meet the Township’s Investment Policy requirements.  Supervisor Martin reported that she had informed the Cemetery Committee of this fact and they had asked that the Treasurer instead transfer $100,000 to an interest generating fund that she determines acceptable.  Treasurer Fink agreed with Deputy Jennings suggestion that the Cemetery’s General Fund be moved to a money market account with check writing privileges (similar to the Township’s General Fund).  Treasurer Fink said a minor CD also exists for the Cemetery that has not been included on the Treasury Report because no statement has been received for it yet but will be added once the annual statement is issued.    She noted that the Cemetery Committee had also recommended discontinuing flower placement since funds have been depleted so Grand River Floral needs to be notified.  Supervisor Martin said that she would like the families’ responsible for the original flower fund donations notified that flower placement is going to be discontinued.  Treasurer Fink and Trustee Wright agreed.  Treasurer Fink said she has also asked the Cemetery Committee to prepare a policy for handling future perpetual care donations.  Supervisor Martin stated that, in response to the Cemetery Committee’s recommendations, the staff will clean up the front area along Beeman Road.  Supervisor Martin said they had also requested that signs be moved from the front gate to the building at Summit.  Treasurer Fink said that when she had attended a recent Cemetery Committee meeting they expressed concern about the existing signs being intrusive.  The Board agreed that signs be moved to the building.  Clerk Hiner reported that she had contacted a company proposed by Mr. Taschner for costs for a new flag and flagpole and they had quoted $1,000.  She also stated that Connie Taschner had dropped off a purchase requisition for veterans’ markers.  Supervisor Martin said that she had told George Monroe at her recent meeting with him that he did not need to ask the City to contribute to the cost for veterans’ markers.    Treasurer Fink recommended she ladder invest the $100,000 proposed for investment by the Cemetery Committee so the investments will come due at different times.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Building Permit Fee Increase
Supervisor Martin explained that Building Inspector Walt Aven had submitted a revised building permit fee schedule.  Recommended changes have been made based on comparison to fee schedules from surrounding communities and Mr. Aven’s experience with applying the existing fees.
Trustee Zaban made a motion supported by Trustee Wright to accept the revised building permit fee schedule as proposed.  Motion passed unanimously.
John Kane-Hotel Tax
Clerk Hiner reported that she had contacted Mr. Moeller at the County Board of Commissioners.  He suggested that the first step for Williamstown Township to take is to meet with Lee Ladke at the Lansing Convention Center so he can explain all that they do for our community.  Clerk Hiner said she and John Kane are scheduling a meeting with Mr. Ladke.  Trustee Wright stated that it sounds like it is unlikely Mr. Ladke is going to relinquish control of hotel tax revenues collected from Township businesses.   
Baseball field
Supervisor Martin read a memorandum dated 12/12/03from Tim Howell of Swanson Design which recommends that “the alignment of the field could be rotated slightly so that the foul line would avoid the dumpster, if necessary.” Trustee Wright said this suggestion should be explored and adjustments can be made in the spring if necessary.  He suggested that Red Cedar Recreation advise the Township on the existing layout of the baseball field and make recommendations for improvement since they are the organized group using the fields and also that Mark Tabor could plant some bushes in the spring.
Septic System
Supervisor Martin reported that she and Trustee Wright had met with the architect and contractor and they both confirmed that protection over the septic system pipes running under the parking lot is adequate to withstand the load of heavy equipment used for recycling and waste removal.  Supervisor Martin reported that the septic tanks had been recently pumped and, given their condition, it will be important to pump it on a regular basis in order for it to function properly.  The condition of the septic field may need to be addressed by the Board in the future.
Schoolhouse
Supervisor Martin reported that Mr. Grabarczyk contacted her to say that he still wants to donate the Branch Schoolhouse to the Township for its relocation to the park.  Treasurer Fink said she has concerns about the foundation stipulation he made previously.  She added that the Park Committee wasn’t enthusiastic about accepting this donation when it was originally offered because they think the building will be a magnet for vandalism.  Trustee Wright recommended contacting Jeff Bartrem to relook at the issue since he did the original investigation of the building.  Trustee Wright said he is not opposed to spending some amount of Township money to move the building
and do some restoration but he agrees with Treasurer Fink’s concerns about the foundation stipulations.  Supervisor Martin requested that Treasurer Fink  ask the Park Committee for their recommendation.
Mitchell Road Speed Limit
Supervisor Martin read a response dated 12/2/03from Ingham County Road Commission (ICRC) responding to the Township’s request that the speed limit on Mitchell Road be reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph.  Their response stated that an engineering study must be performed before a reduction can occur.  They said the State Police had conducted a speed study on August 30, 2001 using a handheld detector and determined that the speed limit is correctly set at 45 mph.  ICRC said Mitchell Road will be placed on the list for an engineering study to be conducted next spring.  Trustee Wright suggested the Township request that the speed study not be conducted right before or right after school since the students tend to drive too fast and the speed calculation will be skewed.  Trustee Zaban volunteered to respond to the ICRC letter.  Trustee Wright asked if volume of traffic is considered in a speed study.  Supervisor Martin said not directly but traffic generally slows down when volume increases.  Trustee Zaban said that he is pleased that at least Mitchell Road is back on the traffic study list. 
REPORTS
Library
Supervisor Martin stated that Jeff Bartremsaid that the Library Foundation had met in December but had not made any significant progress.
NIESA
Trustee Zaban reported that NIESA had narrowed the candidates for fire chief to three.  He reiterated that NIESA plans to add six positions for cross-trained personnel and reported that NIESA still hasn’t received a $2,000 payment for the recent fire at the Webberville fuel oil company.  Trustee Wright asked how NIESA responded to Mr. Jansen’s statement about resigning if a decision for chief isn’t made from this round of candidates.  Trustee Zaban said that Mr. Jansen was an interviewed candidate and he was not happy with the interview process.  There is one group within NIESA that feels they need to hire from within and others that feel they need to hire from outside. 
Parks
Treasurer Fink reported that there was no Park Committee meeting in December and that she has been unable to locate the “volunteer spray” document.  She said that she contacted the MDNR and they explained that pesticide/herbicide application is actually under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture but summarized that if you are applying them as an employee, you must be certified.  The State sometimes pays their regular park volunteers to become certified.  MDNR said that homeowners can apply over the counter chemicals at their discretion but employees can only spray “under supervision” of a certified applicator.  Trustee Wright suggested that the certification process may be a simple one and perhaps Mark Tabor could become certified.  Treasurer Fink said she would follow up to determine what’s involved.  Supervisor Martin reported that All-Terrain had repaired the deep ruts at the base of the sliding hill at a minimal cost.
Other
Personnel Review
Supervisor Martin reported that she and Trustee Zaban had conducted a personnel review with Mark Tabor in December.  She considers him an exemplary employee because he continues to try to improve his productivity.  Mark recommended that the Township purchase a cement mixer and was in favor of a building at Summit for storing equipment.  He did not believe it was necessary to purchase a mower.  She added that Mark has already done 15 funerals.  Supervisor Martin recommended the Board approve a $1/hour pay increase retroactive to the date of his review on December 4, 2003. 
Trustee Wright made motion to increase caretaker Mark Tabor’s pay rate by one dollar per hour.  Motion supported by Trustee Zaban.  Motion passed unanimously.
TDR
Supervisor Martin reported that she had received notification from MTA that TDR (transfer of development rights) has been passed by the State Senate and House and now only needs to be signed by Governor Granholm.  The Township will next need to amend the Zoning Ordinance to designate receiving zones for where transfers will go.  Treasurer Fink said the receiving zones are obvious on the Master Plan so will be easy to locate. 
Alarm System
Supervisor Martin reported that the Sheriff’s office has sent the Township a letter stating they can only respond to false alarms from the security system twice and then they will need to charge a penalty.
Signs
Supervisor Martin said she had not received the information yet for this topic so she will present it to the Board at another time.
Other
Trustee Zaban reminded the Board that the MTA State Convention is January 27-30., 2004.  Attendees will be the first to receive the newly minted Michigan quarter.  Supervisor Martin reported that pest control had sprayed the building for ants this week because there was a problem over the weekend in the rental hall area.
Meeting Review
Supervisor Martin will send letters to Mr. McAlvey, Capital City Rifle Range, and ICRC regarding Idlewood; and will contact Jeff Bartrem.  Board members will provide feedback on the proposed budget for the workshop. Clerk Hiner
will contact Grand River Floral and notify families that flower placement will end.  Trustee Zaban will respond to ICRC’s Mitchell Road letter.  Supervisor Martin scheduled a Workshop meeting for January 20, 2004 at 5 p.m.
Adjournment
Trustee Wright made a motion to adjourn supported by Trustee Zaban and passed unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 11:02 p.m.
______________________________            ______________________________
Susan L. Hiner                  Lori A. Pincumbe
Clerk                        Recording Secretary