MINUTES for REGULAR BOARD MEETING

Held on April 9, 2024

 

The meeting was called to order by Supervisor, Donald Becker at 7pm.
Present: Anderson, Gehris, Zimmermann, Becker, McAlindon
Absent: None

Minutes:
March 12, 2024
Moved by McAlindon, Seconded by Zimmermann, CARRIED to approve the minutes from March 12,
2024 meeting, as printed.
March 30, 2024
Moved by McAlindon, Seconded by Zimmermann, CARRIED to approve the minutes from March 30,
2024 Special Meeting/Budget Hearing, as printed.

Treasurer’s Report:
Gehris went over fund sheets for the General Fund and Water Department.
March 2024
General Fund
Income  $36834.46 Disbursements $28550.11
Balance on Hand  $178458.95
Water Department
Income   $35115.15   Disbursements  $33161.31
Balance on Hand  $122659.20
Moved by Anderson, Seconded by Zimmermann, CARRIED to receive the Treasurer’s Report, subject to audit.

Zoning Report:
Vinson was on his way to the meeting but was called back to work. There are several letters out for blight issues.
Wage Increase for Zoning Administrator- there was a $50.00/month increase suggested for Zoning Administrator wage. There was some discussion of the issue and the Board decided to table the wage increase until the next meeting. McAlindon would like to have a report from him on what he has been doing.

Assessor’s Report:
There were 6 appeals at the Board of Review. A member of the Board of Review has resigned from the Board. Everything for 2024 has been submitted.

Assessor’s Contract- J. Landry is asking for a 3.2% cost of living increase.
Moved by Anderson, Seconded by Becker, Roll Call Vote called for, to approve her contract. Roll Call Results are as follows:
McAlindon- Yes  Gehris- Yes  Becker- Yes  Anderson- Yes  Zimmermann- Yes
Motion passed.

Fire Authority Report– we can prepay on the new truck while it is being built, so the Authority will not owe as much when we take delivery of the vehicle in approximately 26 months.
Becker said something to Olen Swartz about there being a lot of noise coming from somewhere in the Fire Barn. He said it sounded like a popping noise.

Sims-Whitney Utilities Authority Report– both Townships met to go over the Joint Water Agreement to work on suggestions made by the attorney. The meeting went smoothly, and revisions werediscussed and approved.
Moved by Anderson, Seconded by Zimmermann, Roll Call Vote called for to approve the Joint Water Agreement.
Roll Call Vote results are as follows:
Zimmermann-Yes McAlindon-Yes  Gehris-Yes  Becker-Yes  Anderson-Yes
Motion passed.

Sims Whitney Cemetery/Transfer Station Report– The quarterly meeting was held on March 28th and the Board worked on the columbarium for the cemetery and pricing for the slots in the columbarium, cement pad bids for the columbarium, the budget was approved for both Cemetery and Transfer Station, J. Zerka is going to be taking over for B. Garry when she retires at the end of April.
J. Zerka stated that he could no longer do the whole cemetery on his own, he would like to continue to mow the empty field and along the road and have someone else take over the rest of the cemetery. We will advertise in the paper for an individual, but we also need to get pricing from the lawn care companies to see which way is cheaper.
There was a section of the fence at the Cemetery knocked down by a deer and J. Sanzo has ordered the parts to get it fixed for approximately $20.00, she just needs to have someone install the new parts.
The old compactor is still not working properly, but the maintenance company is coming out to work on it again, Wednesday. The issue could be the wiring, it seems like everything else has already been checked.

Public Comment:
*R. Collier came to discuss Delano Road ditching issue again. He talked to the Road Commission Manager about the issue, and he was told that the Road Commission would do the permits if they are needed. L. Davis insured the Board last month that the Dime Drain could handle the extra water.
R. Zimmermann told Mr. Collier that we should not even be discussing the issue, because lawyers were mentioned several times at the last meeting and once lawyers are brought up the Township does not discuss the issue any further.
The Road Commission Manager emailed the Clerk about the issue today and she told him that she guessed we should have their EGLE representative come out to look at the project to see what he has to say. Zimmermann doesn’t want to see anything done on the project, McAlindon would like to see it get looked at, Gehris said let EGLE come out and look at it, but we are not paying for permits. Don is in favor of having EGLE come out and look at it, also.
Anderson will get in touch with the Manager at Road Commission to let him know what we decided.
*J. Erickson asked who was going to pay to have gravel replaced if the road washes out. He wants to know why we are not willing to help the property owner relieve the flooding on his property.
*M. Gordon came to talk about the complaint that she made about people on Whitman Rd and Hammel Beach Rd and that it was her not J. Erickson who made the complaint. She had a neighbor tell her that J. Erickson was the one that made the complaint, and it was actually her. She has been calling J. Vinson and has not received a return phone call. She wants to know who gave out the name of the complainant, she thought complaints were confidential. Becker is going to set up a meeting with J. Vinson, J. Erickson, M. Gordon, and himself to discuss the issue.
*J. Archambeau wants to make the Township aware of how much money the marijuana businesses are bringing in for neighboring Township and wants to know why we don’t allow it in our Township. He thinks that that should be voted on by the residents. He also commented on the Board not making the Zoning Administrator do his job, he thinks he is doing a terrible job and should be replaced. He asked about the access point for Vera Lane and whether it can be blocked off.
He stated that the Township has no opportunities for expansion for new businesses or anything to offer the Township residents.
*M. Gordon asked about the cost to run the transfer station, the Board informed her that Sims Township handles all transfer station issues.

Old Business:
None

New Business:
Driveway Sealing- the driveway was sealed last in 2021.
Moved by Becker, Seconded by Zimmermann, CARRIED to approve the driveway getting sealed. Road Quotes- the Board has already approved the projects; we just need quotes to be signed.

Garbage Fee- there has been discussion at the last couple transfer station/cemetery meetings about raising the garbage assessment amount. Gehris has calculated how much the amount would have to be raised to be able to keep the transfer station running. The fee would have to go to $100.00/year instead of the $55.00/year that we are currently collecting. The Township needs to find the paperwork from the original assessment to see how the language was written, so we can determine whether we can just increase the fee or if it must go to a vote of the public.
Spending Limit Increase- the Township has had a policy in place that states that a purchase of $750.00 can be spent without Board approval. The amount has changed a couple of times in the last 11 years, but the last time it was changed it went down instead of up.
Moved by Zimmermann, Seconded by McAlindon, CARRIED to increase the spending limit from $750.00 to $1000.00 for purchasing without Board approval.

Mileage Rate- the Township has been paying the federal rate since at least 2012 and this year thefederal rate is $.67/mile.
Moved by Becker, Seconded by Zimmermann, CARRIED to increase the mileage rate to $.67/mile.

Wage Increases- the wages for several positions need to be discussed for increases.
*Deputies are currently making minimum wage, which is $10.33/hr. It should be raised to$13.00/hr.
Moved by Zimmermann, Seconded by Anderson, CARRIED to increase deputy wages to $13.00/hr.
*Water Clerk- currently makes $583.00/month. There was a discussion on what the wages should be increased to, at one point $866.66/month was floated out there.
Moved by Zimmermann, Seconded                        to increase wages to $866.66/month for the water clerk, motion died for lack of support.
The issue is being tabled to next meeting, so we can see what other water clerks in the area are making.
*Cleaning person- currently the cleaning person makes $13.00/hr. a $1.00 an hour increase was proposed.
Moved by Anderson, Seconded by Zimmermann, CARRIED to increase the cleaning person to $14.00/hr.

Computer- Gehris is going to need a new computer, because he wants to give up the water clerk job at some point. His current computer has both the water and tax program on it, so we need a new computer for him so the new water clerk can use his old one with the water program on it. The cost of a new computer, according to Jeremy, our IT person, is going to be between $700.00 to $900.00.
Moved by Zimmermann, Seconded by Gehris, CARRIED to approve ordering a new computer for the Treasurer.

Pay the Bills:
Moved by Becker, Seconded by Zimmermann, CARRIED to pay the bills and any that come in later.

Adjournment:
Moved by Becker, Seconded by Anderson, CARRIED to adjourn the meeting at 8:44pm.

 

 

 

Kimberly Anderson
Whitney Township Clerk