Almira Township

February 2023 — Almira Township Regular Board Meeting
 6:00 P.M
Almira Township is getting a new roof on the fire station at a cost of 82K. It was also reported at the Monday night meeting that the township hall will be getting a new piano. As the council discussed “surplus” and the old piano someone stated that the keys on the piano, which has been in service at the hall for as long as anyone can remember, are made of real ivory. Council member Matt Therrien assured everyone in the room he would haul the surplus piano away on his snowmobile trailer. He will arrange for the delivery of a new piano.
Recreational Resources Committee chairperson Tom Vinette, agreed to look into single track trails that have been established between Ransom Lake and Lake Dubonnet. These “informal” trails have seen increased use and there is an effort to establish a marked trail around Lake Dubonnet. The group Norte had asked if the committee would provide a letter of support for a trail that loops into Almira Township.
Vance Bates who has played key roles in the Almira fire department for over fifty years is stepping down as Lieutenant. He will still respond and assist department personnel with fire and EMS calls at those times when he is present in the township. Appreciation for his long service was expressed by council members and Chief Brad Drury at the meeting.
There are funds in the budget for additional voting machines which will be needed when Almira exceeds 3000 voters. By rule, there will be a split into two precincts when that occurs. According to Township Supervisor Mark Roper the population of Almira exceeded that mark in the last election. 14,000 dollars has been set aside for additional voting machines.
The township will spend $35,000 for road gravel and $10,000 for tree removal. Expenses that are dwarfed by the $194,240 that will buy new fire equipment and the operating budget for fire and EMS which was stated to be: $366,075. Parks and Recreation will operate with 54,210 dollars.
Cherryland Electric Co-op has established an easement to bury electric wires in the residential areas around Bellows Lake. There was a SNAFU with the naming of private road on Paradise Ridge. The planning commission has asserted that the road be named, Paradise Ridge Trail, not Paradise Ridge Road. The Land Division Ordinance is in play on this naming issue.
The company PLM will monitor Pearl Lake for invasive species of aquatic plants. The township will pay half of the 770 dollars it will cost to check the shallows for undesirable aquatic flora. The homeowners will pay half of the cost for the monitoring service. If invasive aquatic plants become established in the lake the cost of removing the plants will be much higher.
Respectfully submitted by Stewart MCFerran
December 2022 — Almira Township Regular Board Meeting
Approval of Meeting Agenda- Approved
Treasurer’s Report: Presented to the Board – No questions
Brief Public Input: Jon Bumstead – Soon to be new State Senator. Handing out cards and greeting.
County Commissioner Art Jeannott: Report on website
Department Heads:
Fire/EMS – Brad: 34 calls. Equipment ATV repaired and in service. Training done this month. Assistant Chief Smith attended training for drivers and is now able to do this training for others “in-house.” Interviews have been done for open positions and will make reservations later in the meeting.
Recreational Resource: Looking for a 7th person on the board.
Village (Lake Ann) Report:
Appointing 2 new Trustees and a new President sworn in.
A. Almira Township Fire and EMS association: Raised $5,700. for 3 AEDs. Locations: Almira Township Park Pavilion, Lake Front Park Pavilion, Burnett Park selected. Would be maintained by the Association.
Old Business:
A. Mistwood Greens: Clear and precise ownership of the property is in place.
B. Master Plan: Waiting on full Census information to complete. Comments are back from information seeking. Will be sending plan information for to the Township in the next few weeks.
New Business:
A. Board of Review Alternate Appointment: Vacancy: move to appoint Rick Drewer into full time position, support, approved. Moved to appoint Derick Smith to the Alternate position on Board of Review, Support, approved.
B. Special Meeting Date (ARPA): Set for January 11, 2023 9:00 A.M.
C. Fire and EMS Appointment: Committee looked at applicants, recommending to the Board: Steven Armer (Full Time EMS) conditional offer based on successful physical, background check, and all licensing requirements (Michigan Fire Fighter 1 & 2). 1 year probation. Moved to approve, support, approved. Paid On-Call: Jeffery Miller (has Fire Fighter 1 also EMS trained). Moved, supported, approved. Paid On-Call: Nick Gresick (Fire Fighter 1 & 2 & EMS Trained). Moved, supported, approved.
D. Fire and EMS Software: Switched over to a software company about a year ago. This company was bought out by a larger company and the software we have will be terminated by, at the latest, 2024. Looking into new software. Looking at a company (made up of people that actually developed the program we have now). They are offering a deal that if we go with them by the end of the year, they will import all our data at no cost. No budget for this but will seek to get a reimbursement from the current company for the remainder of the contract we will not use. Moved that we go with this new software contract, supported, approved.
E. Long Lake Intercept Agreement: Long Lake started ALS (Advanced Life Saving) intercept. We pay fees for this service to neighboring localities. Long Lake Intercept Agreement is $525.00. This fee is significantly higher than other Intercept agreements we have with other localities. They are not willing to negotiate this with us. There is a MAVAS (Michigan Automatic Vox Alarm System) agreement that is in place for all localities that provides these services for nothing. Our Board is not willing to sign an Intercept agreement with Long Lake at this rate.
Extended Public Input: None
Adjourn: 7:20
Respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard

November 14th, 2022 –Almira Township Regular Board Meeting Summary

6:00 P.M.

Approval of Meeting Agenda: Approved with additional “New Business”

Treasurer’s Report: Presented to the Board – No questions

Brief Public Input:
Sorry to hear about the bus getting stuck on Reynolds Road.

County Commissioners Art Jeannot: to read report go to:

Department Heads:
Fire/EMS – 31 calls. Vehicles ATV oil leak being repaired and other maintenance as needed. Training for Devin McDonald started Nov 7. Other training was done this past month. Trunk or Treat was a great success. The Fire Department participated in the fall festival and also a couple Halloween events in other townships. Interviews will be coming up for full time personnel.

Recreational Resource:
Great trunk or treat! Next meeting will be held on Wednesday Nov 30th . Benches installed. Continuing to work on Recreational Resource plan.

Village (Lake Ann) Report: New Village President Dan Hawkins. Two new trustees as well.

Jamie, Treasurer and Board Member of Horse North Rescue, asked the Council to administer the grant they received. This has been done in other years. (See “New Business” agenda below.)

Rebecca Hubers, 911 director and now also the Emergency Manager.
The draft for the natural hazard disaster strategy is being shared. Asking communities to look at the plan and see if items fall into their community and if they do, how they might be addressed. Desire to fund an Emergency communications tower to be placed in Frankfort.

Old Business:
A. Mistwood Greens:
Communication today from Todd (Township Lawyer). The Judge granted a motion for default judgement. Now the Township has a full and clear title to the property.

B. The Master Plan is being finalized.

New Business:
A. Grant given to Horse North Rescue for $8000.00. Horse North Rescue is a 501(C)3 Non-Profit Horse Rescue and Placement Program located in Northern Michigan. This grant comes from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Motion: Almira township will be the entity for administering the grant. (This has been the practice in other years) Approved

B. Beach:
There is a Willow Tree is in danger of falling. Limbs came down in the last two storms. Motion to take the tree down (A1 Tree Co) $2500.00 and have stump ground. Approved.

C. Board of Review Resignation:
Accepted resignation from Amber Pomper. Looking for an alternate for the board of review.

D. Document Shredding:
Need to decide how to care for docs that need to be shredded. Decision to select the event based “bulk shred” where documents are taken to a central location when needed, rather than paying for a monthly emptied container.

E. Resolution for Receiving Tax Payments:
New resolution for tax payments approved. Copies available in Township office.

F. Deputy Assessor:
New Assessor is in place. Would like Sue Muha (Former Assessor), to be Deputy Assessor on an as needed basis. Approved.

Extended Public Input: None

Board Comments:
Mandy Gray Rineer:
Will miss Susanne Muha. Thanks to Tammy and Mary and election workers.

Tammy Clous:
Glad election is over! Went well. Thanks to all.

Mark Roper:
Wants the Board to start thinking about the Township ARPA funds. Wants to have a special meeting specifically for that work. Budget comes in January, will be here before we know it.

Adjourn: 6:45pm

Respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard

September 12, 2022 — Almira Township Board Meeting

6:00 P.M.

Approval of Meeting Agenda- Approved

Treasurer’s Report: Presented to the Board – No questions

Brief Public Input: None

County Commissioners:

County Administration:
We have developed a survey for county wide input regarding the use of ARPA funds. The survey has had approximately 690 responses {4%} county wide as of August 23rd. At present, housing, broadband and childcare are the top 3.

We are in the public comment period for the 2022-2023 budget. The budgeted operating revenues balances to budgeted operating expenses. General fund budget is forecasted at approximately $7,661,000.

The BOC is discussing the appropriate use for monies received in the opioid settlement. We have received approximately $483k.

Benzie County Road Commission:
The BOC is in the process of appointing a replacement for Ted Mick. Interviews are scheduled for September 1st starting at 1:00 P.M. Seven citizens have submitted their interest.

Esch Rd is scheduled for upgrading in October.

School Resource Officer:
Benzie and Frankfort/Elberta schools are both in need of a new Resource Officer as a result of job transfers or resignations. The BOC voted to consolidate this activity at the Sherriff’s office. This will allow better scheduling throughout the county and potentially reduce cost.

Economic Development:
The committee is working on multiple initiatives with broadband continuing to be its primary focus. The Board of Commissioners has approved funding for a project manager to guide us through the next steps. We have gone through a selection process and will be contracting with Mitch Shapiro.

Jessica Carland is the new director at Benzie Bus.

A petition to ban marijuana sales in Benzonia Township has apparently been added to the November ballot.

A ballot initiative in Elberta for the November election is whether to approve or deny marijuana dispensaries in the Village.

Department Heads:

August 38 calls. Up 63 runs above last year. Vehicles being serviced as needed. Boat trailer is in service. Light bar replaced. Hose testing took place last Saturday. Fire Academy starts next week. Several staff attending training. Did the standby for Ironman Triathlon. No calls needed. Standard Operating Guidelines continue to be worked on. Looking to add one member to the department.

Recreational Resource:
Thanks to the board for their help with Movie in the Park. It went very well. In the future would like to get a better start. Moving forward, looking to budget for 2 movies. Bought an inflatable screen $159.00 which worked well and was the right way to go.

Currently working through the Recreational Resource Plan. Would like to have something to present in November meeting.

Benches for disk golf: Money has been approved. Waited for prices to come down and they have. So they will be purchased, assembled, and in the ground by late September or early October. All under budget.

Village (Lake Ann) Report: No Report

Guests: None.

Old Business:
Mistwood Greens: They will serve papers in September. They have until September 28th to respond.

Master Plan:
Dates for MP sub committees and committee meetings presented. Dates are available from the township office.

New Business:
Update Policy 4.6(a), (from auditor suggestion): Change in policy (available from township office) from $500.00 to $5000.00. Approved

Fire and EMS:
Motion to accept resignation of Lance Petrosky, effective Oct 1st 2022-Approved.
Seeking approval to hire Ryan Dumand paid on-call firefighter- Approved. Would like approval for posting for full time position vacated by Lance Petrosky-Approved.

Surplus Items:
Beach trailer from the fire department. No longer needed. Sale will help with cost of new boat trailer. Approved for sale.

Extended Public Input: None

Board Comments:
There is an employee taking on a new position in the assessor’s office today.

Adjourn: 6:37

Respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard


August 8, 2022 — Almira Township Board Meeting Summary 

Almira Township
Regular Board Meeting Agenda
August 8th, 2022
6:00 P.M.

Approval of Meeting Agenda- Approved as presented

Treasurer’s Report: Presented to the Board – No questions

Brief Public Input: None

County Commissioner Bob Roelofs:
Reported that there is a survey out as to how the public would like to have the ARPA funds used. It’s on the web site: and will be put in the paper. Ted Mick has resigned from the Road Commission. Grateful to the voters for supporting the mileages.

Department Heads:

July 38 calls. Up 60 runs above last year. We have assisted Benzie, Cedar, and Glen Lake this month; working well with our neighbors. Applying for grants. Found out we did not get the Tribal grant. Vehicles: Pumper in service. Aug 25th graphic fixes will be done. Boat trailer being repaired and moving towards service. Very successful Fight Nights at camp this summer. Starting to work on policies update. Derick was promoted at the Open House. Looking for two new people. Our mileage passed.

Recreational Resource:
Signs at Ransom Lake are installed. Next Park and Recreation meeting will be at 6:00 August 24th at Almira Township Park in order to make sure everything is set for Movie in the Park on the 26th. Have not officially said we are a go for Movie in the Park but are still planning. Recommend that the Board allocate $700.00 for movie in the park to include movie rental & screen.

Village (Lake Ann) Report: Nothing new. Meeting tomorrow night.

Guests: None.

Old Business:
Mistwood Greens: no update.

Master Plan: Still working on it.

Commercial Lease: Final draft has been presented to the board.

New Business:
Fire and EMS Appointments:
Aden Waddle looking at going to EMT school either through the county or Michigan Works. Devin McDonald – Probationary fire fighter. He can go to school in September hopefully through Michigan Works at minimal cost.
Both Approved.

Fire and EMS Resignation:
Move to accept the resignation of Andrew Veith. Approved.

Resolution #08-1: Correction to formerly approved Minutes. Approved.

Movie in the Park:
Moved to spend up to $500.00 for a movie license for Movie in the Park on August 26th. Approved

Extended Public Input:
Betsy Coffia introduced herself and shared several areas of focus she has as she seeks to be the state rep for our new 103rd District.

Board Comments:
Music in the Park August 22nd. Thanks to Tammy and Mary for a great election last week. We now have a great situation, we have 2 assessors!

Adjourn: 7:05

Respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard



This is what was sent out this morning May 11th, at 7am
A new 2 year millage was approved for the replacement and upkeep of equipment for EMS and the Fire Department.

Here is the correct information!
A two year renewal of the millage for fire and EMS equipment replacement and upkeep was approved to be on the ballot in August.

Respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard

June 13, 2022 — Almira Township Board Meeting Summary

Almira Township
Regular Board Meeting Agenda
June 13th, 2022
6:00 P.M.

Approval of Meeting Agenda
New Business F on agenda will be changed to “Surplus Items”

Treasurer’s Report:
Presented and approved

Public Input: None

County Commissioners:
Report presented. Asked if there were any questions for the Township Board related to a hearing (listed in the Record Patriot) on the operating millage. Seems to be a mistake but will be looked in to.

Department Heads:
EMS- Fire:
28 calls this past month. Also sent some help to Gaylord. We are 38 calls ahead of last year. Looking to apply for a DNR grant. Did not get the state grant for training. Thompsonville did get a $30,000 grant. Training coming up. Thanks for taking action on the purchase of a new\used tanker truck.

Community outreach:
The Fire house will have an open house July 30th 11:00-3:00.

Recreational Resource:
Thanks for the approval of the 3 items from last month. The fairy garden is in the ground and being enjoyed. Ransom Lake, series of work Bs. Just heard the beavers are back and being dealt with. Lake Ann ( L.A.) homecoming will be held on July 16th this year. Possible movie night in the park. Like to consider the night before the Music in the Park event; want to try a trial run with borrowed projectors etc. Next year’s project, would like to take a real hard look at Almira Park, the area down by the volleyball courts and create something new in that area. A number of ideas are being considered.

Village (Lake Ann) Report:
Been in conversation with Benzie Co Road Commission. Moving forward with paving this summer.

Guests: None.

Old Business:

Master Plan:
Public input meeting June 23rd. 5:00-7:00 P.M

Commercial Lease:
Lease created per Board’s decisions last month. Needs to be sent to the attorney.

Committee Appointment:
Interviews were done with candidates for the Planning Commission.
Recommendation is that Kirk Swartz be added to the Planning Commission. Approved by Board.

New Business:
Poverty Exemption:
Resolution read and enacted related to a poverty exemption for property tax. (A copy of the full resolution is available at the Township office).

Fund Balance Transfer:
A report is offered of the proposed areas for fund balance transfers related to end of fiscal year transfers. Approved.

Fire and EMS Department Policy Approval:
Update of policies presented to Board from Fire and EMS Dept. Approved.

Fire and EMS Department Separation:
Resignation of Doug Lake from the roster of Fire/EMS. Approved. Follow up with letter of explanation and thanks.

Zoning Approvals:
Planning Commission has made a request to change the policy for new short term rental applications. Approved (Application available at Township Office). It will be the responsibility of the owner of the short term rental to renew application every year.

Township Special Events Ordinance:
This is a stand-alone ordinance. Added different new rates and numbers for Special Events. (Copy of changes will be printed in newspaper. Ordinance is available at Township Office as well). These changes will also appear in the overall Zoning Ordinance. Approved. Move to accept Zoning Amendment 22.01 to the Almira Township ordinance. (Copy available at Township Office) Approved

Surplus Office Chairs:
Move to surplus 6 office chairs to be donated to Pop Excavating (25 years old!!) Approved. Move to surplus 2015 11 SCDA equipment from the fire department at Chiefs discretion. Approved

Dunesville: Music Festival July 22-24.
Information presented related to the event including security, camping, insurance, sanitation, etc. Application is received. This is an annual event in the area. Moved to approve this event with conditions discussed. Approved.

Extended Public Input: None

Board Comments:
Election time is starting. Absentee apps have been sent out. Thanks to Mandy for Memorial Day remembrance.

Adjourn: 7:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard

May 9, 2022 — Almira Township Board Meeting Summary
Agenda Approved

Treasurer’s Report: Approved

Public Comment: None

County Commissioner:
Commissioner is sick. Sent report. Board has copy of the report.

Department Heads:
Parks and Recreational:
Had their meeting on April 27. Cost increase for Ransom Lake property sign improvements. It will now cost $4,000.00. The increase from the budget of $3,600 is due to lumber costs. Price increase approved by council. Still missing one member for this Department Committee.

Fire Department:
24 calls this month. 107 run calls this year. 69 at this time last year.

Applying for USDA grants, one geared toward EMS and one for Fire Service.
Sexual Harassment training is going on now.
Clean-up day was a success, good event and good turn out.
On May 8th, 2022, there was a Mothers Day Breakfast with good turn out.
Doing CPR training for camps.
Reminder that we are right now red flagged for fire.

Village (Lake Ann) Report:
Spring Clean-Up of Burnett Park has taken place.
Working with the Benzie county road commission on upcoming paving.
New handicapped signs up.
Loons on the lake, be aware of nests.
Next week will begin water testing on Ann Lake.

Public: None

Old Business:
Mistwood Greens: Resolved issues with the Villas. Need to make a decision about the Cottages. Motion: Have Todd Milard proceed with this project.

Master Plan:
Board received information on Master Plan; work continues on new Master Plan.

A new 2 year millage was approved for the replacement and upkeep of equipment for EMS and the Fire Department.

Need to get a renewed commercial lease for the property where the Red Door coffee shop is located. Want to renew the lease for two years at $420.00 per month. Approved.

New Business:

Mulch and Fairy Garden Trail Work:
$1,300.00 in budget, will cover cost of the work. Approved.

Orange surplus chairs to be given to the historical society and any that are left, will be given away. Approved.

Committee Appointments:
Moved that we appoint John Delohey to the Fire Department. Approved.

Planning Commission:
Two persons have expressed interest. Chair will do an interview with them and bring names/recommendations back to the board.

Extended Public Input: None

Board Comments:
Celebration of clean up day. Remembrance of Bill Rayle, long time resident.

Meeting adjourned at 7:10 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard






December 13, 2021 –Almira Township Board Meeting Summary   

Began with the Pledge of Allegiance, reminding ourselves that we are a part of a Democratic Republic to celebrate and pledge ourselves too.

Treasurer’s Report:
Taxes are rolling in!

Department Heads Report:

Fire Report:
Almira Township Fire & EMS Department exceeded run totals from last year, as of yesterday.

Community Events:
Hosted Benzie Central High School football team (Benzie Central Gridiron Club) for their end-of-season banquet.

Crew installed smoke detectors last year. A call last week from one of the detectors having alerted neighbors and a $300,000 home was saved (only $1,000 in damage.)

Parks and Recreation:
Met last month; people who had projects for 2022 need to get budgets in. Approved meeting dates for 2022. Conversation about “tabled items,” i.e. things they have for the future. Will do a community survey to help prioritize these items. Pleased with plans for new signage for Ransom Lake.

Lake Ann Village:
Need to replace a Trustee. Couple of candidates will come to meeting tomorrow. Will seek to choose the best candidate then. Jim Sturmer resigned as President. Elmer now President. Jim Sturmer also resigned as Zoning Administrator. Have someone who will take this over temporarily. Have contacted a couple people for Parks Administrator. Will meet with them tomorrow.

Benzie Bus:
Has been two years since they have been able to meet with Almira Township. COVID-19 pandemic drastically dropped Benzie Bus membership by 50%. Has been mostly elder transport. They have been doing everything they could, with transporting and delivery. 1/3 of staff went on furlough. Saved close to $50,000. Been able to hire 10 new drivers recently. Purchased a three-season trolley, which has been at festivals. Awarded a grant to purchase up to 3 new electric vehicles. During 2021: 2,500 trips to doctor; 1,900 trips for work. Last Monday, they relaunched service to Traverse City. Will celebrate 15th Birthday on January 7, 2022. Starting a “Health Ride” (dialysis, chemo-therapy, etc.) proram that will launch sometime this year. Filled the gap for the Benzie County Central Schools bus routes for a week this month. Felt like it was a good collaboration. 90% propane vehicles.

Old Business:
Master Plan – No update
Remediation Building Site – vote to delay action on remediation site, until we hear from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (formerly DEQ).
Chief Pay – Brad agreed to stay status-quo until new budget.

New Business:
Board of Review & Recreational Resources Appointments.
3 members re-appointed to Review Board
1 member re-appointed to Recreation Resources. As of January, there will be an opening, so they moved to appoint Martha Redick to Rec Resources. Approved.

Assessor Training Reimbursement:
Assessor is going to retire next summer/fall. Mark’s deputy has been working with current assessor and would be able to step into that role. She needs help with schooling expenses. If this were done, she has committed to Almira as assessor. Travel Expenses (hotel and gas) for this training. Approved.

Benzie County Road Commission – No Business

ARPA Funds:
Have received $179,000 in ARPA Funds. This is half of what Almira Township will receive. Looking at ways we can legitimately use this money. We don’t have the kinds of needs (Police Dept, Utilities, Water Systems, etc.) that other townships do. A meeting will be held to continue to discuss what might be done with this money.

Notes respectfully submitted by Bill Haggard.

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