Homestead Township

July 2022 — Homestead Township Board Meeting Summary

5 members present –Tia Cooley, Pat DeLorme, Mike Mead, Bess Butler, Karen Mallon

Announcements:
Election inspector 2-yr certification class coming up. Sign up before August 2nd! Township needs backups and alternates.

Reports:
Zoning-
(1)Broadband Spectrum is expanding, extending coverage into western areas of the Township.
(2) New application for another pot facility; another application for same is pending. (3) Approved unanimously attorney review to interpret new federal court decision affecting police power of local governments.

Assessor:
(1) Reviewing about 50 properties for reassessment based on transfer of property.
(2) A couple of land-split applications are pending.
(3) Board of Review could use a couple of backup/alternative members to make sure there is a quorum for its meetings, but particularly the during the month of March which is the busiest time.

Park:
(1) HARP still awaiting DNR approval of park plan for state funding.
(2) Nothing will be done to Blueberry patch, except removal of plants with mildew. (3) Tree/fencing is needed, Township’s new maintenance and grounds keeper may take care of this.

Planning: Nothing new to report. Next meeting in July, but if no business, next meeting may be August.

County Commissioner:
(1) Broadband survey results show that 75% of residents in the County do not have sufficient broadband.
(2) County needs input on choice of broadband service options: (a) publicly owned and provided; (b) publicly owned and controlled, services and maintenance etc. contracted to Spectrum or provider; (c) privately owned, controlled, and managed by Spectrum per agreement. (Author’s NOTE: This is very important. Overtime, privatized services include fees that trend higher because of profit element, as opposed to nonprofit cost-based services. Also, privatized services diminish public notice, participation, and access to information and accountability).
(3) Emergency management system may need new dispatcher position.
(4) Brownfield grant/Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) application for $250,000 for relocation of Honor Shell Station to former Bud’s site is before State Economic Development Authority/Department of EGLE.
(5) County survey needs participation to help with priorities for public projects and improvements.

Fire Chief:
(1) August 6th Spaghetti Dinner.
(2) Approved unanimously payment of National Park Service bill for services.
(3) Iron Man race scheduled Sunday, Sept. 11, Township fire dept. EMS services will be reimbursed per agreement with race organization.
(4) Twp. has four new certified fire-fighters after completing their Fire Academy training.

Finance/Treasurer:
(1) Treasurer report approved.
(2) Account discrepancy of $10 is being reviewed.
(3) Zoning administrator will use his own cell phone; turned in his Township cell phone, which will be cancelled.

Clerk:
Karen is putting on a training for election workers; Township needs more election workers. Must complete training at least 10 days before the election.

Motion approved unanimously to pay expenses for equipment repair pickup in Kalamazoo, pay county road maintenance invoice, and to approve keeping rental unit $500 security deposit to cover cleanup up and restoration of premises after tenant left.

New Business:
(1) Approved unanimously planning consulting contract with (MR Consulting?) for preparation of CIP Plan and 5-Year Master Plan update and Parks and Recreation Plan.
(2) Approved unanimously grant writing fee and assistance contract for research and additional zoning enforcement.
(3) Approved unanimously amendment to resolution guidelines for property transfer affidavit, uncapping of assessments for lower-income residents, and no longer needing to submit tax returns to provide assessor with more flexibility in making determinations.
(4) Approved unanimously amendment to resolution to waive $200 fee collection requirement for failure to file transfer affidavit if the fee is not paid after waiting 45 days from notice of nonpayment.
(5) Approved unanimously Iron Man race reimbursement of services contract at $110 per hour.
(6) Approved unanimously a contract for lawn, grounds, buildings, and other maintenance services for township by new contractor Sandit.

Public Comment:
One person, thanking the Township Board for its contribution and continuing support for the new HARP/Township Park on Platte River.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:40pm.

Respectfully submitted by Jim Olson

June 6, 2022 — Homestead Township Board Meeting Minutes

Present: Tia Cooley, Pat DeLorme, Mike Mead, Bess Butler, Karen Mallon

Announcements:
Behr, Cotter and Bishop will have the audit ready the week of June 27th. Clean-up day went well.

Reports:

Zoning:
Marvin Radtke reported 15 permits applied for. A noise (from mowing) complaint for St. Ambrose and other varied complaints in the township. Karen will work with Marvin on providing the history of the township with St. Ambrose at Marvin’s request.

Park and Recreation:
75 people were at the HARP groundbreaking. Still need a park plan from the township to get their money from the state. AJ’s is the contractor and they have the permits and money for parking, roads, but not the picnic shelter, piers and boat launch.

Planning:
We need to schedule a meeting in June (have to meet quarterly).

Fire Department:
21 runs through May 20th;153 runs total for the year as of 6/6. August 6th is a spaghetti dinner.

Clerk:
Tammy Bowers is the new county clerk. Karen will schedule and put on a training for election workers with Mary Geetings (the previous clerk with extensive knowledge). $1,400 was credited from workman’s comp. Community service workers (youth) have put in 39 hours at the cemetery. Karen could use more workers.

Finance:
Assessor’s wage increase by 5% for cost of living, approved. Building and Grounds budget, just for the building in Honor and grounds surrounding it, amended and approved for $20,000.

Ordinance Enforcement Policy:
It has been decided to include all violations into one officer position (now John Brazaski, does solely noise complaints, and he is not interested in doing more and has offered to step down). Marvin Radtke (MR Consulting) has submitted a menu of services and costs to the Township, including being the ordinance enforcement officer. Shannon Purchase may be interested in applying for the ball park maintenance position. All of this will be tabled until the next meeting.

Personnel Policy:
Elected officials can hire family members, but people hired by the township cannot, as it stands. Possible changes are tabled until Tim Markey, Fire Chief can be present and give his input.

Covey Road:
A portion of Covey Rd. needed emergency repair and the County added a culvert and repaired that section. Matching funds are tapped from the township. The road commission suggested another culvert be added. Amount for the township’s portion is $1,900. The work was approved.

MTA:
Online subscription renewal is approved.

Park, (not including HARP):
Kevin Taghon has been getting $850/month for mowing and lining ballfields, emptying garbage, maintaining batting cages, and bathroom cleaning. The board members would like to entertain bids from other parties to do this work more effectively (MR Consulting can do this work). Auto locks on the bathroom have not been installed yet so someone has to manually unlock and prop the door when park is in use, and lock it at night. Board members have been doing this. The garbage has not been taken down to the dumpster regularly and “it’s a mess”. Sponsor fees from adult teams should be going to the township towards upkeep and maintenance of this park.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:45pm.

Respectfully submitted by Judy Bosma

May 2, 2022 — Homestead Township Board Meeting Minutes

Present were Tia Cooley, Pat DeLorme, Mike Mead, Bess Butler, Karen Mallon

Announcements:
ARPA reports are submitted, flag pole is repaired and new flags purchased, water will be turned on in the ball park May 15 – 20, and repairs on Park buildings will be started this month.

Reports:
Zoning Administrator Marvin Radtke, attended the MTA conference in Lansing for 4 days. He has been fielding lots of calls from people interested in short-term rentals but callers may look elsewhere because the Township has a “good short term rental ordinance”.

No reports from Assessor, Parks or Planning Committee. Treasurer Report was submitted.

County Commissioner Tim Markey, reports that Paula Eberhart is the new Register of Deeds. They are getting lists of needs for using ARPA money. Merit Network, Inc. has completed its broadband survey. There are two meetings, May 20th at 10:00 at the government building to hear the survey results, and the scheduled Commissioner’s meeting on May 24th at 10:00, which will address broadband in the county.

Fire Chief Tim Markey:
The run is on pace for a run/day this year; brush truck out for repair. Ironman Triathlon is set for Sept. 22nd and the department will again have the side-by-side at the race. Department physicals are May 25th.
A request was made for the purchase and installation of a large-screen TV in the hall for training purposes. Other departments could also see a use for this. $1,500 was approved for a 60 – 70in. TV for township use.

True North is developing the new Shell gas station and mini-mart on the former Bud’s property. It is a brownfield site and they will “clean up” the former Shell property for resale for a non-competing business.

The HARP Park update by Ingemar Johansson:
AJ’s is waiting on the state to approve the upcoming work which should start by the end of this month. This Saturday is a work bee (4/ 7), and May 14th is the ground-breaking from 10-12:00. The construction work should be done by November.

Clerk Report:
The clerk, Karen Mallon and the Treasurer, Pat Delorme continue to reconcile discrepancies in their books. While the township has enough poll workers, anyone is encouraged to sign up for training to be a poll-worker, to be apprised how the voting system works. Contact Karen if you would like to be included in the training. Flags for Veterans will be put in the cemetery by Memorial Day. A reminder that the Hall is alcohol-free for those inquiring to rent it.

New/Old Business:
It was discussed that the Ordinance Enforcement Officer Policy be changed so one person responds to noise as well as zoning complaints. John Brazaski is now the noise enforcement officer and he is not interested in taking on more duties. This discussion is tabled till next meeting.

MR Consulting (Marvin Radtke), presented his expanding business offerings, including grant-writing, ordinance enforcement, master planning, park maintenance and more. He will give a proposal to the township for several of his services that the board is interested in. He is contracted currently to the Township as an individual, not as part of his consulting firm.

Parks: Ingemar Johansson from HARP requested $48,000 to pave part of the driveway and walkways in the new park. Gravelling the area is already in the plan but since the drive is on a downslope, it would have to be maintained frequently. $50,000 was approved from the Parks and Rec budget.

It is suggested that a Park Committee be formed for the township as it will now include the HARP property.
There is a broken pipe to the drinking fountain at the ball field; some groups are not cleaning up after themselves; township will put up signage to use the batting cages at your own risk. A bear has gotten into the garbage. TKS Security has a remote option at $20/month to open and close the bathroom. Now it is on a timer. Karen Mallon will donate a camera to monitor for vandalism and will continue to use the timer option.
True North requires a letter of support from the Township for the brownfields cleanup at the former Buds site. The township has agreed to forego taxing the property for approximately 3 years as it is developed.

Public Comment –
Youth Services Coordinator for the 19th Circuit Court, Kathi Houston, through correspondence, is looking for Tutors and Mentors for middle and high school students. If interested, contact Kathi at: khoustonbenzieco@gmail.com.

The Fire Department expressed an interest in contacting Kathi for workers to clean up in and around the building. They could also be used for cemetery work.

Another resident states that complaints to the township for noise and zoning infractions can be made by a phone call without a formal complaint being logged. Marvin Radtke or John Brazaski currently can go out to check on reported infractions with the complainant kept anonymous to avoid rancor between neighbors. If a case is unresolved or goes to court, then a formal complaint form must be filled out and the person complaining can conceivably be exposed through a FOIA request.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.

Respectfully submitted by Judy Bosma

 

March 7, 2022 — Homestead Township Board Meeting Highlights  

Meeting began at 6:00pm and was called to order by Supervisor Cooley.

Pledge of allegiance

Motion by Treasure Delorme to vote on budget at the April 4th meeting. Board approves.

Board approved agenda.

Public comments:

Noise Ordinance Officer needs a copy of the noise ordinance.

Avace Wildie- Representing The Friends of the Bestie Valley Trail (FBVT).

FBVT is applying for grants to pave the trail from Beulah to Thompsonville. Paving would increase use and tourism. FBVT would like the Homestead Township to write a Resolution letter in support of the project. FBVT provided a prewritten Resolution letter to board. FBVT would also request some financial assistance from the Township. This can be decided at a later date. Clerk Mallon would like to know how much of the trail is in the township? Would like a presentation to the board for what the money would be used for. “For the record.”

The Friends of Bestie Valley Trail Resolution was approved and Resolution Letter signed.

Approval of minutes: Treasurer Delorme motioned to approve February 7th meeting with correction of the ARPA funds and the February 23th meeting. Both approved by the Board.

Correspondence:

The Conservation District is asking for and additional $500 a year for the next 3 years. Funds will assist with providing education on invasive species, education to youth and signage on decontamination of watercraft. Board approved.

Reports: 

Zoning Administrator- Received 20 text messages, 18 phone calls and two Land Use permit requests.

Assessor: All assessments complete. Assessments increased by $18 million and Taxable Value increase by $7.8 million. There are 4 poverty exemptions.

Planning Committee: No Meeting.

Fire Chief: 59 medical runs and 16 fire runs.

Commissioner Report: No report, Commissioner Markey absent.

Clerk: Has not heard from auditor. Has been in contact with the State to keep them informed.

Treasurer: Deputy Treasure would like to attend annual training meeting.

All reports approved.

Payables for the month: All approved.

New/Old Business:

Platte River Park Resolution- presentation 

Bids for 1st phase of project to be opened on Thursday, March 10th. Phase 1 of project is already funded. The budget for this phase is $187,500. $150,000 from Passport program and 37,500 form USDA. 

Property Exemption Extension Resolution: Approved

Poverty Guideline Adoption: Approved

Adoption of 2022-2023 meeting dates for the Homestead Township Board.

Meetings will be held on the first Monday of the month. Exception is when holiday falls on Monday, meetings will then be held on the next Tuesday.

Charter fees discussion

Charter inquired if Township wanted to a charge fee for township residents.

Board did not approve.

 

Bid discussion: 

Received 1 bid for township hall, concession building and press box building repairs. Bid awarded. Work will take about three weeks to complete when started.

Fire Protection Agreement:

Board approved Fire protection agreement with Platte Lake Township.

Equipment charge $10,603 and operating charge $ 21,283.

 

County Road Commission:

Road Commission will brine 18.68 miles of road. The 1st brining will be in May will cost $14,477 with Township matching $ 7,853. The 2nd brining will be in July/August and will cost is $20,586 with Township matching funds of $11,167. Both brining’s will include old 31 for a cost of $168 for the 1st and $239 for the 2nd.

 

Public Comment:

Benzie County Emergency Manger introduced herself and let Township know that the she is available to assist if the township has any questions or issues.

Meeting adjourned at 8:23 pm.

Respectfully Submitted by Teresa Peiffer

 

February 7, 2022 — Homestead Township Board Meeting Highlights 

Board Members Present: Tia Cooley, Pat Delorme, Karen Mallon, and Mike Mead. (Bess Butler absent.)

Public Comment: None

Announcements:
Noise Enforcement Officer John Brazaski sent a letter to the Township Board. He was also present at meeting. John would like input from the Board about having fair and consistent enforcement of the noise ordinance. He would like to see mediation between parties. Warnings for 2nd offense, and citation for 3rd offense. He would like the Board to give him guidance. John receives calls on his home phone. Karen Mallon suggest that John should be issued a cell from the Township. John stated that he is going to talk to Benzie County Sheriff‘s Department about coming to calls with him. He has had issues in the past. John is paid $20 per call. Board discussed changing pay to hourly.

Approval of Minutes.

Correspondence: Karen Mallon stated that she received a Letter of Resignation from Sherry Taylor from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). Mallon stated Taylor wrote that her reason for leaving is she doesn’t agree with disparaging remarks she has heard. Karen says she has talked to Marvin Radtke (Zoning Administrator) to see if there are any interested parties. Tia Cooley discussed posting the vacancy.

Reports:
Township Treasurer Pat Delorme is very busy, due to tax season. There are quite a few residents that pay in cash, so the bank will be providing locked cash bag for after-hours deposits.

Township Clerk Karen Mallon: Have new auditors working on audit and have been in contact with Michigan Department of Treasury. Needs training schedule from Fire Department, as Michigan Works is looking at renting the hall for training.

Fire Chief Tim Markey: Incidents for 2022 year-to-date is 45; incidents for December 2021 was 73. The final number of incidents for 2021 was 412, which is a 35% increase from 2020. Had ice water recuse training with Coast Guard, DNR, Frankfort Fire DepartmentBenzonia Township Fire Department and Beulah fire departments. New fire truck should be arriving in 1-2 weeks. Tim is working on the new website and would like to sit down with each board member to train them. New website to go live on April 1, 2022.

Benzie County Commissioner Tim Markey (Homestead Township)says that the Commissioners had special meeting to work on goals. Commissioner goals are broadband, ARPA funds, affordable housing, and job training.

Assessor Gunnar Brow: Equalization time. Data has been sent in. Sale study has been sent in. The Township has two poverty owners.

Matt from Benzie County Road Commission: Will be looking for a new brining company, as the old one went out of business. The Township to receive $60,000 over three years ($20,000 per year) with matching funds from Township. Matt provided the Township Board with a list of proposed projects that the county will be doing.

New Business:
New policies: Budget and Cash Handling

Cash Handling: Policy to create a cash draw of $100 to $200, so Treasurer can make change for those making tax payments in cash. Motion was made to approve policy. Tia Cooley: yes, Pat Delorme: yes, Mike Mead: no, Karen Mallon: no.
Motion did not pass.

Comments by board members about cash handling: Cooley said we should be making it easy for resident to pay taxes.
Mike Mead said Treasurer should tell resident to have correct amount. Karen Mallon says that Treasurer could just cut the resident a check for the overage.

Budget Policy passed unanimously. The board discussed some of the general fund budget. It was decide to have a special budget meeting on February 23, 2022, at 6pm.

Fire Chief Tim Markey would like to see firefighter wages to increase by 5-7%.

Meeting ended at 9:22pm.

Notes submitted by Teresa Peiffer.

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