Joyfield Township

February 2023 — Joyfield Township Board Meeting
Budget Amendment to account for increases in costs for stamps, W2’s,1099’s. Increase of $100.00. Approved
Benzie Bus Presentation by Toby Dunne
Average 400 riders/day and growing, Up 20% over 2021. 5000 for medical appointments. Voted most trusted bus service in Michigan. The Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign had 252 riders. Working on year round ‘Text to Drive’ service. Working toward IDing better money efficiencies. Working on a deal with Munson Medical Services to have them pay for Benzie County residents to ride the bus to their facilities. Drivers are watching children to see if they may need referrals to School Psychologists. There is a route from the Benzonia Family Fare to TC and in the future on may be offered to Manistee. Fares are $3 for anywhere in Benzie County and a $1.50 for seniors over 60. Low income children helped with 140-150 rides/day.
Commissioner Gary Sauers’ Report:
Sleeping Bear Gateway group is looking to build a Visitor Center at the south end of the National Park.
Thompsonville has a high nitrate warning for their water.
Elberta’s Master Plan has been sent out. There will be new Christmas lights at Penfold Park. Elberta will have a new Clerk/Treasurer.
County business:
There is a new contract at the jail for low level prisoners.
There will be new training at Equalization Dept.
Iron Man will be held on September 17, 2023 with few changes.
Old business:
A video conference with the Foster Smith lawyer presented potential options to pursue. It was agreed that the law firm should take over and send out letters, then follow up letters to the 3 blighted properties on Kast and King roads to affirm that the properties are in violation and the owners must contact the law firm to offer solutions.
New Business:
Budget Hearing will be on March 1 at 6:30 PM.
There is $10,000 in the new budget for Blight Enforcement.
Talk about Election Inspector compensation at $13/hour.
IRS mileage rate for reimbursement.
Poverty Exemption-Annual update. Must be applied for by the owner/occupant for hardship.
Board of Review dates are still to be determined and will be published.
FY2023/2024 approved with proposed salary resolutions and meeting dates.
Board Member Comments:
Discussion about 4% interest rates on Michigan Class municipal bonds.
Remember: The public budget hearing will be on March 1 at 6:30PM.
The monthly Township Board Meeting will follow the budget meeting at 7PM.
Respectfully Submitted by: Paul(231-383-3868) and Irene(402-416-4875) Marcussen, your Joyfield Precinct Delegates
January 2023 — Joyfield Township Board Meeting
There will be a meeting with a lawyer from the Foster Smith law firm on the 10th concerning blighted properties.
A Benzie Bus presentation will be given at the February Board meeting, by a Benzie Bus Representative.
The Township budget will be also discussed during the February meeting.
Commissioner Sauer reported that the Maples gave out 39 50$ gift certificates to Veterans. Three part time bailiffs will allow for 24/7 patrol coverage by Sheriff Deputies. Weldon Township was approached by Crystal Township about workforce housing. At the school safety meeting it was noted that Social Messaging sent to parents about a school lockdown too fast enabled the parents to come to the school causing endangerment issues.
September/October 2022 — Joyfield Township Board Meetings
Correspondence-The Audit report is now available. Contact Dodie Putney for more information.
New Business:
Roads budget amended to add $160.55.
Public Input:
Front light not working. Response: Photoeye will be fixed before the election.
New Business:
1) Cemetery Irrigation Winterization:
Lautner contracted to blow out lines. Expenditure with cost plus inflation approved.
Hospenthal contracted: Approved and ok’ed higher costs due to fuel increases over last year.
Old Business:
Certified and 1st class letters were sent out to the owners of the 3 blighted properties where dumping is taking place, concerning on-site inspections.
Meeting dates & times are posted on the Joyfield Twp Hall front door. The Joyfield Master Plan is online. Check it out. It is very good.
Respectfully submitted by Irene & Paul Marcussen

July/August 2022 — Joyfield Township Board Meetings


Tree roots are appearing in southern driveway. A cedar tree top broke off and is resting on another tree. Jim Evans will look at removing the damaged tree.

New business:
Resolution to Waiver of Penalties for Failure to File Property Transfer Affidavits. Supported and Passed. Res.#2022-7

Resolution for Adoption of Revised Poverty/Hardship Exemption Policy. Supported and Passed. Res.#2022-8

Corrective action plans for the above Resolutions include needing applications, affidavits and fact sheets from the property owner/s.

Old Business:
Still looking to fill the Ordinance Enforcement Officer Position. Matt Emery will continue as Enforcement Officer until someone is found.

King Road Zoning Complaints-(illegal dumping): The Blake property has shown significant progress. Four dumpster loads and tires were hauled out.

Jack Keefe property (Wallaker Rd): Owner is trying to subdivide and sell.

Ken Bonny property: Owner is working on it and will let a township representative come and check out progress.

Giddon property (Cass and King Rds.): Owner has been notified to clean up. More contact is required, as the owner is just moving trash to the back of the property.

Violation letters were sent to all owners.

Commissioners Report(Gary Sauer):
Elberta Life Saving Station large doors are showing wood rot and need to be fixed. School Safety-want to get back to dancing and a real Graduation Ceremony. Fire Dept. needs to know about hazardous material storage at the Smeltzer plant. The Road Commission will put up new signage for trails. Maples needs more staff; (Dietician, nurses). They have more patients. Overall, they had a good month. The septic and water file is online for Joyfield, but only if done with a permit.


Public Input
Suggested that the Township have a trash pickup day once per year, as things are left out and never picked up. This could be done by three board members approving a Citizen’s Initiative or a Special Tax Levy. Mark Evans indicated that the Township has no place for storage and no allocation (money), for this. How would liability and handling of the trash be done? Mark also noted that most of our taxes go the the fire department.

Neighbors are concerned about the slow clean up progress at the illegal dumps sites. Mark indicated that the township does not want to go to court yet, but wants to give the owners some more time. Citizens still have concerns about illegal dumping and special variances. Ex. Corey’s Cabins west of Wallaker Rd. on King Rd.(noted that they are limited to 4 cabins, otherwise must seek state approval).

Citizen(Ted Wood) wanted to commend Dodie Putney for her great election organizing, as Joyfield had a 35% increase in voters and she had to scramble for help.

Old Business:
Ordinance Enforcement Officer Position tabled for the time being.

Board Member Comments:
The outside area mercury light needs to be replaced, hopefully with an LED.

Commissioners Report:
A transfer station has been opened and licensed in Thompsonville. The school has been transferred to the Road Commission. Health Dept. is in the process of hiring a Health Officer. Elberta and Frankfort will be voting on dispensaries in November. Spectrum Fiber spoke to the board about where they are going to work. There is a shortage of workers at the Maples. Betsie Valley Trail-Bikers along Crystal Lake should stay on the trail, not on the road(although they are allowed on the road) to avoid bike/car interactions. There was a confrontation between a car driver and a biker. The Iron Man competition was approved for the Betsie Valley Trail, as well as the signage.

Respectfully Submitted from the trenches by Paul and Irene Marcussen

May/June 2022 — Joyfield Township Board Meetings

Consent Agenda approved.

No Public Input

Dawn Olney retired as of June 1, 2022.
Health Dept. Strategic Plan Board wants to be in on interviews for new Health Officers. Exit interview with Lisa Peacock.

We received a Tire Grant to collect tires in Frankfort and Thompsonville.

Merit broadband survey was completed and presented to the Benzie County Commissioners. Benzie County has many places where internet is spotty or nonexistent.

Maples-Whole upstairs will be memory care. Plan to write off debt through DHHS and Medicare.

Esch Rd. repaving will be started after July 15 to enable Red Shouldered Hawks to finish nesting. Gary will call Road Commission about potholes on Hoadley and Wallaker Roads.

Reviewed, contacts, with the property owner of the King Road illegal dumping site. Owner said, renter sublets to someone else. Owner is now aware of the problem. Betsy says that something needs to happen here as far as enforcement of zoning codes. Township will give a timeline number of days to respond to the administrator and comply. Owner will be informed of the appeal process. If appeal fails a deadline will be given, then cleanup will begin and fees assessed. Timeline to get done at 8175 King Rd.

There is another illegal dump site on 5498 Cass Rd and one other at 6085 6 mile rd., also up for enforcement. Correspondence sent. Certified letter was refused by one owner. Served on 5/8. Properties will be posted with what is required by ordinance. Board indicated they want compliance, not penalties. Two owners were hostile. Police presence may be needed. Board approved expenses for officers to accompany servers, if letters are ignored.

Public input:
2-4 trucks entering King Rd property everyday, sometimes as late as 2-3 AM.
A concern was brought up about the old oil facility on the SE corner of Wallaker and County Line Rd. Assured that everything is shut down and safe.

Planning Commission meeting to focus on blight.

Respectfully Submitted from the trenches by Paul and Irene Marcussen


April 6, 2022 — Joyfield Township Board Meeting
Approve consent agenda: Minutes for Special Board Meeting March 2nd, Regular Board Meeting March 2nd.
Treasurer’s Report and Bills to Pay

Old business

New business
Fire contract was approved for protection at $30,152.

Ordinance Enforcement Officer Position:
Old officer resigned. Discussion about hiring a new officer with law enforcement training. Could contract with an existing officer from another Township who might want extra work. Will put an ad in the paper, possibly an officer from the sheriff’s dept. $500/yr. In the past, we have not needed an officer to do much. Jim will research what our expectations should be.

Election Ballot storage containers were recertified. New voter registration forms are coming.
FYI: Pursuant to Michigan election law, MCL 168.24j, the Board of County Canvassers must complete a countywide ballot container inspection no later than June 1, 2022. All ballot containers owned by the county and the cities and townships located within the county must be included in the inspection. The term “ballot container” is used to mean 1) any containers used to transport and secure ballots and 2) any containers used to secure memory units and test materials, including test ballots and test data. (DeAnne Loll)

Commissioners Report-Gary Sauer:
Attended a conference in Lansing where he went to seminars concerning open meetings, opioid problems, agribusiness, unfunded liabilities for counties (if counties are 60% under they should not be rewarded for bad management).

Benzonia Fire Dept. may not be able to find a contractor for 2 years.

Feds are pushing counties on ARPA funds.

Road Commission Budget issues for road repairs include costs of $2.8 million for Lindy Rd., $2.4 million for Reynolds Rd., $2.4 million for Nostrick Rd.

Masks optional at court now. Health Dept. looks good – new health officer hired.

Betsie Valley Trail grant done-paving from Beulah to Thompsonville-ok’ed 2.5-3 million, applied for a grant from the DNR for 600,000 in order to pay for resurfacing from Thompsonville to Copemish and fix a trestle bridge.

There will be a 2nd meeting to discuss Broadband survey results on 4/26/22 at 9 am. Benzie County Board of Commissioners meetings are held in the Commissioners Room, Government Center, Beulah, Michigan.

Public Input
Several citizens came to register complaints about to junk yards near Kast and King Roads. Specifically, 8339 King Rd. Complainants are noticing accumulations of junk tires, AC units, cars, oil tanks, chemicals. Burning has also been noticed especially of shingles. Truckloads of junk being brought in everyday. A noticeable rise in rats and mice has been observed. Another property at 8800 King Rd is also being used as a junkyard(absentee owners).
Citizens are worried about their Health, Safety and Welfare. Probable EGLE, Health Dept and DNR violations.

Betsy has sent notice to the owner. The process is started(1st stage). Board will follow through.

Your Precinct Delegates have also been apprised of the fact that there is another illegal dump operating somewhere on Smeltzer Rd.. Where we have been told, they are actually burying cars and other things.

Just a thought:
It would be good if other Joyfield citizens came to their Township Board meetings and raised a little you know what about our Township problems. These dumps are highly polluting and can affect all of us. The first thing to come to mind, is probably the danger to our groundwater.. Irene and Paul Marcussen

Respectfully Submitted from the trenches by Paul and Irene Marcussen

March 31 Joyfield Township Planning Commission Special Meeting
Josh Corey petitioner.
Special Land Use permit- Parcel #10-09-023-003-00
This permit will allow the owners of the above parcel to build 4 cabins along King Rd and one other structure. The cabins will measure 20′ X 25′ with a 5″ porch. 1 Maintenance Building will also be built. Approved with restriction that no sign lighting will be allowed.

March 2, 2022 — Joyfield Township Board Meeting

Matthew Emery, Mark Evans, Trish Daughtery were present, & Jim Evans excused.

New business:
Joyfield Township Guideline Resolution for Poverty Exemption
Resolution 6 Guideline to follow along with Federal Poverty Guidelines
Road Brining contract for 1st application cost $2,543.55 and 2nd application cost $3,616.90
All above approved

Old business
2022/2023 General Appropriations Act, Salary Resolutions, Appointed positions/ compensation.
After bidding, the 2 year Assessor Contract /Cemetery Maintenance Contract was given to; Signature Service for $13,000.
All above approved.

Public Input:
Rebecca Hubers Emergency Manager and 911 Director, reported on the National Hazards Mitigation Planning and how roads & culverts should be reassessed every five years.

Commissioner Sauer:
Road Commission will pay for the 1st brining application. The Township will pay for the 2nd. This is a new brining mix that should stay on the road longer. It is a 38% brine and carries 2X the cost of the previous material. New brine should build up over several years and will not need to be applied as often. Asphalt has been cheaper than expected.
Thompsonville ambulance service is getting better.
Elberta 5 member board now fully staffed.
Lisa Peacock resigned from the Health Department.
Roads Dept. to expand to old Platte River School.
We do not need a new Juvenile Detention facility, as we have enough beds. The need is for more staffing.
The board also had a special meeting to review the budget tentatively approved at the Feb.2 meeting and allow the public to comment. No public comments.

February 2, 2022 — Joyfield Township Board Meeting 

    Reports to the Board:
    Benzie County Commissioner Gary Sauer (Blaine, Joyfield, and Weldon townships) reported that:
  • The Betsie Valley District Library has a new DVD available: “Honor Flight: One Last Mission,” a heartwarming documentary about four WWII veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime. Volunteers race against the clock to fly thousands of veterans to Washington, see the memorial constructed for them.
  • Commissioner Sauer also says that Nate Loop, the new administrator for The Maples, seems to be a good match.
  • Two abandoned roads to close: Scranton & Center Rds.
  • Commissioner Sauer attended a Community Land Trust Presentation concerning affordable housing to be owned by individuals and also another concerning Hazardous areas such as dams and flood zones.
  • Commissioner Sauer says that School Board had a discussion about metal detectors in the schools — to acquire or not??
  • Lake Ann Elementary noticed radio dead spots during their lockdown drill.
  • Sauer mentioned the Elberta development controversy over RK Investments’ proposal to build a complex at the west end of Betsie Bay; RK is seeking a building height variance and to see what the public sentiment is. No land has been acquired, yet.
  • Sauer says there are two seats open on the Village of Elberta Council.
  • He also says that the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department meetings will be monthly instead of bi-monthly; COVID-19 is still increasing.
  • He also says that commissioner seats may go to 4-year terms. Open meetings and quorums required.
  • Several millages will expire this year, and they will be on August primary election ballot — may go back to full amounts.
  • Lastly, Sauer said that Senate Bill 565 may provide $3 million dollars to the county. (Senate Bill 565 is a bill that includes $2.5 billion dollars in Restricted and Federal funding to address issues related to water, including infrastructure, dams, lead, PFAS, waste water, drinking water, and wetlands).
    Old Business
    Assessors contract approved for two years. The Joyfield Township Board approved an increase of $1,000 a year; compensation will now be $8,419.00.

Updated parcel count stands at 541.

    New Business:

FY2022/2023 Proposed Budget, salary resolutions, and meeting dates will be adopted in March.

Poverty Exemption Resolution approved.

Board of Review Dates will be March 14 from 9am-3pm and March 17 from 3pm-9pm.

Contracted Law Firm, Foster Swift, has asked for an increase in fees from $190/hr to $220/hr. (Normal rate is $550/hr, so quite a discount.) Indicated that they could raise rates 5%/yr.

Township Treasurer compensation will be raised $500/yr from $3,500 to $4,000.

We have been told that two new business projects are in the works. One is for a new storage facility on US-31, and the other is for a group of cabins on Mick Road near Wallaker. We could not get more info, as the Planning Comission meeting was canceled on the January 17.

Notes respectfully submitted by Paul (231-383-3868) and Irene (402-416-4875) Marcussen, your Joyfield Precinct Delegates.

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Monthly Meetings

Viruses are still a concern. Please watch your email and this site to find out whether we will be meeting virtually or in person.  

Regular Meetings, 3rd Saturdays:
January 21
February 18
March 18
April 15
May 20
June 17
July — no meeting
August 19
September 16
October 21
November 18
December TBD

Business meetings, 1st Tuesdays:
February 7
March 7
April 4
May 2
June 6
July TBD
August 1
September 5
October 3
November 7
December 5