THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF OSHTEMO

Township Board Minutes

December 22, 1998

 

The Oshtemo Township Board held its regular meeting at the Township Hall. The meeting was called to order by Supervisor Fleckenstein, at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:

Supervisor Ron Fleckenstein
Clerk Elaine Branch
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norman Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee David Bushouse

ABSENT:

Trustee Fred Johnson

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney along with 4 interested people.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Brown to approve the minutes of our last meeting, December 8, as prepared. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $3,075.81 and disbursements of $78,716.84 were reported. Fire Fund income was $1.77 with disbursements of $49,258.96. Motion made by Brown, seconded by Block, to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.

                                    CITIZENS COMMENTS

None

            STREETLIGHT PUBLIC HEARING - TURTLE COVE
A request was received from the developer of the Turtle Cove Site Condo project, to install four (4) streetlights along their street. Supervisor Fleckenstein reported that proper notice of the hearing was mailed and published. There will be a special assessment at the rate of .4 mill against the benefitting properties.

In response to a question by Treasurer Brown, it was reported that there will be standard light poles installed.

There was no public comments and the public hearing was closed.

Motion made by Branch, seconded by Brown to adopt the resolution approving the special assessment for four streetlights in Turtle Cove. Roll call showed: Branch - yes Brown - yes
Block - yes Bushouse - yes Anderson - yes Fleckenstein - yes

                LEGAL, ENGINEERING AND AUDITING FIRMS
The following firms were recommended to represent the township in 1999: Legal counsel - Reed, Stover & O
'Connor. Engineering - Prein and Newhoff (formerly Wilkens & Wheaton). Accounting/Auditing - Siegfried, Crandall, Vos and Lewis.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Brown to appoint the firms recommended for 1999. Carried.

                TOWNSHIP BOARD MEETING DATES FOR 1999
A list of meeting dates were provided for Board approval. It was proposed that we continue to meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in 1999, with quarterly joint meetings with the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals set for the 3rd Tuesday on February, May, August and November.Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to approve the meeting dates as presented. Carried.

                     

                    FIRE TRUCK REPLACEMENT

A request to replace fire apparatus #521 was presented to the Board. Fire Chief Howe had provided the Board Members with a memo outlining the need and pointing out the cost savings if we can avoid the 1999 increase that is expected.

He reported that #521 serves as our main truck to respond to calls and that it has excessive corrosion on the body and chassis. In addition, due to the high mileage, the potential of major, costly breakdowns has begun.

The replacement truck, outfitted like our other pumpers, reportedly would cost approximately $240,000. That amount had been included in the 1999 Budget.

In order to expedite the process, to avoid the 1999 increase, it was requested that the Board authorize the Fire Chief to solicit bids and grant authorization to the Supervisor, Fire Commissioner and Fire Chief to open the bids at a public bid opening, review the sealed bids and award the bid. It was the recommendation of the Treasurer, that they can not accept a bid over $240,000.

Trustee Bushouse questioned the Fire Chief about the existence of a long range plan for truck replacement. It was his desire to review the plan. Considering the Mutual Aid agreements with other communities and the fact that most commerical buildings are sprinkled, he felt we may have more equipment than we need. The Supervisor agreed, this should be reviewed.

Motion made by Branch, seconded by Block to authorize the Request of Proposal for the replacement truck and to further authorize the Supervisor, Fire Commissioner and Fire Chief to open the bids and make the award, with the awarded bid not to exceed $240,000, without approval of the Township Board. Motion carried.

                    PHASE II OF COMPUTER REPLACEMENT

In an effort to continue our plan to update our computer system, the Board was asked to approve the replacement of two more PC=s, at a cost of approximately $5,000. This purchase will complete the plan to improve our system. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Brown to approve the purchase of two PC=s. Carried.

                            LANDFILL COST SHARE GRANT

Earlier this year we received a grant in the amount of $10,937.50 from the Department of Environmental Quality, as part of a Cost Share Program related to past cleanup costs for the KL Avenue Landfill.

The Supervisor reported that we have the opportunity again for 1999. He recommended authorization to apply for the grant and adoption of a resolution stating we have not and will not be receiving reimbursement from any other source.

Motion made by Branch, seconded by Anderson to authorize the filing of the application for the Cost Share Grant. Carried.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded Brown to adopt the resolution. Roll call showed:
Anderson yes Brown yes Bushouse yes Block yes Branch yes Fleckenstein yes

            BRONSON HOSPITAL TRAUMA CENTER RESOLUTION

A resolution was presented recognizing Bronson Hospital for their Level 1 Trauma Center. Motion made by Block, seconded by Bushouse to adopt the resolution. Roll call showed:
Block yes Bushouse yes Branch yes Brown yes Anderson yes Fleckenstein yes

                SPECIAL ASSESSMENT ON GREYSTONE - LOT 23

Treasurer Brown reported that when the Greystone Drain District was established, lot 23 of the Greystone Plat was deeded to the Drain Commissioner for use as an overflow basin. The lot will never be built upon. Due to an oversight, the assessments liens that exist for that lot were not included in cost for the Drain District.

After discussion with our attorney and the Drain Commissioner, it was agreed that the Drain Commissioner would pay the assessment for the year 1998 and it was her recommendation that the balance be paid from township funds. The balances are as follows: 90-5 Sewer $1,995.22,

90-6 Water $1,248.18. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to approve the payment as recommended. Carried .

1999 ELECTED OFFICIALS COMPENSATION

Trustee Block, reporting for the Personnel Committee, stated that this year it was necessary to make adjustments in the salaries of some of our staff, in order to remain competitive with other area municipalities. Therefore, their recommended increases for the elected officials was conditioned by wage levels needed to retain our existing staff and to be in a favorable positon to hire quailified people.

He further stated that they recommended that the increases be equal for all three elected full time official,(rather than a percentage increase), in order to reduce the gap between the three offices. Each office would receive an increase of $3,406, resulting in the following annual salaries

Supervisor $60,166

Clerk        $53,100

Treasurer $53,100

Trearurer Brown addressed the Board, stating she still felt that the Administrators position=s are equal, with differing responsibilities. She recognized that the current salaries are disportionate and felt one step toward correcting that situation would be to acknowledge that the three are all at Level 1 on the step chart. She asked that the record reflect the intention.

She further, thanked the Personnel Committee for their attempt to address that concern and for listening to her reasons for supporting the position that the offices are equal.

There was no comment from the Personnel Committee and Trustee Block presented the resolution adopting the 1999 salary for the Supervisor. He moved for adoption, seconded by Anderson. Roll call showed: Block yes Anderson yes Bushouse yes Brown no Branch no Fleckenstein yes. Adopted 4 to 2.

At this point, Clerk Branch stated she was pleased with the Committees attempt to diminish the difference between the offices. She asked them if that meant they feel the positions are equal?

If so, she suggested that all three positions should be placed at Level 1, so that the record will show their intention, even though the salary amounts would take years to equal out.

In response to the question, Trustee Block stated they did not feel the positions were equal but felt they wanted to recognize the work of the Clerk and Treasurer by reducing the gap between the offices. There was no response when questioned about their timing or goal related to the reduction of the gap.

The Treasurer and Clerk both assured the Board that the salary amount was not the issue to them. The issue was the recognition that the offices are equal. It was pointed out that at one time they were equal and in other communities in Kalamazoo County, they are treated equal.

There was no willingness to discuss the matter further. Supervisor Fleckenstein suggested the issue could be taken up at another time and explored further.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to adopt the resolution setting the 1999 salary for the Clerk. Roll call showed: Block yes Anderson yes Branch no Bushouse yes Brown no Fleckenstein yes. Adopted 4 to 2

Motion made by Block, seconded by Andeson to adopt the resolution setting the 1999 salary for the Treasurer. Roll call showed: Block yes Anderson yes Brown no Bushouse yes Branch no Fleckenstein yes. Adopted 4 to 2

Trustee Block reported that they recommended that the Trustees should receive the same base salary of $1460 with a $5.00 increase per diem, bringing it to $50.00 for each meeting attended.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to adopt the resolution for the Trustees= 1999 compensation. Roll call showed: Block yes Anderson yes Bushouse yes Branch yes Brown no Fleckenstein yes. Adopted 5 to 1.

Lastly, it was the recommendation of the Committee that a policy be approved that stated a staff person should not be compensated more than any full time elected official. The Supervisor stated he felt it would be appropriate and asked that a policy statement be prepared for the personnel salary file.

Clerk Branch stated she was opposed to that philosophy because there could be times when a professional person should receive more than the elected officials.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to adopt a policy stating that a staff person should not be compensated more than any full time elected official. The voice vote was unclear and a show of hands resulted in the following: Anderson, Block & Brown - yes and Branch, Bushouse & Fleckenstein - no. Motion died, due to the tie vote.

                                        BOARD COMMENTS

Trustee Block suggested cards be sent to Trustee Johnson to show we are thinking of him.

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Trustee Anderson reported that our contract with our ambulance service is up for renewal in January. He invited the Board to review the contract and meet with them. The Fire Chief will be arranging a meeting date.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

ELAINE J. BRANCH, CMC
Township Clerk

Attested:

RON FLECKENTEIN
Supervisor

Date Approved: