THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF OSHTEMO

Township Board Minutes

Special Meeting

June 8, 1999

 

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
Trustee Fred Johnson

Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney and Robert Snell, Township Engineer along with 22 interested people.

Clerk Branch advised the Board that she had corrected the minutes of the June 1 Special Meeting to reflect that she abstained from voting on the salary for the new Clerk, as well as the appointment, as required by law. Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to approve the minutes as corrected, along with the minutes of the May 25 meeting. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $20,664.58 and disbursements of $78,816.83 were reported. Fire Fund income was $10,537.52 with disbursements of $30,629.82. Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson, to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.

CITIZENS COMMENTS
Kadir Mohmand, 6147 Old Log Trail, asked that each Board Member respond to five (5) questions, regarding who benefits from the KL Avenue sewer extension and past rezonings.

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Debbie Everett thanked the Board for their unanimous support of her appointment to the position of Township Clerk and told them she looked forward to working with them.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT ORDINANCE

Jodi Stefforia, Township Planner Director, presented the Board with a recommendation from the Planning Commission to amend the Zoning Ordinance to better address stormwater management, soil erosion and sedimentation control. The changes will make our ordinancemore flexible and comprehensive.

Motion made by Brown, seconded by Block to set the ordinance for First Reading on June 22. Carried.

PARK REGULATIONS ORDINANCE

Due to a few inappropriate incidents in our Township Parks that were difficult to take corrective action on, an amendment to the Park Regulation Ordinance was recommended by the Park Committee. The amendment would address after hours use of the park, loitering and damage to trees or vegetation.

Trustee Bushouse questioned if under Section 215.003 (h), would vehicles for special events be prohibited from parking in the field. Clerk Branch suggested that we add without permission of the Township to that line.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson to set the Park Ordinance amendment, with the addition to (h), for First Reading on June 22. Carried.

DANGEROUS BUILDINGS HEARING OFFICER

It was pointed out that our Dangerous Buildings Ordinance No. 98, allows for the appointment of a hearing officer. We have used the services of an appointed hearing officer several times in the last year but we have not had a provision for compensation.

It was recommended that the hearing officer receive the same per diem as residents serving on our other boards. Currently the amount is $50.00 per diem. It was further recommended that the pay be retroactive to January 1, 1999.

Motion made by Branch, seconded by Anderson to adopt the policy establishing a per diem of $50.00 and that it should be retroactive to January 1, 1999. Carried.

PETITION FOR WATER EXTENSION ON W. MAIN

Supervisor Fleckenstein reported that a petition had been received requesting that the water main be extended out W. Main from the Township Hall to Big Rock Drive. In addition, he clarified that this request is not related to the water problems in Springwood Hills and that it is not intended to connect to that system. They are different pressure systems.

Engineer Snell explained that the district boundaries were drawn as a result of a request from property owners for municipal water. The water line would be extended on the south side of W. Main Street until 6th Street, where it would cross over to the north side using an extension that was placed there when the road was widened. It would then continue west and cross back to the south side at Almena Drive via another pre-placed extension.

The project would be funded by a special assessment to the property owners. The assessment is generally based on the front footage on property. Based on the estimated cost of the project, the cost per front foot was figured at $32.00.

Supervisor Fleckenstein reported that he had recently been advised by the City of Kalamazoo that there will be a 7.5% increase in the cost of construction of water mains.

Nella Langeland, 7653 W. Main, had several questions or concerns. She asked who petitioned for the water and could she have a copy of it. She felt they should pay it if they want it. She was told a copy would be provided to her.

She also asked why the water couldn=t come from the 4th Street line. Mr. Snell explained that due to the lack of pressure that line could not be used.

Clerk Branch voiced concern about how the district was drawn and questioned the fairness of using the front footage for the assessment, when the land area was used to determine the validity of the petition. She suggested an even depth of 660 feet be used, rather than irregular property lines.

Engineer Snell replied that we could assess similarly to the way we assess for sewer lines, using a benefit charge and a lower front foot fee. Clerk Branch then questioned if a new petition would have to be circulated if the assessment would be calculated differently.

Attorney Reed replied, no new petition would be required. It was his opinion that greater thought was needed to determine how to assess.

Paul Sutherland, representing Kalamazoo College, stated they might change their position, if a consistent depth were used.

Bill Jameson, 1715 Old Deer Run, stated he had no problem with extending water or sewer but he objected to people thinking that if they had sewer and water they had a right to be rezoned to commercial. They have faults expectations. The Land Use Plan does not call for strip commercial out W. Main.

Jim Langeland, Nella Langeland's son, urged the Board to consider the comments of the Clerk and Attorney. He did not think the residential property owners should subsidize the business owners. He felt it would be better to use a benefit fee to spread the cost more equitably.

Kadir Mohmand was concerned about the contaminated water from the KL Avenue Landfill and the health of the people in Oshtemo Township.

Treasurer Brown was in favor of looking at the option of assessing like we do for sewer. She felt we should look at ways to provide water to the businesses that need it but to also protect the home owners.

Dick Van Dam, business owner at 8128 - 8178 W. Main, questioned if the proposed system will be adequate to meet the needs of property owners. Mr. Snell replied that the volume will be there but some may need to have boosters to increase pressure for your sprinkler systems.

Mr. Van Dam stated he understood the concerns of Mrs. Langeland and pointed out that the assessment would be spread over time on the tax bill. It would not have to be paid all at once.

Jogi Uppal, owner of property at W. Main and 5th Street, felt that home owners would benefit from the water line by receiving healthy water and better fire protection. He also reminded the Board that business owners pay more taxes because they do not have homestead exemption.

After all comments were heard, a motion was made by Branch, seconded by Brown to table the issue until June 22, in order to have our Engineer consider an amended district boundary and to consider other ways to fund (or assess) the project.

The Supervisor asked if the boundary changes, would they need new petitions. The Engineer replied that would be up to the Board to decide, however, he felt the Board should have the additional information that he will bring for the next meeting, before deciding.

The motion carried 6 to 1, with Trustee Block voting, no.

BOARD COMMENTS

Treasurer Brown reported that Board Appointment Committee will move forward in July with their process to recommend residents for appointment to fill vacancies on our various Boards.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

ELAINE J. BRANCH, CMC
Township Clerk

Attested:
RON FLECKENTEIN
Supervisor

Date Approved:  June 22,1999