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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

TOWNSHIP BOARD

November 13, 2001

Public Comment session was held at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

PRESENT:
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Township Auditor Mike Crandall, Building Official Bob Horton and approximately 25 interested people.

PUBLIC COMMENT

The following members of the Home Builders Association spoke regarding the recent increase in building permit fees:

David Roberts
Bill Dykhuis
Steve Hoogstraten
Jim Roberts
Ken Klok
Don Glas

Their comments included the following:

The fee structure is out of line, 400% increase too much.

The fees make it too expensive the build in Oshtemo.

Home Builders Association is requesting the Board reconsider what has been done.

Housing affordability is an issue.

Proper notification of impending change was not received.

Would like to see task force formed to study issue.

How many permits were issued last year and this year?

What do the fees cover?

Would like to see accounting of how new fees were established.

Oshtemo fees were under the average, but increase is too much.

Maybe building department should be downsized or privatized.

Not opposed to 4%-5% increase per year.

Building department is very efficient.

Board should be concerned about people building elsewhere.

Current weak economy should be considered.

$1,000 increase makes a difference, bank might not loan more, eliminates 20,000 people from being able to buy a home.

Building department is difficult to work with.

Act 245 did not change language.

Fees should be suspended until a review can be done.

Building Official Horton explained how the fee structure was established, noting that many direct costs to the building department had not been previously attributed to that account.

Auditor Crandall noted Act 245, which requires separate accounting for building department funds, became effective January 1, 2000, prior to which the building department was part of the general fund. He further noted that as of the end of the 3rd quarter the department has a deficit of approximately $12,000 and the proposed 2002 budget was based on current revenue.

It was noted that Mr. Horton had communicated verbally to Jim Roberts of the impending increase and agendas and Township Board minutes are regularly mailed to the Home Builders Association. The item was tabled at the August 14th meeting to allow time for input.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to establish a committee of 3 members of the Home Builders Association, Mr. Horton, Mr. Crandall and Trustee Bushouse to study the issue and report back to the Township Board at its November 27th meeting. Carried.

Supervisor VanDyke called the regular meeting to order at 7:20 p.m.

PRESENT:
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, Fire Chief Ken Howe and approximately 8 interested people.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to approve the minutes of the October 23rd meeting. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $50,709.28 and disbursements of $129,218.60 and income to the Fire Fund of $1,329.86 and disbursements of $25,817.17 were reported. Trustee Worline requested clarification on two items; invoices from Nye Uniform and West Colony Printing. Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to accept the report as presented. Carried.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Supervisor VanDyke read a letter from Reginald Shave complimenting the paving of North 7th Street.

State Representative Tom George commented he was pleased to observe local government at work in the public comment session and offered updates on the following items:

State revenue sharing has been cut, will have some effect on the Township, a bill that would allow township input into setting speed limits passed the House and is now in the Senate. Election reform legislation has passed the Senate and will be coming to the House. Mr. George indicated that although he does not have a local office, a toll free number 1-877-347-8061 is available for his Lansing office.

In response to Board member questions, Mr. George advised the Michigan Department of Transportation has specific criteria for determining need for left turn lights, the I-94 widening project is still in the study phase and legislation regarding annexation/detachment will be coming back to the Legislature.

Brian Molony, owner of Rollerworld, 7491 Stadium Drive thanked the Fire Department for being present at the Halloween carnival and participating in the Kalamazoo Holiday parade. He further commented that while the new development to the east of his property had done some paving, the silt that collected in his drainage area has still not been removed.

Millard Loy thanked the Board for their support in acquiring the Oshtemo welcome signs and advised they have been installed. Trustee Bushouse extended thanks to Mr. Molony and Themi Corakis for their help.

Gladys Ahrens, 1960 Highfield, advised that most of the plat she resides in is now student housing and parking is a serious problem. She provided the Board with photographs of cars parked on lawns and requested the issue be addressed.

PUBLIC HEARING - SKYVIEW ESTATES ASSESSMENT ROLL - INSTALLATION OF MUNICIPAL WATER

A public hearing was held to establish the assessment roll for installation of municipal water in the Skyview Estates development. The total assessment roll is $138,600.00, or $9,240.00 per lot.

Dan Wilkinson, developer of the plat advised he would prefer a 20-year assessment roll.

Motion by Culp, second by Brodasky to approve the assessment roll at 20 years at 8% interest, with the first billing on the 2002 winter tax bills. Roll call vote showed Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Worline-yes, VanDyke-yes.

PUBLIC HEARING - STREET LIGHTS - SAVANNAH & ROSE ARBOR #3

A public hearing was held on the proposed installation of streetlights in the Savannah development and Rose Arbor #3. Any property within 300 feet of a street light would be assessed .04 mills and billing would begin with the 2002 winter taxes.

Janet Squires, 4331 South 11th Street, commented she would receive no benefit from the light she will be assessed for, and doubts she will be able to see it when houses are built on the street and does not feel she should have to pay for it.

Overall safety was noted for traffic flow to and from the plat and the ability of emergency vehicles to better locate side streets.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Culp to approve the installation of streetlights in the Savannah development and Rose Arbor #3. Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Worline-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brodasky-yes.

REZONING - SECTION 25 - R-2 TO R-3

Planning Director Stefforia presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission for the rezoning of property located on the west side of South 11th Street between Stadium Drive and Parkview Avenue from R-2 to R-3. She noted the east side of South 11th Street in the same area is zoned R-3 which allows for conversion of residential homes to office space, which has been done. While the future Master Land Use map shows the area as R-4 multiple family, the Planning Commission felt R-3 would be a more compatible use for the surrounding area. She noted that some of the seven parcels are rental properties, some owner occupied and one vacant. She further noted the lots are deep and wooded and the landscaping ordinance would assist in screening owner occupied parcels. The recommendation also included amending the Master Land Use Plan to classify the area as transitional.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to set the rezoning for First Reading on November 27th. Carried.

FIRE DEPARTMENT VEHICLE PURCHASE

Fire Chief Ken Howe presented a request from the Fire Department for replacement of car 500, which was totaled in an accident. He indicated the purchase would be made through the State of Michigan contract through Oakland County. They have agreed to waive the usual membership fee. Total cost of the vehicle including the necessary radio equipment and lights would be $22,984.12.

In response to Board member questions, Chief Howe advised he did not consider an SUV or 4 wheel drive at this time, he feels the car meets the needs of the department and noted the Impala has a 5 star crash rating.

Motion by Culp, second by Worline to approve the purchase in the amount of $22,984.12. Carried.

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE CONTRACT - 2002

A renewal of the household hazardous waste contract for 2002 was presented for consideration. Clerk Everett advised through the 3rd quarter of this year 253 residents had used the service; the total number last year was 289, therefore, it appears use will be about the same. The commitment for this year and last year was $6,000.00.

Treasurer Brown commented education is needed to make the program successful; it was noted articles have been put in the Township newsletter on numerous occasions. Mrs. Brown felt the County should also provide education on the program.

Motion by Everett, second by Culp to approve the contract for 2002 at $6,000.00. Roll call showed Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Worline-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes.

PROCLAMATION - GIS DAY

Planning Director Stefforia presented a proposed proclamation of November 14, 2001 as GIS (Geographical Information Systems) day to highlight the awareness of the system and advised the Board of an open house to be held on that day at Comstock Township.

Motion by Everett, second by Brodasky to adopt the proclamation declaring November 14, 2001 as GIS Day. Carried.

APPOINTMENT OF ATTORNEY FOR ORDINANCE PROSECUTION

Attorney Mason advised that due to the ticket issued to a firefighter involved in an accident while responding to a call, she felt alternative counsel should be appointed for the prosecution and defense due to the fact that tickets are written under ordinance and this would place our attorney in a conflict. She recommended Robert Soltis as the prosecuting attorney and Anthony Toweson for defense counsel.

Trustee Bushouse commented the ticket could have been written under State statute and he felt the Michigan State Police should have been requested to investigate and issue any citation; this would remove the Township and Sheriff's Department from the situation. He further felt there should be a policy addressing this issue.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to accept the attorney's recommendation for appointing alternative legal counsel. Carried with Bushouse voting no.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS

Treasurer Brown inquired if the letter regarding critical bridge funding discussed at the October 23rd meeting had been written. Supervisor VanDyke advised it has.

Mrs. Brown thanked Ordinance Enforcement Officer Scott Paddock for the speed trailer reports and requested they be received every 3-6 months.

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Engineer Snell advised the Club View and Savannah sewer projects should be completed very soon.

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

DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke
Supervisor