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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

TOWNSHIP BOARD

November 27, 2001

The Oshtemo Township Board held its regular meeting at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 7:00 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 Michael Ortega, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer, Mike Crandall, Township Auditor, Bob Horton, Building Official, Ken Howe, Fire Chief, and approximately 11 interested people.

Clerk Everett noted two corrections to the November 13th minutes where Trustee Brown was referred to as Treasurer. Motion by Brodasky, second by Worline to approve the minutes of the October 23rd meeting as corrected and the November 20th joint meeting as presented. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $9,678.87 and disbursements of $92,387.31 and income to the Fire Fund of $10.00 and disbursements of $28,108.34 were reported. Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

None.

LIQUOR LICENSE TRANSFER - FINLEY'S RESTAURANT

A request from RCFC of Michigan, operator of Finley's Restaurant, for approval of transfer of their liquor license was presented. It was noted the request was due to a name change of the corporation.

Motion by Everett, second by Culp to approve the resolution transferring the liquor license from River City Food Company to RCFC of Michigan, Inc. Roll call vote showed Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes.

CONSUMERS ENERGY EASEMENT - GENESEE PRAIRIE CEMETERY

Representatives of Consumers Energy requested a clarification of the easement granted by the Board at the October 23rd meeting. Bill Zimmerman and Martin Patterson also requested permission to remove an additional tree in addition to the one approved previously. They felt the tree was at risk, especially if more trimming had to be done. The Board had no objection to the tree being removed.

It was clarified that the easement granted was an aerial easement only for the northern 60 feet of the cemetery property. It was noted the language would also indicate no ground would be disturbed.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to approve the aerial easement as amended and authorize the Clerk and Supervisor to sign the document as well as a letter of agreement regarding replacement trees to be provided by Consumers Energy. Carried.

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

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 was before the Board for First Reading

Motion by Everett, second by Brown to set the rezoning for Second Reading on December 11th. Carried.

INVESTMENT POLICY CHANGE

Treasurer Culp presented a request to change the provision of the Township Investment Policy, which requires that no more than 60% of the Township's total investments be placed in one institution. She advised that due to current low rates of interest more flexibility to maximize investment possibilities is needed and not all banks offer all possible services.

Trustee Brown advised when the policy was written the diversification restrictions were a safeguard; however, due to current conditions in the financial market she would support the change to allow more flexibility.

Motion by Brown, second by Everett to delete from the Investment Policy the requirement that no more than 60% of funds be invested at one institution. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes.

REPORT FROM BUILDING PERMIT FEE STUDY COMMITTEE

Trustee Bushouse presented a recommendation to adopt a resolution to reinstate the fee schedule in effect prior to September 1st, until January 1, 2002 and building permit fees for permits granted since September 1st be refunded to reflect rates in effect prior to September 1st.

He further advised the committee would meet again to discuss further the formula on which an increase would be based. It was determined that a recommendation would be necessary at the December 18th meeting to accommodate a January 1st effective date.

Discussion included that while there is carryover in the Building Department, there will be a need to determine if the General Fund should subsidize the Building Department and it was noted that prior to the requirements of Act 245, indirect costs were not attributed to the Building Department, and the fee structure should be reviewed on an annual basis. It was also noted that Building Official Horton was attempting to address the responsibilities of his department and was commended on his efforts.

Motion by Worline, second by Brown to adopt the resolution. Roll call vote showed Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes.

KL LANDFILL UPDATE

Attorney Ortega provided a brief overview of the status of the landfill advising that the clean up plan as originally proposed and adopted by the EPA in 1990 called for a pump and treat remedy for the contaminated ground water and also called for installation of an impermeable cap over the landfill. He further advised that in the early 1990's it began to be felt within the industry of addressing contamination, there were better ways and many studies done to show that bioremediation, microbes in soil and groundwater, will digest certain kinds of contaminants. The KLA Group, of which is the Township is a member along with Pharmacia, the City of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County has submitted a request that the remedy be changed and it is now under review by the EPA and MDEQ. The group feels the original remedy is not necessary because studies show the bioremediation to be working. He also advised if the original remedy is ordered, it will cause significant disturbance of the area as thousands of loads of clay would be hauled to the site, the site would be stripped leveling the current topography and removing all the vegetation, as well as the significant cost involved, including the Township's responsibility to maintain the roads that would be used. This would also significantly reduce or eliminate the natural cleansing process that studies prove is occurring. MDEQ is expected to issue its comments on the group's request by year end and a decision from EPA is expected early next year.

Trustee Brown inquired if it would be possible to utilize the site for passive recreation at this point in time. Mr. Ortega advised the Board should discuss the idea, solicit input from the public on what they envision for future use of the property. He noted any passive; nature related recreational use would be severely compromised by the required cap since the site would be scraped clean. He also noted that the Master Land Use Plan recreation inventory indicates the landfill property as a future site for use.

Trustee Worline felt a strong educational program would be necessary to assure the site was safe. Mr. Ortega commented the site would be safe; there are no contact hazards present.

David Jones, 404 North 1st Street, commented he felt the installation of water lines was unnecessary since levels of contamination are below safe limits; it is a case of fixing something that is not broken. Mr. Ortega advised Kalamazoo County will not issue well permits, they have indicated it is their directive from MDEQ, therefore "dead zones" were created where building could not occur, therefore, water is being extended to cover these zones; the Township does not agree with the County's policy and is continuing discussions with them on this issue.

Mr. Ortega reminded all present that the EPA would be holding an availability session at the Township Hall on Wednesday, November 28th from 6-8 p.m. Representatives from MDEQ would also be present.

Trustee Bushouse felt a resolution regarding a position on the future recreational use of the site should be acted upon immediately so it could be presented to those present at the session on Wednesday.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Brodasky to adopt a resolution of intent to establish passive recreational use on the former landfill property by 2002. Roll call vote showed Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes.

OTHER BUSINESS

Fire Chief Howe advised a survey is being mailed in the December newsletter to measure interest in a warning siren or weather monitor program.

He also advised a policy has been established that in the event of a department vehicle being involved in a traffic accident, the Michigan State Police would be requested to investigate if possible or if the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department investigates and finds a citation necessary, it be written under State statute, not Township ordinance. This would eliminate the need for additional legal counsel as occurred due to a recent accident. He further advised that the firefighter involved in the previous accident has had the citation taken under advisement and it will be expunged from his record if no further citations are received in the next 6 months.

Trustee Brodasky advised he has received comments from residents attending meetings that the sound system is not satisfactory. Supervisor VanDyke advised he has a different vendor coming to examine the system.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:35 p.m.

DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke
Supervisor