OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
November 28, 2000
The Oshtemo Township Board held its regular meeting at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Barry Steadman
Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, and approximately 42 interested people.
Motion made by Brown, seconded by Anderson, to approve the minutes of the November 14th meeting. Carried.
Income to the General Fund of $76,915.53 and disbursements of $102,168.86 were reported. Fire Fund income was $6,554.73 with disbursements of $26,352.82. Motion made by Culp, seconded by Steadman to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.
Stan Rakowski, 5171 West G Avenue, commented that he had been an observer at the absentee ballot counting board and as a result has a greater appreciation for the people who work very long hours during an election and thanked Clerk Everett and Counting Board Chairman Elaine Branch. He further commented the meeting room needs a better sound system; it is difficult to hear past the first row.
Henry Bonnes, 2648 Plainview, addressed Supervisor VanDyke commenting he felt a public apology was due to Ron Fleckenstein and the election officials, of which he is one, for the accusations made during his campaign. Mr. VanDyke responded he does apologize and has apologized to individuals at the Township Office and further commented he hopes those problems have healed but there are still things he will look into.
Kadir Mohmand, 6174 Old Log Trail, congratulated the new board members then read a statement concerning the request by Mr. Steadman at the November 14th board meeting for fees paid to legal counsel, engineering and accounting saying he felt former Treasurer Brown should have been able to answer. He further commented there should be an outside audit. He then addressed his comments to Mr. VanDyke saying he had made election promises to investigate Fire Station #2, property sold to Jack Siegel and the 10th Street sewer project, and hoped Mr. VanDyke keeps his promises.
Dan Wilkinson, developer of Sky View Estates commented he had not received a response to the letter he presented at the November14th meeting regarding problems with water, he has received tax bills for lots he can't sell and inquired what affect the proposed changes to the Open Space Ordinance would have on his development.
REZONING REQUEST - STADIUM DRIVE
Planning Director Jodi Stefforia reviewed the Planning Commission recommendation for the rezoning of approximately 9 acres of land from R-3 to R-4 located on Stadium Drive, west of South 11th Street.
Jean Haverkamp, 2607 Plainview, expressed concerns regarding protection of the residential flavor of the area, the current traffic on Stadium Drive and any additional that would occur due to development.
Trustee Anderson inquired if a traffic study had been done. Ms. Stefforia responded the Kalamazoo County Road Commission has not advised us that Stadium Drive does not have adequate capacity. She further commented that planning requests cannot be turned down based on traffic. Attorney Reed agreed commenting that zoning may not hinge solely on traffic on a particular street bordering the property, but that infrastructure, influences of adjoining properties, and consideration of careful planning must all be taken into account.
Supervisor VanDyke inquired if there had been discussion regarding reducing speed limits in the Village Focus Area. Ms. Stefforia advised the intent is to slow traffic down by giving people something to look at in the Village Focus Area and inquired of Attorney Reed if proposed legislation that would give Townships input into setting speed limits had passed. He advised it has not as yet.
Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Brown to set the rezoning request for Second Reading on December 12th. Carried.
LANDSCAPING ORDINANCE PROPOSAL
Supervisor VanDyke requested that this item be tabled to allow him and Trustee Steadman more time to familiarize themselves with the proposed ordinance.
Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Culp to table and set the ordinance for Second Reading on December 12th. Carried.
OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY - AMENDMENT
Supervisor VanDyke requested that this item be tabled to allow him and Trustee Steadman more time to familiarize themselves with the proposed amendment.
Trustee Brown suggested that a time be set before the December 12th meeting, for Mr. VanDyke and Mr. Steadman, along with any other interested board member to meet with the Planning Department.
Motion made by Brown, seconded by Bushouse to table and set the amendment for Second Reading on December 12th. Carried.
DANGEROUS BUILDING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT
Ordinance Enforcement Officer Scott Paddock advised the state statue has been changed and this amendment would change our ordinance to mirror that. The change allows all problems with a dangerous building site to be handled under one ordinance, i.e., one notice for litter, weed and building conditions which are now noticed separately, and this will save time and expense.
Trustee Brown commented she knows how much time these situations require and would support the proposed amendment, as it will be more expedient for homeowner and the Township.
Motion made by Brown, seconded by Anderson to set the amendment for Second Reading on December 12th.
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT - HEALTH INSURANCE RETIREE SUFFIX
Geoff Lansky from Burnham & Flower Group presented a proposal to add a retiree suffix to the current employee health insurance. He advised offering the coverage is common practice with many municipalities and allows employees who retire to continue their health and prescription coverage, and such a benefit is an incentive to attract and retain good employees. Criteria for determining eligibility can be determined by the Township Board. Mr. Lansky's proposal set eligibility requirements at10 years of continuous service, and a required 70 points achieved through 1 point for each year of service and 1 point for each year age, paid by the Township. Cost would be approximately 20% less than the active employee rate. He advised most other municipalities use this criteria.
Supervisor VanDyke and Trustee Steadman indicated they would have several questions and suggested the item be tabled. Mr. Lansky advised there are time constraints involved since Blue Cross has a 60-day time frame to work with but the need was not known until the November 7th election when former Supervisor Ron Fleckenstein became eligible for the coverage. His current coverage runs through November, therefore, a retiree program would have to be in place by December 1st.
Clerk Everett inquired if the criteria can be changed once a program is established. Mr. Lansky advised the Township Board could change it.
Trustee Brown commented that in the job market today, especially fields requiring employees with specialized certifications and skills, we need an incentive program, affordable to the Township, to keep good qualified employees.
Clerk Everett suggested since the option of changing the criteria is available and we are faced with time constraints, the program should be approved. Mrs. Brown agreed commenting that Mr.
Steadman could form a sub-committee to study the issue further if he wishes. Mr. Steadman indicated given these factors, he would support approving the program at this time.
Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Culp to approve the health insurance retiree suffix with the criteria proposed by Mr. Lansky. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Brown-yes, Steadman-yes, Anderson-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes.
APPOINT TOWNSHIP BOARD MEMBER TO PLANNING COMMISSION
Motion made by Supervisor VanDyke, seconded by Brown to appoint Clerk Everett as the Township Board Representative to the Planning Commission. Carried.
BOARD COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
Trustee Brown requested that this item be discussed at a work session. Trustee Bushouse agreed commenting that a work session would be helpful for the new board.
Motion made by Bushouse, seconded by Brown to schedule a work session for November 30th at 2:00 p.m. and instruct the Clerk to post the meeting. Carried.
MEETING DATES FOR 2001
Meeting dates for 2001 were presented using the current schedule, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., and joint boards meeting quarterly. Trustee Brown suggested adding December 18th in the event a second meeting is needed in December.
In response to questions from Trustee Bushouse regarding making the first meeting of the month a work session, at which only discussion is heard, no decisions are made, Attorney Reed advised that any regular meeting could have an agenda on which any matter that can properly come before the board can be placed and public comment must be allowed. He further advised the board to consider whether one meeting per month is adequate to handle Township business.
Mr. Bushouse then inquired if a work session could be part of a regular meeting. Mr. Reed advised it could. Clerk Everett suggested the board could discuss this at the November 30th work session.
Motion made by Everett, seconded by Culp to approve the meeting dates with the addition of December 18th. Carried.
There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Attested: John VanDyke