OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
September 12, 2000
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.
Supervisor Ron Fleckenstein
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Fred Johnson
Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, Wilfred Dennie, Planning Commission Chairman and 43 interested people.
Motion made by Brown, seconded by Johnson, to approve the minutes of the August 22nd meeting and the August 29th joint meeting. Carried.
Income to the General Fund of $41,339.97 and disbursements of $199,425.16 were reported. Fire Fund income was $7,065.62 with disbursements of $81,247.65. Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.
Kadir Mohmand, 6417 Old Log Trail, read a statement alleging use of Township property and equipment regarding the August primary, questioned the purchase and sale of Township property, questioned the status of Charlie Hill, commented unfavorably regarding the Kalamazoo Gazette=s coverage of the election, and stated that the Aold guard@ establishment of Kalamazoo County does not want change. (Copy filed in Supplement to Minutes)
Brian Molony, 4334 South 12th Street, wished to comment for the record he was present for the recount and would like to thank Deb Everett and the Township for a fairly good job. He further wished to state for the record it was Mr. Fleckenstein and Mr. Block's prerogative to ask for a manual recount but did cost the Township extra money to have it done. Mr. Molony also commented he appreciates the work of Mr. Fleckenstein and Mr. Block but feels its really not necessary to put the Township through the expense and turmoil of a write in campaign after the ballots have been counted twice; the campaign was difficult for all but the process in this country is to make changes through elections. He asked that no changes be made to any ordinances, regulations or operations until November 20th when the new terms begin.
Ed Sharp, 379 West Ridge Circle, commented he wished to reiterate what Mr. Molony' comments, stating he was here the entire day of the recount and local personnel here did a tremendous job, and commended the Board and County Board of Canvassers for their professionalism and dedication to detail, and felt the count was as accurate as humanly possible. He also inquired if a copy of the proposed changes to the personnel policy could be made available to those in attendance. A copy was provided.
Planning Commission Chairman Dennie presented the proposed sign ordinance, which had been returned to the Planning Commission for further review in April. He advised they held further deliberations and a public hearing in addition to the Planning Department staff meeting with interested parties to deal with any specific questions those individuals raised. He reminded the Board the intent was to combine all sign text into one ordinance, combine provisions by zone, and set in motion regulation of signs by use rather than by district. Extensive work was also done to define different types of signs. He noted clarification of wall signage was also addressed to minimize the need for requests to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Treasurer Brown stated she would like to thank the Planning Commission for going back one more time, listening to concerns from the Board, taxpayers, and business owners in the Township, and the compromise that was reached. She further commented the business owners who did come back were listened to and the Planning Commission did make some adjustments to accommodate their needs.
In response to questions from Trustee Bushouse, Mr. Dennie advised the intent of the ordinance is to have flagpoles ground mounted and that if an existing flagpole is replaced it would have to comply with the ordinance.
Supervisor Fleckenstein pointed out a revision not written into the ordinance, which is recommended for inclusion stating that the provisions contained in Sections 76.160-76.185 shall not apply to properties located within the Village Commercial District.
Treasurer Brown inquired if the Village Commercial District would have its own signage regulations. Mr. Dennie advised that it would and the Village Commercial District text would address the specific needs of the district.
Motion made by Everett, seconded by Johnson to insert the language regarding the Village Commercial District. Carried.
Motion made by Brown, seconded by Block to set the sign ordinance for First Reading on September 26th. Carried.
REZONING REQUEST - SOUTH 11TH ST - SECTION 25 - R-2 TO C
The Planning Commission recommendation to approve the rezoning of 1.2 acres of the former AT&T right-of-way in Section 25 from R-2 to C was before the Board for First Reading.
Motion made by Everett, seconded by Anderson to set the rezoning request for Second Reading on September 26th. Carried.
REZONING REQUEST - STADIUM DRIVE - SECTIONS 34 & 35 - AG TO C
The Planning Commission recommendation to approve the rezoning of the rear acreage of five parcels on the south side Stadium Drive west of 8th Street, from AG-Rural to C was before the Board for First Reading.
Ed Sharp commented he recalled a request for this rezoning in 1996 and it was denied and inquired what circumstances had changed that would warrant a change now.
Mr. Dennie stated he did not recall any rezoning request, however, the Planning Commission had been studying the Village Focus Area and felt at that time, with the uncertainty regarding the direction the Township was going to take regarding the Village Focus Area, it was not prudent to act on any properties in that general vicinity. He further commented there has been development along Stadium Drive, and reaffirmation by the Planning Commission and Township Board of the location of industrial property. He also stated time was spent discussing the attributes required for the village focus which now has a vision and more deliberate steps in place to realize it; the Planning Commission sees agricultural as inappropriate and commercial is a natural step to occur for this area.
Ted Corakis, Planning Commission member commented the only commercial rezoning request denied in the area was at South 6th Street and Stadium and he doesn't=t recall any other request for rezoning for commercial after 1996.
In response to comments from Kadir Mohmand regarding his involvement, Charlie Hill stated that he represented several applicants, at Mr. Steve Geresy=s request, who did not indicate whether he had a buyer. He further commented that he did not find in his research of minutes back to the 1980's, a request for rezoning; the property was discussed in generalities and thought to be appropriate at some point in time to rezone to commercial. Mr. Hill further commented that people who leave government could become lobbyists, or work with the government, he understands the system and can help people through it and will help anyone that wishes to hire him. In response to a comment from Mr. Mohmand, Mr. Hill replied he had not been asked to help Mr. Mohmand and doesn=t appreciate accusations made against him when he is only doing what is his right.
In response to a question from Mr. Mohmand, Mr. Hill advised that he has had rezoning denied in the past.
Motion made by Block, seconded by Brown to set the rezoning request for Second Reading on September 26th. Carried.
EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK AMENDMENTS
Supervisor Fleckenstein presented proposed changes to the Employee Handbook. He advised the change regarding the definition of Department Head will not be requested. The proposed changes would address hiring authority and would require the concurrence of both the Township Supervisor and the prospective employee=s Department Head, termination authority would also require the concurrence of both the Township Supervisor and the employee=s Department Head. Mr. Fleckenstein stated these give the Department Heads greater opportunity to participate in the hiring or discharge of employees. The other proposed change would allow use of equipment, machines or tools if permission is obtained from employee=s Department Head or Township Supervisor.
Trustee Bushouse inquired if a fire department member washing their car or use of weight equipment would be allowed. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised it would with the proper approval. Mr. Bushouse also commented he had obtained information at the NaTAT conference addressing comp time and felt the definition should be redefined as well as mention made of the Federal Minimum Wage Law in the handbook. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised these issues would be addressed with the attorney.
Clerk Everett noted that employees not reporting directly to a Department Head are not addressed. Mr. Fleckenstein advised this issue would be also be dealt with soon.
Treasurer Brown wished to clarify that Mrs. Everett=s concern and those of Mr. Bushouse would be addressed and brought back to the Board. Mr. Fleckenstein advised they would.
Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to approve the proposed changes to the Employee Handbook. Carried 6-1 with Bushouse voting no.
WEST PORT TRAILS #1 - TENTATIVE AND FINAL PRELIMINARY PLAT
Ms. Bugge presented the request for tentative and final preliminary approvals for West Port Trails #1. She advised this plat had been approved previously but has been reconfigured to include the property that had been planned for the site of a community pool. Four additional lots have been added and the retention pond relocated. She advised the requirements have been met for this step in the approval process, title insurance had been received and forwarded to the attorney, and streetlights would be addressed at the final step
Supervisor Fleckenstein advised streetlights would be included in the public hearing during the budget process in the near future.
Steve Visser, developer, was present and advised the Mylar would be signed by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission at their meeting on September 26th and hoped the final approval step could be held at the Township Board on that date as well. Attorney Reed advised we will try to meet that request provided all necessary requirements are in order.
Mr. Visser further commented he wished to thank the Board, Mr. Fleckenstein, Engineer Snell and Attorney Reed for their help getting through the process which is a difficult one and the personnel at the Township office have been very helpful.
Motion made by Brown, seconded by Everett to approve tentative and final preliminary approval for West Port Trails #1. Carried.
ELECTRIC CHOICE PROGRAM
Supervisor Fleckenstein advised that the Township has been invited to join with other municipalities in an electric choice program developed by Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA). The purpose of the program is to combine as many governmental units as possible to create electric energy purchasing power, which is permitted by Act 141 of 2000. The commitment at this time would be $100.00 to initiate a survey of our use, cost and projected savings.
Attorney Reed advised postponing this item until he has an opportunity to more closely review the agreement we are being asked to sign, regarding the language of negotiation rights and the ability to opt out of the program.
Treasurer Brown suggested a work session with the attorney and the Board for a more thorough explanation of the program.
Motion made by Everett, seconded by Brown to postpone the item to the September 26th meeting. Carried.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Trustee Block thanked Mr. Molony for his comments stating that it is refreshing to hear some positive comments instead of the accusations and negativism that comes forward at these meetings.**********
Clerk Everett advised $430.00 was raised by the Pancake Breakfast at Oshtemo Fun Day and thanked the volunteers from the Township staff who worked. Proceeds were sent to the Kalamazoo Humane Society. She further commended the Fire Department on their participation, noting the children's activities were excellent.**********
Trustee Bushouse noted the Oshtemo Rotary raised approximately $2,500 with booth rentals and balloon rides.**********
Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the road construction at Parkview and 11th Street, which will include reconstruction of the intersection, will continue until approximately mid November. There will also be work done on South 12th Street.
Lowe=s has been issued a temporary occupancy permit so they may begin assembly of their shelving units; they anticipate opening in 2 weeks. In response to a question from Brian Molony, Mr. Fleckenstein advised the plan still includes connecting the post office with their parking lot.
Mennard=s is progressing and they anticipate a mid November opening.
There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.DEBORAH L. EVERETT Attested: RON FLECKENSTEIN