THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF OSHTEMO

Township Board Minutes

September 28, 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 Deb Everett
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee David Bushouse
Trustee Fred Johnson

Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineers along with approximately 55 interested people.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to approve the minutes of the August 24, 1999 and August 27, 1999 meetings as prepared. Carried.

Receipts and disbursements report not available due to change in computer program; complete report will be available for October 12th meeting.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Kadir Mohmand, 6147 Old Log Trail, presented a written statement to the Board inquiring if any development was being planned or discussed for 8th Street or 9th Street in Section 14, and why it had been suggested that he sell his property. Supervisor Fleckenstein indicated he would respond to the request in writing.

WEST MAIN WATER EXTENSION

The matter of a proposed water main extension on West Main from the Township Hall to between 4th and 5th Streets was back before the Board for the first public hearing.

Engineer Snell reviewed two proposed alternatives for establishing a district. Alternative #1 generally includes all commercially zoned property in Section 16 along West Main. These properties would be charged a front foot fee of $36.77/foot at time of connection. All other properties along the project installation but outside the district would be charged the current front foot fee, established by the water ordinance, currently $21.97/foot, at time of connection. Alternative #2 establishes a district including the entire project frontage. The established ordinance rate would be charged for all properties in the district when connection is made. An additional benefit charge of $3,000 per benefit, would be applied to all commercial properties, following the current schedule used for sewer benefit charges.

Treasurer Brown noted it should be clarified that the current rate for water connection is $21.97/foot, however, this rate can change as the City of Kalamazoo changes their rates.

Trustee Bushouse inquired if the front foot charge can be spread over a 10 year period. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the current policy allows for a 2 or 5 year payback. Trustee Bushouse inquired if there would be a mandatory time frame for connection. Engineer Snell advised there would not, however, the rates could change.

Supervisor Fleckenstein clarified that with either alternative, the Township will fund the project, and that no charges would be assessed against any property until time of connection.

Referring to Alternative #1, Treasurer Brown inquired if an out of district residential property were to be rezoned to commercial, what rate would be charged. Attorney Reed responded it would still be charged the out of district rate.

Trustee Bushouse inquired what would be shown on the assessment roll. Attorney Reed advised it would list the property by owner and description, amount of assessment and in what manner the assessment must be paid. This would be presented at a second public hearing.

Treasurer Brown requested clarification on method of payment, whether all is due at time of connection or paid over a number of years. Attorney Reed advised that the Board can set a time period that it feels is reasonable. In response to a questions from Trustees Johnson and Bushouse, Attorney Reed advised that properties outside the district would pay current front foot fee at time of connection.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to accept Alternative #2, set the district, approve the plans, cost of the project and direct preparation of the assessment roll.

Trustee Bushouse inquired if the benefit charge could also be spread over time. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised that current policy does not allow for that; only the front foot charge can be spread over time.

Clerk Everett wished to clarify that with Alternative #2, although all properties along the project would be included in the district, they would be under no financial obligation unless they chose to connect. Attorney Reed advised this was correct and the Board would consider issues concerning method of payment at a public hearing on the assessment roll.

Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

Trustee Bushouse requested that research be done as to whether the payment of the benefit charge could also be spread over a time period, as is the front foot charge under current policy.

STADIUM DRIVE REZONING REQUEST

Wilfred Dennie, Planning Commission Chairman presented a request from Nancy Fry and Gerald Myers for the rezoning of their parcels located at the southwest corner of Stadium Drive and South 6th Street, from AG to C or R-3.

Chairman Dennie advised the Board that the recommendation of the Planning Commission is to approve the rezoning of the subject parcels to R-3 and amend the Master Land Use Plan(MLUP) to show the area as transitional.

Mr. Dennie noted that approximately 35 residents from the area immediately south of the subject parcels attended the public hearing objecting to any rezoning in the area. He advised clarification was provided to the public regarding the zoning classifications. Their comments included feeling there was already enough commercial zoning, many had relocated to the Frie & Gibbs Plat area because of its rural character, commercial businesses should be more centralized and there was no need for further commercial zoning in the area. Chairman Dennie further noted that R-3 zoning does allow 3 and 4 family dwellings as a special exception use, however, the density for such a dwelling would be no greater than if the property were to be subdivided, therefore, there would be no density impact.

The Planning Commission felt the R-3 zoning was designed as a transitional district to permit residential development to occur together with other uses that do not generate a lot of traffic, congestion or parking problems, and further that R-3 was designed to be compatible with surrounding residential areas. In light of the surrounding industrial zoning, it was felt a transitional zone would be beneficial to the residential area to the south. They also felt that since there is extensive residential development to the south, if the particular parcels stayed AG, some uses permitted in AG would be objectionable to a residential district, lending some weight to looking at changing those properties to a transitional zone.

Trustee Bushouse inquired how this protects the residential since the industrial properties across Stadium Drive are already developed. Chairman Dennie advised the R-3 zone is intended to be a buffer between more intense and less intense uses, and felt these parcels being sold as residential is unlikely given the area, the MLUP calls for the area to be residential. A change to R-3 does not go against the MLUP, however, does provide that the property will likely remain in good use by permitting uses compatible to residential to occur there. The parcels would remain residential; R-3 would also allow small office development as a special exception use, or 3 or 4 family dwellings, both being compatible uses.

Trustee Bushouse further inquired if the sewer line on Stadium Drive could be accessed. Engineer Snell advised the parcels could be connected to the sewer line.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson, to set the rezoning request for First Reading for October 12th. Carried 5-2 with Block and Bushouse voting no.

BRECKENRIDGE ESTATES #2 - FINAL PLAT APPROVAL

Engineer Snell advised the Board that all necessary approvals had been received and reviewed, therefore, presented a recommendation to grant Final Plat Approval to Breckenridge Estates #2, subject to all fees being paid. He further noted that this is an extension of Breckenridge Estates #1 located on Northstar Avenue, off North 9th Street with a new street extending to West H Avenue and capability to be connected to the Country Trails Plat.

Trustee Anderson inquired if the retention site was located in the plat. Engineer Snell noted that it is outside the plat to the west of Lot 23 and has been deeded to the Drain Commission.

Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Block to grant Final Plat Approval, subject to payment of fees. Roll call vote showed Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

WENDLYN WOODS - FINAL PRELIMINARY PLAT APPROVAL

Engineer Snell presented a recommendation to approve Final Preliminary Plat Approval to Wendlyn Woods, subject to Fire Department approval of the cul-de-sac turn around, fees be paid to Township, and subject to Drain Commission approval regarding runoff and subsurface drainage.

He further advised the Board that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission had approved the plans, however, he had received a copy of a letter from them to the plat engineer advising that the property owner to the north of the proposed plat has concerns that must be addressed, therefore the Road Commission will not approve construction of the road until satisfied that all property line discrepancies are resolved and all abutting property owners are agreeable with the way their driveways are reconstructed.

David Nieuwenhuis, contractor of the plat, was unaware that a letter had been sent regarding the issue. He further stated the Road Commission had granted approval to the preliminary plans.

Treasurer Brown suggested the item be tabled until all parties concerned resolve the situation.

Mr. Nieuwenhuis stated the Road Commission had granted approval to the preliminary plans in a letter dated August 26th.

In response to a question from Treasurer Brown, it was the opinion of Engineer Snell that there are safeguards in place to address the problem if the Board proceeds with approval, since Final Plat Approval would be based on all other agencies granting final approval.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to grant Final Preliminary Plat approval subject to conditions stated previously by the Engineer and final approval of the Road Commission.

Roll call vote showed Johnson-yes, Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

AMENDMENT TO TRAFFIC CODE ORDINANCE

An amendment to the Traffic Code Ordinance was presented for Second Reading. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the Board that recent changes in the drunk driving laws of Michigan necessitates a change to our ordinance.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to adopt the ordinance amendment. Roll call vote showed Anderson-yes, Block-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes,
Fleckenstein-yes.

POLICE PROTECTION SPECIAL ASSESSMENT PUBLIC HEARING

Supervisor Fleckenstein opened the Public Hearing for the 2000 renewal of a special assessment levy of approximately $85, 110 (2.5 mills) against the benefitted property located in the Police Protection Special Assessment District. The district is located along West Main Street between Drake Road and US 131 and includes commercial areas only.

There was no comment.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to adopt the Police Protection Special Assessment Resolution. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

FIRE PROTECTION SPECIAL ASSESSMENT PUBLIC HEARING

Supervisor Fleckenstein opened the Public Hearing for the 2000 renewal of a special assessment levy of approximately $982,923 (2.5 mills) against all properties in the Township.

There was no public comment.

Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson to adopt the Fire Protection Assessment Resolution.

In response to questions from Trustee Bushouse, Fire Chief Ken Howe advised the following:
Proposed replacement of unit 572, which is a 1952 model Jeep experiencing consistent maintenance problems, would be replaced with a pick up truck, utilizing the same water tank and pump.
Proposed replacement of car 500, would be new replacement as the sheriff department will not be making their used vehicles available.
Proposed replacement doors at Station #1 would be the pedestrian service doors, which are deteriorated.
Replacement of the furnace and air conditioning unit are needed as the unit has failed twice this year.
Proposed ceiling in the fire station bay would accommodate better insulation and heating. The current sprayed on insulation is falling off onto the vehicles.
Proposed upgrade of the day room would consist of replacement of carpeting and furniture.

Roll call vote showed Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

STREETLIGHT SPECIAL ASSESSMENT PUBLIC HEARING

Supervisor Fleckenstein opened the Public Hearing for the 2000 renewal of a special assessment levy of approximately $106,043 (.4 mill) against those properties located within 300 feet of a streetlight.

There was no comment.

Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson to adopt the Streetlight Special Assessment Resolution. Roll call vote showed Johnson-yes, Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

2000 TOWNSHIP BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING

Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the Board the total budget for all Township operations for 2000 was proposed at $5,637,070 (.9906 mill). This includes the levy from the approved special assessment districts.

There was no public comment.

Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson to adopt the Operations Budget and Millage Resolution.

In response to questions by Trustee Bushouse, Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the following:
$500,000 budgeted for facility upgrades could include Station #2 after it is vacated, there are also needs at the Township Hall regarding the parking lot, signage at all locations and a plan to create a better work environment within the Township Office.

The Building Department vehicle slated for replacement is the 1989 Buick which is experiencing
numerous maintenance problems.

Roll call vote showed Anderson-yes, Block-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

Supervisor Fleckenstein then presented a resolution regarding routine expenditures and purchases which authorizes the Supervisor or Clerk to approve purchases in the amount of $3,000 or less.

Clerk Everett inquired why the Treasurer is not authorized as well, as there could be occasions when the Supervisor and Clerk could be unavailable, and inquired if the resolution can be changed to include the Treasurer. Attorney Reed responded the Treasurer can be added.

Motion made by Everett, seconded by Anderson to adopt the resolution regarding routine expenditures and purchases with a correction to include the Treasurer. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

OTHER BUSINESS

AMENDMENT TO NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE

Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the Board that the recommendation by Building Official Bob Horton to amend our ordinance regarding the Electrical Code to conform to State standards so the 1999 code will be automatically adopted, requires a Second Reading.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Brown to approve the change and amend the ordinance regarding the Electrical Code. Roll call vote showed Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS

Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the Board of the following:

Striping of 10th Street is scheduled for Wednesday, with the road to reopen on Thursday, weather permitting.

The intersection of North 9th Street and West H Avenue will be completely closed until approximately November 1st for reconstruction.

The sanitary sewer project from KL Avenue to North 10th Street is complete, however, a problem has been detected at the south end of the project on Lodge Lane. The contractor will be responsible for the repairs.

Springwood Hills water main construction is completed, lines are now being run to the homes.

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Trustee Johnson reported that Fire Chief Ken Howe, Captain Rick Everett, Firefighters Darwin Rogusta, Eric Baroky, Steve Hippensteel, former Trustee George Fiala and residents Angela Zahringer and Stephen Everett assisted with the installation of soccer goals at Flesher Field. He also thanked Clerk Everett for their lunch.

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Trustee Anderson noted that the new fire truck had been delivered and would be in service soon.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

 

DEBORAH L. EVERETT                                                   Attested: RON FLECKENSTEIN
Township Clerk                                                                                     Supervisor