Township Board Minutes

APRIL 14, 1998

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 Elaine Branch
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norman Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee David Bushouse
Trustee Fred Johnson

Also present was James Porter, Township Attorney and Robert Snell, Township Engineer, along with 5 interested people.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to approve the minutes of our last meeting, March 24, as prepared. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $117,314.42 and disbursements of $126,321.96 were reported. Fire Fund income was $104.00 with disbursements of $64,603.33. Clerk Branch pointed out that there must have been a typo in the General Fund income because the amount shown was much too large. The correct amount was closer to $19,000.00. She will recalculate and correct the records. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block, to approve the report and pay the bills, subject to the recalculation. Carried.(the correct amount is $21,649.12)


John Nieuwenhuis, 3265 South 6th, explained that his excavating business is located next to a residence. He expressed his feeling that as the township grows and development takes place, people could more and more use enforcement of our ordinance as a way to harass their neighbors.

He suggested that the Board consider a policy that would fine people who made false complaints. He felt there could be an allowed number of complaints, and then a fine imposed for complaints over that allowed number.


Supervisor Fleckenstein reported that the Department of Environmental Quality, Brownfield Redevelopment Board, has approved an award of a Municipal Landfill Cost-Share Grant to Oshtemo Township. We would be eligible for a $10,937.50 reimbursement for our past expenses relate to the West KL Avenue Landfill.

He further explained that it will be necessary to authorize the Supervisor and Clerk to sign a grant agreement and to adopt a resolution indicating our intent to pursue any insurance coverage for eligible costs. The insurance coverage had been pursued years ago.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to authorize the Supervisor and Clerk to sign the grant agreement and to adopt the resolution regarding the insurance coverage. Roll call showed:
Block - yes Anderson - yes Johnson - yes Bushouse - yes Branch - yes Brown - yes Fleckenstein - yes. (Filed in Supplements to the Minutes


Trustee Block reported on the Planning Commission's recommendation to rezone 19 acres, located in Section 13, along US 131 and north of T.G.I. Fridays, from "R-4" Residence District to "C" Local Business District. In addition, they recommended an amendment to the Master Land Use Plan.

He reviewed some of the reasons for their recommendation. After a discussion about the history of the area and the traffic study that was provided, a motion was made by Block, seconded by Brown to concur with the Planning Commission and set the rezoning for First Reading on April 28. Carried.


The Fire Department had been seeking a location to build a fire station to replace Station #2. After much consideration, the Fire Chief, Fire Commissioner and Building Committee made a recommendation to purchase land located on South 6th, north of Stadium Drive. The property is situated in the Frie & Gibbs plat and will include a portion of lots 2, 3, and 4, as well as a portion of lot 1, which will be conveyed from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

Supervisor Fleckenstein explained it will be necessary for the Board to authorize the signing of a sales agreement. The purchase price will be $147,000.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson to authorize the Supervisor to sign the sales agreement for the property shown as parcel B1 on the map that was provided.

Tim and Monique Peterson, who live directly north of the proposed site, spoke in opposition of this location for a fire station for the following reasons:

Intersection of 6th Street and Stadium Drive is dangerous
Too many accidents there.
A lot of small children live on 6th Street.
Fire station will be too noisy, will wake the children.
6th Street too hilly and in poor shape. Too dangerous.
It will hurt their property values.
Property on Stadium Drive would be better.
Township will need to reduce the speed and remove the hills on 6th Street.

Robert Brindley, 3364 South 6th, voiced the following concerns:
Traffic has double on 6th St - it
's hard to pull out now.
Suggested using the Viking Die property and go directly onto Stadium Dr.
Current location on Parkview is more centralized.
Opposed to giving easement for access to lots behind the fire station.
Does not want more business and traffic in the area.

John Nieuwenhuis asked why the residents in the area did not receive a notice about the fire station. His other concerns included:

Sirens and speeding vehicles flying by in a residential area is bad.
Other land is available on Stadium Drive, why not wait for Viking Die property.
Hills on 6th St are dangerous, cars go like rockets.
Hills on Stadium cause people to not see the light in time. Bad when icy.
Dangerous for kids in road on bikes.
6th St is not an all-weather road.
Will taxpayers have to pay to fix the road that fire trucks have torn up?
Location half a mile up the road would better serve the area.

Fire Chief Howe responded with the following information:
Many options were looked at and with all things considered, this location appears best.
Safer to access Stadium Drive at the intersection light off of 6th Street.
Firefighters will have clear view of intersection as they approach from the north.
The majority of the calls will be run to the south, down to Stadium Drive.
Occasionally, if a call is up 4th St, they would go out north on 6th.
This location is centrally located between east and west.
The property owners to the west deserve good protection, too.
The access to Stadium is poor and dangerous from the current location.

Trustee Bushouse thanked the Chief and Fire Commissioner Anderson for meeting with him and sharing information. After reviewing the information provided, he felt more investigation is needed. It was his opinion that we need two stations; one at the current location or Flesher Field on South 9th and one out Stadium, near 4th Street. That would provide better access to north/south roads, as well as, east/west access.

He further stated that there is equipment available that could control the traffic light at 9th and Stadium and give better access from the Parkview Station. There also could be access on to Atlantic now that we have purchased the A.T.&T. right of way.

After all comments were heard, the Board voted on the motion. It carried 6 to 1, with Bushouse opposed.


As part of the plans to purchase of the land for the fire station, a split/combination of the lots in the Frie & Gibbs Plat would be necessary. The split/combination would involve lots 1 thru 8 and lot 21.

The Planning Department reviewed the changes and reported that resulting lot will comply with the requirements in our Zoning Ordinance and conform to the Land Division Ordinance.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Branch to approve the lot split/combination as presented. Carried. 6 to 1, with Bushouse opposed.


In December 1997, the Board supported the concept of the creation of a Kalamazoo Regional Water and Wastewater Commission. Work had been completed on an Intergovernmental Agreement for such a Commission.

The Agreement, which had been reviewed by our legal counsel and found to be in order, includes the purpose, intent and authority of the Commission. There will be an annual membership fee of $1,500 plus a fee of $4.00 per customer billing for either water or sewer. The maximum annual cost would be $11,500.

Motion made by Branch, seconded by Block to adopt the resolution authorizing signature of the Agreement, subject to the maximum fee of $11,500. Roll call showed: Branch - yes Block - yes Brown - yes Johnson - yes Anderson - yes Bushouse - yes Fleckenstein - yes (Copy filed in Supplements to Minutes)


As planned in the 1998 Park Budget, the Park Committee recommended the purchase of playground equipment for Flesher Field. The modular system would be from the same company who installed the tot-lot play equipment located in that park.

The system, designed for children ages 5 to 12, would include several climbing and sliding features and have a treehouse type roof.

The total cost, including excavation and sand, would be $19,215. Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson to approve the purchase of the playground equipment. Carried.

There was no further business. Meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

Township Clerk Supervisor
Date approved - April 28, 1998