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April 23, 2002

The Oshtemo Township Board held its work session at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline

Also present were Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers.

Reports were given from Parks, Buildings & Grounds, and Personnel Committees and sub-committees studying the police district and housing code, and the technology committee.

Supervisor VanDyke called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, and approximately 12 interested people.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to approve the minutes of the April 9th meeting. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $12,780.94 and disbursements of $195,613.00 were reported. Motion by Culp, second by Worline to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.


Brian Molony, 2015 Ravine Road, owner of Rollerworld and other property in the Township, thanked the Board for postponing the consideration of the lawn bids but suggested the process be done earlier next year. He also commented there was no requirement to accept the lowest bid and felt the Board should take a look at the type of service available and attendance at the meeting of the contractors.



The six bids received for lawn maintenance were referred to the Buildings & Grounds Committee at the April 9th meeting. Clerk Everett advised the committee's recommendation was to award the bid to E. Niewoonder & Sons, Inc., based on the per mow bid being the low bid, spring and fall clean up bid at a flat fee, and they are a locally owned, long standing business.

The bids considered were:

Weekly mowSpring/Fall Clean UpBrush Hog
Niewoonder$635.00$3000.00$50.00/hr (6ft) $100.00 (15ft)
Specialty Services$705.00$30.00/hr $10.00/yd$45.00/hr
Corakis / Four Seasons$845.00$4550.00$50.00/hr
Hadaway & Sons$920.00$30.00/hr $12.50/yd$55.00/hr
Precision Maintenance$1400.00$6000.00 $15.00/yd$60.00/hr
Naylor Landscape$1925.00$6994.16$70.00/hr

Trustee Brown thanked the committee for their work and commented she also felt the process should be done earlier and hoped the committee would revise and clarify the bid specifications. She also commented that caution should be exercised when asking providers to perform extra services.

Trustee Worline commented he concurred with Ms. Brown in feeling the process should be done earlier. He also commented he felt the committee should consider Trustee Bushouse's comment from the previous meeting to consider hiring a township employee for lawn maintenance and snow removal, that although the initial investment would be considerable, it could result in savings in the long run. He also commented he felt there was benefit, particularly for budget purposes, in considering a three year contract as offered by Hadaway & Sons, and perhaps the lawn maintenance and snow removal bids should be requested in three year contracts in the future.

Trustee Brodasky advised the committee did discuss the suggestion of an employee but felt the initial investment would be substantial. Supervisor VanDyke commented there was concern there would be a lot of "down time" for such an employee. Ms. Brown felt this should be explored cautiously and careful observation made of a providers work to assure it meets the Township Board's expectations.

Elaine Branch, 7654 West Main inquired if Niewoonder & Sons had experience with cemetery work, commenting she felt the familiarity of Hadaway & Sons and locking in a three-year price should be considered.

Mr. Brodasky advised while at one of the cemeteries to stake out new sign locations, he happened to meet Mr. Niewoonder who did not indicate any problem with handling cemetery maintenance.

Clerk Everett commented cemetery maintenance had been her major concern in the committee's discussion. She further commented that Hadaway & Sons had done an excellent job in the cemeteries and she had received compliments every year on their appearance, however, the committee felt the difference in cost had to be considered. She further stated she planned to request a meeting with Mr. Niewoonder to discuss her expectations for the cemetery maintenance.

Brian Molony inquired if Niewoonder & Sons were still available to take the bid at such a late date and suggested asking anyone present concerning the bids and who has a concern for the Township if they would be able to handle the situation. Mr. VanDyke advised he had spoken with Mr. Niewoonder and he was prepared to do the work.

Bob Janssen, 8670 Almena Drive, commented he knows the Niewoonders, they have been in the lawn care business since the 1940's and he feels they will do a good job.

Dwight Town of Specialty Services advised he does all his own work and does not get complaints.

Motion by Worline, second by Brown to accept the Building & Grounds Committee recommendation and award the lawn maintenance contract for 2002 to E. Niewoonder & Sons, Inc. Carried.



Planning Director Jodi Stefforia presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to deny a request from Wal-Mart for rezoning from R-2 to C of 2.96 acres in Section 14 on South 9th Street. Ms. Stefforia stated the Planning Commission's determination was based on the rezoning was not supported by the Master Land Use Plan, the rezoning would have a detrimental effect on the area, would stimulate future requests both by Wal-Mart and other property owners around the perimeter of the current commercial zoning if the lines were moved inconsistent with master plan, it would be a spot zone to increase the commercial depth deeper than the other four corners of 9th Street and West Main. She also indicated planning staff had shared the amount of commercial land in the Township now that is either under utilized or vacant including Maple Hill Mall and property still available at West Main Mall and the Planning Commission finding was not to harm progress being made there by prematurely expanding commercial zoning to the west.

Trustee Worline commended the Planning Commission for their systematic approach and reasons for recommending denial.

Trustee Brodasky commented he agreed; he did attend the Planning Commission meeting and felt the commission conducted a meticulous scrutiny of the criteria.

Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to accept the Planning Commission recommendation and deny the rezoning request. Carried.



A recommendation from the Planning Commission to add a definition of child care center to reflect the State definition for licensed child care conducted outside a private residence, add child care centers as a special exception use in the R-3 district subject to the same criteria as office buildings, change the term "day nurseries" to "child care centers" in the R-4 and C districts, change the wording from "child or adult day care centers" to "child care centers and adult day care centers" in the VC district, to have consistent wording throughout the ordinance, and update reference to "screening" in R-3 special exception uses to reflect the current landscape requirements was before the Board for Second and Final Reading.

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



A recommendation from the Planning Commission that would require record construction drawings be submitted and signed by a licensed contractor, architect, engineer, or landscape architect when a Certificate of Occupancy is requested, and in the case of one and two family developments, record construction drawings of the site development would be required prior to issuance of a building permit for any residential construction was before the Board for Second and Final Reading.

Motion by Brodasky, second by Culp to adopt the text amendment. Roll call vote showed Brown-yes, Bushouse-no, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes.



A request from the United Soccer Foundation for a $5,000 donation to upgrade soccer facilities was referred to the Parks Committee at the March 26th meeting.

Clerk Everett advised the committee's recommendation was to deny the request based on their finding the contribution is not specifically geared toward a direct benefit of the Township as a whole or its residents individually, the committee was not convinced of the public benefit aspect of the requested donation and Township Auditor Mike Crandall and Attorney Mason concurred with this opinion.

In response to an inquiry from Trustee Worline, Attorney Mason advised the Township is limited and cannot expend public funds for private purpose, further noting that when analyzing if a donation is possible it must be found to have a specific benefit to the Township and its residents. She further commented that in the Markin Glen Park example sited, there was a specified benefit to Township residents that was associated with the donation made, a free admission day. In this case if one of the fields were actually in the Township and offering reduced fees to Township school districts for example, it might effect it, however, none are here and they have not identified a specific citizen benefit to citizens of the Township, but a general public benefit which is not sufficient to authorize the expenditure of public funds.

Trustee Brown noted that any child playing soccer in the league must pay a fee.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to deny the request for reasons stated by the committee and Attorney and direct the Supervisor to write a letter to Mr. Gregersen of the Soccer Foundation. Carried.


Trustee Worline introduced Dennis Greenfield of B&D Scanning to present information on the scanning and archiving of Township records. Board members had many questions and consensus was to visit the City of Portage and/or Comstock Township to view the system being proposed. The Technology Committee consisting of Trustee Worline, Treasurer Culp, and Deputy Clerk DeAnna Janssen will report back at the May 14th meeting.


Trustee Brodasky advised the Board had discussed in their work sessions the need to adopt a mission statement for the Township. He offered the following suggested statement:

"To protect the interest of the residents and Township, to encourage growth consistent with maintaining the character of our community and to provide those services which enhance the quality of life."

Motion by Brown, second by Worline to adopt Mr. Brodasky's suggestion as the Township mission statement. Carried.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:55 p.m.

Township Clerk Supervisor

Attested: John VanDyke