Township Board Minutes

December 8, 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 Richard Reed, Township Attorney an Robert Snell, Township Engineer, along with 4 interested people.

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

Income to the General Fund of $33,009.14 and disbursements of $93,521.52 were reported. Fire Fund income was $20,664.47 with disbursements of $19,410.00. Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson, to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.


John Kekich, a resident of Leisure Point in Kalamazoo Township off Drake Road, was present to address their concern about hunting that occurs close to them, in Oshtemo Township.

They have had pellets from shotguns come across and land in their complex. He was concerned about the potential for injury and urged Oshtemo Township to extend their hunting ban area. It was explained that the current boundary is West H Avenue.

Supervisor Fleckenstein reviewed the process necessary to extend the boundary and explained that it is a lengthy. Mr. Kekich urged us to begin now, in order to be better protected next hunting season. Mr. Fleckenstein agreed to begin the process.


This item had been tabled at our last meeting for additional information. Attorney Reed reported he had left a voice mail message for Vicki Shumaker but had not heard from her. Lacking the information needed, he suggested we table the item indefinitely. Motion made by Brown, seconded by Johnson to table indefinitely until Attorney Reed has the information. Carried.


Adjustments to the 1998 Budget were presented by Clerk Branch. She pointed out that it was not necessary this year to amend the Revenue of the General Fund, Fire Funds or Police Fund. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson to approve the amendments to the 1998 Budget. Roll call showed: Anderson - yes Johnson - yes Brown - yes Bushouse - yes Branch - yes Block - yes Fleckenstein - yes


It was reported by Trustee Anderson that the Road Committee had received a property owner petition to overlay Saybrook and a portion of Signal Hill. The streets are the last of the old portion of Westport and are in need of improvement.

In addition, the recommendation called for adding Nightingale and the northern portion of Signal Hill to the list of streets to receive a Micro Seal. With the increase that was projected for our Par Funds from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, there will be sufficient funding.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to approve the amendment to the 1999 Road Projects as recommended by the Road Committee. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein reported that last summer after a wind storm, we had contacted Handley=s Tree Service to clean up damage in our cemeteries and at the same time complete some needed trimming. It was anticipated that our insurance would paid for the cost of the cleanup, however, we discovered it would not cover the trees, only damage done to the monuments. The invoices totaled $9,725. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson to authorize payment of the invoices from Handley. Carried.


A request had been received from Steve Visser, developer of Westport Trail #1, to extend the step one approval of his plat. The Board granted tentative preliminary plat approval on February 24, 1998. The approval is valid for one year. Mr. Visser requested an extension to September 8, 1999. It is his plan to begin road construction in April or May of 1999. Motion made by Brown, seconded by Block to approve the extension until September 8, 1999. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein reported that for several years there has been recognition of the need to extend the sanitary sewer truck line from KL Avenue to W. Main Street. A proposal had been prepared by Engineer Snell that would extend the line through the Country Club Village Plat and terminate it on the north side of W. Main Street.

The project had been estimated at a cost of $770,000 and could be funded from the Township=s sewer reserve account and a bank loan. The amount and funding plan would be determined after the Request for Proposals (RFP) are received. The issue was before the Board for their approval of the concept and approval for issuing the RFP for the construction.

The Sewer and Water Committee had worked with the Engineer on the proposed project and recommended approval of the concept.

There was discussion regarding the past practice of line extensions funded by developers or by special assessment districts, about the availability of grant funding and amount of funds available in the Township's reserve.

The Committee felt we should be proactive by putting the reserve funding to work and use it to direct lines where we want development. A motion was made by Brown, seconded by Anderson to approve the concept of the extension of the KL Avenue Sewer Truck Line to W. Main Street and authorize pursuit of Requests for Proposals. Motion carried unanimously.


This item had been tabled from our last meeting, in order to allow additional time for Board Members to investigate and consider the matter.

The following comments were made by the Board:

Treasurer Brown - Shared a list of past accomplishments of C.O.G.

Trustee Block - Still concerned about the budget, i.e. high salaries but he felt
it was time to move forward and the status quo was not doing it.

Trustee Anderson - Stated, if we approve the concept now, we could still drop out
later, if we decided to.

Treasurer Brown - Stated, she understands and agrees with the concept. But she was
uncomfortable with the proposal as presented. She could not approve it with the
proposed budget. She felt the current structure can accomplish things, it just will
be slower.

Trustee Bushouse - Although he likes to be proactive, he believes that with the current structure there has been positive results. He felt we should not spend township
funds for an additional level of government, without the people having the direct
ability to vote for those people involved.

Trustee Johnson - He felt this would be a good way to protect this area and help business.

Clerk Branch - Had a better understanding of the issues and could support the concept,
under one condition. Her support was conditioned on a salary for the Executive
Director of between $50,000 and $80,000.

Trustee Johnson - Stated they may not need to spend as much as they budgeted.

Treasurer Brown - When the grants or private sector money runs out, where will the funding come from?

Trustee Anderson - Replied, if their performance is good, the funding will probably

Supervisor Fleckenstein - It appears that there is more work for the Committee to do
because there are many areas of concerns shared by other communities. He would
expect the proposal to be amended and returned for approval.

There was one public comment. Neil Sikora, 2378 Fairgrove, urged the Board to support the proposal, stating no proposal would be perfect. He asked the Board to not just look at their own backyard but to look at the big picture. He felt the costs involved will be worth it because the economic loses will out weigh the cost to move forward in this county.

After all comments were heard, a motion was made by Block, seconded by Anderson to approve the concept with our concerns noted and passed on to the Council of Governments. Carried 5 to 2 with Brown and Bushouse voting no.


The Personnel Committee reported they would like additional time before presenting their recommendation for the 1999 compensation. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson to table the item until December 22. Carried.


Supervisor - Had received a letter from a citizen concerned about gypsy moths.

Reviewed report of contaminated wells in Springwood Hills plat.

Went to Lansing regarding proposed changes to State Revenue Sharing.


Treasurer - Provided material about the use of a former landfill as a community park.


Trustee Bushouse - Questioned how newsletter distributed in Clayton Estates.

Announced his appointment to State Electrical Inspectors Board.


Trustee Anderson - Reported there were 40 residents who dropped off leaves on November 28.That made a total of 117 for two days. There was good reaction.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.


Township Clerk



Date Approved: