Township Board Minutes

February 23, 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.


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 and Robert Snell, Township Engineer along with 9 interested people.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to approve the minutes of our last meeting, February 9, as prepared. Carried.


Income to the General Fund of $12,133.86 and disbursements of $85,760.48 were reported. Fire Fund income was $979.49 with disbursements of $17,416.21. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson, to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.




The Supervisor reconvened the public hearing for the proposed Streetlight Special Assessment for the streetlight at the corner of South 4th Street and Hathaway Road. The hearing had been adjourned from our last meeting in order to obtain additional information from Consumers Energy.

Supervisor Fleckenstein reported that Consumers offered three options for the style of streetlight; a lantern style on a lower pole (usually used in plats), a bracket light on a pole located near the intersection or an overhead light suspended over the intersection. There would be a charge of $1,000 for the lantern light. The other two have no additional charge. Consumer also said they could try paint on one side of the light to act as a reflector, if the township requested it.

In response to a question by Clerk Branch, the Supervisor stated that the lantern pole would probably be approximately 20 feet or more back from the intersection. Mrs. Branch felt that would not provide much light for the intersection or children=s bus stop.

Trustee Anderson questioned who would pay the $1,000 for a lantern style light. He was told the developer usually does or in this case the condo association would have too.

Trustee Block commented that there is currently a pole on the east side of the street, however, he did not know if it would be close enough to the intersection. He was opposed to the suspended light.

Safety was the main reason Trustee Johnson was in favor of a light at that corner.

Trustee Bushouse felt a light installed on the west side of the road, shining east would be the better solution. He then made a motion to approve the streetlight, requesting the bracket light pole be located on the west side of 4th Street, across from Hathaway Road and that the light should shine to the east.

The motion was seconded by Johnson.

Attorney Reed suggested that we check with traffic safety authorities regarding the wisdom of a light shining across on to oncoming cars on Hathaway Road.

Treasurer Brown was concerned about creating another problem and although she understood the concerns of parents with children waiting for their school bus, she also could sympathize with the residents along 4th Street who did not want the light shining into their homes. She felt she could not be supportive of the motion as it was made.

After all comments were voiced, a roll call showed the following: Bushouse - yes Johnson - yes Anderson - yes Branch - yes Block - no Brown - no Fleckenstein - yes Carried 5 to 2.


A resolution was presented that dealt with cooperation among the members of the Kalamazoo Regional Water and Wastewater Commission. In order to meet one of the objectives of the Commission, they felt it was important to share information regarding water and wastewater issues.

The resolution stated we would work together to develop uniform polices and contract provisions and all contracts would be submitted to the Commission for review prior to our Board action. The Commission would also agree to negotiate jointly on matters of water and wastewater.

There was a general discussion about our contract with the City of Kalamazoo and the need to have accurate records of the volume of wastewater flow. It was hoped that the Commission could work with the City of Kalamazo to meter the flows.

Based on her belief that this could be beneficial to both the City and the other units of government and would be another step in inter-governmental cooperation, Treasurer Brown made a motion to adopt the resolution supporting the Kalamazoo Regional Water and Wastewater Commission. The motion was seconded by Trustee Block and a roll call showed the following: Brown - yes Block - yes Johnson - yes Anderson - yes Bushouse - yes
Branch - yes Fleckenstein - yes (Copy filed in Supplements to Minutes)


The Supervisor explained that the we are currently operating under the 1993 National Electrical Code. The 1996 Code is the most recent code available and it is important that we adopt the most current code.

Trustee Bushouse had information that the 1999 code had been worked on and was published. He would like us to review the 1999 code, so that we do not have to publish an ordinance now and again later for the 1999 code.

Attorney Reed understood that the 1999 had been worked on but was not published yet. He stated that the 1996 code had minor changes and really it is just a housekeeping matter.

Bill Nederhoed, our electrical inspector, thought the new code would be adopted by the State in the fall. He also pointed out that there are 46 hours of training needed to get certified under the each code. He felt there would not be enough time to get updated on both now.

Treasurer Brown stated she felt we should move forward on the current code (1996) because our last code was 1993 and it=s already six years behind.

Motion made by Brown, seconded by Johnson to set the ordinance for First Reading on March 9. Carried.



In an effect to move forward with the project to identify our historic resources, the Planning Commission sought proposals from two consultants to conduct a reconnaissance-level survey. After reviewing the proposals submitted, it was their recommendation that we go with Sharon Ferraro of Pastmasters. The fee for her services would be $4,330.

Sharon Ferraro was present and explained that her survey would include both archival research and field work. She would be looking at all structures more than fifty years old that are on their original site.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to approve the expenditure for the consultant as recommended by the Planning Commission.

In response to a question by Treasurer Brown, Attorney Reed stated there was no limitation on completing an inventory of historic structures. When we begin to develop regulations through zoning he cautioned the Board to be very careful.

Mrs. Ferraro offered information regarding the National Register of Historic Districts and a Local Register of Historic District. The local district would allow for more control. She also pointed out that there can be tax credits both for commercial structures and now for homeowners.

After the survey is completed, the next step would be to form a study committee to determine how far we want to go.

When the vote was taken on the motion to approve the recommendation, it carried unanimously.


The Township=s five year agreement with Mall City Ambulance expired in January. We have continued a working relationship with them while a committee (Fire Chief, Fire Commissioner and Supervisor) considered our options.

It was their recommendation that we not enter into an agreement with Mall City Ambulance or Life EMS. Instead, they recommended an arrangement that would allow the two companies to share the business in Oshtemo Township. They would alternate months.

It was felt that both companies would provide acceptable service to our citizens and in the end we may actually receive better service due to the competition. The City of Portage has found this arrangement to work well for them in the past.

A list of Service Requirements had been prepared and would be used to monitor their service to our community.

A motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Brown to adopt the recommendation for our Ambulance Service Providers. Carried.


The project to extend the sanitary sewer from KL Avenue up through Country Club Village to the north side of W. Main at the intersection of 10th Street had been put to bid. There were eleven bids received on the project that had been estimated to cost $616,000. The lowest bid, $543,231.60, was from Dunigan Brothers. Engineer Snell had reviewed all bids and was satisfied with the bid from Dunigan.

There was concern about traffic disruptions and notification of the people in the area. This will have to be worked out.

The Supervisor informed the Board that he was working out the details for the funding the project but felt we could award the bid, subject to financing.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to award the bid to Dunigan, subject to financing. Carried.


It was reported by Supervisor Fleckenstein that in October we removed the last underground fuel tank on Township property. It was located at the Grange Hall on North 3rd Street. It was determined that fuel oil had leaked from the tank and the soil would need to be cleaned up.

The cost of the cleanup will be $5,700 and will be coordinated by Prein & Newhof.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to authorize the expenditure of $5,700 for the cleanup. Carried.


The Board Appointment Committee asked that the Board consider two reappointments for the Building/Fire Code Board of Appeals.

Robert Leet Jr. (Electrician) January 1, 1999 to January 1, 2002 (2nd term)

Richard Schramm (Architect) January 1, 1999 to January 1, 2002 (3rd term)

Mr. Schramm's appointment would require a waiver of the policy that limits people to a maximum of two terms. They requested the waiver because the Board is not very active and with the requirement that the various professional fields be represented it is often difficult to find people to serve on this Board.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to approve the appointments with the waiver for Mr. Schramm. Carried.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Township Clerk



Date Approved:  March 9, 1999