January 11, 2005

Township Board work session was held 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 Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis
Trustee Stan Rakowski
Trustee Neil Sikora

Also present was James Porter, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers and Planning Director Jodi Stefforia.

Names for new park and street - The Board discussed names for the street and park land on Stadium Drive. A final choice was not made.

Sewer Easement - Supervisor VanDyke advised he and Engineer Elliott met with Ken Patel regarding the needed easement for sewer from 9th Street east to the Meijer/West Port pump station. They noted negotiations have been ongoing for over a year with a tentative agreement reached.

Motion by Culp, second by Rakowski to direct the attorney to prepare an agreement to state that Mr. Patel will contribute $59,000 toward the sewer project with no payment due for five years, at which time interest will begin to accrue at 6% and compounded annually, the agreement will be recorded as a lien on the property, at the time of any sale or development of the property, the entire amount becomes due and the agreement once signed will be non-negotiable. Carried.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Corakis to define the proposed agreement as a final offer which if rejected the attorney will be directed to proceed with condemnation proceedings immediately. Carried.

The work session was adjourned at approximately 6:50 p.m.

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

Also present were James Porter, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, Planner Mary Lynn Bugge and approximately 13 interested people.

Motion by Corakis, second by Sikora to approve the December 21st Regular meeting minutes. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $272,212.54 and disbursements of $339,315.34 were reported. Motion by Sikora, second by Rakowski to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.




Attorney Porter advised an application had been received from Harrison Packing Co. to establish an IFT District on their proposed site on Stadium Drive. He noted the area was expanded to include all Township owned property and the neighboring property currently owned by General Electric.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Corakis to adopt a resolution creating the IFT district as described. Roll call showed Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes.


Planner Mary Lynn Bugge presented a Planning Commission Recommendation for approval of the condominium element of West Port Village, a Planned Unit Development proposed by Visser Construction LLC. She advised the Planning Commission granted special exception use and site plan approval at a public hearing on November 18, 2004, subject to certain conditions.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Everett to approve the condominium element of West Port Village subject to conditions imposed by the Planning Commission as noted in their November 18, 2004 minutes. Carried. SEWER/WATER FEES

A recommendation from the Sewer/Water Committee was presented regarding fees for sewer and water construction and connection:

Sewer Fees - $17.50 per front foot, capped at 200 feet for residential properties, a parcel fee of $6,500 and a $2,000 benefit fee.

Water Fees - $28.50 per front foot and $40.20 per lineal foot capped at 200 feet for residential properties.

There was considerable discussion of the formulation of the fees, need to recover construction costs and other elements that make up the process. In response to comments regarding tabling the issue, Planning Director Stefforia advised there were pending connections awaiting action of the Board on the proposed fees.

Tim Mallett, 7404 West H Avenue, commented he understands the need for the fees but feels they put people at risk and there is no easy solution. He inquired why there is no benefit fee charged for water, commenting he felt the front foot charges should be less.

Lara Meeuwse, 5442 West H Avenue, asked for clarification regarding developers who pay construction costs. She was advised they receive partial reimbursement.

Grace Borgfjord, 9802 Sunnywood, inquired if rates are changed each year and the purpose of the surcharge on individual sewer and water bills. She was advised necessary maintenance is funded by the surcharge.

Dan Visser, 291 North 1st Street, commented the issue needs to be resolved and made fair to all. He advised he would be willing to participate in discussions with the Sewer/Water Committee.

Michelle Hayes, 7001 West H Avenue, inquired how sewer/water fees are billed. Treasurer Culp advised they are billing annually in July, however, she is exploring adding them to winter tax bills.

Trustee Bushouse indicated he was ready to make a motion to adopt the fees. Clerk Everett inquired if he would be willing to include in the motion direction for the Sewer/Water Committee to make another review of the fees and report back to the Board. He advised he would be agreeable. Ms. Everett commented she would vote in favor of the resolutions due to there being pending connections and the committee making another review of the fees and reporting back to the Board.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Rakowski to adopt resolutions establishing fees as proposed, with direction to the Sewer/Water Committee to review the fees and report back to the Board. Roll call showed Corakis-yes, Culp-no, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes, Bushouse-yes.


Engineer Elliott advised two invoices had been received from Consumers Energy concerning electric and gas service to the pump stations for the West H Avenue and Meijer/West Port sewer projects. The invoices received are in the amounts of $37,118.48 for Meijer/West Port and $11,506.17 for West H Avenue. Mr. Elliott advised there could be some cost reduction on the Meijer station pending further discussion with Meijer.

Motion by Everett, second by Sikora to approve the expenditures not to exceed the amounts invoiced with the understanding the engineer will continue to negotiate with Meijer. Carried.


Repair of weather damage to the window in the Deputy Fire Chief Office is needed; however, consensus was to postpone this item for further study.


Clerk Everett advised the voice mail system had recently ceased being operable and was in need of replacement due to age and lack of repair available. She advised she and Treasurer Culp met with Chuck Pratt of Telewave, current telephone and voice mail vendor; he recommended a system replacement. Ms. Everett further advised the proposed system would be compatible with any future upgrade of the phone system and offer features not currently available.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Corakis to approve the proposal from Telewave in the amount of $14,447.00 for a new voice mail system. Carried.


Treasurer Culp presented a proposal to establish a return check fee. She advised there is an increasing number received and the Township is now being charged a fee by the bank for processing.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to establish a $30.00 fee for returned checks. Carried.


Clerk Everett advised when consultants were appointed for 2005, the legal consultant for the KL Landfill issue and MTT matters in process should have been addressed. She noted at the time the Board appointed Bauckham, Sparks as Township legal counsel, it also approved the Township continue to retain Michael Ortega as special counsel for the landfill issue and Richard Reed to complete two ongoing MTT cases concerning Meijer and Consumers Energy; both being members of the Lewis, Reed & Allen law firm.

Motion by Everett, second by Rakowski to retain Michael Ortega as special counsel for the KL Landfill issue and Richard Reed as counsel for the MTT cases concerning Meijer and Consumers Energy. Carried.


A request from the American Red Cross for a one day liquor license for a fund raising event to be held at the National Guard Armory was tabled at the December 21st meeting. As requested, proof insurance was provided, however, it was noted it did not specify liquor liability.

Motion by Culp, second by Bushouse to grant approval for a one day liquor license and directed the Supervisor to notify the American Red Cross to provide verification of insurance for liquor liability. Carried.


Trustee Bushouse commented the Building & Grounds Committee would present the proposal for a Township Office addition at the February 8th meeting.

Trustee Sikora commented on the recent arrest at an area motel of individuals manufacturing methamphetamines who were on bond from a previous recent arrest, noting there is evidence Kalamazoo County is becoming a target for such activity due to lack of jail space.

Trustee Corakis noted congratulations to County Commissioner Bob Brink on his appointment as chair of the Board of Commissioners. He further commented anyone available should attend the upcoming public input sessions on the justice needs of the county.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:15 p.m.

Township Clerk