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July 9, 2002

Public Comment session was held at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Fire Chief Ken Howe, and 2 interested persons.


Duane McClung was introduced as the newest member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Fire Chief Howe updated the Board on activities of the Fire Department including changes in the department of the safety office, results of the warning siren survey sent out to residents a few months ago, status of an ambulance contract proposal, consideration of replacing the roof at Fire House No. 1, specifications being considered for replacement of truck 513, repairs made to trucks 511 and 541, OFD flags that have been purchased and are available for sale, the initial aid contract with the City of Kalamazoo, and upcoming training with City of Portage.

John Brennan, 4702 Tropicana, commented regarding the Board consideration of expanding the current police district; that he felt one or two more deputies will not help, most incidents don't happen in the middle of the night but if the expansion occurs it should be spread over the entire Township and funded from the General Fund. He was advised no decision has been made and there would be further public discussion.

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

Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Fire Chief Ken Howe, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner and approximately 12 interested people.

Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to approve the minutes of the June 25th meeting. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $89,061.52 and disbursements of $77,406.63 were reported. Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to accept the report as presented. Carried.


Jim Houston introduced himself as a candidate for the 61st State House district.

Chief Howe presented a program highlighting Camp 911 recently held at Fire House No. 2 sponsored by Life EMS to teach children about fire, police, EMS, water and bike safety.


A proposed resolution from the Michigan Townships Association regarding pending legislation addressing annexation reform was presented.

Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to adopt the resolution supporting annexation reform. Roll call vote showed Brodasky-yes, Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes.


Planner Mary Lynn Bugge presented a one-lot plat on West Michigan Avenue to be called Youngs' Acre for tentative and final approval of a preliminary plat (Steps 1 and 2). She advised public sewer and water are available, stormwater will be controlled on site, fees for Steps 1 and 2 have been paid, and the Township Engineer has reviewed the plat. Approval is recommended subject to review by the Township Attorney.

Motion by Brodasky, second by Worline to grant tentative and final approval of the preliminary plat conditioned upon review by the Township Attorney. Carried.


Engineer Snell reviewed that petitions from residents in the West Port Plat had been received requesting municipal sewer for which his office had prepared plans and cost estimates. He advised the proposed district was comprised of Lots 1-19 of West Port Plat, Lots 20-36 of West Port No. 1, and Lots 37, 38, and 40-100 of West Port No. 2, the total area of the proposed district is 40.477 acres with 20.581 (51%) signing the petitions. He further advised the estimated total project cost was $1,042,000 and spread over the 99 lots would recommend a per lot assessment of $10,525.00 since the benefit to each lot is the same and the lots are similar in size.

There was discussion that two public hearings would be required, the first to establish a special assessment district, the second to establish the assessment roll.

Ric Knapp, 6182 Valley Forge, commented that the petition had been circulated as informational but it appears that it is a done deal. Attorney Mason advised there had not been a decision made regarding the proposed project but the Board received a petition and began the process of considering the district and to do so the first element is to ask the engineer to prepare cost estimates and plans and then set a public hearing that all persons within district will receive notice of in order to present their comments to the Board at which time the Board would make a decision whether to go forward with establishing the district.

Mr. Knapp inquired if there were other avenues the Township has or has not explored as far as funding the project, i.e., the Township pay for it and those who want to connect would pay and those who do not would not be forced to have a special assessment. Ms. Mason advised there are a number of ways to finance a project depending on the scope of the project and availability of funds, including the possibility of not having a special assessment district but connection fees would pay for project, however the recommendation of the Sewer/Water Committee in this case was a special assessment district, due to the scope of the project, and expense involved. She further commented the option of funding by the Township and then allowing connections over time is generally used for smaller projects; this one being larger and more costly and in addition to having received petitions indicating a majority of people in the land area in favor of the project led to the decision to consider this as a special assessment district.

Mr. Knapp advised the petitions were presented as District 1 and District 2, with District 1 being in favor, 60% to 40% and in District 2, the majority was against. He further advised that conversations he has recently had seem to indicate the sentiment to be toward not being in favor and he would request information be provided on the availability of funds, consider that there is not a mandate and since it is the southern part of the plat in favor, the project be scaled back to the area of those who would like to have it.

In response to further questions from Mr. Knapp, Ms Mason and Mr. Snell advised the means for those affected by the project to communicate comments is to attend the public hearing or provide written input, expenses incurred to date are engineering fees to compile the estimated costs, which was initiated by the petitions, there is only one project district, the areas should have been called Petition 1 and 2, not District 1 and 2, those who signed the petitions cannot remove their names, however, a counter petition can be circulated in opposition to the project and intent of the signatures would be judged by date.

Motion by Brodasky, second by Everett to hold a public hearing on July 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for establishing the proposed district with input from the Treasurer and Township Auditor. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes.


Engineer Marc Elliott reviewed a project to extend sewer on KL Avenue east of 9th Street. This project was previously approved May 22, 2001, however, did not proceed due to a delay in the development of the Kalamazoo Center for the Healing Arts, the previous contract had expired and new bids were sought. Mr. Elliott advised four bids had been received and recommended accepting the low bid of Oselka Construction in the amount of $74,508.00.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Brodasky to accept the bid from Oselka Construction. Roll call vote showed Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Bushouse-yes.


Engineer Snell presented a recommendation to approve a change order concerning the sewer project for the Savannah development. He advised the proposed change is to construct approximately 427 feet of sanitary sewer including manholes and surface restoration necessary to provide access for maintenance vehicles to the pump station on Old Savannah Way. He further advised the Township's contractor, Peters Construction cannot complete the pump station until this work is done.

There was discussion that there is no guarantee the City of Kalamazoo would accept a gravel access drive to the pump station, the pump station is not be needed for any other connections at this time, and it is assumed the developer is not going to complete anything more on the project and has not made the first installment payment of their contract with the Township.

Attorney Mason advised pursing the developer under the provisions of the General Property Tax Act would offer more protection in ultimately collecting, however the time frame could be longer unless the project changes ownership in the near future.

Trustee Bushouse expressed concern of setting a precedent for developers to ask for the type of agreement approved with this developer. Ms Mason felt the Township could take the position that this type of agreement resulted in an unfortunate experience for the Township, which would require it not be repeated.

Mr. Snell commented the primary drawback is not completing the contract with Peters Construction since the pump station cannot be tested without utilities connected. Trustee Bushouse suggested the pump could be tested with water from a hydrant and a generator.

Motion by Brodasky, second by Bushouse to authorize the Engineer to negotiate with Peters Construction and report to the Sewer/Water Committee. Carried.


Engineer Elliott advised damaged had been done to the sewer main in Stadium Drive by Utility Contracting Company working as a contractor for Ameritech and presented an invoice from the City of Kalamazoo in the amount of $4,405.14 for repairs. He recommended payment and a letter to Ameritech for reimbursement plus 20% to cover indirect costs of incident response, inspections, engineering, administration and legal services. Attorney Mason suggested the actual costs be calculated rather than adding 20%. Mr. Elliott also advised additional damage had been done to a service lead into the Sky King Business development on Stadium Drive by the same contractor and video inspection has revealed the contractor's field repair unacceptable. He recommended correspondence to Ameritech should also include demand the break be re-excavated and repaired in accordance with Township standards, with a deadline of July 18th to accommodate reconstruction currently underway by the Road Commission with Peters Construction. It was noted a copy of the engineer's letter was mailed to Ameritech and Utility Contracting Company and Attorney Mason advised waiting until all invoices were received before forwarding any further correspondence.

Motion by Everett, second by Brodasky to contract with Peters Construction or the City of Kalamazoo for repair of the sewer lead damage if not done by Utility Contracting Company by July 18th and collect all indirect costs. Carried.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:35 p.m.

Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke