March 14, 2000

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 Deb Everett
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee David Bushouse

Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer, and 11 interested people.

Clerk Everett noted a correction to the minutes of the February 29th joint meeting. They should reflect that Neil Sikora was present. Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to approve the minutes of the February 15th meeting and February 29th meeting as corrected. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $25,060.71 and disbursements of $139,019.80 were reported. Income to the Fire Fund of $380.50 and disbursements of $115,531.51 were reported. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.


Pat Glocheski, 4451 North 8th Street, addressed the Board regarding a fire at his home on January 1st. He complimented the Fire Department as being very professional, stating that the firefighters cared not only about the people inside but the residence itself. He felt they went above and beyond; using blowers for the smoke, the infrared camera, and as a result of their efforts his family was able to remain in their home.


Attorney Cynthia Ortega presented a request for creation of a Plant Rehabilitation District at 8062 Stadium Drive. The property, formerly Vista Business Forms, has been purchased by Brelsh Properties, L.L.C. Business Forms Group, Inc., doing business as Doubleday Brothers, will be the tenant. She informed the Board of the following: the building is old and outdated and needs significant renovation to the interior and exterior to be useful for new technology, there is approximately 40,000 square feet, 31,000 of which is used for production and the remaining for office space, negotiations are being held with Delta Design for plans for the renovation, estimated at this time to be between $700,000 and $1,000,000, and as required to request the district, at least 50% of the building is obsolete.

In response to Board Members questions, it was determined that the previous business has three current IFT=s in place which are set to expire in 2000, 2002 and 2005. Attorney Reed advised they would expire with the creation of a new district and a new IFT application would have to be submitted.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to create a Plant Rehabilitation District at 8062 Stadium Drive. Roll call voted showed Bushouse-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.


John Sych, representing the Kalamazoo County Planning Department presented a request that the Township participate in an intergovernmental agreement for the advancement of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The proposal would include the formation of a coordinating council, consisting of a member from each municipality, the council would establish bylaws and set standards for information format. He further advised that the County Planning Department would provide support staff and meeting space for the council, a technical committee would provide their services. He further commented that benefits of the program would include development of standards; a common language, data sharing, new data development, and new funding sources, such as foundations and grants.

Treasurer Brown expressed the following concerns and questions:

-if a community chooses not to participate in a particular project will they
still have a share of the cost;
-is this a stand alone council or under the auspices of COG;
-is there a time frame the county will provide support staff or will the council have to hire staff at some point;
-who will be responsible for inputting the information;
-is there a projected yearly budget based on some knowledge that grand funding is available or will members be expected to pay a fee;

Clerk Everett expressed the following concerns and questions:
-would we have access to other municipalities data
-how do we make this accessible to the public
-what costs would we incur beside our current costs to maintain our own GIS
-overall idea is good, but hesitant about unknowns
-what would chances for grant funding be
-will bylaws, standards and operating procedures come back to Board for approval
-can we approve agreement with stipulation regarding costs
-what is time frame for implementation

Trustee Bushouse expressed the following concerns and questions:
-it looks like another layer of government
-county could coordinate program eliminating need for a council, more meetings and discussion
-fees will have to be considered somewhere in the process

Mr. Sych responded to these questions and concerns;
-any project the council chooses a community can opt out of
-cost will be on a project basis, it will be up to the council to decide how cost of a project is divided
-the intent is not to make communities be involved in projects they are not interested in
-the council will report to COG which could be used to promote membership of communities that do not have GIS
-the County is committed to this project and will provide support staff continuously
-each unit would continue to update their own GIS
-other sources, i.e. WMU, the State, and County will also have information to input hence the need for same standards
-important to make accessible to public so would be a benefit to have one data archive
-doesn=t see a cost or dues now - support staff will be provided by the County
-first issue dealt with would be data standards and sharing agreements
-projects costs would be less with group cooperation as was accomplished with recent
ariel photo project done with grant, County and municipalities
-grants depend on project, they are usually looked on favorably when a group works together
-not the intent to be another layer of government, idea is to promote GIS in a more efficient manner
-council will establish bylaws, members can withdraw,
-County will be contributing member of council, is committed to being active participant
-waiting for all interested units to join, hope to have standards and data sharing agreements by the end of the year

Supervisor Fleckenstein commented he doesn=t feel there will be significant costs involved in participating, we can opt out of any project we choose not to participate in.

Trustee Block commented this is a good tool and step forward for intergovernmental cooperation, agreement now does not mean permanent involvement, we can separate from council if we choose, and only participate in projects we choose.

Engineer Snell commented this is a good program and will make projects available at a lower cost to each municipality by working as a group.

Elaine Branch, 7654 West Main, questioned how many other communities are currently using GIS and will communities who join the agreement be pressured or required to attain a certain level of data on the system. She further expressed concerns regarding zoning and questioned if this system would any way effect the zoning districts and lead toward county wide zoning.
She commented there is some benefit to the idea but appreciates the concerns voiced over costs.

It was determined that at least six municipalities currently have a GIS system and it was felt that pressure could not be exerted on units to meet data levels since each unit will fund their own updates. Mr. Fleckenstein advised discussions he had been involved in had not indicated any desire for county wide zoning.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to approve participation in the Geographic Information Systems Intergovernmental Agreement.

Clerk Everett commented that she would vote yes although not convinced this is the best way, she felt the overall project is a good idea as long as we carefully consider each project.

Trustee Block agreed, felt we should give the program a try and we can always opt out.

Treasurer Brown commented there are a lot of good things about the program, but fears it is creating another layer of bureaucracy with unknown costs so we must cautiously keep track of costs and the bureaucracy involved in making this work.

Motion was carried - 5-1 with Bushouse voting no.


Supervisor Fleckenstein presented a request for the Township to participate in the Kalamazoo Multi-Jurisdictional Watershed Agreement@, the purpose of which is to coordinate the activities of governmental units in the Kalamazoo River watershed to address stormwater issues and enhance protection of the watershed. The cost for participation would be $1,578.00 for a two year period and would be administered by the committee which has been working on the plan.

In response to Board Member questions, Mr. Fleckenstein advised the cost would decrease overall if any of the municipalities currently listed choose not to participate, the project would be administered by the committee of representatives from the units who have designed the plan, and would be a sub-committee of COG.

Engineer Snell explained the watershed refers to the surface drainage and the direction of flow, watershed is not managed by the County Drain Commissioner. He expressed concern at the word Aquantity@ being part of the agreement, feeling it should be clarified that it refers only to stormwater.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to postpone the item to the March 28th meeting for clarification. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein advised this item had been postponed at the February 15th meeting to obtain information regarding an upgrade to a three phase electrical system rather than upgrade to an 800 amp electrical panel as originally proposed at a cost of $5,580.

Scott Paddock, Ordinance Enforcement Officer advised the Board that a consultation with Consumers Energy has concluded it would not be cost effective to upgrade to a three phase system. The additional cost to do so would be at least $5,000, plus the cost to reconfigure current equipment.

Trustee Bushouse stated he felt the three phase service would be beneficial in the long run and we are not looking far enough ahead regarding building additions, new equipment, and perhaps placement of a weather warning siren. He further commented he hoped the building and grounds committee had explored all possible options for the upgrade and more thought should be put into installation of new equipment that overloads the emergency generator.

Mr. Paddock advised that the consultant from Consumers Energy and an electrician both felt an upgrade to an 800 amp service would accommodate an addition. He further advised that the load on the emergency generator will be adjusted, removing some items that do not need generator backup and adding some that do.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Brown to approve the expenditure of $5,580 to upgrade the electrical system to 800 amp as originally proposed. Carried 5-1 with Bushouse voting no.


The proposed amendment to Section 11.250(3) of the zoning ordinance to clarify definition of a dwelling was before the Board for Second Reading.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Everett to adopt the amendment. Roll call vote showed Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.


A request for termination and release of a 6 foot by 76 foot easement located at 6471 Stadium Drive was requested by Warehouse Distributors. The easement was granted in 1951 for use by the Fire Department and is no longer needed.

Motion made by Everett, seconded by Block to terminate and release the easement. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein advised a franchise agreement with Cablevision is near completion and requested approval of an extension of the current agreement until May 1, 2000. It was noted that although Cablevision has been sold, the agreement would be binding on the new owners.

Motion made by Brown, seconded by Everett to approve extension of the agreement to May 1, 2000. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, BlockByes, Anderson-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.


Supervisor Fleckenstein presented a resolution recognizing April 22, 2000 as Earth Day in Oshtemo Township.

Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to adopt the resolution. Carried.


Trustee Bushouse advised he would not be present at the March 28th meeting.

Supervisor Fleckenstein advised he would be seeking re-election this year.


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

DEBORAH L. EVERETT                                              Attested: RON FLECKENSTEIN
Township Clerk                                                                                Supervisor