March 22, 2005

The Oshtemo Township Board 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
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis
Trustee Stan Rakowski
Trustee Neil Sikora

Also present were James Porter, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, and Planning Director Jodi Stefforia.

Stadium Drive Property - Items discussed included the additional soil borings that are needed due to the remnants of old kilns found on the property; Ms. Stefforia will draft a letter to the State of Michigan. The estimate from Consumers Energy to remove power poles and place utilities underground has not been received by the engineer as yet. There was also discussion of directing clean storm water to the current pond on the property which will be in the proposed park.

Villas of Stonehenge - Trustee Bushouse advised the Sewer/Water Committee was recommending that the Township participate in the public force main and pump station portion of the sewer project for the development by executing an agreement with the developer that waives the first 66 sanitary sewer benefit fees.

Motion by Everett, second by Corakis to accept the recommendation and participate as described. Carried.

Oshtemo Community Center - Trustee Bushouse presented a final invoice in the amount of $14,760.60 for renovations to the former fire station on Parkview. He noted there were a few minor items remaining and recommended approving payment of $12,000.00.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Culp to approve payment of $12,000, retaining the balance for final approval. Carried.

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

Also present were James Porter, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, and approximately 19 interested people.

Motion by Corakis, second by Sikora to approve the minutes of the March 8th Regular meeting. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $2,422,441.93 and disbursements of $181,969.43 were reported. Motion by Rakowski, second by Sikora to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.




Planning Director Stefforia presented the recommendations of the Planning Commission regarding a text amendment for flag pole height. Option 1 provided for poles to a maximum height of 60 feet with a graduated setback scale, Option 2 provided for poles to a maximum of 60 feet with a required setback equal to the height of the pole for any pole over 30 feet. Poles under 30 feet would require a 10 foot setback.

Trustee Sikora commented he felt the Planning Commission, comprised of seven township residents, did a good job of reviewing the issue and thought Option 2 was a good compromise. He further commented the flag pole at Belle Tire was not in conformance, concerns were being addressed along with maintenance of flags. He noted the original flag was torn prior to the recent replacement, as are others in the Township. He also commented the Planning Commission spent time as directed by the Township Board and returned a recommendation.

Trustee Bushouse commented he was opposed to the original language to regulate flag pole height and is still of that opinion. He also commented if the concern is a flag may become commercial, it should be handled then as a violation. Mr. Bushouse also commented while he would not criticize the Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Appeals for their work, the Township Board is the policy maker.

Supervisor VanDyke commented he agreed with Mr. Bushouse, folks have told the board what they want and the Township Board should represent that. He also commented money spent on the issue could be used for other things for the community. Mr. VanDyke agreed that some flags are a mess and the owners should be told when they need replacing. Mr. Sikora commented this was the flag owner's responsibility.

Trustee Corakis commented he felt there should not be restrictions on flag poles. He also commented the issue should not be sent back to the Planning Commission and the Board should act only on the pole height question.

Attorney Porter advised the issue must go back to the Planning Commission for public hearing due to the language regarding size and maintenance of flags which was not included in the language returned by the Township Board.

Clerk Everett commented ordinances should be forward thinking and not reactive; the problem becomes a grandfathered situation.

Trustee Rakowski commented on the display of flags at Fort Custer and called for the question.

Sue DeSchot, 8951 Briarwood, commented she has turned in those with tattered flags, and read a letter regarding her involvement on the issue. (Copy filed in Supplement to Minutes) She noted other communities allow taller poles. She also commended the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department and commented more officers are needed.

Steve McCormick, manager of Belle Tire, noted their new flag is smaller, 15 X 20 feet instead of 20 X 30. He also commented they were notified after occupancy of the problem, they filed for a variance to keep the pole and it would be difficult to move it. Ms. Stefforia noted occupancy is usually not withheld for issues not life/safety related.

Frank Bell, 150 North 2nd Street, commented he is retired from the US Air Force and agreed that ordinances are in place to look forward and supported Option 2.

Motion by Sikora, second by Everett to accept the Planning Commission recommendation described as Option 2, and request a public hearing be held. Roll call showed Bushouse-no, Corakis-no, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-no.


Kay Oppliger, Vice President of the Oshtemo Historical Society advised they had reviewed the roof bids and utility information as directed by the Township Board and also prepared a priority list for items needed:

" Chimneys/Foundation - repointing and masonry repair.
" Replace roof on the house.
" Installation of utilities, water, sewer, gas, electric.
" Repair structural beam damage in basement of house and in carriage house.

Mrs. Oppliger noted chimney work should be done prior to the roof. She advised the group's recommendation was to accept the proposal from VanBeck Roofing for re-roofing the house.

Supervisor VanDyke noted the bid did not include redecking while the bid from Ron Sager did. He also noted Mr. Sager's bid provided a 20 year guarantee on labor while Mr. VanBeck's was for 10 years. Mr. Sager was present and commented he would recommend redecking the entire roof.

Trustee Rakowski noted both bidders examined the building and have a difference of opinion concerning the redecking.

Mrs. Oppliger noted the bid from VanBeck included a ridge vent and copper flashing which would be more in keeping with the historical restoration than roof vents as recommended by Mr. Sager.

Trustee Sikora commented he was impressed with the thoroughness of the report from the Historical Society.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Sikora to accept the bid from VanBeck Roofing in the amount of $25,258. Carried with Corakis and VanDyke voting no.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Sikora to accept the bid from Taplin Excavating in the amount of $5,035.00 to remove the lean to at the back of the carriage house, level dirt piles on the property, and abandon and seal the well pit. Carried.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Sikora to proceed with installation of utilities, water, gas and electric at summer rates. Carried.


Eight bids were received and before the Board for review. Trustee Corakis commented he would favor a per season bid. Treasurer Culp commented she would favor a vendor who had experience with the Township noting it was important for cemetery maintenance. Clerk Everett concurred.

Motion by Culp, second by Everett to accept the per season bid from Hadaway & Sons in the amount of $20,011. Carried with VanDyke and Corakis voting no.


Trustee Bushouse advised the Personnel Committee met with the Township agent regarding the increasing cost of health care; premiums are expected to increase approximately 14%. He further advised the committee was recommending three changes to the current plan which result in an annual savings of approximately $18,400.

" Prescription card change from $15 (generic)/$30(brand name) to $10/$40. This will save employees money on any generic prescriptions.
" Co-pay for physician office calls increase from $10.00 to $20.00.
" Vision plan will provide exam/eyewear every 2 years instead of once a year.

Motion by Corakis, second by Everett to approve the changes in the health care coverage. Carried.

Trustee Bushouse also advised an error in the employee handbook had come to light regarding vacation hours for part time employees. A rewrite of the manual in 2002 provided "Part time employees working a minimum of 20 hours per week will receive vacation leave at their normal rate of pay." Previous handbook language provided, "Permanent part time employees working a minimum of 20 hours per week will be given the opportunity to participate in vacation leave, however, they will receive one half the number of hours awarded to full time employees." The committee recommended omitting the current language and reinstituting the original language.

Motion by Everett, second by Rakowski to adopt a resolution correcting the language of the employee handbook. Carried. Roll call vote showed Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes, Bushouse-yes.


Trustee Bushouse advised plans for the building addition will be available by the end of the week, a pre-bid meeting will be held on March 29th and the bid opening will be held on April 12th. He commended Architect Terry Schley for his work on this project.

Mr. Bushouse also commented Tim Mallett and Pete Sullivan had made good progress in seeking easements on H Avenue for the water installation.

Treasurer Culp commented tax collection for 2004 winter taxes was complete.

Trustee Rakowski commended Planning Director Stefforia on her informational letter to property owners in the West Main water assessment district.

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

Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke