May 24, 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 Neil Sikora
Trustee Stan Rakowski

Also present was James Porter, Township Attorney, and Marc Elliott, Township Engineer.

Discussion with Community Access Center - John Haas and Frank Jamison, representing the Community Access Center were present to discuss with the Board the issue of the Township's withdrawal from the Access Center. Mr. Haas advised they are in talks with a prospective new executive director. There was interest expressed by Mr. Haas and board members to work together in discussing a new agreement.

Motion by Everett, second by VanDyke to appoint Trustees Bushouse and Corakis to continue discussions with the Community Access Center and return a recommendation to the Board. Carried.

Drake House Roof - Supervisor VanDyke advised OSB board was not being installed as requested. Trustee Rakowski advised the roofing contractor had advised him it was not necessary and would save the Township money by not installing it. Both commented they had spoken with contractors about the necessity - some recommended using the OSB board and others did not.

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

Also present were James Porter, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, and 9 interested people.

Motion by Sikora, second by VanDyke to approve the minutes of the May 10th Regular, May 12th Special, and May 17th Joint Boards meetings. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $77,924.99 and disbursements of $185,894.20 were reported. Motion by Culp, second by Rakowski to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.




Planning Director Jodi Stefforia presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to approve a two unit site condominium project of Charles and Susan Hill. She advised one unit of 8.45 acres containing an existing dwelling and one unit of 4.1 acres would be created with 100 feet of frontage on and taking access from North 2nd Street. She further advised both units would be served by well and septic, and exceed minimum area requirements.

Motion by Culp, second by Everett to approve the site condominium project. Carried.


Planner Mary Lynn Bugge presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to approve a rezoning request from Educational Community Credit Union at 1551 South 9th Street, to rezone from "R-2" Residential to "R-3" Residential, portions of two parcels, approximately .23 acres of the location of the credit union and approximately 3 acres of a vacant adjacent property.

Motion by Corakis, second by VanDyke to accept the rezoning request and set First Reading for June 14th. Carried.


Planning Director Stefforia presented the final recommendation from the Planning Commission regarding the text amendments regarding flag pole height which included addressing the definition of height, amending the text to allow poles 30 feet in height or less with a setback of 10 feet and maximum flag size of 6'x10', and poles up to a maximum of 60 feet with a setback equal to the pole height and maximum flag size of 8'x12' for 31-45 foot poles, and 10'x15' for poles taller than 45 feet, and adding flags to the maintenance section of the ordinance.

Sue DeSchot, 8951 Briarwood, commented she still did not see the reason for the ordinance, Comstock Township is allowing a 60 foot pole, she now has 2,500 signatures on a petition and has e-mailed President Bush.

Bob Janssen, 8670 Almena, commented Belle Tire has flags throughout the area, the Board doesn't seem to cooperate but rather looks to disrupt a project.

Bob Brink, 6314 Killington, commented the public gravitates to issues, he feels rules are not needed on flag poles, people will fly American flags.

Richard Schramm, 2001 South 4th Street, inquired if the ordinance would eliminate the flags placed on utility poles, the utility poles at West Main and 9th Street are 60 feet tall, and commented he felt the issue is being over regulated.

Steve McCormick, manager for Belle Tire, commented the 60' flag pole was the contractors error, they never intended the matter to get blown out of proportion, and offered an apology.

Trustee Corakis commented he felt there should be no rules or regulations regarding the American flag. Motion by Corakis, second by VanDyke to do away with all rules and regulations regarding the American flag. It was noted by Attorney Porter this action would require the matter be returned to the Planning Commission for public hearing. He also noted since the American flag cannot be addressed specifically, the motion, if approved, would remove regulations for any flags from the Zoning Ordinance. Motion was withdrawn.

Trustee Corakis indicated he would make a motion to approve the original text amendment request; changing maximum flag pole height from 30 to 60 feet. Clerk Everett commented she could be persuaded to support Mr. Corakis' motion if the maintenance provision from the current Planning Commission recommendation could be included. Lengthy discussion ensued with other points of the final Planning Commission recommendation being found relavent to include.

Trustee Sikora commented he is interested in a compromise but wished to speak to some of the comments that had been made. In regards to there being too much regulation he noted the rate of ongoing growth taking place, a small business owner recently commented they would not have the same means to be accorded the same opportunity to appeal such an ordinance, letters had been received by Board members that supported keeping the current ordinance language, however recognizing that when ordinances such as this are first proposed they result from a visioning and views have changed because of September 11, 2001. He also commented that training he has received as a former Planning Commissioner and current Trustee advises those who serve to not go on record as supporting or not supporting a particular issue that will be coming before them but rather keep an open mind.

Supervisor VanDyke commented he would like to commend the Planning Commission for their efforts on this issue, noting that until there is an issue, there is little involvement from the community and input during the initial discussion process would be useful.

Motion by Corakis, second by VanDyke to amend Section 76.175A last sentence thereof to increase the flag pole height to not exceed 60 feet and to include within that the amendment of Section 76.130 to establish definition of height, to include subsection 4 of the recommendation to require maintenance pursuant to Section 76.400 and to add an additional provision to set a maximum flag size of no more than 15 x 25 feet, accept for First Reading and set Second Reading for June 14th. Roll call showed Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes.


DDA Chairman Tom Brodasky and member Dana Slocum advised a consultant selection committee and the DDA Board of Directors, assisted by the Township Planning Department, recently completed a search process and are recommending entering into a contract with McKenna Associates as the consulting firm to work with the DDA to develop a design study for the DDA area.

The Board was also advised that the actual amount of funds collected for the DDA for 2005 would be $27,933, not the projected amount of $18,921, therefore, the DDA budget would require amending.

Motion by Corakis, second by VanDyke to approve the DDA recommendation and enter into a contract with McKenna Associates not to exceed $20,000 contingent upon Attorney review and approval of the contract. Carried.

Motion by Everett, second by Sikora to approve the revised 2005 budget. Carried.


Trustee Bushouse presented a recommendation from the Personnel Committee to change insurance carriers, agent of record and terms of coverage for the short and long term disability program. He advised the committee considered three bids from UNUM, The Hartford, and Fort Dearborn with the Hartford offering a $4,000 annual savings and a two year rate guarantee. He also advised the committee recommended changing the coverage from 26 weeks of short term disability to 13 weeks and a review after 13 weeks on long term as to an employee's status.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Everett to accept the recommendation subject to receiving no change in the proposed premium after underwriting. Carried.


Membership dues for the Michigan Townships Association in the amount of $5,288.34 were before the Board for consideration.

Motion by Corakis, second by Culp to approve the expenditure for payment of the dues. Carried.


Trustee Bushouse advised the Parks Committee held discussion with Climax Telephone Service regarding the placement of a service building at the rear of Oshtemo Community Center property off Atlantic. He presented two proposals from Handley's Tree Service - one in the amount of $2,500.00 for clean up of the parcel in general, i.e., removing some trees, dead trees and wood, and mowing of brush. The other proposal in the amount of $2,000.00 would accommodate the area needed should the Township reach an agreement with CTS.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Sikora to approve both proposals conditioned upon CTS reimbursing for the clearing of the area they are requesting to use. Carried.

A proposal in the amount of $4,200.00 from Four Seasons Maintenance for planting 21 trees at Flesher Field was also presented by the committee.

Treasurer Culp inquired if other bids had been sought. Trustee Corakis advised they had not.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Corakis to approve the proposal. Carried with Culp voting no.

A proposal in the amount of $2,900.00 from Four Seasons Maintenance for installation of 4" PVC pipe around the sand areas of the playgrounds at the Township Park and Flesher Field was also presented by the committee.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Sikora to approve the proposal. Carried.

Trustee Corakis provided sample designs for "Welcome to Oshtemo Township" signs the committee has been considering. Suggestions were made for further review.


Trustee Rakowski inquired if an answer had been received concerning the request for a traffic signal at Drake Road and Green Meadow. Supervisor VanDyke commented he had been advised by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission the intersection does not meet the criteria at this time.

Engineer Elliott advised the KL Group will be continuing with water connections, work has begun by the City of Kalamazoo on the West H Avenue water line and the Stadium Park Way project will be going to bid.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:50 p.m.

Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke, Supervisor