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November 4, 2003

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 Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis
Trustee Stan Rakowski

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, and 1 interested person.



Kal-Haven Trail Tunnel

Dick Skalski, Senior Construction Engineer from the City of Kalamazoo Public Services Department and Bob Gregersen, Kalamazoo County Parks Director presented a request that the Township participate in funding a tunnel for the Kal-Haven Trail under US 131 during a scheduled reconstruction of the highway next year by MDOT. They advised the State is requesting local units match $70,000 toward the project and requested the Township contribute $25,000. They will also be approaching Kalamazoo Township and Alamo Township for funds. Mr. Gregersen indicated the Kalamazoo County Parks Foundation would also be involved in the project.

Board members commented the project was worthwhile and an opportunity to complete a portion of the trailway project that was thought to be many years in the future, and be an example of intergovernmental cooperation. They had questions concerning completion date of the project, funding in two installments for budget purposes, and whether sewer and/or water should be considered for the area during any road construction.

Mr. Skalski and Mr. Gregerson felt the installment funding would be acceptable and they advised the completion date would be summer 2004. Engineer Elliott advised sewer and/or water would not be practical in the area being proposed due to topography.

Neil Sikora, Planning Commission Chairman advised the Planning Commission felt the project would be an asset to the community, assist in the non-motorized pathways plan for the Township and encouraged the Board to support the project.

Motion by Brown, second by Everett to support the project, the pursuit of intergovernmental cooperation, better functional use of the trailway, and commit $25,000 to the tunnel project to be paid in two installments of $12,500, one in 2004 and one in 2005. Carried.

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


Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis
Trustee Stan Rakowski

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Mike Ortega, Special Counsel, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, and approximately 90 interested people.

Motion by Culp, second by Corakis, to approve the minutes of the October 28th meeting. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $3,683.16 and disbursements of $197,504.58 were reported. Motion by Rakowski, second by Brown to accept the report as presented. Carried.



Special Counsel Mike Ortega provided a review of the Township Board's decision to pursue dispute resolution with the EPA concerning the requirement of a cap and pump and treat remedy for the KL Landfill. He advised the Township would have the support of the KL Group in this endeavor. He advised the primary concerns are over 10 years of extensive scientific studies, done in cooperation with USEAP and MDEQ has clearly shown the plume of contaminated groundwater is stable, and not advancing, data shows that natural processes, bio-degradation or natural attenuation in the landfill and groundwater are already providing a clean up, in fact, most of the contaminants in the groundwater have already disappeared, and installing the cap will essentially stop the natural process and entomb the waste forever, the construction of the new cap will essentially destroy the current natural state of the landfill and a large parcel of property across KL Avenue where the soil for a new cap would be transferred from, the existing cap, with some modifications better protects the public and environment, no one is drinking or exposed to contaminated groundwater and the Township has extended municipal water lines well beyond the contaminated area, and the pump and treat remedy is unnecessary and may be technically impossible due to the huge volume of water. He further advised the Township and the KL Group have requested additional time to conduct two pilot studies, to test two additional technologies, one that injects sulfates into the landfill that "eats" some of the harmful chemicals and a gas extraction process. The group is prepared to commit to USEPA and MDEQ that if the pilot studies are unsuccessful, measured by specific performance criteria, the Group will construct the new cap.

The following people spoke regarding this matter:

Dennis Menz, 9860 Oak Forest Circle
Bob Janssen, 8670 Almena Drive
Lisa Minott, 250 South 4th Street
Don Danielson, 8633 Almena Drive
Bobbi Lammers, 445 North 4th Street
Nancy Phillips, 1202 South 4th Street
Dena Delbridge, 8710 West KL Avenue
Pam Geniac, 8141 West KL Avenue
Michael Pashby, 473 North 8th Street
Ed Zumburs, 379 South 4th Street
Charles Lantto, 10725 West J Avenue
Greg Kinser, 5052 Skyridge Avenue

Comments/questions/concerns included:

Who is decision maker?
What would cap consist of?
How long would construction of cap take?
Would property where soil is removed be replanted?
What is surcharge on water bills for?
How would townships portion of cap be paid for?
The Township Board is trying to do the right thing.
How would the cap project effect adjoining properties?
If cap had been done in 1990 would there be contamination today?
If landfill is opened will there be airborne contaminants?
Concerned about property values in area of landfill.
Information from previous EPA meetings indicated there would be dust problems.
There is no guarantee EPA plan will work.
Will waste in landfill be exposed?
Has Dustin Lake been affected?
Will Pfizer assist with dispute resolution?
The EPA will hear the people of the Township over industry.

Information provided regarding the aforementioned comments/questions/concerns included:

The KL Group's agreement is with the EPA.
The cap would consist of a synthetic layer and soils on top of it.
The construction of the cap would take approximately two years.
There is no requirement to replant the property the soil would be removed from.
Surcharge is for future maintenance or replacement of water lines.
Funds have been set aside, special assessment would not be anticipated.
The original Record of Decision was reached in 1990, the KL Group requested a change in the cap in October 2001.
No one would have a right to enter adjoining properties without property owner's permission.
The dispute resolution does not effect connections to municipal water.
Soil on property across KL from the landfill is being tested for acceptability; preliminary results indicate it would be.
There could be a short-term acceleration in contamination if the landfill is opened.
Data shows Dustin Lake is not contaminated.

Supervisor VanDyke noted the Michigan Department of Community Health had conducted a health review and when asked if the landfill was making people ill, responded it was not. He further noted an EPA representative had advised him there were possibly five other sites of contamination. Mr. Ortega noted that municipal water has been extended well beyond the landfill, there is now a county ordinance in place, therefore no one within the "zone" as identified by EPA is being exposed to contaminated water.

Trustee Bushouse commented when the landfill was purchased from the Township by Kalamazoo County, it was recognized as a premier landfill.

Mr. Ortega commented the landfill was closed in 1979 under existing laws, but it became clear after the 1992 Consent Decree that old technology was not effective. He further noted the EPA Superfund began in the 1980's with a nationwide study which the KL Group participated in. He commented the decisions being made by the group are considering the best science and best solution for the environment.


A Planning Commission recommendation to approve a rezoning request from the owners of Westmain 2000 for the western 3.5 acre strip of their property from R-2 Residential to C-1 Local Business was before the Board for Second Reading.

Motion by Culp, second by Brown to adopt the rezoning. Roll call showed Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes.


A recommendation from the Planning Commission regarding text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance based upon comments from all Boards as well as day-to-day implementation of the ordinance and a few corrections of typographical errors was before the Board for First Reading.

The various issues addressed are setbacks, lighting of building exteriors, parking placement in the Village Commercial District, wall and freestanding signs in the Village Commercial District, condominium review by the Township Board, mobile home park review by the Planning Commission, deviation from dimensional requirements for parcels, temporary second dwelling on a parcel by Staff review, performance guarantees, and various text additions and typographical error corrections.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to set Second Reading for November 25th. Roll call showed Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brown-yes.


Treasurer Culp and Clerk Everett presented a request for purchase approval for new accounting software to include payables, payroll, general ledger, and cash receipting systems. They advised the software would be the same as currently being utilized for tax, assessing, and building department systems.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Brown to approve the expenditure of $21,480 for the software plus necessary training. Carried.

Trustee Rakowski presented a proposal for restoration/repairs to the Old Town Hall on South 8th Street. He advised bids were sought from VanBeck Roofing, Hazelhoff Builders, VanDam & Kruizenga, and Building Restoration. He further advised Building Restoration and VanDam & Kruizenga did not submit an itemized bid as requested. He recommended the bid from VanBeck Roofing in the amount of $9,750.00 for the replacement of the current roof with a metal roof and the bid from Hazelhoff Builders in the amount of $10,930.00 for replacing damaged fascia, canopy over front door, replacement of front door, siding on west wall, foundation repair, and chimney restoration be approved. All items would be done in conformance with the requirements for the National Register of Historic Places.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Everett to approve the expenditures. Carried.

Trustee Corakis commented on the Trustee Retreat he and Mr. Rakowski attended. He also congratulated Trustee Brown on her appointment as Secretary/Treasurer of the Council of Governments for 2004.

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

Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke