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November 25, 2003

The Oshtemo Township Board held its work session at the Township Hall. The meeting was called to order at 5:00 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 were James Porter, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, Texas Township Officials Ron Commissaris, Linda Kerr, Joyce Neubauer, and Don Boven, and Russ Wicklund of the Preim Group.

Feasibility Study for Non-Motorized Pathways Plan

Trustee Bushouse presented a recommendation from the Park Committee and Russ Wicklund, of the Preim Group, contracted consultant for the Township recreation plan, to approve a proposal from Prein & Newhof to conduct a feasibility study for a non-motorized pathways plan for a fee not to exceed $14,000. A proposal from L. L. Harris & Associates was also received in the amount of $20,750. Mr. Bushouse noted the committee and Mr. Wicklund had reviewed both proposals.

Mr. Wicklund advised when applying for state grants a current recreation plan must be in place; the Park Committee is in the process of formulating the plan. He noted a grant application would also need to include a feasibility study of the proposed improvements. It was noted that Mr. Wicklund is also the consultant retained by Texas Township and the Park Committees of both townships had discussed working in conjunction to achieve the goals of connecting the two townships and surrounding municipalities. It was noted a non-motorized pathways network will be a long term project. Texas Township officials expressed their interest in continuing working together on the project. Discussion was also held concerning involvement of other entities, i.e., KATS, COG.

A letter of objection from Larry Harris of L.L. Harris & Associates P.C. regarding the proposal process was noted for the record.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to accept the proposal from Prein & Newhof in the amount of $14,000 for the feasibility study. Carried.

DDA Consultant Interviews

Planner Bugge advised proposals for the consultant to prepare the DDA Plan had been sent out and interviews set for December 11th. Board consensus was to form a committee to conduct the interviews and make a recommendation to the Board. Trustees Brown and Corakis and Clerk Everett volunteered to serve on the committee along with Planning Department staff.

Master Land Use Plan

Trustee Corakis commented he would like to see the Master Land Use Plan reviewed and updated where needed. Trustee Bushouse concurred commenting changes currently made are reactionary. Trustees Corakis, Bushouse and Rakowski commented they would be willing to serve on a review committee which they felt should include Planning Commission and ZBA members and citizens at large.

Beech Street Water

Engineer Elliott advised the water project for Beech Street is scheduled to begin on December 4th.

KCRC Invoice

Discussion was held concerning an invoice from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission in the amount of approximately $97,000 for relocating a water line during the widening project on Stadium Drive. A letter from Patricia Mason, Township Attorney was reviewed with her opinion it is not a Township expense. Supervisor VanDyke will take up the issue with the Road Commission at their next meeting.

Flesher Field/Chime Street Easement

Engineer Elliott provided an update concerning the needed easement for the driveway to Flesher Field from Chime Street.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:50 p.m.

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 were James Porter, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Fire Chief Ken Howe, and 7 interested people.

Motion by Brown, second by Corakis to approve the minutes of the November 4th regular and November 18th joint meetings. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $77,099.27 and disbursements of $199,007.69 were reported. Motion by Rakowski, second by Corakis to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.




An application for a Class C liquor license received from the Elks Lodge was before the Board for Public Hearing. Julie Hammons and Ralph Gooch from the Elks Board of Trustees were present and advised the management group, currently employed by the Elks, own the liquor license and will not be renewing their contract, therefore, the Elks are requesting they be granted a Class C liquor license. They further advised they have contracted a new management group, and are planning upgrades to the facility. Tyler Eddy and Steve Tyler, representing the new management group advised they plan to market the restaurant separately from the golf course and feel the facility has the capacity to generate revenue.

Board members had questions concerning the license held by the Elks prior to their becoming a public facility. The Elks representatives advised when they were a private entity they held a Club liquor license but now require a Class C as a public facility.

There were Board member concerns that enough information was not available concerning the improvements and marketing and business plan. Ms. Hammons commented they could have the necessary information available for the next meeting.

It was also discussed that when a license is issued it becomes the property of the licensee, regardless if they stay in business or relocate outside the Township. Attorney Porter advised other municipalities have adopted polices that require those receiving the license to sign an agreement with financial consequences for removing a license from the granting municipality.

Motion by Brown, second by Rakowski to table action of the application from the Elks Lodge to December 9th. Carried.

Motion by Brown, second by Rakowski to direct the attorney to draft a proposed agreement for Board review. Carried.


Building Official Bob Horton presented a request for expenditure to construct a vehicle storage building for Building Department vehicles. He advised the Parkview Building, currently under renovation, had been utilized during the winter months for storage of the vehicles since the Fire Department relocated. He commented on advantages of keeping the vehicles in covered storage, including security and extension of service and life of the vehicles. Mr. Horton further commented at the direction of the Board, he sought plans and presented a proposal for a 4,000 square foot insulated storage building with electrical service, advising the cost of the building, extending electrical service, and required paving would be approximately $100,000.

Information from architect Bruce VanderWeele was provided indicating four bids had been received and reviewed with Hall Builders being low bid at $91,656; not including running electric to the building or paving.

Trustee Brown had concerns that the building plans were not distributed to Board members prior to the meeting.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Corakis to accept the bid from Hall Builders and approve the expenditure of $100,000 for the vehicle storage building.

Trustee Brown commented she would not vote to approve the request; she felt the process was too hurried Trustee Corakis then withdrew his second. Clerk Everett seconded the motion. Carried with Brown voting no.


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


An amendment for 2004 to the Household Hazardous Waste Agreement with Kalamazoo County was before the Board. It was noted the $5,000 budgeted for 2003 had been exhausted prior to the year end; therefore, $9,000 had been budgeted for 2004.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to approve the agreement amendment for 2004 in the amount of $9,000 as budgeted. Carried.


A three year agreement with Metro Transit for bus service in the Township was before the Board. The proposed agreement reflects a 5% increase annually; the current year contract is $15,548.

There was lengthy discussion concerning the duplication of services in some areas with Metro Transit and Care-A-Van, variation in charges by the two services and number of riders.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Rakowski to approve the agreement for one year in the amount of $16,325.40 and direct the Supervisor to write a letter expressing the Board's concerns regarding duplication of services and request a response. Carried.


Trustee Brown presented a recommendation from the Personnel Committee that any employee or elected official using their personal vehicle for Township business, the driver must have current proof of liability coverage on file with the Township and have a minimum coverage of $100,000/$300,000 Personal Injury/Property Protection.

In response to Board members questions, Trustee Brown advised if the employee or elected official cannot provide the required proof of insurance, their vehicle could not be used for Township business, and criteria for firefighters is covered under State requirements.

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


Fire Chief Ken Howe presented a request for approval to replace the Fire Department Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). He advised the type currently being used is expected to be discontinued from production due to outdated technology and a financial incentive is being offered to purchase the newer model. He noted while equipment has been maintained through service contracts and training, some air packs in use are thirty years old and many masks are in need of replacement due to wear.

Chief Howe advised the new mask design allows enhanced vision capabilities and an expedited donning process and demonstrated the new design and current equipment.

Chief Howe advised two proposals were received with West Shore Fire low bidder at $141,757, which includes a discount for the trade in of existing units. He noted funding is available from Operations-Capital Outlay with a transfer from Operations Carryover.

Chief Howe also requested approval for purchase of four Rapid Intervention Team kits (RIT), equipment used to assist firefighters who may become trapped, at a cost not to exceed $5,000. He advised this equipment is compatible with the proposed SCBA replacements.

Motion by Culp, second by Rakowski to approve the expenditures of $141,757 and $5,000 for equipment as proposed. Carried.


Trustee Brown commented on the item in the Kalamazoo Gazette regarding growth in the county.

Trustee Rakowski commented he enjoyed attending the Oshtemo Grange jam session held at the Grange Hall the 3rd Friday of each month.

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

Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke