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November 26, 2002

The Oshtemo Township Board held its work session at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting 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 was Township Engineer Marc Elliott, Planner Mary Lynn Bugge, and one interested person.

New Trustees Corakis and Rakowski were briefed on the work session structure. The 2002 goal list was discussed and board members agreed to provide comments at the December work session along with suggestions for 2003 goals.

Committee reports from Roads, Buildings & Grounds, and Parks were provided.

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 Bob Engels, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Ken Howe, Fire Chief, Paul Karnemaat, Deputy Fire Chief, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, and approximately 17 interested people.

Motion by Brown, second by Rakowski to approve the minutes of the November 12th regular meeting and November 19th joint meeting. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $304,408.47 and disbursements of $262,977.26 were reported. Motion by Culp, second by Brown to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.


Tom Brodasky, 6392 Buckham Wood Drive, welcomed the new trustees and asked them to remember they serve the residents of the Township.

Shashin Kothawala, owner of Crystal Car Wash at 6775 West Main, expressed concern regarding his sewer charges as they are based on water usage. Trustee Bushouse advised the Sewer/Water Committee was aware of this and the matter has been referred to the Township Engineer for study.


Supervisor VanDyke advised a counter petition had been received from the property owners in the proposed district with sufficient signatures.

Prior to the vote on the motion the following public comment was made:

Katherine Adams, 6196 Horizon Heights, commented she was told when initiating the petitions the cost would be $7,000-$7,000 per lot, but the letter issued with the notice advised the cost would be $12,000 per parcel. Engineer Snell advised the figures were based on the current ordinance, however, upon obtaining current construction costs, the estimated cost increased.

Motion by Brown, second by Everett to decline the establishment of the proposed County Club Village Sanitary Sewer District 2002-2. Roll call vote showed Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes.

Trustee Bushouse commented he had concerns that as areas of the Township age, groundwater protection will be a problem; the Township needs to look for funding sources and be proactive in extending sewer and water to protect groundwater.


Deputy Chief Paul Karnemaat presented a request to purchase computer hardware/software to connect Fire House #2 with Township office computers. He advised the current connection is via dial up modem, is very slow and can accommodate only one computer; with the addition of two staff members, who will be located at House #2, a more reliable system is needed. A proposal for a dedicated server with a DSL line was received from Siegfried, Crandall, Vos & Lewis in the amount of $6,662.56.

In response to questions from Trustee Bushouse, Joanne Brown from Siegfried, Crandall, Vos & Lewis was present and advised the server would have security and could accommodate up to five computer connections.

Motion by Culp, second by Rakowski to approve the expenditure in the amount of $6,662.56. Carried.


Fire Chief Ken Howe presented a request for the Board to consider the concept of a sole ambulance provider agreement.

Trustee Brown wished to clarify the item before the Board was a request for approval of a concept, it not approval of a contract or expenditure. Ms. Brown commented she would wish to see a complete list of bidders, their responses and supporting documentation of the successful bidder.

Chief Howe concurred with Ms. Brown's comments adding that the requested information would be provided and any contract would require Board approval.

Supervisor VanDyke inquired what other units would be involved and what the positions of the hospitals were.

Chief Howe advised this Board would be first one taking action, the City of Kalamazoo would be acting soon, and he, Deputy Chief Karnemaat, Deputy Chief George Sheets from the City of Kalamazoo and Dr. Bill Fales of the Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority would be meeting with the Texas Township Board. He further advised they had not received a response from either hospital but discussions would continue with them and other jurisdictions, all fire chiefs in the county were aware of the proposal and there had been several favorable comments.

Supervisor VanDyke expressed concern regarding the possibility of liability, i.e., an accident occurs trying to meet response time criteria. He also commented he had concerns about creating a monopoly and controlling fees of a private business. He further commented on the need for 911 central dispatch to control all ambulances. He also inquired how service would be provided if the contracted provider decided to leave.

Chief Howe advised there is currently no performance criterion; an oversight board would review monthly response times. He commented a monopoly could be created with the current arrangement if one of the two companies currently providing services should decide to leave, under the proposed agreement if a monopoly did exist it would be regulated with required performance criteria with a performance bond to provide the incentive, which does not exist now. He also commented if a new provider should be needed, the performance bond would provide the needed support and service from adjoining areas could be used temporarily.

Deputy Chief Karnemaat advised one of the requirements of the proposal is a monitoring system that can document functions of a vehicle, speed, force of breaks, etc.

Chief Howe advised the Board to keep in mind the proposed agreement is the industry standard, the current system is not, most jurisdictions have fire-based EMS or high performance based criteria for private ambulances.

Attorney Engels advised there would be some potential for increased liability if the Township takes on oversight responsibility; it most likely would be covered by governmental immunity so while the potential probably is not great, would be possible.

Chief Howe commented on the indemnification language of the agreement adding the document had been reviewed by three attorneys with the City of Kalamazoo who are comfortable with it. He also commented that the current system has no defense if challenged, the proposed agreement would document that performance criteria is in place.

Trustee Corakis inquired if each jurisdiction could sign the agreement individually instead of part of a group, adding he felt the group contract would create a monopoly. Chief Howe advised each entity would sign as a partner to the agreement.

Trustee Rakowski inquired if the oversight board would set the fee schedule. Chief Howe advised the proposal would include fees and the oversight board would have to approve any increase in the fees after a contract was in place. He further commented the new process provides competition for the best service at the best cost; the current system does not provide competition, as each ambulance service knows, regardless of performance, they are the provider every other month.

In response to a question from Supervisor VanDyke, Deputy Chief Karnemaat advised individual contracts with another provider would be required to be honored and memberships offered.

Jay Brown, 3667 South 9th Street, commented ambulance services are private businesses and government should not regulate them.

Dr. Fales commented that ambulance providers are licensed by the State of Michigan as health care facilities to provide emergency medical services; the issue is how to select a provider to serve the immediate emergency needs of citizens; the decision comes down to local government in what is in the best interest of the citizens. He also reiterated the proposed agreement is the norm throughout the country.

In response to questions from Trustee Rakowski, Chief Howe advised the proposed agreement would not reduce the number of fire department runs, however, criteria for priority medical dispatch is being reviewed. Dr. Fales advised the proposed agreement concept was first adopted by the City of Kalamazoo in 1993; in the mid 1980's a consultant recommended an authority be set up to contract for ambulance services.

Brian Molony, 7491 Stadium Drive, commented the Board should consider how the price of service would be, or in the case of the City of Kalamazoo who currently has contract, increased with the lack of competition.

Deputy Chief George Sheets, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety commented in 1993 the City realized the system they had was ineffective, fees were higher with one company, and there was not a equitable distribution of services, therefore, decided to contract with a single provider. They have now had nine years of experience, lower fees and exceptional service, which they wish to continue.

He further advised the current five-year contract expired December 31, 2001, however, a provision for a three-year extension was exercised and the past year has been spent working on the request for proposal before the Board.

Trustee Brown inquired if the bidding process will be used each time a contract expires. Deputy Chief Sheets advised it would; thus providing the competition for service.

Trustee Bushouse commented he felt all residents would not receive the same service since the performance standards are different for metro and non-metro areas.

Deputy Chief Sheets commented the current system has no standards. Dr. Fales advised the State does not specify response times; current standards for ambulance services in Kalamazoo County are from County Medical Control Authority, which has split metro and non-metro areas. He advised the authority has limited sanctioning ability; they evaluate performance of ambulance service in response time collectively throughout the county. If a service is below specified standards, compliance is sought, and consistent violations could result in the authority revoking ability to operate in the county.

Trustee Bushouse commented if the request for proposal is for three entities any one of the three pulling out would effects the bid; if the conceptual plan is approved and the Township is included in the bid process then how does the Township later say no. He further commented he has not seen statistics that indicate the current system is failing or does not comply with state standards.

Dr. Fales commented the proposal is not an attempt to fix a failing system; it is saying citizens of the community are deserving of excellent EMS. Deputy Chief Sheets commented to address concerns the request for proposal could have provisions for bidding individually or collectively.

Bob Janssen, 8594 Almena, commented he felt ambulance service has been good; the real problem is the 911 system.

Supervisor VanDyke commented he still had concerns but felt the proposal should be investigated and he would like to see a business plan. Dr. Fales advised this would be provided in the bids.

Trustee Brown commented the City of Kalamazoo, Texas and Oshtemo fire personnel have taken a generous step forward in intergovernmental cooperation; one more step along with other small steps, each of which add up to a better community and she applauds what the group has done.

Clerk Everett commented prior to the work session held on this issue she had not made a decision on the issue; Deputy Chief Sheets, Dr. Fales, Chief Howe, and Deputy Chief Karnemaat provided excellent information and she appreciated their time.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Brown to support the Kalamazoo Valley Intergovernmental Ambulance Agreement concept, encourage other jurisdictions to join, and authorize the release of a joint request for proposal to secure a single, high quality emergency ambulance provider. The Board is to receive a complete list of bidders, their responses and documentation supporting the bidder recommended for the contract. Provisions will be included in the proposal for bidding individually or collectively. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-no, Corakis-no, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-no, Brown-yes.


Clerk Everett advised these items had been combined for cost savings in publishing.

Motion by Brown, second by Culp to set the items for Second Reading on December 10th. Trustee Rakowski advised he would prefer to handle each item separately. Ms. Brown withdrew her motion. Motion by Rakowski, second by Culp to act on each item separately. Carried.


A Planning Commission recommendation for provisions to address accessory buildings on residential properties was before the Board for First Reading.

Motion by Everett, second by Brown to set Second Reading for December 10th. Carried.


A Planning Commission recommendation to amend the text of Section 60.420 to identify the Planned Unit Development (PUD) land use option as available in the "VC" Village Commercial district was before the Board for First Reading.

Motion by Culp, second by Brown to set Second Reading for December 10th. Carried.


A Planning Commission recommendation to amend the text of the Sign Ordinance to allow time and temperature features to be added to signs was before the Board for First Reading.

Trustee Rakowski felt this would be a distraction and is not necessary. Trustee Bushouse commented he felt it was a convenience.

Motion by Culp, second by Bushouse to set Second Reading for December 10th. Carried with Rakowski voting no.


A Planning Commission recommendation to establish a definition of family for purposes of rental housing was before the Board for First Reading.

Motion by Brown, second by Culp to set Second Reading for December 10th. Carried.


An addendum to the police protection agreement with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department for 2003 was presented in the amount of $318,090 for 6 deputies.

Motion by Culp, second by Corakis to approve the addendum for 2003. Roll call vote showed Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes.


Treasurer Culp advised the Board Appointment Committee recommends appointing Trustee Rakowski to fill the positions held by former Trustee Worline on the Personnel and Board Appointment Committees, and Fire Commissioner, and Trustee Corakis to fill the positions held by Trustee Brodasky on the Roads and Buildings & Grounds Committees.

She also advised there had been an oversight in the Zoning Board of Appeals appointment; Millard Loy was eligible for a second term.

Motion by Corakis, second by Bushouse to rescind the appointment of Bill Dykhuis to the ZBA and reappoint Millard Loy to a second term and approve the committee recommendations for the new trustees appointments. Roll call showed Everett-yes, Rakowksi-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes.


A proposed ordinance to comply with the requirements of the recently enacted Metropolitan Telecommunications Rights-of-Way Oversight Act was before the Board for Second Reading.

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


Trustee Bushouse welcomed Trustees Corakis and Rakowski to the Board. Trustee Corakis commented the Board will have to agree to disagree at times, Trustee Rakowski commented its great to live in a country where things can be discussed and we have a lot to be thankful for.

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


Township Clerk Supervisor

Attested: John VanDyke