Township Board Minutes

November 9, 1999

The Oshtemo Township Board held its regular meeting at the Township Hall. The meeting was called to order by Supervisor Fleckenstein, at 7:00 p.m.

Supervisor Ron Fleckenstein
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee Fred Johnson

Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer along with 13 interested people.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to approve the minutes of the October 26, 1999 meeting as prepared. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $33,126.75 and disbursements of $74,891.75 were reported. Income to the Fire Fund of $4,717.17 and disbursements of $70,641.01 were reported. Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Block to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.


Neil Sikora, 2378 Fairgrove, addressed the Board with concerns regarding township road maintenance and lack of bike lanes and sidewalks. He urged the Board to discontinue the use of the chip seal method of maintenance. He felt the loose stones are damaging to vehicles and unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. He referred to Kalamazoo County Road Commission Director Ron Reid=s comments at the previous meeting that they do not have a policy for bike lanes, stating he felt it should be Road Commission policy to install bike lanes and sidewalks whenever possible, especially in areas where there are walkers and cyclists. He suggested the liability could be greater for the Road Commission and Township if there are no such lanes and force people to use the roadway.

                                        WEST MAIN WATER EXTENSION

Supervisor Fleckenstein opened the public hearing on the assessment roll for the West Main Water Extension. He noted that the total benefit units for three parcels had been adjusted after a review had been done and a memo from Planning Director Jodi Stefforia had been forwarded to the Board. He further noted that there will not be a deadline by which properties are required to connect and no assessment until such time as a property does connect. There was no public comment.

Treasurer Brown advised she had a discussion with Ms. Stefforia which she found very helpful and was satisfied that the benefit amounts are correct. She felt that in fairness, the roll should be corrected to reflect these adjustments. She further noted that two of the properties she had questioned were those with 9 benefit units, but was now satisfied that this figure is correct and had before this meeting given Mr. VanDam an explanation.

Motion made by Brown, supported by Anderson to correct the assessment roll to reflect a change in the amount of benefit units for Parcel #3905-16-255-020 from 2.0 to 2.9, Parcel #3905-16-405-030 from 1.0 to 1.4 and Parcel #3905-16-180-059 from 1.0 to 2.1, directing the Engineer to prepare a new roll with the corrections. Carried.

For the record, Supervisor Fleckenstein noted that all properties within the district were noticed by mail, two of which had been returned by the Post Office, Parcel #3905-16-255-030 and Parcel #3905-16-330-060.

Motion made by Block, supported by Johnson to approve the corrected assessment roll for the West Main Water District. Roll call vote showed Johnson-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.


The proposed text amendment concerning indoor recreational uses was before the Board for Second Reading. Indoor recreational uses would be a special exception use in the C, C-1, I-R and I-1 zones.

Motion made by Block, supported by Johnson to approve the and adopt the text amendment.

Brian Molony, owner of Rollerworld, requested that any recreational facility currently in the Township be grand fathered in as a Special Exception Use (SEU). Attorney Reed advised that his property will remain a non-conforming use until any site changes are made, at which time he would apply for a SEU.

Trustee Block advised he had contacted two State Senators offices as well as Speaker Perricone=s regarding the information Mr. Molony had shared at the last meeting regarding adult
regulated businesses and any other special exception uses being required to renew with a fee
each year. Mr. Block advised he had learned the proposed legislation applied only to adult regulated businesses and would be done so through the State.

Roll call vote showed Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Johnson-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.


Treasurer Brown presented a resolution to the Board requesting approval to add the fund of MBIA/Municipal Investors Service Corporation, administrator of Michigan CLASS, to the Township Investment Policy.

She further noted that many other townships, cities and school districts participate in the fund; and that she and Township Accountant Mike Crandall were comfortable that this is a sound program.

In response to questions from Trustee Block, Mrs. Brown advised the following:

There is no required amount for participation, method of investment would be standard CD=s, time frames vary from 30 days to 1 year, and money from different Township funds could be invested so an entire fund is not invested in one program; this method has been successful, she has never had to pull funds from an investment early or incur penalties.

Motion made by Brown, supported by Johnson to adopt the resolution approving participation in the MBIA/Michigan Class Investment Program.

Roll call vote showed Johnson-yes, Everett-yes, Brown-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.


Supervisor Fleckenstein presented a request from Midwest Energy Cooperative to enact a franchise ordinance. He noted the ordinance had been reviewed and approved by the Attorney.

Attorney Reed advised this is the standard ordinance adopted for other franchise uses.

Mark Stallons, Vice-President of Operations from Midwest Energy Cooperative was present and provided that his organization is comprised of Fruit Belt Electric, Southeastern Energy Cooperative, is a non-profit electric cooperative and have subsidiary businesses in propane, electrical contracting, long distance telephone and are now targeting natural gas customers in their electric service area which would be Fruit Belt Electric customers in the southwestern corner of the Township. Other municipalities who have franchise agreements with them include Texas, Almena, Antwerp and Paw Paw Townships.

In response to questions from the Board he also advised they would buy gas on the open market and use existing lines, paying a transportation fee to the owner of the lines, to provide service.

Customers will be able to choose a supplier for gas, although the lines may owned by another company, similar to telephone deregulation, and the Michigan Public Service Commission approves how many gas mains can be installed in a right of way.

Motion made by Brown, supported by Anderson to set the ordinance for Second Reading on November 23rd. Carried.


Carl Christensen was present to update the Board on the proposed trailway system which would connect the Kal-Haven Trail and the Battle Creek Linear Parkway. Since the project began they have received a grant for construction of the trailway, and to purchase of the remaining railroad right of way. The Michigan Department of Transportation has spoken favorably of building a pedestrian bridge across US-131. They are seeking to establish a governing authority and feel the trailway should be a county park.

Trustee Anderson inquired if the regulations would be the same in regards to snowmobiles as the Kal-Haven Trail which allows them. Toni Thompson was also present and advised that non-motorized vehicles would probably not be allowed since the trailway will go through several communities.

Motion made by Anderson, supported by Block to adopt the resolution endorsing the trailway project. Roll call vote showed Anderson-yes, Block-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Johnson-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.


Supervisor Fleckenstein advised that as a project of the Council of Governments, aerial photographs of the county had been taken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. COG is now suggesting that each municipality have the photographs converted to a format called Adigital orthophotography@ which can be used as a base map in our GIS system .The Planning Department and Assessing Department feel this would be a valuable addition to their departments. Due to a grant funding program with the Corps of Engineers, the cost of digitizing the aerial photos of the Township would be $7,000, however, this figure may be lower yet. The cities of Kalamazoo and Portage and the townships of Cooper, Pavilion and Texas have committed to this project.

Trustee Block inquired if the county will have master aerial photos of the entire county. Mr. Fleckenstein advised the county will retain the film but each municipality would be responsible for digitizing their own area. He further advised that all units are being encouraged to participate due to the grant funds available at this time as the cost will be more in the future.

Motion made by Anderson, supported by Johnson to approve the expenditure in the amount of $7,000 to digitize aerial photos of the Township. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein presented a request from Fire Chief Ken Howe for the purchase of two Heartsteam Automated External Defibrillators(AED=s). The units currently in service are no longer produced, therefore, parts and service will soon be unavailable. They can be used as back up units. Purchase of two AED=s was provided for in the 1999 budget. Cost for two new units would be $6,024.

Motion made by Johnson, supported by Everett to approve the expenditure of $6,024 for the purchase of two AED=s. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein advised that he had been contacted by Attorney Robert Connelly representing America Nelson who is requesting an extension on the order of demolition for the property at 6137 Horizon Heights, issued by the Board on September 14th. Mr. Fleckenstein stated he had advised Mr. Connelly that in his opinion, an extension would probably not be granted. Mr. Connelly did not appear to make the appeal and has indicated he will seek a restraining order if an extension is denied.

Ordinance Enforcement Officer Scott Paddock has advised that little progress has been made in correcting the items provided for in the order issued by the Dangerous Building Hearing Officer.

Treasurer Brown stated that considering the length of time, financial resources and staff time that have been involved in this particular site no extensions should be granted.

Motion made by Brown, supported by Block that the Township grant no further extensions concerning the subject property. Carried.



Trustee Johnson advised that the leaf collection on November 6th was well attended. One large compactor truck was filled and part of another. More plastic bags were used than paper which necessitate more time and labor since they have to be emptied. Estimated cost of the collection is $892.00. The second and final leaf collection will be on November 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Treasurer Brown expressed a concern that our Ordinance Enforcement Officer had picked up bags of leaves along the roadside and there were a number of bags left in the parking lot, probably from people who came too late. She felt earlier and better education should be done regarding the program.


Trustee Anderson advised that the foundation for the new fire station is in, sewer and water have been run to the site and grading work is almost complete.


Supervisor Fleckenstein reminded the Board of a joint Township Board/Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals information sharing/work session on November 16th at 7:00 p.m.

West H Avenue project should be completed very soon.

Water connections and landscaping for the Springwood Hills area are taking place.

The 10th Street sewer project is now ready for use and property owners have been notified.


Engineer Snell commented he hoped residents are pleased with the Township Board=s effort to install utilities using the Revolving Fund with a reminder that it is replenished by connections and would encourage people to connect soon.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

DEBORAH L. EVERETT                                          Attested: RON FLECKENSTEIN
Township Clerk                                                                             Supervisor