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September 13, 2001

Special Meeting

The Oshtemo Township Board held a special meeting 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 Tom Brodasky
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline

Also present was Patricia Mason and Michael Ortega, Township Attorneys, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers and 3 interested people.

A moment of silence was held for the victims of the tragedies in New York and Washington, D.C., then the Pledge of Allegiance recited.

Supervisor VanDyke advised the item for consideration was the extension of water to the western portion of the Township.

Trustee Bushouse wished to comment for the record this item was to have been on the agenda at the regular Tuesday night meeting on September 11th and was rescheduled as late as possible on this evening so the public would have a chance to attend if they had a concern. He further commented that he in no way wanted this perceived as forcing anything on anyone.

Attorney Mason commented when the September 11th meeting was postponed to September 18th, it was initially suggested that this item remain on that agenda but she suggested a special meeting be held because of need to get authorization to sign contracts with the City of Kalamazoo, because upon signing, the Township would have the ability to start issuing building permits to people who have been waiting.

Attorney Mason commented the area being considered for the water extension is intended to address the area that is most immediately affected by well permit denials by the Kalamazoo County Health Department. She also commented that it was initially intended to be a project that would involve an extended area much wider in scope that would have addressed an area the County thought might be affected in the future, but the larger project was not considered to be financially viable after further study. She stated it is hoped the other positions recommended by the Sewer & Water Committee, as far as pursuing further negotiations with MDEQ and the County regarding their policy on well permits, would address those areas that might be effected in the future.

The Sewer & Water Committee presented a recommendation for approval of a water main extension to include portions of KL Avenue, 1st Street, 2nd Street, 4th Street, Almena Drive, Skyview Drive and West Main Street at an estimated cost of $1,562,124 with financing through the Water Fund, a loan from the General Fund to the Water Fund, funding negotiated from the KLA Group and the City of Kalamazoo. It also indicated the Township would receive reimbursement in the form of connections. Skyview Estates would be placed in a special assessment district.

Also included in the recommendation was the adoption of a "position paper" regarding this project and related issues. (Copy filed in Supplement to Minutes) The paper states in part that the Township is committed to extending water into the "dead zones" to the extent financially possible, pursue administrative and legal remedies to obtain a change in the County Health Department policy concerning well permits, pursue political and legal remedies to the fullest extent possible to address the failure of the MDEQ to pursue investigation of sources of contamination and obtain remediation, continue its own investigation as resources permit concerning suspected sources of contamination and continue to pursue sources of initial financing and reimbursement costs from all available sources.

Trustee Brown commented this has been a long and difficult process for all concerned and is glad to see a project to resolve the situation, however, as far as the ongoing problems with permits, she urged the Board to advise legal counsel to pursue every avenue. She then inquired when the project could begin construction, since although building permits would be issued, homes would have to wait for water connection.

Engineer Snell advised he had discussed with the City of Kalamazoo reserving their construction schedule for us for next year and depending on their schedule and weather, there could be some work begun yet this fall.

Attorney Mason commented that since occupancy permits could not be granted for homes without potable water, it is her understanding the County has made representations that it would grant permits for wells within safe drinking water standards, already established as temporary wells, if they know municipal water will be there.

Dan Wilkinson, developer of Skyview Estates and Dan Visser urged the Board to approve the project.

Attorney Ortega commented the "position paper" reflects the culmination of a great deal of effort by the Board and the committee and those assisting them through a very difficult process and extremely complex situation. He further commented the paper was created because the Board felt it was important at this stage to tell the public as much as possible during the course of very delicate and complex negotiations which involve ongoing litigation and it has been very difficult at times, for a variety of reasons, to issue a paper with this kind of detail.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Brodasky to approve the recommendation of the Sewer & Water Committee to authorize signing of the contract with the City of Kalamazoo for the project and adopt the "position paper". Roll call vote showed Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, Culp-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, VanDyke-yes.

Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky, to adopt the resolution to authorize creation of plans for the Skyview Estates special assessment district. Roll call vote showed Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Culp-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, VanDyke-yes.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:35 p.m.