OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)


September 23, 2003

The Oshtemo Township Board held its work session at the Township Hall. The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m.

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

Also present were Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Cathy Harrell, Assessor, Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, Mike Collins representing KVCC, and Saul Amdursky representing Kalamazoo Public Library.

Discussion was held concerning the establishment of a Downtown Development Authority in the village area. It was noted that all taxing units affected were invited to participate. Clerk Everett advised she had spoken with representatives of Kalamazoo Public Schools and Kalamazoo County and they would not be opposed to the proposed DDA. Treasurer Culp advised she had spoken with a representative of KRESA who expressed they would likely not oppose the DDA. Mr. Collins commented KVCC has not opposed previous DDA's they have been involved with. Mr. Amdursky advised he would have to take the information to the Library Board. Assessor Harrell provided them with projected amounts of the tax captures. Board discussion included proceeding by inviting all property and business owners in the proposed district to an informational meeting on October 6th at 7:00 p.m.

County Commissioner Bob Brink arrived and provided information on various issues of general interest.

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 Township Attorney Patricia Mason, Township Engineers Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Fire Chief Ken Howe, Deputy Fire Chief Paul Karnemaat and approximately 13 interested people.

Motion by Brown, second by Corakis to approve the minutes of the September 9th Regular and September 12th Special meetings. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $72,152.11 and disbursements of $152,214.78 were reported. Motion by Bushouse, second by Brown to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.








Text amendments to the health insurance, fiscal year, land division, and motor vehicle code ordinances were before the Board for Second Reading.

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


Bill Briggs of VanderWeele Design Consultants advised seven bids had been received for the renovation of the Parkview Building, reviewed for content and recommended accepting the low bid from Keystone Construction Management of $162,000. He advised there were some items the Township would handle outside the contract, i.e., sewer hook up, work from Consumers Energy, furnishings.

Trustee Rakowski commented he was of the opinion that a new building should be built and inquired as to the cost and asked if the floor in the current truck bay would be replaced. Mr. Briggs advised the cost for a new structure would be approximately $200,000 - $250,000 and the floor would be filled and leveled.

Trustee Corakis commented the village area has had other new construction, a new building could meet the goal of the village area concept.

Supervisor VanDyke inquired as the soundness of the building structurally. Mr. Briggs advised there is no evidence of structural problems with the foundation or walls. Clerk Everett noted the Park Committee had verified the structural soundness prior to developing any plans.

Trustee Brown commented the building has historical value, the Township needs to be a leader in setting the example of creating the village atmosphere and character of the Village Focus Area, and felt more money should not be spent for a new building when the current one is structurally sound.

Trustee Bushouse commented this project would save a piece of Township history and there are a limited number of historical structures, the building would offer many uses to the community, be barrier free, set the example of the village area, could be used in an emergency to house a large group, and funds are available as they have been saved for this project.

Clerk Everett concurred with Trustees Brown and Bushouse.

Motion by Culp, second by Bushouse, to authorize the Supervisor and Clerk to sign the contract to accept the bid from Keystone Construction Management and approve expenditure up to $175,000 for renovation of the Parkview Building. Carried with Rakowski voting no.


A proposal for a single provider ambulance was before the Board for consideration. Life EMS was the only bidder and was being recommended for approval by Fire Chief Howe, Deputy Chief Karnemaat and representatives from the City of Kalamazoo who served on the reviewing body. Attorney Mason advised there had been a change made to the original proposed agreement effecting the time period for termination of the contract. The new language proposes that the contract could be cancelled in the first five years only if Life EMS is proven negligent. Mark Meyer of Life EMS advised the change was requested due to the substantial investment being made to meet the terms of the contract.

Supervisor VanDyke commented he had difficulty with the idea, feels it creates a monopoly and questioned what would happen if Life goes broke. He commented that he felt that with a 911 dispatch center and a GPS system in each ambulance any company could drive to a scene here. Mr. VanDyke inquired how many ambulances and people would have to be added to provide coverage, would Oshtemo receive preference in responses and what benefits would the patient receive, i.e., financial. He also commented that his cardiac physician had indicated that a 12 lead EKG is not necessary in an ambulance.

Deputy Chief George Sheets from the City of Kalamazoo responded that the issues Mr. VanDyke referred to are addressed in the proposed contract, a $750,000 performance bond that should Life EMS default would enable another company to continue service.

Mr. Meyer advised review is being done as to how many units will be needed, they currently have 10 paramedic ambulances, and are waiting to see how many municipalities enter the contract and will probably add a couple of additional units. He commented that the current every other month service being provided is helpful in monitoring the need. Mr. Meyer commented from the patients perspective the Township would have determined they want the finest capabilities responding with knowledge, committed performance and accountability. He further commented Life EMS operates on a fee for service basis, currently under the alternating monthly agreement, patients serviced by Life EMS are billed less, under the proposed contract rates may go up but when comparing the level of quality some rates may be more and some less.

Dr. William Fales, director of Kalamazoo County Medical Control responded that the American Heart Association has identified pre-hospital use of a 12 lead EKG as a class one intervention, the highest level of recommendation they offer for urban and suburban communities. He further commented the biggest advantage of the 12 lead EKG technology is that unlike the current monitoring capability of paramedics which primarily monitors rhythm of the heart, the 12 lead EKG performs a diagnostic level cardiogram and can identify an acute heart attack, the hospital can mobilize the cath lab, and get the patient there faster, resulting in a 20-30 minute difference.

Trustee Bushouse commented the statements made concerning the 12 lead EKG would in essence allow bypassing the emergency room and direct the patient to the necessary treatment which would be a tremendous benefit to the doctor and hospital handling a heart attack.. He also advised he had been given information that from June through September 22nd, Life EMS had turned over 137 calls to another ambulance service. Mr. Bushouse commented he is concerned that the if the system is to become exclusive what happens to competition, which is being used today. Mr. Bushouse further commented that the contract could only be terminated with a 2/3 vote of the units involved; there was no address if only one unit was not satisfied. He further commented the question of raising standards of care opens concern as to what as Township government do we need to provide to our citizens; a very high professional standard and something average that still works, standards need to be analyzed how they affect the population, i.e., a certain number of people will die of cancer, diabetes, heart attack car accidents, if resources or standards were provided in certain areas perhaps we could greatly affect a number of people. He questioned how applying a higher standard would affect private enterprise; there are currently two major ambulance companies, statistics indicate they can share resources, if we start restricting private enterprise will eventually have only one company left here. He commented there were indications that the proposed contract would draw a number of bidders, yet only one company bid and he has concerns as to whether the proposed contract will work. Mr. Bushouse commented he appreciates the response level and professionalism of the Fire Department and this has been a difficult decision.

Mr. Meyer commented that in many cases a call is turned over not because they cannot respond but the other service may be in better position to respond, resources will be adjusted as needed to meet the performance parameters of the contract as they have done for over a decade in the City of Kalamazoo.

Trustee Rakowski commented he understood the comments about creating a monopoly, but felt this is an opportunity to help Township citizens and if by chance Life EMS should fail, the void would be filled by other ambulances, or the contract could not be renewed. He inquired how breaches of the contract would be handled.

Chief Howe advised the contract specifies breaches as minor or major with penalties involved. Deputy Chief Karnemaat advised response times will be reviewed monthly, the oversight board would meet quarterly or more often if necessary.

Trustee Brown inquired how an increase in need would be met should other units join the contract, and how calls to units not participating in the agreement would affect response. She commented that she had a recent personal experience in calling 911, Life EMS responded and she appreciated their professional and respectful treatment of the patient, the support by the Fire Department, and all did an excellent job in response time. Ms. Brown commented she would like it to be clear that any changes in the agreement would come back to the Township Board for consideration.

Mr. Meyer commented one strength of the agreement is the ability to provide consistent care throughout the metro area with intense performance requirements built into the contract that regardless of whether more units sign on performance requirements will not change. He further commented it is critical to keep in mind the Township has a professional fire department responding as medical first responders, they work together and Life EMS service reflects on the Township and they take that very seriously since people may assume the ambulance is Oshtemo's as well.

Attorney Mason advised the contract refers to the municipality which means the Board not an individual.

Trustee Corakis inquired if the competitor is driven out of the area what would happen if there is a call Life EMS is not close enough to answer, who decides if there is a way out of the contract if the Township could not terminate on its own, and why does the agreement have to be signed as a group. He commented he has nothing against good service to Township residents but does not like a monopoly and signing as part of a group. He further commented if the Township could sign individually he would support it but not as part of a group.

Mr. Meyer commented the discussion is not about driving a competitor out of the area, but an assumption of adjusting to resources available and a commitment to meet the parameters of agreement.

Attorney Mason advised the oversight board would make a determination of a breach, then a recommendation to each municipality, who would vote and it would take 2/3 of the parties in the contract to concur there had been a breach and declare the contract terminated. She further advised the Township had already agreed to be in the group when approving proceeding with the request for proposal.

Clerk Everett inquired if Chief Howe and Deputy Chief Sheets were comfortable with changing the time period of the cancellation clause to five years and if they felt the standards were sufficient to find cause for termination if necessary. She commented she is relying on the recommendations from the professionals in making a decision.

Deputy Chief Sheets and Dr. Fales commented the contract performance standards are very specific. Chief Howe commented he was comfortable with the change and very confident in his recommendation to approve the agreement.

Motion by Culp, second Brown to approve the ambulance agreement as amended. Carried with Bushouse, Corakis and VanDyke voting no.


Chief Howe presented a request to purchase two extrication tools. He advised they would enhance the capabilities and efficiency at incidents where extrication of a person is necessary, are smaller and lighter than current tools. He further advised the tools would be more efficient when dealing with light-duty extrications that continue to occur more frequently due to automotive construction and safety technology.

Chief Howe also advised the tools would be compatible with all aspects of the current extrication system.

Motion by Everett, second by Corakis to approve the purchase of two extrication tools in the amount of $6,500. Carried.


Engineer Elliott advised four bids had been received for the work on Stadium Drive as approved by the Board at the September 9th meeting concerning connection of two properties on Stadium Drive west of South 6th Street.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Rakowski to accept the bid from Bailey Excavating in the amount of $7,450.00 and direct the Sewer/Water Committee to negotiate with the developer. Carried.


Trustee Brown suggested Township staff be invited to submit names for the Parkview Building project.

Trustee Corakis reported on Metro Transit and Care-A-Van usage in the Township.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:35 p.m.

Township Clerk
Attested: John VanDyke