Draft Helena Township Board Meeting December 14th, 2023
Meeting called to order at 7:00 PM by Supervisor Peeples. Members present were Butch Peeples, Cathy Rice, Butch Bartz, and Bonnie Robbins. David Peterson was absent. Motion by Robbins to approve the agenda as submitted, supported by Bartz and approved. Motion by Robbins to approve the November 9th and November 14th meeting minutes as submitted, supported by Bartz and approved.
Conflict of Interest: None
Treasurer’s Report: beginning balance November 1st, 2023 is $399,505.50
Total receipts: $3762.03 and total disbursements: $35,482.15
Ending balance November 30, 2023 is $367,785.38
Motion to approve the treasurer’s report by Robbins, supported by Bartz and approved.
Presentation of Bills: November 1-30; $24,420.03 and December 1-14; $12,907.56
Fire Chief/Sheriff Report: South Torch Lake Fire & Rescue report from Chief Paul Fabiano, AC Sheriff report from Kevin Hoch, County Commissioner report from Terry VanAlstine, Township Ambulance Authority report from Rick Teague. All reports are linked with the minutes on the township website, www.helenatownship.com.
Zoning: Reviewed Bob Logee’s zoning report. Logee offered two standard resolutions required for assessing properties in Helena Township. The 1st is to establish the Board of Appeals starting date and the 2nd is to allow exemption/reduction of property taxed based on an approved application. Application must meet household income and asset criteria set by the state. Motion to adopt these resolutions made by Robbins, supported by Rice. Roll call vote on each with all present voting yes.
Parks & Rec: Steve Dell presented information about the 2024-2028 Helena Township Recreation and Natural Resources Conservation Plan. Revisions were made to update completed goals and changes based on the response to the survey conducted showing use of various parks. The parks and recreation committee recommend the changes to the board of trustees and ask they sign the resolution needed so the plan can be submitted to the DNR. This plan is required by the application process for grants offered thru the DNR. Motion by Robbins to adopt the resolution, supported by Rice. Roll call vote with all present voting yes. Motion carried.
Planning Commission: Robbins reported the final draft of the updated master plan is available on the website. The public hearing is scheduled for the regular meeting on January 4, 2024 at 5:00 PM. The meeting will be available thru the ZOOM link posted on the website. Robbins asked that the board approve signing a contract with the firm that will host this ZOOM meeting so they are available for anticipated public hearing meetings in the coming months. They will provide all equipment and handle getting comments from remote participants. Cost would be $150 per hour with a two hour minimum. The firm was recommended by legal counsel, Chris Bzdok. January meeting will be subcontracted thru his office for this first meeting. Historically any zoning ordinance changes were not made during the winter snowbird period. Having the opportunity to participate in the required public hearings thru ZOOM will allow the commission to get any needed language for alternative energy in place before the May 31st deadline set by recent regulation.
Roads: Discussion to update the five-year plan for road work based on the increase in revenue available. A Paige Road resident submitted a letter asking for consideration of paving the east section of Paige Road. Discussion of work on several roads, including downtown area, South East Torch Lake Drive, Cemetery, and McPherson. Bartz and Gurr, road committee members, will meet with Burt Thompson and review the roads to determine what work can be done this year and plan for future projects. Alden Meadows road is still in the approved cycle but work was delayed due to contractor scheduling last year.
New Business: None
Old Business: Topics will be addressed after the holiday season due to increase in families using the Community Center for their gatherings.
Motion to pay bills: Rice made the motion to pay the bills, supported by Robbins. All present voted yes, motion carried.
Public Comment: Jim Gurr commented.
Adjournment by call of the chair at 7:58 PM.
Prepared by Helena Township Deputy Clerk: Bonnie Robbins