Board Minutes Draft November 12, 2020

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Draft Helena Township Board Meeting November 12th, 2020

Meeting called to order at 7:00 PM. Members present were Rick Teague, David Peterson, Bonnie Robbins, Cathy Rice and Butch Bartz. Motion by Robbins to approve the agenda and supported by Bartz and approved.   Motion by Bartz to approve the minutes as corrected and supported by Robbins and approved.

Conflict of Interest: None

Public Comment: Jack Findlay commented on Teague’s service as supervisor.

Heather Stewart representing Alden Volunteers, spoke about a proposed Alden Art Walk with local artists and sculptures at several locations in Alden by June, 1st, 2021.

Jim Gurr commented on Rick Teague’s service.

Treasurer’s Report: beginning balance October 1st, 2020 is $499,516.37

Total receipts: $23,754.69 and total disbursements: $76,589.91

Ending balance as of 10/31/2020 is $446,681.15

Motion to approve the treasurer’s report by Teague and supported by Robbins and approved. Presentation of Bills: October 1-31: $67,279.53 and November 1-12th: $13,200.74


Communications: Street light request for First Street and Helena Rd.

Sheriff’s report.

Zoning: Reviewed zoning report for October, 2020.

Planning Commission: Robbins presented board with site plan approved by the Planning Commission for mixed use for Kurt Gruebner (car wash property and adjoining property on west side of Torch Lake Drive). Request waving 30 day waiting period by Antrim County Road Commission and approving issuing a land use permit for the presented site plan. Peterson requests that a document be prepared listing what the board is approving in the site plan and land use permit. Robbins made the motion to approve the land use permit for Kurt Grueber’s site plan with support by Teague and the motion carried. (attachment)

Minor language changes to the zoning ordinance were approved by the county and presented to the township board for approval. Teague made the motion to accept and approve the minor language changes to the zoning ordinance with support by Robbins and the motion carried.

Ambulance Authority: No update.

Parks: Ruth Smith reviewed P&R report. Recommendation by P&R to remove the old concession stand at the Ball Park. Yearly report for Coy Mtn. Forestry Management Plan to be presented to the board in December. Discussed possible policy at the Alden Safe Harbor to limit the length of boats to 20 feet launched there based on length of the docks. Need clarification of township lawyer.

Roads: No update. Inquiry about temporary parking in front of the outfitters and old bank building.

Old Business: None

New Business: Sue Reigler, librarian, asked the board if HEPA filters could be put in wall units in Library. Discussion followed and the board by consensus approves HEPA filters for all the wall units in the community center.   Peterson to call Durkie to see about installation and cost.

Announcements: Elected board members need to take oath of office prior to November 2oth when they officially take office at noon.

Additional Public Comment: Comments by Jim Gurr. Peterson read a letter from the board thanking Rick Teague for his years of service as the Helena Township Supervisor. (attachment)

Teague made the motion to pay the bills and supported by Robbins and approved.

Adjournment by call of the chair at 8:05 PM.

Prepared by Helena Township Clerk: David Peterson




Planning Commission Report to Board of Trustees Meeting November 12, 2020

Two recommendations from the planning commission requiring board action.

  1. At the regular meeting of the Helena Township Planning Commission an application for a Land Use Permit was presented for development of three parcels in the Commercial District along the south end of the township located on South East Torch Lake Drive. The parcels will be developed to mixed use with existing residential left in place and ingress/egress of the apartment brought up to meet code, storage with possible office space or retail. Existing commercial use will no longer be The development will be done in stages and begin with one storage unit with retail space facing SETLD. Any change in signage to digital sign will require a Special Use Permit per ordinance regulation.

Review of the site plan by the planning commission was completed. The planning commission waived the 30 day requirement for notification of the road commission and emergency services as this is not a new driveway and has already be vetted by those agencies in previous development. Any changes to drive will not affect the safety of traffic or restrict access by emergency services.

Applicant has been informed he will need to keep in touch with Bob Logee to address any changes and if major changes are made it may require additional review by the planning commission and/or the board of trustees.

It is the consensus of the planning commission to recommend the Helena Township Board of Trustees approve this application and authorize Bob Logee to issue the Land Use Permit for this development.

The planning commission has completed the work on the required five year review of the zoning ordinance and all steps needed for ordinance language change. We recommend the following changes be adopted and effective 7 days from publication of these changes.


Strike ‘in favor of the public’ from the 1st sentence.


Strike last sentence.


Change word ‘sewer’ to sewage.


  • Strike bullet 2 completely. Strike any reference to ‘net area’ in OPEN SPACE DEVELOPMENT section.

It is the consensus of the planning commission to recommend the Helena Township Board of Trustees approve these ordinance language changes.

Respectfully Submitted;

Bonnie Robbins, Planning Commission Recording Secretary




Letter from Board Members to Rick Teague

November 12, 2020


We would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Helena Township Board to thank Supervisor Rick Teague for his hard work and dedication in the last eight years. He has worked diligently within the Township and County, and has been instrumental in the completion of many projects large and small. One of his favorite sayings has always been that we are here to serve and do what is best for the township as a whole and to protect every taxpayer’s dollar at work.

We have all enjoyed working with Rick, and have had some pretty lively discussions…but as a board of independent thinkers having the same goal, we always found a way to compromise, support and respect one another.

Rick has not only served the township proudly, but he has always been involved with various organizations throughout the County. We know that he will continue to be an asset and serve them well…as he has done for Helena Township.