Helena Township Board Meeting October 13 , 2022
Meeting called to order at 7:00 PM. Members present were Butch Peeples, Bonnie Robbins, Cathy Rice, and Butch Bartz. David Peterson absent. Motion by Robbins to approve the agenda, supported by Bartz and approved. Motion by Robbins to approve the September’s meeting minutes with one correction (name spelling) and supported by Rice. Minutes approved.
Conflict of Interest: None
Public Comment: McPherson Road resident asked why road work stopped where it did. Work has made runoff worse at his driveway. He spends hours after storms clearing the erosion at his drive. Resident was directed to report issue to the road commission. Bartz will discuss additional work with the road commission.
Resident voiced concern about short-term rentals. Surrounding areas have language, does Helena Township? Robbins stated we have a 7 day minimum at this time. Planning commissions were waiting for court challenge cases and legislation to be completed before creating code so that is why we see communities addressing them now. Helena Township planning commission will continue to review and make corrections as needed. Currently no permit or registration is required but that could be a topic of future discussion.
Resident asked about lowering speed limit coming into town from the south. He feels the speed of traffic coming past the bank is too high for pedestrian safety. Discussion on how speed limits are set and explanation that township cannot lower the speed limit.
Treasurer’s Report: Beginning balance September 1, 2022 is $562,965.19
Total receipts: $10,895.18 and total disbursements: $28,630.00
Ending balance September 30, 2022 is $545,230.37
Motion to approve the treasurer’s report by Robbins and supported by Bartz and approved.
Presentation of Bills: September 1-3: $18,128.22, October 1 – 13; $6790.57
Fire Chief/Sheriff Report: Paul Fabiano reviewed report for STLFD. Chief Fabiano is working to secure CPR training for residents interested. STLFD still has smoke detector/carbon monoxide units available for free and installed by the fire department. Residents should contact them for more information.
STLFD working on Knox Box Residential Program. This would allow a key to be placed in a box outside the home for the responders should a resident be unable to answer the door when called. Box would remain property of the fire department and would be free of charge for residents.
Veterans monthly dinner is gaining popularity. The next serving is Oct 20th from 5-7PM. This is a free dinner.
Pancake Breakfast planned for Sunday, Nov 13th, 7-11 AM. Cost is donation based.
No event planned for the Tennis Court Park on Halloween. Trunk & Treat will be held at the Alden United Methodist Church on Oct 22nd, 3-5PM.
Communications: Peeples discussed Consumer Energy communication on solar energy farms.
Update on security for Depot. Sensors are recommended for all windows and doors.
Back parking lot of Community Center is scheduled for gravel and leveling during week of October 17th. Peeples will call another contractor if Jahr does not show up this time.
Zoning: Reviewed Bob Logee’s zoning report
Planning Commission: Motion by Robbins to approve special use permit for the Alden Volunteer project in downtown. Project will provide storage for AV beautification projects and a stage for gatherings and concerts. Conditions would be all music venue end by 11:00 PM. Any future lighting will be discussed with zoning administrator. Support by Rice. Motion carried. A land use permit will be issued by the zoning administrator. Report from Laurie Stone, AV president stated fund raising has been very good but they will not begin any building until next spring.
Robbins reported issue with printing of new ordinances. Board gave permission to update office software so documents placed on the web will open and print properly. Robbins will make the necessary copies of the ordinance in house to expedite the process while working on software update.
Planning commission will look at adding solar farms language to the township and will continue to review and update as needed.
Master Plan surveys are being tallied so work on updating the Master Plan can be completed by next spring.
Wedding venues will be reviewed. MP survey indicates residents would approve of this use in the Agricultural District. Outdoor concert venues were not supported.
Parks & Rec: Discussion of work done and neighbors concerns at Lone Tree Point access. Parks & Rec will work on plan to address erosion, installation of stairway on steep bank, and placing fence at west end of drive.
Peeples reviewed erosion control projects with Heidi Shaffer, former Soil & Erosion officer. Erosion control at Lone Tree Point and the Ball Diamond Park will incorporate use of plants and other erosion control methods to minimize need for large boulders and rip rap.
Bids for resurfacing of tennis court were presented but not ready to submit to the board for consideration.
Roads: Rice stated road commission had returned portion of payment. Bartz clarified they had not been able to get the scheduled project at Alden Meadows done and it would need to be re-bid next spring.
Old Business: Discussion on marijuana survey results. 840 mailed, 28 returned as undeliverable. 812 total sent and delivered. 358 returned—5 with no answer marked—124 for sales – 229 against sales. Based on the will of the voters and residents surveyed it is determined the sale of recreational marijuana will not be permitted in Helena Township.
New Business: None
Additional Public Comment: Pastor Katie Waggoner shared there is a box at the church with Narcon overdose available for the public to access. Contact Katie at the church for more information.
Gurr thanked board and community members for their time and interest in the business of Helena Township.
Robbins made the motion to pay the bills and supported by Peeples and approved.
Adjournment by call of the chair at 8:21 PM.
Prepared by Helena Township Deputy Clerk: Bonnie
Helena Township Board Meeting October 13 , 2022