Helena Township Board Meeting
May 14th, 2015
Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance by Supervisor Rick Teague. Present: Catherine Rice, David Peterson, Bonnie Robbins and Butch Bartz. Motion to approve revised agenda by Bartz with support by Robbins and motion carried.
Conflict of Interest: None
Public Comment: Sheriff Dan Bean gave report for April and updated the board of the status of his staff and 911 upgrades. The Sheriff also spoke of recent complaints of telephone scams in the county and recommends that people call dispatch to report any experiences of attempted scams.
Paul Fabiano representing the South Torch Area Association presented information on a proposal to have the fireworks, which in the past were at the South end of Torch Lake on barges, at the ball park, where they determined would meet all of the state and federal regulations. STAA would contract with Great Lakes Fireworks, located in Petoskey, to launch the fireworks from the land at the ballpark. There is a Michigan DNR permit required and a 350 foot safety zone. The fire department can adjust the safety zone for the controlled spectator area. Spectators would park at the community center and across the street from the fire department and would be bussed to the ball park. STAA has a one million dollar liability coverage and Great Lakes Fireworks has a five million dollar liability coverage. Helena Township would be included in their coverage.
Fire protection would be provided by the South Torch Lake Fire Department and Clearwater Township. Antrim County Sheriffs department would close down the East Torch Lake drive right a-way for parking and Antrim and Kalkaska marine patrol would be available.
Bruce Tyree, co-owner, of Great Lakes Fireworks, spoke about his company and specific roles for putting on the fireworks at the ballpark.
Gordy Schafer spoke about bringing back the fireworks after last years cancellation and his support for having the fireworks at the ballpark.
Laura Westerman, adjacent property owner, South of the ball park, spoke about her concerns about the proposed fireworks at the ball park and possible impacts on her and her property.
Michele MacMaster mentioned the STLFD budget has a remaining loan of $254,438.91 for the fire departments building. Salaries will remain the same in the proposed budget. Maintenance and repairs and equipment to be purchased will be part of the proposed South Torch Lake Fire Departments budget.
Approval of minutes: Motion by Robbins to approve amended Aprils meetings minutes with support by Rice and the motion carried.
Treasurers Report: Township: Beginning balance as of March 1st, 2015 $590,746.68
Bank balance 02/28/2015 $596,809.08
Motion to approve the Treasurers report by Teague with support by Bartz and motion carried.
Presentation of bills: April 1-30, 2015 – $17,727.60 and May 1-14; 2015 $16,751.32.
Zoning – Zoning Administrator Guy Molby gave report for April, 2015.
Planning Commission Robbins reported a hearing was held on the proposed application for the sale of fireworks across the road from Pomas and that this was a use by right permit and not a special use permit. There was discussion of a possible policing ordinance for no fireworks on township properties and road end public accesses and their respective township rules signs. Sheriff Dan Bean commented that fireworks are regulated by the State, not the townships, and would remain so until there could be a county wide ordinance developed, if allowed. Jim Gurr mentioned that the annual ZBA meeting was held and officers were elected. There are eight points to be addressed for changes to the townships zoning ordinance which will require a public hearing in the future.
Ambulance Authority No updates.
Parks and Recreation Committee Ruth Smith reported that the new tennis nets are up and there will be a box of used tennis racquets available at the tennis courts. Expecting bid package from Gourdie Fraser next week for resurfacing the tennis courts. Received proposal from the Alden Volunteers for a lighthouse at the Alden Safe Harbor. Peterson presented bids for tree removal and a parking lot at Coy Mtn. nature preserve. Teague made the motion to accept the bid for tree removal in the amount of $900.00 and a 40 x 60 parking lot for $2625.00 with support by Rice and the motion carried.
Roads: Bartz reported that the road committee recommends upgrading both ends of Cemetery road and the paving of Paige Road from East Torch lake Drive to Chapman Road. Teague made the motion to accept the bids from the Antrim County Road Commission for the townships share of $34,168.00 for upgrading both ends of Cemetery Road and for the townships share of $159,901.00 for the paving of Paige Road from East Torch lake Drive to Chapman Road with support by Robbins and the motion carried.
New Business: Peterson presented bid from Great Lakes Striping and Sealing to repair, seal and stripe the community center parking lot for $5407.00. Bartz made the motion to accept this bid for $5407.00 with support by Teague and the motion carried.
Peterson presented the bid from Trees North Outdoor Service for spring and fall cleanups ($1,200 – $1,500 includes hauling fee) and mowing ($350 per cut and trim bi-weekly or as needed) at the cemetery. Teague made the motion to accept the lawn maintenance bid from Trees North Outdoor Service with support by Robbins and the motion carried.
Peterson presented bid from Ferguson & Chamberlin for surveying the East side of the Helena Township Cemetery and placing numbered caps on rebar at every corner of every lot for $7000.00. Rice made the motion to accept the bid for $7000.00 with support by Teague and the motion carried.
Peterson presented Consumers Energys contract and resolution for a new street light at the corner of East Torch Lake Drive and Helena Road for a cost of $100.00. Teague made the motion to accept the contract and sign the resolution with support by Rice and the motion carried.
Announcements: Teague announced STLFD and Helena Township budget hearing meetings are June 17th at 10:00 AM.
Additional Public comment: Gordy Schafer representing the South Torch Area Association addressed the board and requested that the board approve their request for having the fireworks at the ball park on July 3rd put on by Great Lakes Fireworks. The township board discussed the request for having the fireworks at the ball park with Peterson suggesting that this be referred to the Parks and Recreation committee for consideration. Board decided that this was not a project matter but a scheduling decision the board would make. Peterson informed the board that there was a deed restriction on the ball park property that stated that the ball park would be used for recreation purposes. The board should refer this deed restriction to the township attorney for her opinion. Peterson also raised the issue of contacting the townships insurance carrier about the possible need of additional liability insurance for such an event at the ball park. Bartz made the motion contingent upon attorney Kate Redmans opinion and approval of the deed restriction language and input from the townships insurance carrier with respect to liability coverage with support by Robbins and the motion carried. There was one no vote by David Peterson.
Motion to pay bills: Teague made motion to pay bills with support by Robbins and motion carried.
Meeting was adjourned by call of the Chair at 8:56 PM.
Respectfully submitted, David G. Peterson Jr., Helena Township Clerk_ David G. Peterson Jr.