The Austin Township Board Meeting was called to order on August 13, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. by Supervisor Kenneth Vredenburg at the Township Hall at 14132 Pierce Road, Stanwood, MI, 49346.

Present were Kenneth Vredenburg, Elizabeth G. Carr, Carolyn Towsley, John Brockway, and John Conforte. There were two guests present.

Public Comment: Commissioner Art Adelman informed the township that there would be an ambulance millage of .3 mills for Ambulance services on the November ballot. 1/10 would be for First Responders and 2/10 would be for a new ambulance.

Minutes: Moved by John Brockway, supported by Carolyn Towsley to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried.

Finance Report: The Chemical Bank CD was closed. We were getting 0.4% interest. We will be receiving .549% at Isabella Bank. The First Responders received their quarterly $3,500.00 payment. The final $0.1 was moved from the Cemetery Chemical account to the Isabella account. Accepted subject to audit.

Payment of the Bills: Moved by John Conforte, supported by John Brockway to pay Township check #’s 8047-8063 and Cemetery check #’s 1487-1489; and to present for review Fire Department check #’s 4789-4802 and First Responder check #’s 1371-1374.

Unfinished Business:

1. Fire Dept and First Resp. Report: The Fire Board approved the purchase of a new office computer up to $800.00. They were able to find one for about $650.00. The Fire Board also discussed raising the Fire wages $2.00/hr. The discussion will be moved back to the Austin and the Mecosta Township Boards. There are two new firefighters joining the department: Spencer Wilkinson and Sara Penness. The department is preparing for their Ladder test and Pump test. They have not been scheduled yet. The SCBA test was August 8th. There was a leak in the toilet in the bathroom of the Fire Hall. It caused major damage including a mold problem. The floor of the meeting room really needs to be stripped and refinished. We will be getting estimates for the next meeting. The Dam Fest was July 20th. Part of our department was there with the Water Rescue Team. On July 30th the Fire Department participated in a live propane burn and training session. This was a state level class so the firefighters received credits for participating.

2. Assessor’s and Supervisor’s Report: The L-4029 report will be made out in September.

3. Treasurer’s Report: 486 taxpayers have paid about $182,000.00 in taxes that is about 27% of taxpayers and 14% taxes. The 211 information service program was presented at the MCTA meeting at Sheridan Township. Currently they cover 99% of available services in Michigan. Mecosta County residents made a total of 1200 calls last year. The MCTA also changed their bank account from Chemical Bank to Isabella Bank. The Road Commission will be starting to spray for brush control along the sides of the road soon. Marcee Purcell, County Clerk, reported there are about 6000 people in the jury pool. Representative Phil Potvin and Senator Judy Emmons were present. The next meeting will be in Wheatland Township on October 28, 2013. Future meetings will be at Aetna Township on January 27, 2014 and Austin Township on April 28, 2014.


4. Clerk’s Report: Moved by Kenneth Vredenburg, supported by Carolyn Towsley to send the supervisor and clerk to the Navigating the Budget Process Seminar on August 21, 2013. Motion carried. We received a thank you letter from the Sheriff’s office for our participation in the canine officer program. There is the possibility of Morley Stanwood putting a millage on the November ballot. The State of Michigan legislature will be having a vote the in September that may result in a new tax to be voted on in November also. The F-65 report is finished and we have received our copy. It is available for review. We have received the Mecosta County Drain Commission Report also.

5. Cemetery Report: The pump and new lighting are working fine.

6. Verizon: Moved by Carolyn Towsley, supported by John Conforte to accept the Verizon plan quote to replace our current internet and land line and to purchase three smart phones. Motion carried.

New Business:

1. AT&T: Moved by Kenneth Vredenburg, supported by John Brockway to extend the Metro Act Extension Right-of-Way with AT&T. Motion carried.

2. Fire Dept Wage Increase: The Austin Township position is that a wage increase of $1/hour is fine as long as there is enough in the current approved budget to cover the increase. The Fire Board and Firemen would have to determine if that is possible. If there is an unforeseen increase in calls or other extraordinary event the township would help cover the difference. The commercial site visits should be paid at the current rate, not the increase.

3. Snowplowing: The Township will approach Dick Jensen to plow again this year.

4. Holton’s: The Township will be seeking other estimates for our propane. Holton’s has been sold to Amerigas. With the rising costs, we will be seeking a better contract at a more reasonable rate.

Adjourned at 9:46 p.m.

Elizabeth G. Carr

Austin Township Clerk