The Austin Township Board Meeting was called to order on November 8, 2011at 7:30 p.m. by Supervisor Kenneth Vredenburg at the Township Hall at 14132 Pierce Rd, Stanwood, MI 49346.

Present were: Kenneth Vredenburg, Elizabeth G. Carr, Carolyn Towsley, John Brockway, and John Conforte.

Public Comment: Discussion of the Mecosta County Zoning Ordinances and how they affect Austin Township.

Minutes: Corrections-Old Business #5 should read: "We have received, signed our 2012 priority list back from the Road Commission." Moved by John Brockway, supported by John Conforte to approve the minutes with corrections.

Treasurer’s Report: Stand as presented.

Payment of the Bills: Moved by John Conforte, supported by John Brockway to approve the payment of Austin Township check #’s 7613-7627 and Cemetery # 1432, and to present for review Fire Department check #’s 4519-4528 and First Responder check #’s 1258-1261. Motion carried.

Unfinished Business:

1. Fire Department Report: The next Fire Board Meeting will be November 16, 2011 at 7 p.m. Austin Township would like to encourage the Fire Department and Board to keep a fair price on the equipment that is being sold. The Township doesn’t want the equipment to be sold for less than $4,000.00.

2. Assessor/Supervisor Report: The Assessor and Treasurer’s offices currently use BS&A as their operating system. The County is switching to Dot Net. We will be able to stay with BS&A for now, but we will eventually have to change our system to match theirs. When we make the switch we should also update our computers. We should begin to think about next year’s budget. We only have one C-2 zone in our township. That is the area around Routley’s RV. We are under the County and their zoning says a sexually explicit business needs to be 2000 feet from a similar business and 2500 feet from a church. This renders our township ineligible for such a business because of the location of The Stanwood United Methodist church.

3. Treasurer’s Report: There were 247 participants at the Hazardous Waste collection. They are looking for a better central location. The site may not be a church or school and must be paved. Traffic is a real issue at the Senior Center, but the collection will be there next year while they are looking for an alternative site. At the Mecosta County Township Association Meeting we learned that there are no set rules on the new Marijuana Law. The parameters are being set with Court cases. The rebuttal to the negative article about townships in the Pioneer is not going to happen due to lack of participation on the part of the townships. If the State of Michigan does away with the personal property tax it would affect our township, but not near as much as it would affect the schools. There are quite a few foreclosure properties that will revert to the Township by next month. We have the option to accept or deny them. You will


be able to purchase dog licenses this year for up to three years. The licenses will be color coded according to what type of license that you purchase.

4. Clerk’s Report: Kandy’s Accounting will not be filing our taxes this year. Carolyn Towsley and I will do the taxes them instead. We will need to order the correct W-4 and 1099 forms. I signed the Warranty and Preventative Maintenance contract for the Tabulator and the Automark. The cost is $195.25. Moved by Kenneth Vredenburg, supported by Carolyn Towsley to pay the $195.23 warranty and maintenance fee. Motion carried. The Absent Voter Applications and Regular Absent Voter Applications have been redesigned to include a place for the voter to signify that they are a United States Citizen. I will need to order new forms. I am hoping there will be a way to share costs with other township clerks through bulk orders.

5. Roads: Our brined roads have been graded several times.

6. JAWS: Austin and Mecosta Townships are proposing to purchase JAWS for the Fire Department. Each township would contribute up to $15,000.00. The cost should be $20,000-$25,000.00. We would also use the approximately $6,000.00 the Fire Department has in savings toward the purchase of JAWS.

7. Cemetery: The Cemetery Board met on October 20, 2011. Each Austin Township and Mecosta Township will each contribute $2,200.00 for the 2012-2013 budget year. Ron Hopkins will do the mowing again for 2012.

8. Foreclosed Properties: December 1, 2011 Austin Township will receive their list of foreclosed properties that did not sell at foreclosure auctions. If we don’t decline to accept them by December 31, 2011 they will revert to us. If we do decline to accept them they will go to the Fast Track Land Bank to be sold eventually. When they sell the property we will receive 50% of the tax money for the first five years. Kenneth Vredenburg is talking to the Canadian Lakes Association to see if we would be charged the association fee is we were to accept the properties. Also we are checking to see if they can be quit claim deeded back to the Canadian Lakes Association. We will continue to pursue our options.

Meeting adjourned at 8:47 p.m.

Austin Township Clerk