The Austin Township Board Meeting was called to order on May 11, 2010 at 7:45 p.m. by Supervisor Kenneth Vredenburg at the Township Hall at 14132 Pierce Rd., Stanwood, MI 49346.

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

Public Comment: A plan to expand the Morton Township Library was presented to the board by a representative from the expansion committee. Ray Steinke brought a report from the county. The Commissioners voted to allow Sunday liquor sales. The Mecosta County General Hospital has its transition team in place for the merger with Spectrum Health Systems.  The bond will be cancelled when the merger is complete.

Moved by John Brockway, supported by John Conforte, to accept the minutes with corrections. Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Reports: One First Bank CD was rolled over. The Mecosta Austin Fire Department and the Stanwood Cemetery have received our annual support fund check. Moved by John Conforte, supported by John Brockway to accept the Treasurer’s Report. Motion carried.

Payment of the bills: There is a $34.70 check to Routley’s in the Fire Department that needs to be added.  There is also a $226.74 check to Mecosta County EMS Medical Services in the First Responder Department. Moved by John Brockway, supported by John Conforte to pay the bills. Motion carried.

Unfinished Business:

1.       Fire Department Report: The ISO test is done. It will take 6 months to a year to know the results.

2.       Supervisor/Assessor Report: Nothing new to report.

3.       Treasurer’s Report: The summer tax newsletter needs to be ready by June 1st.  Isabella Bank continues to contact us in an effort to do business with us. I will be having the Equalization Department do the mailings.

4.       Clerk’s Report: We have been notified that Frontier has taken over the local Verizon telephone service. We received a credit in our end of the year settlement from Holton’s. The Fire Department also received a credit on their Holton’s settlement bill.  I was contacted that the Amish’ Blossom School ‘children crossing’ sign is down. I tried an Alltel internet wireless device, but it didn’t work very well. The cost to be notarized will run around $75.00. The Township feels it would be better to pursue notarization privately rather than through the township. To pursue notarization privately would lead to more freedom in general use than through the township.

New Business:

1.       Roads: We will not be doing Buchanan Road this year. The County Road Commission has applied for a safety grant. Eventually they would like to redo Buchanan Rd. from Country Corners to 150th Avenue. The county will be ditching and graveling Polk Rd.  The DEQ has said they may need to replace a culvert on 180th.

2.       First Responder Truck:  The Austin Township board proposed a 65/35 split with Mecosta Township.  The rest of the money would come out of the Fire Dept and First Responder’s CD’s.  The township is also concerned about the cost of upkeep and insurance. Austin Township is in favor of accepting the bid on the dual axle truck. If grant money comes through for the First Responder truck, it would be returned to the townships by the same 65/35 split. We will try to set a joint meeting with Mecosta Township for May 26, 2010.

Adjourned 10:10 p.m.


Elizabeth G. Carr


Austin Township Clerk


The Special Joint Board Meeting of Mecosta Township and Austin Township was called to order on May 26, 2010 at 7p.m. by Mecosta Township Supervisor Phil Hanford and Austin Township Supervisor Kenneth Vredenburg.

Present were: Mecosta Township-Phil Hanford, John Boyd, Susan Sikkema, and Mary Quinlan. Absent was John Johnson.

Austin Township-Kenn Vredenburg, Carolyn Towsley, Elizabeth G. Carr, John Brockway, and John Conforte.

1.      Rescue-First Responder Truck-Ten dealerships were asked for bids. Having dual rear wheels gives four to five more inches of shelf space in the storage boxes. Regular and dual boxes are both nine feet long. The committee chose steel over aluminum. The aluminum was $3,000.00 more. The cab-and-a-half allows room for two plus First Responders to go on a run or take shelter in the truck, if necessary. The computer will be mounted in the middle of the truck. The truck will not carry Jaws. It will take approximately eight weeks to order and receive. Insurance would be approximately $642.00 annually. Also our insurance is being switched from Liberty to Western. We will be reassessing our insurance policy. The financing will be according to the Mecosta (65%)-Austin (35%) cost sharing agreement. Mecosta Township will contribute $19,500.00. Austin Township will contribute $10,500.00. The Fire Department will contribute $12, 682.00 from their Independent Bank CD. The First Responders will contribute $5,000.00 from their Independent Bank CD. The life expectancy of the truck will be ten to fifteen years. There were two bids on the electrical work. Ron Palmer had the lower bid. There is one bid on the lettering.


Moved by John Brockway, supported by John Conforte to purchase the dual-wheeled truck from Tony Betten Ford for a First Responder vehicle. Mecosta Township will pay $19,500.00. Austin Township will pay $10,500.00. The Fire Department will pay $12,682.00. The First Responders will pay $5,000.00.

Austin                                                           Mecosta

Kenn Vredenburg-yes                                  Phil Hanford-yes

Carolyn Towsley-yes                                   Susan Sikkema-yes   

Elizabeth G. Carr-yes                                   Mary Quinlan-yes

John Brockway-yes                                      John Boyd-yes

John Conforte-yes


2.      Pipeline-The Mecosta-Austin Fire Department has been contacted by the WellMaster Production Co. LLC of Rothbury, Michigan and asked for right-of-way permission to lay a pipeline along their road frontage along Eight Mile Rd. Austin Township Supervisor-Kenneth Vredenburg and Mecosta Township Supervisor will contact WellMaster Production Co. LLC several concerns and corrections: 1. The address needs to be corrected.

                    2. Will WellMaster consider throughing out the right-of-way fees in exchange for gas   for the Fire Hall?

                    3. Will WellMaster be bore under the driveway or tear the driveway out?

The contract will be sent to Mecosta Township’s lawyer, Jim Scales, for review.

3.      Insurance-Gregg Dyzwicky our Liberty Agent will be staying with Western during the transfer from one company to another. We will be taking bids during this time from other agencies to see if there are any savings. We need to ask if the insured value of our older trucks can be changed to save costs.

4.      Fire Insurance Billing-the discussion will be tabled until more research is done. Mecosta may talk to their lawyer about some options.


Adjourned at 9 p.m.



Elizabeth G. Carr

Austin Township Clerk