The Austin Township Board Meeting was called to order on September 14, 2010 at 7:38 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 Brockway, and John Conforte. There were two guests present.

Public Comment: The County is still working on the Mecosta County Master Plan. There is still some work that needs to be done on areas that need rezoning. The county is moving forward on several junk ordinance violations.

Minutes: Correction to the 8-10-10 minutes: Treasurer’s Report should read ‘We are staying within the FDIC limit of $250,000.00 in any bank.’ Moved by John Brockway, supported by Carolyn Towsley to approve the minutes with corrections. Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: The Mecosta Township check had been received and deposited in the First Responder Fund. The First Responder Fund account looks low because we have written the check for the cab of the truck. Moved by Elizabeth G. Carr, supported by John Brockway to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Motion carried.

Payment of the bills: Carolyn Towsley, Treasurer, was paid for 1,275 tax parcels. The Austin Township Board has a question about the amount of money spent by the Fire Department on the radiator from Valley Trucking. They would like their representatives on the Fire Board to clarify how much can be spent by the Fire Department without prior approval by the Fire Board. A second question is who should be legally approving the payment of the Fire Department and the First Responder bills. Moved by Kenn Vredenburg, supported by John Brockway to pay the bills: Austin Township check #’s 7342-7358, Cemetery check #’s 1401-1403, and if appropriate, the Fire Department check #’s 4337-4340, and First Responder check #’s 1154-1169. Motion carried.

Unfinished Business:

1.      Fire Department and First Responder Report: The new First Responder truck body and chassis have been received. The Fire Department has requested that we inquire into to the possibility of getting Wild Blue internet for the Fire Hall. We also need to check into ANR for a grant to run cable to the Fire Department, also the Fire Department needs to check with Tucker about cable service. The Township would also like to know from the Fire Department which truck they are going to remove from the Fire barn so there is room for the new First Responder truck? Are they getting another 6x6 and updating it? Kenn Vredenburg will pay for the ISO poster and donate it to the Township Hall. Void check #7325 to Diana Cook from the Township for the ISO poster.

2.      Assessor and Supervisor Report: County Road Commission 2011 project list-recommend that we gravel 180th and Johnson Rd to 11 Mile Rd. Long range plan would be 12 Mile Rd and 9 Mile Rd. 12 Mile Rd would be the biggest priority, eventually level, grade, and grub.

3.      Treasurer’s Report: I am searching for a $5.00 discrepancy. Taxes-69% paid today, 80% total have been paid. We are still down 13-14% from last year. There is one mortgage company that hasn’t made their payment yet.

4.      Clerk’s Report: We received a flyer and a phone call from “Lakeshore Visiting Physicians”. We information services. The introductory information came from the Clear Rate Phone Company. I am not sure what the problem is. They are asking for pre-payment before they will switch us and did a background check on us. I talked with Frontier Phone Company and they have an unlimited phone plan that does reduce our phone bill and is very similar to what Clear Rate was supposed to offer. The Township board feels it would be better to discontinue changing our phone company to Clear Rate and to get the best rate and plan possible from Frontier.

5.      Exit Lights:  Feel that we should try having the Exit unit battery replaced by the back door and see if that solves our problem of burned out lights. If that works we will have unit by the front door replaced also.

6.      Xerox: John Milan, our representative has been contacted about our difficulties with the transmission of our usage meter report and the frequent phone calls from the company. Kenn has emailed and attempted to talk to them and Carolyn and Elizabeth have both spoken with them on the phone. They continue to contact us as if we have made no contact. There seems to be some confusion with our mailing address also. They are sending our mail to two different addresses.


New Business:

1.      Tax Millage: The Townships in Mecosta County are unable to collect their 1.25 millage. There was a misunderstanding about when the voted millage could begin to be collected. The townships are not able to collect the millage the year the millage is voted on. The millage collection starts the year after the vote. Mecosta County reconvened the tax allocation board and attempted to allocate the shortfall of tax money to each township, but the county was maxed out and could only make up the difference of 1 mil. The law says we are to collect 1.25 mils. There is a bill on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives to provide emergency assistance for this year until the voted millage starts next year. Without the millage it would be a $7,500.00 cut for us.

2.      Recycle: The breakdown of the expenses for Morton Township recycle day comes out to about $750.00 per month. We will table any decision until next month. Kenn will talk with the Morton Township supervisor about various options for assisting them.

3.      Parking Lot Lights and Generator: Moved by Carolyn Towsley, supported by John Conforte, to accept the bid from Schuberg & Sons Electric of $2,400.00 to put in a 1000 watt parking lot light with pole and install a new 200 Amp box with a transfer switch. Motion carried.

4.      Dick Jensen will snow plow for us another year at last year’s price.

5.      We have received the preliminary audit report from Doug Wohlburg. I have an appointment with Kandy’s Accounting to go over the suggestions and problems that Doug mentioned in his report


Adjourned at 9:10 p.m.




Elizabeth G. Carr

Austin Township Clerk