The Austin Township Board Meeting was called to order on October 12, 2010 at 7:30 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. There were two guests present.

Public Comment:  None.

Minutes: Corrections to the 9-14-10 minutes. Treasurer’s Report should read: ‘ The Mecosta Township check has been received and deposited in the First Responder Fund.’  Clerk’s Report should read: ‘ We recommended the 211 information services to them for advertising purposes.’  Exit Lights should read: ‘We feel that we should try having the Exit Unit replaced by the back door and see if that solves our problem of burned out lights.’   In Tax Millage: ‘The law says we are to collect 1.25 mils.’ Should read: ‘The statute says the Townships must collect 1 mil to keep their revenue sharing.’ Moved by John Conforte, supported by John Brockway to approve the minutes with corrections. Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Township, Fire Department, First Responder, and Cemetery Reports: The amount stated in Accounts Receivable and Taxes Receivable on the Austin Township Balance Sheet has not been corrected yet. The Cemetery Budget is not low. Mecosta Township forgot to send their contribution check in April. We still need to write a check for $500.00 to Doug Wolhberg from the Cemetery Budget for the audit. We have also received all of the checks for the First Responder Truck.  The bank has corrected their mistaken withdrawal of a $5.00 check charge from the CD accounts. Moved by Kenn Vredenburg, supported by John Conforte to approve the report with a notation that the Accounts Receivable is not correct.

Payment of the bills: Check # 7362 was voided because of a misprint. Mid-Michigan Fire & Safety was paid $114.00 with check #7367 to replace the Exit unit. The County Road Commission was paid $2,900.00 for the second brining with check #7371. Mid-Michigan Mechanical was paid $130.00 with check #7373 to repair the furnace. Central HVAC Supply was paid $22.10 with check #7374 for furnace repair.  Check # 7386 for $1,500.00 needs to be written to Doug Wohlberg for the audit from Austin Township.  Once we have received the contribution check from Mecosta Township for the Cemetery Budget we need to write a check for $550.00 to Doug Wohlberg for the audit. Correction: Check #7386 for $1,200.00 to Schuberg & Sons needs to be taken out of 900-971Capitol Outlay. Moved by Kenn Vredenburg, supported by John Brockway to pay the bills reserving the check to Doug Wohlberg from the Cemetery Fund until the contribution check from Mecosta Township has been deposited in the Cemetery Fund Account. Motion Carried.

Unfinished Business:

1.       Fire Department and First Responder Report: There is no change in the status of our ISO rating. The Fire Department is signed up with Tucker for their satellite internet. It is not installed yet. There are some parts on back order. The new First Responder Rescue truck cab and box have been received and the lights and lettering are going on now. They hope to have that all done so they can show off the truck at the Pig Roast on October 23rd. They are also looking for another tanker. The DNR has some trucks they are getting rid of at their Gaylord office. If they can find another truck that is in good condition, they would pull the tank from truck 331 and the pump from truck 333 and put them on the new truck. That would free them up to get rid of two trucks in the garage and leave room for all the operational trucks.

2.       Assesor’s and Supervisor’s Reports: A judgment was made in favor of Austin Township in the 2008 assessment dispute with Tulleymore. We will not have to pay back any taxes. There was a bird’s nest and beehive in the furnace. They have been removed and the furnace is repaired. The new parking lot light is up, but it is not wired yet. The light should be finished in time for the election.

3.       Treasurer’s Report: The missing tax checks from the mortgage company have been found. They had been mailed to Morton Township. There were 151 checks in that bunch. I have received a total of 217 checks since the deadline.

4.       Clerk’s Report: There is a mini Municipal seminar at the Croton Fire Hall. Three township officials are interested in going. There is a special on purchasing the 2011 version of QuikBooks. The township is not interested in purchasing a new program at this time. The clerk would like to request that we keep an eye on how long the current program is supported by QuikBooks and make sure we keep the program up-to-date.

5.       (New Business inserted before Unfinished Business-Recycle): The Mecosta Austin Fire Department was approached by ANR about putting up a new Fire Department sign in honor of Tim Bechaz who was killed on the job at ANR ten years ago. They proposed to place a plaque on the sign under the Fire Department name honoring Tim. The Township would prefer that the memorial plaque be placed to the side maybe on the posts instead of the middle of the sign since he was not an active fire fighter at the time of his accident. The stone posts supporting the sign would match the stone on the front of the Fire Hall.  The mutual aid agreement with Newaygo County would help their fire department with their ISO rating. We wouldn’t automatically  be called every time they received a fire call only when we were coded on our radios for a significant event.

6.       Recycle: Morton Township recycling meets the third Saturday each month. Kenn met and talked with their Supervisor, but they didn’t reach a consensus on a dollar figure for us to contribute. They have maxed out twice and are thinking about getting one more trailor. Moved by Kenn Vredenburg, supported by John Conforte to enter into an agreement with Morton Township for recycling at a cost of $150.00 per month starting in October for six months ending on March 31. 2011. There were four ayes and one nay. Motion carried.

7.       Planning and Zoning: The Township would like to know if this is the time to get some problem areas rezoned while Mecosta County is redoing their Master Plan.  The Mecosta County Master Plan and the rezoning will be the topic of discussion at the Mecosta County Township Association Meeting on October 26, 2010 at Chippewa Township.

8.       Parking lot light: The pole and light are up, but the electric is not hooked up yet. It should be hooked up by the election.

9.       Millage: Only be able to levy 1 mil. The townships will go to plan b: 1 mil in taxes and the county will make up the difference because of the Headlee Rollback.

New Business:

1.       Audit: We are in compliance. Carolyn and Elizabeth will probably be setting up a separate account for the Special Tax Account as a check and balance procedure.

2.       Cemetery: There is no problem with the Cemetery account. Mecosta Township had not sent their contribution check. There will be a Cemetery Board Meeting on October 21, 2010 at 7 p.m.

3.       FYI: Carolyn has maps of the coverage areas of the various internet companies.


Adjourned at 9:40 p.m.



Elizabeth G. Carr

Austin Township Clerk