The Austin Township Board Meeting was called to order on November 10, 2009 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 Carr, John Conforte, and John Brockway (7:55 p.m.) There were six guests present.

Public Comment: Darwin Booher our State Representative was present and announced that he is term limited in the House and will be running for the Senate. Many Senators and Representatives are also term limited. There will be a large turnover this next election in the House and Senate. Of great concern is the Michigan Budget. Representative Booher would like to see the State Budget only use 96% of the Budget and the other 4% put into a Rainy Day Fund. The total revenue for the state is down by 22%. Michigan needs a plan and to stick to the plan.

Moved by John Conforte, supported by John Brockway to approve the minutes. Motion carried.

The General, Fire, First Responder, and Cemetery Funds report was given. Carolyn presented a new printed report that gave an overview of all the funds. Everything is good right now. Moved by John Conforte, supported by John Brockway to accept the report. Motion carried subject to audit.

Payment of the bills: Moved by John Brockway, supported by Carolyn Towsley  to pay the Township, Fire Dept., First Responder, and Cemetery bills with the addition of Cemetery check #1382 to Holland Supply Company for $1,346.77 for makers for the new part of the Cemetery, the amount to come out of   Contractual Services. Motion carried.

Fire Department Report: The next Fire Chief’s Meeting is Thursday, November 12th. Marv will be talking to them about doing the battery exchange county wide.  The Fire Dept. keeps having people come from other townships to our battery exchange. Kenn suggested that they give the batteries away at trick or treat time.

Supervisor/Assessor’s Report: The cost of replacing the water heater, $520.00, was not covered by the insurance. They did cover all the cost of the clean up. The assessed values are coming down. They are at -.03 for the first time since Proposal A. Someone will be coming to look at the building and give us a quote on installing an outside receptacle for a generator in the case of an emergency.

Treasurer’s Report: 83% of the taxes are in, with about 92% of the dollars paid. The total is 7% lower than last year. I went to the NIMS training class. We need a resolution adopting NIMS chain of command.  The Treasurer’s Professional Retreat was nice. There were only about 33 people there. A few things that were mentioned: Do we have job descriptions on file? When we invest our money it must be in a Michigan bank-“brick and mortar”. We cannot invest in a national bank unless they have a local branch here. It is suggested that we put real time events on our website and hot links to other sites. We were not on the MTA link. As far as internal control goes, the system we have now works. One thing that needs to be changed is the Treasurer’s cash dispersals and the Special Tax Account needs to be reviewed by more than just the Treasurer. Of the Treasurer’s who were present more than a third had experienced fraud in their office.

Clerk’s Report: I have a flyer announcing an Open House at the Mecosta Youth Center on November 21st. We received a Thank You card from Jeremy Mishler , candidate for Darwin Booher’s  House seat, thanking us for allowing him to speak to us at the last board meeting. I also received a flyer from Linda Howard, who is also a candidate for Darwin Booher’s House seat. In my office there is also a report from the spring Michigan Public Policy Survey and the next issue of The Review from the Michigan Municipal League. * I was contacted by a representative from Sam’s Club about setting up a day for anyone interested in signing up for a membership to Sam’s Club. The signing would be open to any member of the Township Board or our associates, such as the Fire Department, Cemetery Board, or Board of Review. The cost to join is $40.00. However, I’m not sure that that is a deal. Are you interested?-No, but ask the Fire Department. * A representative from the Census has called and visited. He will be holding informational meetings on December 22 at 6:30 p.m. and on January 2 at 11:00 a.m. They will be paying between $11.25 and $15.25 an hour to Census workers. The Census is short form, only 10 questions. Census workers are not required to enter any homes. All questions will be able to be completed at the door.  *I have received the Election Source Contract. I still feel that the best deal is to get the full service contract for $271.00. It will cover parts and labor and election day support for the 2010 elections. Any other plan will we will pay individually for the services with a minimum of four service hours that have to be paid for if they are called to come to the Township. Moved by Carolyn Towsley, supported by John Conforte to purchase the full service contract from Election Source for the 2010 election year. Motion carried. * The need is becoming greater to be able to do e-filing for the tax forms and report filings that the clerk’s office needs to do. Also with internet accessibility at the office I can use the QVF Lite to work on voter registrations without having to go through the County Clerk’s office to look things up for me and print the revisions. It has been a hassle with the address renumbering project at Canadian Lakes. This way I could deal with them directly.  *Our Xerox contract will be up in March. The representative would like to know what we would like in a new contract. Board response-we need to look into possibly purchasing instead of leasing.  *Please don’t forget to get your I-9 forms to me and your updated W-4 forms.

Roads-The road projects are done. The repaving of Pierce Road is finished. Extra Stimulus Money came in so our cost sharing part may be less than the original $50,000.00 dollars we were willing to pay. They will get back with us on any costs to the Township. The 180th Road project came in at $119,530.00. This includes gravel, culvert, and the portion that was paid by Canadian Lakes.  We’ve already paid $11,850.00 so our total cost is $113,440.00. Moved by John Conforte, supported by Carolyn Towsley to pay $113,44s0.00 as the final settlement of our share of the 180th Road project. Motion carried.

We have received the 2010 proposed road projects form from the County Road Commission. Please submit your suggestions. Kenn-ditch and gravel Polk Road from Northland Dr-170th/180th .

Meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.


Elizabeth G. Carr

Austin Township Clerk