Some interesting occurrences at Meetings
St. James Town Board 6/4/03
Traffic questions were addressed at the start of the meeting.
The clog of parked cars downtown was decried, particularly those
left by ferry passengers. The status of the southernmost block
of Main Street awaited approval by the State Police.
It's obvious we need more parking, and towards that end a swap
of land has been suggested (with Ed Wojan working hard to bring
this about.) Evan Karnes has agreed to trade his property south
of the Playground for lots below the hill at the Medical Center;
then Main Street could be extended south, with angle parking on
both sides. This could add 30+ parking spots, and provide the
public with additional beach. The extension would end at Karnes'
new land, providing him access.
The Yacht Dock expansion was temporarily stalled by the Army
Corps of Engineers because of a question of riparian rights raised
by a neighbor. But the Township Engineer suggested asking for
bids so the materials could be brought to the Island this fall
and be ready for an early spring start. At least the funds ($1.1
m) are in hand.
A section of Carlyle Roadas far as the EMS entry to the
new Medical Centerwas approved for paving at a cost of almost
$10,000. The Township also agreed to pay one third of the ~$13,000
to extend the Donegal Bay Road paving to just west of the new
subdivision entry (over 4,000' of new roads have been built here),
which will be paved.
The question of spending $2,000 to draft a potential new section
to the Zoning Ordinance to cover environmental sensitivity was
raised, but members of the audience suggested the cost could reach
ten times that amount because of the potential for lawsuits by
the owners of affected land. Some thought that the idea of protecting
our fauna by mandating migration pathways ("snake corridors"
was mentioned as being included in the draft) was excessive. An
alternative was suggested: the "Egg Lake Seven" should
form a proactive arm to either acquire properties at risk or obtain
agreements from their owners to protect them.
The Whiskey Point Light was discussed. The Great Lakes Lighthouse
Keepers' Association has offered to help, either by taking title
or acting as a consultant. Another unnamed party has also entered
the picture, who would help restore the entire Point. He would
purchase the Boathouse, which CMU would then use in conjunction
with its planned Great Lakes Research Center, and the Township
Hall, the use of which would be leased back to St. James. GLLKA
would rebuild the Keeper's House, turning the Point into a major
national tourist attraction. Meetings (not yet negotiations) are
ongoing. In the meantime, St. James had one applicant for its
request for bids to study the Light, and accepted it. Consequently
architect John Dziurman will develop a game plan, cost analysis,
and timetable for its restoration.
The new nuisance ordinance was approved.
Joe Moore appeared on the behalf of the EMS to ask St. James
to approve its plan to conform to state rules for operating its
e-car by hiring, with its own funds, an EMT during the summer
work days, perhaps three days a week, at the rate of $6/hour for
sitting and $12/ for action. He also asked the Township to become
the agent for handling this payroll; it agreed on both counts,
possibly running the paperwork through the new Emergency Services
Just before the meeting concluded a letter was read from the
Beaver Island Marina criticizing the Township's plan to use taxpayer's
money to build a fence around its contiguous beach property (opposite
Peaine Town Board 6/11/03
Joe Moore appeared to make a similar request as hed made
to St. James: to approve the EMS hiring needed help (with its
own funds.) Judy Lanier asked where these funds had come from;
the answer was, an accumulation of ambulance run fees. Joe admitted
that eventually this expense would catch up to the accumulation,
so down the road another solution would be requiredsuch
as an increase in billing.
The Albin family attended to ask the Board to pass a resolution
stating that it had no objection to them applying for a license
to sell beer and wine, and liquor, at The Corner Store. Judy Lanier
asked what the typical objections might be; Tina Morgan answered
that in her former position there had been objections when the
request involved topless dancing or on-site consumption. The resolution
was unanimously passed.
A proposal was made to pave 100' back from the intersection at
Four Corners. Doing so would improve stopping ability, save on
wear and tear (as it is, gravel is spun onto the King's Highway),
and reduce dust. The Charlevoix County Road Commission would pay
two thirds of the $13,000 bill. An effort was made to couple approval
with a request that nearby businesses (such as GLE's generator
plant) bring themselves into compliance with our codes (such as
the green-belt requirement), but this was thought to be too complicated.
The proposal was passed, with the money to come from the ~$30,000
Judy Lanier reported that the Planning Commission had approved
a request for a south end gravel pit (on the Pingel property.)
Another pit will be up for vote soon. She said the survey of property
owners and residents would soon be mailed, to further refine the
PC's focus pursuant to drafting a Master Plan. (Leelanau has just
mailed out a similar survey to its residents.)
Connie Wojan reported news from the BIRHC Board. She said a truck
would be raffled, and a band brought over for a dance, to raise
funds. The Community Foundation would pay to service the defibrilator.
She said the Tribal Council will be asked to help furnish the
Community Education Room. She said that at the Lansing Reception
legislators had suggested a tourist tax of $2/ticket
on the boat and plane, but everyone here felt this would do more
harm than good.
John Works reported that the Lake Geneserath Cable's Creek mouth
deepening project had finally been approved by the DEQ. He said
that after some frustrating near-misses, it looked like Jim Campbell
would accept the vacant Deputy's position.
Before adjourning, the Board discussed the need for better tables
and chairs. The sag in the existing table was evident to the dozen
or so members of the audience.
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