News From the Townships
St. James Township, 7-2-03
Compared to June's rather volatile meeting, this one was rather
calm. After the minutes were accepted and the list of bills to
be paid expanded and approved, Supervisor Don Vyse delivered a
few reports. He sent letters to the downtown merchants asking
them to ask their employees not to park on the street, but had
not received any response. He was reluctant to suggest a parking
ordinance. Ed Wojan informed the Board that BIBCO had obtained
permission from Evan Karnes to park on the north side of the Resale
Shop lot, which could accommodate 8 or 9 cars.
The supervisor reported that the permit for improving the Yacht
Dock had finally been received from the Army Corps of Engineers.
The work, which includes dock repair and expansion, some dredging,
an upgrade of the electrical system, and some work on the building,
is expected to be ready to start in the spring. Funds from a $1.1
m grant are in hand. (As a sign of how urgent this matter has
become, the next night a handful of people fell into the lake
when a outside finger pier on which they were standing collapsed.
Other boaters were quick to call the EMS and help pull the victims
from the water. Luckily, there were only scrapes and bruises,
no serious injuries.)
The supervisor said that after considering how much good was
done for the Township's projects at the Lansing Reception, he
was not sure he would recommend that St. James donate $1,000 to
these efforts again next year.
The dust control is complete for the year. Almost 10,000 gallons
were applied, including a second coating of the Donegal Bay Road.
The Nuisance Ordinance was published on July 1st, so that if
it isn't challenged it will go into effect on July 31st.
The State Preservation Office tweaked and then accepted the architect's
plan for his report about the condition and requirements for the
Whiskey Point Light, so now he can begin to prepare it.
Township Engineer Gary Vogt is sponsoring a Writing Contest and
offering prizes for the best essays about how enjoyable the new
bike path is. The full-mile path was officially opened at 11:30
a.m. on July 4th, with dozens of bikers, first, and then walkers
setting off from Heritage Park.
The Township investigated the requirements of running the new
paid EMS employees' (6 in number, taking two slots) payrolls through
its books, and decided it would be best to simply take over the
EMS account similarly to how it handles the Fire Department
A Bike Path ordinance was suggested, to determine rules for its
use. Because of the MDOT funds, no motorized vehicle of any kind
can be allowed. Graffiti Art will be prohibited as well.
The Airport Hanger agreement is nearing completion. The two townships
will buy out the present owner's (Ed Welter) interest for the
appraised value of $91,000, with 90% of this coming from federal
funds and possibly another 5% from the state.
A Sanitary Sewer resolution was passed compelling everyone contiguous
to the sewer line to hook up to it. Sally Pryce, in the audience,
said she had been trying to hook up for about a year but had constantly
been put off even though she'd obtained all the permits. (The
next day her connection was made.)
There was a discussion of the deteriorating condition of the
seal coat surface of King's Highway; it was said to be good for
7 years at the time, and now we're approaching 10. Gary Vogt stated
it's a County Primary road, so the Charlevoix County Road Commission
has a responsibility to maintain it, and the $500,000 estimated
cost for a 20-year "hot mix" paving (for the portion
in St. James Township) could not be born without the County's
participation. (It was noted that the road is 26' wide to Four
Corners and then narrows to 20'. This was done in order to mark
with white paint two lines to create 3' walking and bike paths
on both sides, but no one ever came up with the paint.) If the
CCRC would pay 2/3rds, the balance could possibly be financed
over 3 to 5 years.
There was some criticism of Peaine Township for not paving 100'
of Sloptown Road where it meets the Highway (which would cost
$8,400) because this corner is sometimes taken at a certain speed,
and the loose gravel has sent cars sliding.
Dick Moehl, the President of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers'
Association, addressed the Township regarding his interest in
working with it to restore and maintain the Whiskey Point Light.
He recounted how he had facilitated the possible purchase of the
Boathouse and donation of it to CMU. (Ed Wojan refreshed the Board's
memory of how this had come to pass: the Township had been offered
the property (including 400' of frontage), but had decided not
to spend the $17,000 it would have cost. Consequently Tom Child
purchased it at auction for $60,000. He listed it for sale at
$400,000, but by the time a buyer was located decided to raise
the price to $700,000; and by the time a new buyer was found at
that price, he declared that it was now worth $1,000,000.) Dick
Moehl sketched in some of his accomplishments with the St. Helena
Light and the Round Island Light, and talked about his vision
for the Whiskey Point Maritime Complex. All aspects of his plan
seemed satisfactory, in part because the Township alone does not
know how it could fund the needed improvements. The supervisor
felt that a partnership with GLLKA would be a win-win situation.
The Board voted to pursue this partnership, and to refer to it
in its application to receive title to the Light, which is due
on August 1st.
Peaine Township Regular meeting: 7-9-03 all present
MOTION Nelson, Second Morgan, to approve the
6-11-03 minutes; approved. MOTION Lanier, Second Works, to approve
the payment of current bills; approved.
Judy asked the Board for suggestions on the type and price range
for the new tables and chairs.
MOTION Works, Second Nelson, to authorize Supervisor John Works
to sign the hangar lease agreement with the Beaver Island Airport;
Correspondence: Don Vyse, St. James Supervisor, requested Peaine
work with St. James on the goal of improving the Kings Highway.
John and Paul volunteered to work with Don.
A letter was sent to Sandy LoDico commending her on her excellent
cleaning of the Township Hall.
Reports: Planning Commission hopes to have surveys out by end
of month. Two special use permit applications for gravel extraction
were reviewed; one was approved, one denied.
Public comments were voiced on nuisance ordinance, civil infraction
ordinance, and the gravel pit special use applications.
Jim Campbell is the full-time deputy, and Justin Good the seasonal
deputy. Adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
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