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Beacon Archive

July 2003
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4th of July Festivities

BITA - BIBCO Reach an Agreement

Environmentally Sensitive Areas Ordinance on the Agenda

Vanishing Sturgeon

PABI's 1st Annual Goofy Golf Tournament

Rita Gillespie Memorial Blood Drive

Tara runs like the Wind

News from Beaver Island Hospice & Helping Hands

On This Date

Rutan Experimentals Fly-In at the Township Airport

Annual Firemen’s Picnic

Barry Pischner's New CD: Sailing On

The Island Welcomes New Sheriff Jim Campbell

The Bike Path: an Unqualified Success

Museum Week 2003 Schedule; Museums hold Open House

Some interesting occurrences at Meetings

A Solstice Celebration: The Second Annual High Tea

Whiskey Point Restoration; Rectory Auction

Camp Quality does Beaver Island

Charlevoix County Commission Meetings

Celebrating Flag Day

Charlie's Model A: on the way to the Shop

One Hundred Years Ago

The “Seven Sisters” Opens

BIRHC Board has Opening

Sunset Cruises available Once Again

Bob Hannon: 1950-2003

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Classified Ads

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 Road–as far as the EMS entry to the new Medical Center–was 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 Authority.

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 Freesoil Avenue.)

Peaine Town Board – 6/11/03

Joe Moore appeared to make a similar request as he’d 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 required–such 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 Road Fund.

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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