St. James Town Board
The St. James Town Board held its monthly meeting on May 5th,
2004. Supervisor Don Vyse reported that the hangar acquisition
at the Townships' Airport is on track to be bought for $91,000,
most of which will come from a $166,600 FAA stipend that currently
requires a 10% match but which can be rolled over to provide funds
for additional Airport improvements (such as a new Terminal.)
Our match will let us stop paying the current $500/month rent
on what has been serving as a maintenance building. To expedite
this matter the Township agreed to put up the funds needed to
match (the $4,000 appraisal cost already counts as part), recovering
the loan in a few months.
There was much talk about a perceived inequity between taxes
in the two Townships, particularly regarding the rock crusher,
which was initially purchased by St. James over 25 years ago.
The two townships agreed to share the gravel-making costs equally,
but for the last five years Peaine has been using 80% of the created
gravel. Consequently while Peaine got its gravel last year for
$5.33/yard, St. James paid $17.35 (gravel is being sold by Rich
Gillespie at $6/.) The cost-sharing agreement allows for its termination
with 60 days notice. The Board felt the agreement should be renegotiated,
and voted to tell Peaine it would be terminated if they could
not reach a new agreement.
Mention was made of the rapid deterioration of the King's Highway,
which has outlived its expected duration; it was #5 on CCRC engineer
Pat Harmon's recent list of the county's 10 worst roads. The CCRC
would pay $2,500/mile towards its refurbishing, a small fraction
of the cost.
The Township plans to pave the start of the Beaver Lodge Road
to just past the tennis courts.
The Board voted to contribute $50 towards the school's match
for the Presidential Freedom Scholarship fund.
The deputy clerk asked to be removed from the payroll, but will
continue to work, as a volunteer.
The matter of funding the EMS was raised. Jerry LaFreniere said
the EMS was okay at the moment but would run out of money next
year. If Peaine could be convinced to put on the same millage
as St. James (instead of matching the amount raised in St. James),
it was said, then everyone on the Island would pay the same and
the EMS would have sufficient funds.
A letter was read from Debbie Stabenow in which she described
a bill she proposed to Congress that would fund Michigan's lighthouse
restoration and other nautical attractions.
Harbormaster Glen Felix appealed to the Board to reconsider its
decision to close the Yacht Dock in early July, proposing instead
that temporary deck reinforcement be applied and the start of
construction put off until mid-August. The Board, though, felt
a July start was necessary to complete the work before the ice
made. This project has been seven years in the planning, and the
Board felt we would have to take a short-term hit for the greater
The new Zoning Ordinance has been published in the Petoskey paper
and now will soon go into effect.
Peaine Town Board
The monthly Peaine Township Board meeting was attended by 22 students
(in addition to 16 adults), who were supporting a revised request
for a BMX track behind the Hall. The plan was cut down by 40%
to 70' wide (still by 176'), and has four runs.
Spokesperson Christine Runberg came very well prepared, showing
a sample Mission Statement and By-laws, release forms for parents,
release forms for spectators, release forms for participants,
and a work-assignment schedule. She said the EMS, Joe Moore, Ralph
and Jeanne Graham, and SAD had offered funds. She also said that
four contractors had offered to donate time and material to construct
the track, which John Albin estimated at requiring 350 yard of
a sand and clay mix.
Supervisor John Works read a statement from Peaine's insurance
company which said BMX tracks posed a high risk of injury,
and a high risk of lawsuits, but would be covered by the
existing policy, except for special events (such as competitions.)
Beth Crosswhite and Jacque LaFreniere supported the students'
plan, Beth suggesting an entry fee to raise the cost of a binder
for special events. Judy Lanier wanted to know who would be the
responsible agentperhaps the Youth Consortium. John Works
wondered how the safety requirements would be enforced, and felt
sufficient funds had to escrowed to remove the track if interest
wanes. He also suggested support might initially be made for only
a trial period. Judy Lanier moved to support further development
of the plan to create the track, and this was unanimously approved.
A letter from St. James about the gravel crusher inequity brought
a complaint that the inequity of the Transfer Station goes the
other way, with most of the material coming from St. James' many
commercial enterprises. It was pointed out that while St. James
bought the crusher, Peaine bought a loader, which was needed for
the operation. Judy Lanier suggested that each of Peaine's partnership
arrangements with St. James should be analyzed in order to be
sure it was fair and reasonable. Regarding the immediate issue,
she and John Works will meet with Don Vyse for a discussion.
Paul Nelson reported on the Charlevoix Chapter of the Michigan
Township Association's recent meeting. There was more talk about
the #1 issue in each of the townships: paying for road maintenance.
One idea was a county-wide 1-mil increase. Also Jane Brannon warned
that if the new voting machine requirement is implemented, as
planned for 2006 elections, the cost will be sky-high and voting
will take 3 times as long.
Paul Nelson said he is resigning and leaving the Island, and
hopes Peaine will continue to be represented at these meetings.
Deputy Jim Campbell said that the Rectory had been hit twice,
but his extensive cottage checks (375 so far this year) had found
no evidence of other break-ins this winter.
Supervisor Works was delighted to announce that bids will now
be solicited for building the new Fire Hall.
Jacque LaFreniere asked the Board to contribute $50 to the match
for the Presidential Freedom Scholarship, to which it agreed.
A request to restate the resolution approving a license to sell
alcohol at the Corner Store to replace the Albins with the new
owners, Bud and Colleen Martin, was approved.
Jerry LaFreniere asked that consideration be given to assessing
the same millage as St. James for the EMS, but this was not well
received. He went on to describe a recent situation in which the
EMS responded to a 6:30 p.m. call, and brought the patient to
the Health Center, where it was determined that transport to Charlevoix
was needed. North Flight got the call at 8:45 and contacted its
pilot (who is not at NFs base at night.) After checking
the weather he took off for the Island and made three passes before
realizing a landing was impossible because of a descending fog.
So the Coast Guard was called, but it had to get NFs
agreement before it could come. In the end the patient lifted
off at 12:45 a.m., clearly too long of a delay.
The Real Beacon:
Search the Beaver Beacon Web Site & Archive: