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Beacon Archive

June 2004
PDF Version

News from the Townships

Thanks from the Beaver Island Hospice

CMU Summer Field Trip Schedule

BICS to Graduate Seven

Tom Kelso 1940-2004

A Fine Mess

Strang Writers Enjoy Beaver Island

The Splendor of Crafts

On This Date

One Hundred Years Ago

Sock Hop Results

Broadway on Beaver: “An Evening with Stephen Sondheim” Premieres

Letters to the Editor: From the CCG

Letters to the Editor: BIRHC Meeting; Optometrist's Contract

Letters to the Editor: Karaoke

Sherry Burris 1956-2004

Henry Ricksgers Junior 1923-2004

BIRHC Truck Raffle

School Election June 14

Thanks to the Steinbachs: a New Fire Truck!

Wildlife Club News

Whiskey Point Light Reports Received

Baroque on Beaver

The Annual "Fashion Tea" July 8

Congradulations to Ryan Wojan


News from the Townships

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 long-term good.

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 agent–perhaps 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 NF’s 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 NF’s’ agreement before it could come. In the end the patient lifted off at 12:45 a.m., clearly too long of a delay.

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