Sheridan Township Board of Trustee’s
Special Board Meeting
Date: March 5, 2020
I. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by: at TIME 7:00pm
Pledge: The pledge was given by: public
II. Present: Roll call Randy Fisher Scott Frederick Shanna Pollman Stephanie Craig Richard Porter Janet Cuatt
Audience: Brien Heckman – Township Lawyer, Wayne Weaver, Sean Harris – Ranger Power, Tom Frank, Lance Lohrke.
III. Approval of Agenda: A motion was made by Randy Fisher to accept two additional entries and approve the agenda as presented. Scott Frederick seconded the motion. The motion passed.
IV. New Business:
1. Discuss and approve Ranger Power requ8est for Act 328 River Forks Solar Project. Brien Heckman – River Forks Solar LLC has filed a request with the township for the establishment of an industrial development district. Putting all properties into an industrial development will avoid personal property taxes. The Assessor has assessed difference and believes it will be approximately $23,000 to $26,000. Over the next 20 years, the township will receive $150,000. A few properties have been added, including Parma Township, which will require an additional public hearing. There is a potential issue for Ranger Power and Sheridan Township due to an odd tax treatment. In addition to personal property tax disappearing, it will affect Real Property also, in a negative way. Estimate 50% of what would receive for Real Property tax. He suggested scheduling the public hearing after next board meeting where we can discuss and choose the options, address if we want, can back out, or to utilize a different property. Outstanding question regarding if the Industrial tax will be in addition to or replace the Real Property tax. Scott Frederick asked if people owners be paying more or less. Brien Heckman replied they would pay less, which has an impact. The next Township Board meeting is in two weeks. Ranger Power will provide additional information before the meeting. Randy Fisher asked about the parcels that are not contiguous, would the properties need to become part of the industrial district. Brien explained that it could be addressed by defining several districts. It would not affect zoning because it is zoned as agricultural, conditional use. Randy Fisher asked about property exemption of taxes, termination of exemptions of taxes, revoke, acquiring an eligible business. Brien Heckman replied, if they transfer their permits, they would have to meet the same state requirements. Randy Fisher also asked, for example if in 15 years in, they need to reduce, and someone wants to buy/use it for example, manufacturing. Brien Heckman explained its only condition is for solar, nothing else. Brien Heckman discussed that the industrial district terminates after 14 years. The Solar project is for 20 years. If the Township wishes to continue, it will need to be renewed in 14 years. Brien Heckman explained that this project is a case study to see if the Ranger Power can get the tax benefits they are looking for. It has been one on a gas project, but this is the first time for solar. Conversation followed between the Sean Harris, Dick Porter and Brien Heckman, discussing the need for additional information of taxes, what impact to the people, Fire Department, schools, library. Original plans discussed personal property; there was no mention of Real Property taxes until now. Sean Harris would like to hear back from what the lawyers determine, might need to adjust payments. Dick Porter and Scott Fredrick asked for 30 days to review. Brien Heckman suggested at the next board meeting we can decide to proceed with the public notice. Notification is required 7 days before the public hearing. The lawyers need to discuss the 14 year time line and property tax question. Brien Heckman noted that this affects anyone with property in the district or connected to it. Dick Porter discussed meeting schedules; the next Board meeting will focused on budget and feels this new tax information requires an additional meeting. Scott Fredrick asked if there is anything else new we need to take into consideration. Dick Porter reminded the board of the importance, what we decide here, will impact two other solar companies. It was clarified that the tax will not go into effect until December no matter when it’s approved, i.e. April, November. Scott Frederick made the motion to table the decision until the board receives additional information. The motion was seconded by Randy Fisher. Roll Call Vote – Yes - Scott Frederick, Shanna Pollman, Dick Porter, Stephanie Craig, Randy Fisher, - all Yes. Motion passed
2. Approve PA 116 for Allen and Sally Holtz for previous board meeting – Dick Porter received letter from the lawyer. He filled it out, and turned it over to the Assessor. They have 40 acres and want to join 10 acres to it. There is no reason not to. Randy Fisher made the motion to approve PA116. Shanna Pollman seconded the motion. Roll call vote Motion, Shanna 2nd. Roll Call Vote – Yes - Scott Frederick, Shanna Pollman, Dick Porter, Stephanie Craig, Randy Fisher, - all Yes. Motion approved.
3. Hire Temp person to clean out back room – Dick Porter requested permission to hire Sherrie Case’s daughter to clean out the back file room. It has not been done in at least 3 years and needs to be done. He requested to hire her for two days or three at the most, at $12 an hour. Scott Frederick made the motion to approve hiring the temporary person. Shanna Pollman seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote – Yes - Scott Frederick, Shanna Pollman, Dick Porter, Stephanie Craig, Randy Fisher, - all Yes. Motion passed.
4. Hiring Tom Shedd as trial for Zoning – Dick Porter requested hiring Tom Shedd as a ‘will call’ employee for code enforcement zoning ordinance, issue permits, court cases, etc... He proposes the same wages as the last zoning employee. He might bring Jim Hunt in also to help with the transition. Dick Porter might help fill in also if needed. Tom Shedd is a retired deputy sheriff and also served as Chief of Police for two different cities. He will need to give two weeks’ notice at his current position. Randy Fisher made the motion to hire Tom Shedd. Scott Frederick seconded the motion. Aye yes vote.
Adjourn: A motion was made to adjourn by Randy Fisher, seconded Scott Frederick. The motion carried/passed TIME 8:26.