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January 21, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes

Sheridan Township Board of Trustee’s

Date: January 21,2020

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by: at 7:00 p.m.

Pledge: The pledge was given by the general public.

Present: Roll call Randy Fisher Scott Frederick Shanna Pollman Wes Cuatt Richard Porter Janet Cuatt


Audience: 7th District County Commissioner Gary Tompkins, 62nd District State Representative Jim Haadsma, Doug Pollman, Linda DeBruler, plus additional female unknown.

Approval of Agenda: A motion was made by Randy Fisher to approve the agenda as presented. Scott Frederick seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Minutes: Scott Frederick made the motion the previous minutes stand as written. Randy seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Scott made the motion to accept the minutes from the special meeting on Dec 17, 2019. Shanna Pollman seconded the motion. Motion passed with all in favor.

Bills: A motion was made to pay the bills. Discussion followed due to a few of the larger bills. Ajax bill was the same price as last year. Dick will follow up on reviewing the workmans comp bill to see if we pay it quarterly. Randy Fisher explained how pricing adjusts pending annual review. He also inquired if we had shopped around. Another large bill was the Daily property demo. Dick Porter explained they had 2 weeks before it would be put on their taxes. There was a motion to accept the bills, seconded, followed by a Roll call vote. All voted yes and the motion passed.

Treasurer’s Investment Report: Accepted as written. Scott Frederick made the motion to accept. Randy Fisher seconded the motion. Roll call vote – All voted yes, report stands as written.


1. Novi Power Update: Novi Power stopped in 2 weeks ago and would like 2,000 more acres for solar panels. The farmers recently met with Novi to ask questions.

2. Savion solar update/public hearing Feb 6: Notices have been sent out. The lawyers have met and will have final agreement at the Feb 6 hearing.

Committee Reports:

1. Planning Commission/Roads – Scott Frederick. Nothing new since November.

Gary Tompkins will discuss the road later in the meeting.

2. Fire – Chief Lance Lohrke – 218 calls in 2019. 123 medicals, 9 PI/pin in accidents, 5 Structure fires, 9 Brush fires, 9 burning complaints, 7 Haz Mat, 6 vehicle fires, 4 fire alarm, 11 wires down, 1 rescue, 3 citizen assist. Mutual aids: 1 Homer, 2 Albion Twp., 2 Marengo, 3 Springport, 12 Parma, 11 Albion City. We received Mutual aid from Parma twice and Marengo once.

a. Our Firefighters logged over 750 hours of training in 2019.

b. Dick Porter discussed that he needs to talk to the city about mutual aid. Their staffing and training needs to be reviewed. If board approves, he will meet with city to discuss concerning incidents, ie maple grove, and discuss ideas.

c. Fire Station-training addition proposal: A drawing was included for this meeting. They will need a place to put the new truck. Discussion followed of the addition, location, health concerns, training room, and getting all the equipment inside. Dick Porter asked the board for permission to send the plans to a professional company to do the drawing in order to send it out for bid. Randy Fisher recommended considering all impacts, underground utilities, gas lines, lost parking space, drain fields, set back requirements, underground drainage, etc. Lance welcomed all input and will compare notes with Marengo Township as they recently put up a barn. Doug Pollman mentioned the gas load of whole building needed to be considered, and possibly moving the service line.

d. New Truck - Start date for building the new truck is February 14, 2020

Public Comment:

Gary Thompkins:

Property Taxes – Let people know if they have any issues with taxes, to get ahold of county treasurer. They will do what they can to work with them, any way they can.

January is Action Radon month – Free home test kits are available to pick up through January at the Albion and Battle Creek Health Departments.

His newsletter is available by email or hardcopy at the township, and library. Road news can be found on p5/6. He discussed the Governor’s proposals, tolls, additional fees registration, counties gas tax, etc. Act 51 is 70 years old. His proposes we need to think differently. Deadline to register is 4/23. Questions – Scott Fredrick mentioned that the Governor admitted the 45 cent tax failed and asked if Gary Tompkins had been able to present his plan. Gary Tompkins explained no, not yet, but welcomes the opportunity. Call your senators; their numbers are included in the newsletter.

Jim Haadsma:

He recently saw Dick Porter at fund raiser. He was here for public hearing solar panel and another solar panel presentation.

He is in Albion frequently, occasional Saturdays for coffee at Sterling Brooks and Brew. He welcomes contact with any questions/concerns.

Jim explained that the governor will make a different proposal. It is a complicated issue. There are 110 members with many ideas and it’s been a slow year getting resolutions through. Next week on Wednesday the governor is expected to present a hopefully better solution.

Unfinished Business:

New Business:

1. Resolution 2020-01 Payments of bills prior to meeting – Dick Porter thought we had this reviewed and approved, but apparently not. For reoccurring invoices that are clearly in budget, to avoid late payment, take advantage of discounts for early payment, operations, utilities, etc….. standard, normal bills, most townships have the approval to pay them in place. He is also looking at online payments in the future to save money. Randy Fisher discussed that he has no objection to reoccurring bills, but has concerns about abusing it, and if due to poor planning. Dick Porter explained that every check requires two signatures which helps keeps it honest. For example, in December, the Verizon bill would have been late, so he paid on township credit card. Scott Fredrick made the motion, Shanna seconded the motion. Roll call vote – all approved.

2. Resolution 2020-02 Naming clerk as ICMA plan Coordinator – Wes Cuatt replaced Brenda Heisler. Requesting approval to authorize Wes Cuatt to manage the ICMA plan. Randy Fisher motioned to approve. Scott Fredrick seconded the motion. Roll call vote – All voted Yes. So adopted.

3. Resolution 2020-03 Name change on Anderson Renaissance Zone – This is the last year on the Renaissance. The name changed from Anderson to Anderson Marathon LLC. This is regarding the reduction in taxes. Dick porter explained if we adopt this Resolution, they can fill out their paper work. Motion made by Scott Fredrick, Randy Fisher seconded the motion. Roll call vote – All voted Yes. So adopted.

4. MTA Conference Traverse City April 27-30 – If board approves, Dick Porter will go. He finds the classes helpful. There are no classes of interest for Treasurer at this time. There are several classes for the clerk. If approved, they can take advantage of the savings from early bird signup. Dick Porter and Wes Cuatt will attend.

5. Michigan Assoc. of Clerks Training (3 years) for Wes Cuatt – Dick Porter requested approval for sending Wes to school. He explained this training is highly recommended by other clerks. The cost is $650 for registration, plus room and transportation. Randy Fisher asked about budget. Dick Porter replied that the budget had been planned for everyone to attend, not just two. Randy Fisher made the motion to approve, Shanna Pollman seconded the motion. Roll call vote – All voted Yes. So approved.

6. Approve leaving Poverty level guidelines as set by State for Board of Review – Dick Porter discussed that we can lower the poverty level guideline, but we cannot raise it. Randy Fisher made the motion, Scott Fredrick seconded the motion. Roll call vote – All voted Yes. So approved.

7. 2020-2021 Budget Update - Dick Porter discussed the following increases in wages/salaries: secretary wages from $15 to $18 /hour. Full Time Fireman chief from $55,xxx to $60,xxx. Other full time firemen to $40,xxx. Hourly fire wages are $15/hour. The average is $16/hour, proposing we raise them $16.50/hour. Eleven are qualified for medical. If we don’t keep wages competitive, we will loose them. We are so fortunate to have the fire department we have, he wants to have competitive wages to keep them. The budget is up so we can support it. Other raises, planning commission from $50 to $75, and secretary and chair will go to $100.00 if approved budget. They have scheduled 12 meetings already, but there will be more. Building Budget - We will probably need to replace two more roof heaters and air conditioner unit with the expectation to replace one this year.

Adjourn: A motion was made to adjourn by Randy Fisher, Scott Fredrick seconded the motion at 8:07pm. The motion carried/passed

Respectfully submitted

Janet Cuatt

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