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Board of Trustees 8-09-16
Berrien Township Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the township hall.  Supervisor Bryan Bixby called the meeting to order and opened with the pledge to the flag.
Members present:  Supervisor Bryan Bixby, Treasurer Paul Sprung, Trustees Julie Burke, Howard Henderson, Jeff Marks, Harold Bishop and Clerk Mary Jane Dean.
Also present:  Deputy Julius Grau, Building Inspector Ross Rogien, Fire Chief Norm Carl, Jr., Robert Gerbel from Gerbel & Company, P.C., Brian Berndt from B.C. Road Commission, Bill Fisher Twp. caretaker, Mary Simko reporter, Lt. Bob Mazurek from the B.C. Sherriff Dept. and one resident.
The auditor’s report and road commission report was moved up on the agenda from new business so they could leave earlier.  Paul Sprung made a motion seconded by Harold Bishop to approve the agenda as amended.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
The Township had 51 complaints, 13 tickets were issued and no arrests were made in the township for the month of June 2016.  The County had 1293 complaints, 325 tickets were issued and 207 arrests were made for June.
Mr.  Robert Gerber presented to the Board the annual audit for year ending March 31, 2016. The report  showed that the total revenue was $623,208.00 and expenses were $523.110.00 in the general fund with fund balances at the end of the year $728,346.00. He stated that the township continues to remain in excellent condition.  The Board is to review the report and accept it at next months meeting.      
Brian Berndt informed the Board since an earlier plan to re-route Deans Hill Rd. didn’t go through a new plan has been approved.  The plan will include re-grading and paving the one-half mile from Hochberger Rd. to where the previous reconstruction left off coming from U.S. 31 making it an all weather road.  Each side will be trenched out.  Three courses of asphalt will be applied. Water from the road will be diverted to a drain that runs under the road on the curve by Dean’s pond there will be no curbing just a hot mix wedge.  They will be taking bids in Oct. and construction will begin in April.   The road will be closed for 30-60 days.  Approximately 80% of the estimated $800,000.00 cost will come from federal funds and the remaining will come from state funds.    
Clerk Dean stated that at the July meeting the bills were approved for the amount of $30,352.28.  When Blake Williams check was actually printed it was more as federal taxes taken out were less which made his check $73.00 more than was approved in last month’s bills therefore the total amount for the July bills was changed to $30,425.28 which Clerk Dean corrected on the copy of the bills on the back of the their copy of the July minutes.  Paul Sprung made a motion seconded by Harold Bishop to approve the July 12, 2016 minutes with the amended bills for July.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
Julie Burke made a motion seconded by Harold Bishop to approve the township bills in the amount of $45,678.45 for payment.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.   
Mary Jane Dean made a motion seconded by Julie Burke to approve the joint fire bills in the amount of $13,359.88 which includes the township share of $8,630.48 for payment.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
 Last month the bids that had been received were listed in the minutes.  Since this has been a long process some of the original bidders don’t have the time for this project.  Paul Sprung contacted Victor Cenoria owner of Victors Painting and Wallpaper from Berrien Springs.  Supervisor Bixby, Treasurer Sprung and Clerk Dean met with him at the church. He has been in the area for 25 years.  He would scrape, fill in cracks and power wash down to remove the loose paint.  He uses oil primer and 2 coats of latex.  He prefers Sherwin Williams (Duration). Julie Burke made a motion seconded by Jeff Marks to approve the bid from Victors Painting and Wallpaper for up to $6,500.00.  We will need copies of his insurance.  Supervisor will check into a fork lift and getting the one shutter repaired.   All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.  
The committee wants to have a meeting with Ross.  They don’t agree with the felony charges that are in the book in fact they don’t agree with anything that is in the book.   They decided to meet on Thursday, Aug. 11th at 10::30 a.m.
The committee picked some playground equipment for the hall park for $7,000.00 for 2-5 yr. olds and $16,700.00 for 5-12 yr. olds the prices are good till Dec.  This would be a total of $23,700.00 only $15,000.00 is in the budget.  Possibly have some fund raisers.
The committee has been working on the Township 5 yr. Park Plan for quite some.   A public comment period was set for Aug. 17 - Sept 20, 2016 to be published in the Journal Era. The Board with the recreation committee will hold a public hearing on Sept. 20th at 7:00 p.m.  Also after the hearing the Board and the Recreation committee will adopt resolutions for the 5 yr. Berrien Township Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plan.
A request has been received from a resident that owns a subdivision that would like to combine half a lot to connecting lots on each side.  The assessor has brought it to the Boards attention that the Township doesn’t have documentation that regulates the splitting of platted lots.  Supervisor contacted MTA and received a copy of a previously adopted ordinance.  Since it is non-zoning no public hearing is required and doesn’t need to go to the Planning Commission.  Howard Henderson made a motion seconded by Julie Burke to adopt Berrien Township Platted Lot Split Ordinance No. 36 eliminating the violations and sanctions. This will become effective 30 days after publication.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.         
There was a fire in January 2015 at the property owned by Leonard Harp who was killed in the fire.  The neighbors would like to clean up the property and has asked the Board if we would approve paying for the dumpster or dumpsters needed for the materials if they supplied the labor.  The cost will be added to the property taxes.  Julie Burke made a motion seconded by Mary Jane Dean to approve paying for one 40 yd.  dumpster from S.E.B.C. Landfill.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.  
A request has been received from Jeff Shembarger about changing a building permit for a pole barn to an agricultural building permit. According to the township fee schedule this type of a request is presented to a Review Panel which consists of the Supervisor (Bryan Bixby) two board members one of which is to be the township bd. representative to the Planning Commission (Julie Burke), the township assessor (Angie Story), Chairman of the Planning Commission (Ron Harner vice chairman), information input allowed from the Zoning Adminstrator (Ross Rogien).   Harold Bishop was appointed as the 2nd board member.    They will hold a meeting on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.    
Fire Chief Norm Carl reported that the Dept. had 13 calls for a total amount of $1,601.00 for the month of July.  Truck #3032 has had some water leaks.  The problem seems to be rusting from the inside out it is cast iron steel.  It is the plumbing going from the tank that leaks.   It holds 3,000 gals. The truck is a 1986 Pierce that only cost the townships $35,000.00.
Building Inspector Ross Rogien issued (3) building permits for an estimated building amount of $43,600.00 for the month of July.  Electrical Inspector Ken Simpson finalized (3) electrical permits for a fee of $394.00 for July.
Clerk Dean reported that there was (1) burial since the last meeting.  The water problem at Union Cemetery was an o-ring blew up according to Jeff Marks.  Clerk Dean is still working with St. Joe Monument for the damaged markers at Franklin Cemetery.
Julius Grau reported on the storm last month which was mainly trees.  With the incident at the Berrien County Court House there have been 66 police deaths in the U.S.
There was no meeting.
Revenue for the month of July was $65,063.05 with expenses at $33,155.72.  The cost for the Schramm house that was demolished will be applied to the taxes ($9,350.00).  A question was asked about what a township resident pays for ambulance fee.  A resident pays $150.00 since the township pays a subsidy to the Medic I. 
With no further business the Supervisor adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.

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