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Board of Trustees - 6/13/17
The Berrien Township Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 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 Supervisor Julius Grau, reporter Mary Simko, Berrien County Sheriff Deputy and two residents.
The Sheriff report for the mouth of April showed that the Township had 56 complaints, 5 tickets were issued and there were no arrests. The county had 1130 complaints, 315 tickets were issued and 223 arrests were made.
Paul Sprung made a motion seconded by Howard Henderson to approve the agenda with the addition of Shelton July 3 fireworks display request.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
Howard Henderson made a motion seconded by Harold Bishop to approve the May 9, 2017 minutes.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
Howard Henderson made a motion seconded by Harold Bishop to approve the township bills in the amount of $43,852.92 for payment.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
Howard Henderson made a motion seconded by Julie Burke to approve the joint fire bills in the amount of $22,980.51 with the township share of $14,845.40 for payment.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
The excavating for preparing the ground for the equipment will begin as should the bids are accepted.
Supervisor reported that he had met with Victor the painter and he will begin this or next week to finish the painting.
 Supervisor stated that there had been (3) inquiries about the project but only (2) had been received.  Knuth Excavating - $3,271.00                                        Don Bailey -   $5,485.00
Julie Burke made a motion seconded by Paul Sprung to accept the bid from Knuth Excavating and to begin project as soon as possible.  All ayes, none opposed.  MOTION CARRIED.
The Board received a special land request from Lucile Sabas for the home that she was considering on buying  be approved as a multiple family dwelling as it has a main house and a rental on each end.   Super visor Bixby, Zoning Administrator Rogien and Clerk Dean had a pre application conference on May 1, 2017 with realtor Phyllis Palmer and sent the request to the Planning Commission to review.  They met on May 8 and set a public hearing on June 12. Julie reported from the public hearing held on June 12. A neighbor sent a letter with concerns: traffic safety with additional vehicles, is the septic system adequate for a 3 family dwelling, verification of number of sleeping areas including finished basement, home owner should be required to occupy one of the residences and when current owner sells the property the special use permit be rescinded and property be reverted back to originally intended zoning.  Krueger’s Septic Service inspected the septic systems.  There are two tanks, one 2000 gallons and a 1000 gallon septic and are in good working order.  There is a fire wall established only one door is not.  Parking was discussed and was alright.  Julie stated that the request met the Article Eleven 300.1100 Special land use standards.   Some of the board members had concerns and questions that they couldn’t get answers to since no one was attending the meeting in reference to the property.   Howard said there was a law that required the owner to live in the house for one year before it could be rented.  Paul questioned if we could add the restriction that the owner must live there also.
 After much discussion Howard Henderson made a motion seconded by Paul Sprung to table a decision on the Special Land Use request from Lucile Sabas that the home located at 11450 S. Lake Chapin be approved as multiple family dwelling for the purpose to have someone present to answer questions from the Board also to be able to check to see if we can place a restriction that the owner must live there also.  Six ayes, one nay, none absent.  MOTION CARRIED.      
Mary Jane Dean made a motion seconded by Harold Bishop to approve the fireworks display request from Doug Shelton located at 10868 Jones Rd.  He has had 26 yrs. experience with fireworks and is bonded.  Fire chief Carl is to check location for the fireworks for fire safety.   All ayes, none opposed. MOTION CARRIED.
Deans Hill Rd. had the last layer of asphalt applied this week there is shoulder work to be finished and the lines painted (this is the 3rd. project stage).   Gravel has been applied to Snyder Rd. from Jones Rd. to M-139.  Also some chloride was applied.
Julius Grau reported that the Berrien County Emergency Preparedness Guide for disasters and emergencies was completed.  He also reported on the Power Outage and Severe Weather workshop to be held on June 28th at the Kinexus in Benton Harbor.  Also the 8 signs of Terrorism, if you “See Something, Say Something” campaign.  The U.S. Coast Guard has been with St. Joe for 140 yrs.
Clerk reported that the one girl she had been working with cleaning the markers at Franklin Cemetery has completed her 10 hrs. community service.  The other girl has only completed 3 hrs. and Supervisor stated that no one seems to know where she is.  Clerk stated that Union Cemetery looks so much better now with the 8 trees removed hopefully we can remove more next year.
Treasurer Sprung reported that revenue received for April- May was $79,419.51 with expenses at $66,948.88.  The audit is completed and will be receiving a report.  Summer taxes will be mailed out around July 1st.      He showed the Board that the township has the lowest tax base in the County.  Berrien Twp. rate is $38.72 per person with Bainbridge Twp. next lowest at $42.91 up to Baroda Township at $289.92 the highest.
Carrie Grellman and Craig Moore expressed concerns about the road dust on Jones Road with more residents the road has become more of an issue.  It was named a Natural Beauty rd. in 1974. The new guidelines allow a Natural Beauty road to be paved.  They are intended to be low speed roads but the County stated in 1988 they wouldn’t do a speed study to set a speed limit.  Mrs. Grellman was told to get a petition stating if Jones Rd. residents were in favor or opposed with paving the road and presenting the petition to the Board to begin discussion.
With no further business the meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

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