Council president Deborah Lindley called the regular council meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. EST. Present in addition to Lindley were James Bracewell, Steve Slater and Blake O’Halloran. Paul Leonard Jr. was not in attendance.
Bracewell moved, seconded by Slater to adopt the January 16, 2019 agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
O’Halloran moved, seconded by Slater to approve the minutes of the Regular Council Meeting of December 19, 2019 as presented. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
BUILDING & ZONING: Bracewell reported that there is a complete listing of construction projects included in the packets. Building Inspector Bill Lambert said that Mr. Stiteler will be submitting a complete plan for completion of his home under construction on Oak. He said the foundation has been poured on the Hunter home on Reitz Place.
PARKS & BEACHES: Lindley thanked Slater for his written report that was included in the packet. Slater said he will provide a report in the packets on the conditions of the beach access points. He said that the Village has a park at Crescent and Royal, and has three parcels that are unimproved that could become parks. He reported that he started meeting with Arie Donkersloot of Donkersloot & Sons and David Wolf of Oselka Constructors to open up conversations regarding work that is being done on properties along the beach and he will be reporting on that in the future. The 5-year Parks & Recreation Plan expires at the end of the year, so he met with Abonmarche regarding a proposal to update the plan, and is waiting for a response from Mario Ortega of McKenna. He has also contacted Fleis & VandenBrink and has not heard back from them.
STREETS & WATER: Leonard was not in attendance to give a report.
POLICE: Lindley reminded residents that there is no snowmobiling allowed in the 42 Acres. There are signs posted that state “no motorized vehicles”. She said she has received several “scam” phone calls and warned residents to be aware of these “scam” phone calls.
She said she met with Rusty Bruesch from the Village of Michiana to discuss the police departments moving forward to make sure they are on the same page, and also discussed ways to continue to save money.
PRO SHOP & GOLF COURSE: O’Halloran reported that there were snowmobilers on the golf course when there wasn’t enough snow. He said there must be at least 4” of snow to use snowmobiles on the golf course. There is a system in place with a flag located near the tennis courts and the Village Hall. Snowmobiling is allowed when the flag is green and not allowed when red. He distributed an article to the Council regarding golf play being down in 2018 due to the weather. Grand Beach play was down 10% last year, but fortunately revenue was made up in other areas.
Clay Putnam reported that equipment maintenance continues.
SUPERINTENDENT: Superintendent Bob Dabbs had nothing to report in addition to his written report.
POLICE CHIEF: Police Chief Dan Schroeder told the Council that Village employees will have a CPR class on the morning of January 28th, and the class will be offered in the afternoon to Village residents. Interested residents can sign up for the class on the Village website.
BUILDING INSPECTOR: Building Inspector Bill Lambert had nothing additional to report.
BILLS TO BE PAID
Bracewell moved, seconded by Lindley to approve the payment of the bills with the written additions as presented. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
GRANT – 42 ACRES
Lindley said she has been talking to Sheila McGinnis about ways to raise matching funds for the purchase of the 42 Acres. Residents have treasured this property for years and years and they want to pass it on for future generations to enjoy. She said the Village cannot buy the property without the support of the residents. Clerk-Treasurer Mary Robertson will send a thank you letter to everyone for donating and for tax purposes. The Council thanks everyone who has already donated and for future donations. Lindley said there is a lot of work to do to complete the grant process. Lindley said there is a lot of work to do to complete the grant process.
APPOINT PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBER TO VACATED SEAT WITH TERM ENDING AUGUST 31, 2019
Lindley said Planning Commission Chair Ray Kelly recommended Frank Giglio be appointed to the open position on the Planning Commission. Harry Walder also expressed an interest in serving on the Planning Commission and they will use his expertise. Bracewell moved, seconded by Lindley to appoint Frank Giglio to the Planning Commission to fill George Soper’s term ending August 31, 2019 and to include and invite Harry Walder to the meetings. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
PARKS & RECREATION MASTER PLAN REVIEW UPDATE
Lindley said it is time to update the Village’s 5-year Parks & Recreation Master Plan which is necessary for applying for future grants. The current plan expires at the end of the year. Slater said that there should be two proposals for the next Council meeting for the update of the plan. The Council discussed the need to update the Village’s master plan and the possibility of getting proposals for both plans. Clerk-Treasurer Mary Robertson stated that the Planning Commission recently reviewed the Master Plan and determined that there was no need to update the plan at this time.
USE OF COUNCIL ROOM FOR SMALL PARTIES/EVENTS
Lindley explained that originally residents were able to use the council room as a warming station when ice skating. Now that larger gatherings are taking place in the council room, the Village needs to have procedures in place so we don’t run into problems similar to those that we’ve had upstairs.
TABLES, CHAIRS AND TABLE RACK FOR COUNCIL ROOM
Lindley said since the Council is expecting more use of the room, they want to make these items accessible to residents for their social enjoyment. Bracewell said the Council has to define how aggressive they want to be to allow the use of this room, keeping in mind that the Village does not have a full time manager to manage this
room and it is always put on the clerk or deputy clerk’s shoulders. He suggested that the next time the carpet needs to be replaced; it is replaced with some type of tile.
NEW BUFFALO TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY MILLAGE
Lindley asked New Buffalo Township Supervisor Michelle Heit to give information to the council regarding tax dollars paid by Village property owners and where the money is going. Michelle Heit addressed the Council to let them know how the township came to have two public safety millages, what they are used for, and how taxation works for Villages and Townships.
She said the first public safety millage generates almost enough to pay for the fire department budget which is a little over $200,000. The township contracts with Medic One for ambulance service at over 110,000 which was not covered by the first millage.
As the township has grown and with the casino coming, they contracted with the Sheriff’s Department for police protection at approximately $600,000 a year and the Local Revenue Sharing Board paid 70% of the cost until they decided approximately two years ago that they were not going to pay for the township police. The township placed a second millage proposal on the ballot to cover all of the public safety and it passed.
She said Villages are located within the township and they are taxed double by being taxed by the township and villages which is the way it is handled throughout the state of Michigan.
The township collects roughly $20,000,000 in taxes, and they keep $1,400,000 in the township. They collect for the county, schools and other entities, and those funds are passed on to them. The township’s operating millage is 2.8 mills. The Council asked questions in regards to tax dollars that the Village is paying to New Buffalo Township and what they get for the money. The Village receives fire and ambulance service through the township and police back up when needed. Heit said that the Village needs to let them know what they want. She will ask the sheriff’s department to show more presence in Grand Beach.
MCKENNA PROPOSAL FOR ASSISTANCE WITH GRANT REQUIREMENTS
Lindley explained that the Council received a proposal from Mario Ortega of McKenna for assistance with the completion of the grant acquisition procedures and after reviewing the manual she thinks that we do need assistance. The proposal offers a lump sum fee of $4,500 or $97 per hour for their services plus travel expenses. Bracewell moved, seconded by O’Halloran to continue our business relationship with McKenna for the scope of services to assist with the completion of the MDNR Acquisition grant process at a cost of $4,500 and to speak to McKenna about getting a new representative here. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
LAURIE ROCHE – RESIGNATION FROM PARKS & RECREATION COMMITTEE
Lindley thanked Laurie Roche for her service as a Planning Commission liaison to the Parks and Recreation Committee and said that because of that committee’s hard work, we were able to receive a grant from the State for the purchase of the 42 acres. Laurie provided invaluable research and insight to the committee and we appreciate her service as we do for all members of the committee.
APPOINT PARKS & RECREATION COMMITTEE MEMBER TO FILL OPEN POSITION - TERM ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2019
Slater said there are significant things to do this year including updating the Parks & Recreation Plan and move forward on some of the things in the plan. He would like to add two positions to the committee.
Lindley moved, seconded by Bracewell to appoint Ed Trainor to fill the open seat on the Parks & Recreation Committee with a term ending December 31, 2019 and appoint Ed Brandes to the committee with a 2-year term ending December 31, 2020 and Amy Slater to a 3-year term ending December 31, 2021 as full committee
members. Motion carried unanimously 4-0. O’Halloran thanked the community for getting involved because there have been times when it was hard to find people to serve on the council and committees.
APPOINT PARKS & RECREATION SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS
Lindley explained at the start of the meeting that the Council will not appoint a subcommittee to the Parks & Recreation Committee.
COUNCIL MEETING ROOM USE CONTRACT
Lindley said a lot of questions came up last month regarding the use of the Council room. She said there were problems in renting the hall upstairs in the past before there was a plan, so it is important to have a plan for the Council room. O’Halloran moved, seconded by Slater to approve the Council Meeting Room Use Contract as presented. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
IRRIGATION STUDY REPORT
Lindley thanked John Deaner for offering to head the task force regarding the irrigation study and thanked Bob Dabbs and Clay Putnam for all of their work on the study. Deaner said they studied everything with the main objective to get the pump house off the beach. Putnam reviewed the assessment contained in the report regarding the current irrigation system using a numerical value of 1-4 for the condition of different parts of the irrigation system. O’Halloran said that the numerical rating was not very good on any of these components with no points higher than a 2 which shows the urgency of what they’ve been looking at. He said they started this study so that the Village could have a secondary irrigation system, but now this idea might be the primary irrigation system.
Deaner said that he spoke with Peerless Midwest and in order to get 550-650 gallons of water per minute, they will have to go down 650’ with a well and there is less than 1% chance of hitting water that deep. They think the best place to put a pond for water storage is across from the maintenance building south of the 7th fairway.
They presented different plans with one plan at $278,000 with the Village doing much of the work. Another plan would include a brand new irrigation system with two wells and a pond at a cost of approximately $668,000. Another option was to use municipal water at approximately $43,000 per year. Deaner said the prices included are from one supplier, and they think they might come down if they go out to bid.
Lindley said when she looks at the numbers; it is one third of the Village budget. She said the purpose for looking at alternatives for the irrigation was in case the pump house fails. O’Halloran said if we lose the pump house, we might be paying $43,000 for the municipal water until the irrigation system is completed. He said there is a lot of value here to use going forward.
The committee recommends keeping the pump house, but suggested not spending a lot of money on it. They also recommend keeping the green pump house. They feel something should be done within the next five years.
ORDINANCE – PROHIBIT MARIHUANA ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE VILLAGE
Lindley said that this ordinance was given to the Village by the attorney. The Village attorney suggested that the Village opt out of marihuana establishments in the Village since the state does not have all of its regulations in
place yet. The ordinance will not prohibit the use of medical marijuana or the use of recreational marijuana in a resident’s homes, but will prohibit marijuana establishments in the Village. Lindley read the ordinance.
O’Halloran moved, seconded by Slater to adopt ordinance no. 2019-96 to prohibit marihuana establishments in the Village. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
RESOLUTION #2019-01 - SET COUNCIL COMPENSATION
Lindley said at last month’s meeting the Council adopted resolutions to set compensation, but did not include new council members and those appointed in the resolutions. O’Halloran moved, seconded by Bracewell to adopt resolution #2019-01 to set Council compensation for all appointed council members and all Council members elected or reelected in 2020 and beyond. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
PLANNING COMMISSION ANNUAL REPORT
Bracewell read the Planning Commission’s annual report. Lindley said the Council appreciates the work the Planning Commission does for the Village. Bracewell moved, seconded by O’Halloran to accept the annual report. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
Lindley said a Village resident offered to purchase a scanner to scan meeting packets for the website, but the office copy machine is also a scanner and will be used. The packets will be put on the Village website, and in doing so, she suggested that the office no longer prepare hard copies of the packets, although there will be copies of the agenda available for the public at the meetings. Ed Trainor said he will assist in the process to make it as simple as possible and as visible as possible for tax payers that might not be here for the meetings.
HALL USE - COUNCIL MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES
Lindley said it has been an unwritten policy that the Council members and employees are allowed to use the hall once a year while paying the cleaning fee, key deposit and providing insurance. Bracewell moved, seconded by Slater to allow Council members and Village employees to use the hall one time a year with no rental fee, but they will pay the cleaning fee. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
HALL RENTAL REQUESTS - STEVE SLATER – JANUARY 25, 2019 and DENNIS ZAVESKY – MAY 4, 2019
Lindley moved, seconded by Bracewell to approve a hall rental request from Council member Steve Slater on January 25, 2019 and from employee Dennis Zavesky on May 4, 2019. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
John Deaner asked about having back up plans for funding the 42 Acres.
Frank Giglio thanked the Council for their vote to appoint him on the Planning Commission.
Ed Trainor applauded the council; past and present for all that they’ve done over the years.
Lindley moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously 4-0.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m. EST.