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Minutes of the Village of Martin Board
March 12, 2012
Martin Village Council
Regular Meeting
March 12, 2012

The Martin Village Council met for its regular meeting on March 12, 2012, at the Martin Village Office, 1609 North Main Street, Martin, Michigan.

Call to Order and Pledge to Flag: President Harness called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.

Roll Call: Members present: Flower, Harness, Rambadt, J. Seiser, Clerk K. Seiser and Deputy Clerk Merrill. Member Brinkhuis arrived at 7:40 p.m. Member Wykstra was absent.

Approval of Minutes: Motion was made by Member Flower and seconded by Member Rambadt to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of February 13, 2012, and the minutes of the special meeting of February 23, 2012. Motion carried.

Recognition of Visitors: Chris Ford was present and stated that she is planning to purchase the Red Barn and requested permission to obtain a tavern license. She plans to renovate and be open some evenings and would like to serve beer and wine. She was told by the State Liquor Control Commission that she needed permission from the Village. There is a tavern license available. After discussion and questions, it was the consensus of the council to allow Ms. Ford to go forward with her application for a tavern license. She hopes to have the restaurant open by May.

Other visitors arrived as follows: County Commissioner Don Black at 7:40 p.m., Darcy Doezema and Alice Kelsey at 8:12 p.m., and Marlene Leep and Don Rambadt at 8:15 p.m.

Approval of Agenda: Two items were added to Old Business: Salt Bin and Meeting Start Time. Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Rambadt to approve the agenda as revised. Motion carried.

Communications: The following were presented:
1. E-mail dated February 19 from David T. Young, an independent journalist, stating that he would likely be attending some of the council meetings to write about happenings in the area.
2. Report from the February 13, 2012 Community Forum meeting regarding the donation of the Boysen Building to the Martin Public Schools containing questions and comments presented at that meeting.
3. Memo from Tim Eichler regarding activities that need to be addressed in the Village with a lengthy list by area and priority.

Financial Items:

1. Treasurer's Report: Treasurer Rambadt reported that she had turned over approximately $4,800 to the county as delinquent taxes. She also suggested that in the future the council might want to consider increasing the transfer to the Building Fund from the General Fund, which is currently $100. After review of the February report, motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member J. Seiser to approve the Treasurer's Report for February 2012 as presented. Motion carried.
2. Payment of Bills: One bill was added to the Major Street Fund from Wightman & Associates for publishing of ads for the salt bin project in the amount of $306.24. Member Flower presented information on quotes for a dumpster. An 8 yard dumpster with a bi-weekly pick up was $70/month from Best Way and $50/month from Allied Waste plus a fuel surcharge on each. Motion was made by Member Flower and seconded by Member Brinkhuis to accept the bid of Allied Waste of $50/month plus fuel surcharge. Motion carried. Flower will contact Allied Waste to inform them of the decision. Flower also stated that the post office and renters of the upstairs apartment of the Lions Building use the dumpster and will contribute toward the cost . Motion was made by Member Brinkhuis and supported by Member Rambadt to pay the bills as presented and any forthcoming utility bills. Motion carried.
3. Software Update: Clerk Seiser stated that she had e-mailed Microsoft Dynamics just prior to the meeting about the video which has not arrived.

Department Updates/Reports:

1. Public Safety: Member Brinkhuis asked about using the Mounted Division. The council agreed that they should start whenever they could. Brinkhuis will contact them with the council's decision.
2. Public Works: No report.
3. Streets: A list has been prepared of needed street repairs. It was reported that Harold Miller of 1013 West Allegan has expressed concern about a rotting tree between the sidewalk and curb. Brinkhuis investigated and stated that the tree should be removed. Fitzpatrick Stump Removal has given a quote of $550-$600. Mr. Miller would like the wood and will hopefully contribute toward the cost. Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Brinkhuis to have Fitzpatrick Stump Removal remove the rotting tree at 1013 West Allegan at a cost of $550-$600. Motion carried.
4. Sewer/Water: Flower reported on the March 1 meeting at Plainwell where there was discussion on the proposed rest stop on U.S. 131 near 108th Street. MDOT will be in charge of the project, and bids are expected to be let in September with construction beginning early next year. They would like to tap into the village sewer line, but the tap in fee will go to Gun Plain Township in accordance with an agreement with them. There will be a public meeting sometime in April 2012.
Flower also reported that word has been received from Plainwell that there will be new rates in July. Flower highlighted a lift station performance report provided by Tim Eichler.
Flower stated that additional BOD charges have been assessed which were passed on to VanElderen. These charges are calculated on the monthly flow. Discussion followed on BOD readings, and Harness suggested contacting Tom Deneau for further information.
A. Country Meadows: Correspondence had been received from Country Meadows Mobile Home Park regarding the opportunity/option to take the responsibility of the public water supply of the property. Flower responded that the village water line ends approximately one mile from the location and does not have the funds to extend the line.
B. Water Bond Refinancing: Deputy Clerk Merrill reported on her contacts with Allegan County BPW and Bendzinski & Co. It appears that there could be significant savings to the village, over $97,000 according to Bendzinski. Merrill stated that the village would need to provide some information, but that Bendzinski already has everything needed for the county. Question was raised about cost to the village and if there would be any out-of-pocket expense. Merrill will make further contact with Bendzinski. She also reported that a representative from Bendzinski would be willing to attend a meeting to clarify the process.
5. County Commissioner: Don Black distributed synopses of the February 23 and March 8 County Commission meetings. He highlighted several items, including the Self-Help Task Force Pilot Program, the increased size of the jail plan, and the authorization of the Voluntary Separation Plan.

Old Business:

1. Update on Independent Water Delinquency/Bankruptcy: President Harness reported on communication and correspondence from Attorney Ed Annen who sent letters to the attorney for the debtors. It appears that the village has no recourse against the DeHaans under 11 USC 36(B).
2. Office Sign: Flower had received a quote from Valley City for a sign which would be similar to the school signs. Cost would be $625 plus installation, but the P.W. employees could install the sign. Flower has submitted a request to Cronen Signs but has not heard from them. It was agreed to wait until something is received from Cronen before a decision is made.
3. Salt Bin Update: President Harness presented information regarding the concrete around the salt bin and parking area and suggested a slight change. Because of the difference in depth of the approach to the salt bin and the parking area, it was agreed that the approach would be included in the parking area concrete and concrete would be put behind the salt bin as a walk way between the P.W. office and barn. Brinkhuis stated that would be no charge for that change. Harness also suggested that an additional area in the northeast corner be included in the parking area near the drain. Brinkhuis stated that Scott VanLaan had given a quote of $1,800 for that area, size 12' X 25'. After discussion, motion was made by Member Flower and seconded by Member J. Seiser to make the change in the concrete around the salt bin and include the additional area at a cost of $1,800. Motion carried with Brinkhuis abstaining.
4. Meeting Start Time: President Harness reported that he had contacted Attorney Ed Annen and learned that a resolution is necessary to change the start time of meetings in accordance with the charter. Motion was made by Member Brinkhuis and supported by Member Flower to change the village council meeting start time to 7:00 p.m. based on resolution information from Attorney Annen. Motion carried.

New Business:

1. Budget Resolution: Motion was made by Member Brinkhuis and supported by Member Flower to adopt Resolution 2012-3-7, General Appropriation Act for 2012-2013, effective April 1, 2012.
Roll call vote: Ayes - Brinkhuis, Flower, Rambadt, J. Seiser, K. Seiser
Nays - None
Absent - Wykstra
Resolution declared adopted.

2. Abbott Property, Parcel 44-10: Member Rambadt reported on a phone call she received from Mr. Abbott offering to sell Parcel 44-10 to the village for $39,000. The lot is approximately 80 feet wide and 384.5 feet deep. She gave the background of the lot which was split in 1996 from Lot 44. At one time the lot was considered as a possibility for a street. After further discussion, it was agreed that the village is not interested. Motion was made by Member Brinkhuis and seconded by Member J. Seiser to decline the offer from the Abbotts. Motion carried. President Harness will prepare a letter to the Abbotts stating the village's decision.
3. Memorial Day Parade and Program: Rambadt stated that because there is no longer a speech class at the high school, it is more difficult to find a student speaker for the Memorial Day program. She suggested turning that responsibility over to the Veterans. President Harness suggested the possibility of asking the school to have an essay contest which could count toward community service hours. The village council would decide on a topic, and Harness offered to judge the essays. Rambadt will contact the school with the idea. She is also working on finding a soloist. The Memorial Day activities will take place on Monday, May 28.
4. Other: Flower reported that the date of May 19 has been suggested for the annual spring clean up. Martin Township will participate.
Recent Community Deaths: One name was submitted: Bettie A. Baumgartner.


1. Update on Community Meeting: Since several visitors had attended the community meeting regarding the donation of the Boysen building to the school, Don Rambadt gave an update. There are still many unanswered questions regarding what to do with the building and how to pay for whatever is done. The village is concerned about losing property tax revenue as commercial property.
2. Mowing on East Side of Town: Brinkhuis stated that he had been asked by Darl Evers why the village does not mow on the east side of town since other areas are mowed. Council members were asked to check out the area and suggest recommendations.
3. Election Question: Marlene Leep asked if there is anything in the village charter that would prevent a person running for a village position if they also ran for the Library Board. Harness stated that there is nothing to prevent that.
4. Haveman Well Drilling: Alice Kelsey asked if the well drilled at Havemans for an irrigation system would have any effect on the water table. She was assured that it would not affect the aquifer because of the depth of the village wells.
5. Sewer Rates: Alice also wondered how the renovation of the sewer plant at Plainwell would affect sewer rates. Flower stated that all customers of the system would see rate increases. A discussion followed on sewer rates.

Adjournment: Motion was made by Member Brinkhuis and supported by Member Flower to adjourn the meeting at 9:21 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Joyce Merrill
Deputy Clerk