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Minutes of the Village of Martin Board
October 12, 2009
Martin Village Council
Regular Meeting
October 12, 2009

The Martin Village Council met for its regular meeting on October 12, 2009, at the Martin Village Office, 1586 South Main Street, Martin, Michigan.

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

Roll Call: All members were present: Harness, Seiser, Martin, Brinkhuis, Flower, Rambadt and Acting Clerk Merrill.

Approval of Minutes: Motion was made by Member Brinkhuis and seconded by Member Flower to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 14, 2009, as submitted. Motion carried.

Recognition of Visitors: Present were Don Rambadt, Earl Wykstra and Tim Eichler. Don Black, County Commissioner, arrived at 7:47 p.m., and Sharon Sturdevant, Kalamazoo Gazette reporter, arrived at 8:02 p.m.

Earl Wykstra, representing Friends of Allegan County 911, handed out brochures with information about the November 3, 2009, election where voters will be asked to vote for a 911 emergency service surcharge renewal by setting the cap on the monthly surcharge to not exceed $2.80, which would remain in effect for the next five years. The surcharge will be charged to any device that can access 911. Earl pointed out that Allegan County 911 does not receive funding from the county’s general fund. He encouraged the council and all other voters to vote Yes on the 911 surcharge on November 3.

Approval of Agenda: Request to add Sewer System Flushing to agenda immediately. Motion made by Member Martin, with support from Member Seiser, to approve the agenda with addition. Motion carried.

Sewer System Flushing: Member Martin requested that P.W. employee Tim Eichler give an update on the recent flushing of the sewer system and the reason for the high maintenance costs. Tim explained his responsibility regarding maintenance of the sewer system and reported on the history of flushing the system, including pumps and pressure amounts. He stated that it became necessary to have Plummer’s jet the entire system, which improved the volume. However, it is not known if the pipe is open. It is suspected that there may still be some blockage. Al Evink of Main-Tech Services has been involved and feels that there may be some link with the opening of Motor Sports Park in the spring. There was discussion on possible problems and solutions, and a meeting with personnel from the drag strip was suggested.

Member Martin further suggested and recommended a meeting with Wightman & Associates, Main-Tech Services, Plummer’s and other village officials, including Tim Eichler and Luke Keyzer to brainstorm on what to do about the sewer system maintenance. Tim was authorized to put a meeting together.

Communications: The following were presented:
1. Several faxes from MML regarding possible revenue sharing cuts.
2.Letter dated October 7, 2009, from Erik Wilson, Plainwell City Manager, to President Larry Harness regarding the Village Sewer Agreement. Will be addressed later in meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Rambadt stated that all funds balance with the bank statements. She also reported that there are nine delinquent tax bills, totaling about $5,000. Collections can be made until February 2010.
Motion was made by Member Flower and seconded by Member Martin to approve the report for September as submitted. Motion carried.

Payment of Bills: After the addition of four bills, motion was made by Member Martin and supported by Member Brinkhuis to approve the bills for payment as revised. Motion carried.

Department Updates/Reports:

Public Safety: Member Brinkhuis reported that he had spoken with county deputies, and there are no major problems. There is considerable visibility of law enforcement officers in the village which may be a factor.

Public Works: Commissioner Martin reported that Lori Martin has been working part-time to alleviate Tim while he has spent so much time on the sewer system maintenance. He also reported that Steve Bennington requested that his name be added to the list for snow plowing when needed. He meets the qualifications to assist in that area.

Due to the need for storage space and the condition of the old P.W. garage, Martin presented a rough drawing of a building approximately 40’ by 60’ which would provide needed space, as well as office, etc. The current old garage needs to be replaced and could be torn down to accommodate the new building. It was stated that this is only “food for thought” at this time.

Martin reported that maintenance on the plow truck is complete and ready for fall and winter.

Streets: Commissioner Martin is concerned about two issues. One is the “speed bump” on East Allegan to divert water. The closest resident feels that it is too steep and would like it removed. It was agreed to check with Pavement Restoration to see about revamping the bump. The second concern is the storm drains on University Street where the street has settled causing water to run under the street. This should be patched as soon as possible.

It was also stated that some jetting on Lee Street is needed. President Harness suggested checking the crack seal on various streets to see how it is holding up.

Sewer/Water: Member Flower has requested a map showing the drain system in the village. He also reported that hydrant flushing will take place on October 23-24. Flower had received a call from Bobby Jones regarding the car wash and connecting to the sewer system. Apparently John Caron is requesting a large sum of money, which he may not have a right to do. Brinkhuis will contact Mr. Caron.

County Commission: Commissioner Black distributed synopses of the September 24 and October 8 meetings, highlighting some of the action taken.
President Harness asked Black to thank his wife Clair for her years of service to CASA. She recently retired from the program which provides advocacy for children.

Old Business:

1. Variance Request – Doezema: Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Martin to grant the variance request from Darcy Doezema to build an addition to her garage at 936 East Allegan Street, based on the completion and receipt of all requested information. Motion carried.
2.Sewer System Update: Harness had prepared a summary of recent events with Plainwell and then met with Attorney Ed Annen where he learned that it would be difficult to get out of the agreement with Plainwell. It was agreed that a bulk rate request would be in order as well as a request for Plainwell’s formula for calculation of rates. Harness feels it would be prudent to draft a letter to Plainwell with these requests and also address the matter of the Martin Township agreement, requesting the expansion of the village sewer district to include the township.
Harness read the letter of October 7 from Plainwell which included a 14 page memo from Fleis & Vandenbrink and commented on the contents. He reiterated his plan to draft a letter to Plainwell and what he feels necessary to include in the letter.
3. Sidewalk Repair Update: Member Martin reported that he is preparing for repairs in two areas, Lee Street and Main Street. He is waiting for a report before finalizing the plans.
New Business:

1. Computer Monitor: Member Flower stated that one of the computer monitors is not working. He has learned that it is not under warranty. He has made some contacts regarding prices for a new one but would like to continue to research more before he makes a recommendation. He will report next month.
2.Other: President Harness had received a sample of an ordinance violation form and suggested that MML be contacted to see about the village obtaining some forms. Merrill will check with MML.

Recent Community Deaths: Two names were submitted: Harold Edgerton and Alvin Westendorp.

Adjournment: Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Martin to adjourn at 9:08 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Merrill
Acting Clerk
Village of Martin