Village Council
Board Minutes
Village Calendar
Community Project
News and Information
Minutes of the Village of Martin Board
November 22, 2011
Martin Village Council
Regular Meeting
November 22, 2011

The Martin Village Council met for its regular meeting on November 22, 2011, rescheduled from November 14, 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: Brinkhuis, Flower, Harness, Rambadt, J. Seiser, Clerk K. Seiser and Deputy Clerk Merrill.

Approval of Minutes: Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Rambadt to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of October 10, 2011, as submitted. Motion carried.

Recognition of Visitors: Those present were Don Rambadt, Don Black, Allegan County Commissioner, Alice Kelsey and Allegan County District Court Judge William Baillargeon.

Judge Baillargeon gave a power point presentation on the Drug Treatment Court Program in Allegan County, which is an 18 month program designed to save lives of addicts. Many facts and statistics were presented which were very informative. Judge Baillargeon explained “straddle cell” and the reasons for the 18 month program and the economic effect.

Alice Kelsey reported that a street light is out on 10th Street near Memorial Park.

Approval of Agenda: Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Rambadt to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried.
Communications: The following were presented:

1. Thank you note from Tom Deneau and family for the donation to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission in memory of his mother Burtie Deneau.

2. Thank you letter from Kalamazoo Gospel Mission for the donation in memory of Burtie Deneau.

3. Letter dated November 2, 2011 to Jodie Gilson from PCI about complaints of junk vehicles, trash and debris at the property at 1607 North Main Street, owned by Jodie Gilson, which are in violation of Martin’s Zoning Ordinance.

4. Letter dated November 10, 2011 from Attorney David F. Kiel representing Jodie Gilson to Mr. Ralph Warning, who has a lease agreement with Jodie Gilson for the property at 1607 North Main Street about the complaints and stating Mr. Gilson’s intent to terminate the tenancy and including a 30 day Notice to Quit with a date of December 10, 2011 to move.

5. Resignations from Rick and Lori Martin as trustee and P.W. employee respectively due to job relocation, effective November 7 and November 11 respectively.

Financial Items:

1. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Rambadt reported that all funds balance with the bank. Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member J. Seiser to accept the Treasurer’s Report for October 2011 as presented. Motion carried.

2. Payment of Bills: Only one bill has not been received, Michigan Gas Utilities for the wellhouse. After review, motion was made by Member Flower and seconded by Member J. Seiser to pay the bills as presented, including the Michigan Gas bill when received. Motion carried.

3. BS&A Update: Clerk K. Seiser reported that BS&A gave a demonstration of their program on October 12. This was followed by an updated proposal of $12,505, not including extraction of existing software or server installation. Deputy Clerk Merrill had contacted CPW to inform them of the demo by BS&A and request a quote from CPW. It was later learned that CPW would probably not submit a quote but would assist with conversion when needed. President Harness stated that other proposals would be needed before a decision is made.

Department Updates/Reports:

1. Public Safety: No report.

2. Public Works: J. Seiser reported that Tim Eichler needs a load of salt soon. Snow equipment is ready. Job posting is needed to replace Lori Martin. Tim has put together some information for posting and should be involved in the interview process. President Harness read Tim’s job list.

3. Streets: Leaf pick up ended November 22. Gutters are being cleaned. The railroad count is complete. Crack sealing is complete. The catch basin by Jerry Curry will be worked on next spring and the shoulder across from the bank needs repair. Due to the resignation of Rick Martin, it was noted that a new Street Commissioner needs to be appointed.

4. Sewer/Water: Flower reported that the billing went well. Peerless-Midwest pulled the No. 1 pump on October 7 and replaced it on October 21. No. 2 pump should be checked
next year. Lightning damaged the wellhouse on
October 25, and the surge surpressor needed to be replaced. A water flush of the sewer line will be done November 17. The pumpage to Plainwell is good. Flower will attend the Joint Sewer meeting on December 1. Plainwell will start charging next month for high BODs. There was discussion on the cost of the testing done by Prein & Newhof. Apparently VanElderen gets testing done at much less cost. They will be contacted for more information. Brinkhuis questioned the well depth at a new house in Hidden Ponds. Flower will check with the Health Department.

5. County Commissioner: Don Black distributed synopses of the October 13, October 27 and November 10 meetings. He highlighted the 2012 budget which is 2.5% less than 2011, the Sheriff Department Economic Vitality Incentive Program Grant, and the approval of an Agreement for Extension Services provided by Michigan State University. He also mentioned the continued need for another board member for the Commission on Aging and noted the appointment of Bruce Brandon to the Tourist Council.

Old Business:

1. Update on Independent Water: No word yet.

2. Office Sign: Tabled. Waiting for word from Cronen Signs.

New Business:

1. Salt Bin Project: President Harness gave an explanation regarding the confusion of obtaining bids for projects, stating that in 2006 a charter amendment was passed raising the minimum to $25,000, but in 2007 the amendments needed to be voted on again, and for some reason the amount was changed to $10,000. He further reported that the village received a letter from James R. Durant, attorney from Portage, who had been retained by unidentified client(s) inquiring about the construction job awarded to VanLaan Construction at the October meeting. Harness stated that he had responded to Mr. Durant explaining that the construction involved two separate bids, each bid being under the $10,000 cap as defined by the Charter. However, Harness stated in his letter and to the council his concern that the Charter needs to be strictly followed and council members must have transparency in their transactions. He further emphasized that each person on the council has the responsibility to question any transaction during the meeting and to be diligent in his or her duties with regard to those matters. Harness has requested Attorney Ed Annen to attend a meeting and give further explanation of the Charter.

The salt bin project had been started with the footings in place, but the project has been halted. Harness recommended to the council that it should go ahead with the completion of the project by publishing and obtaining bids. This will require detailed specifications.

Motion was made by Member J. Seiser, supported by Member Flower, to move forward with the bid process for completion of the salt bin. Motion carried.

It was agreed to wait on budget amendment until more definite figures are provided.

2. Handicap Parking Request from PNC: A written e-mail was received from Scott Young, Branch Manager of the Martin PNC Bank, requesting adding a handicap parking spot in front of the bank on East Allegan Street. President Harness recommended approval of the request, PNC to be responsible for any costs incurred. Motion was made by Member J. Seiser and seconded by Member Flower to approve the request from PNC Bank for a handicap parking spot in front of the bank, costs to be charged to the bank. Motion carried. Member Flower will check with PCI on any requirements.

3. P.W. Christmas Bonuses: Motion was made by Member J. Seiser and supported by Member Flower to give Christmas bonuses of $100 each to Tim Eichler and Lori Martin. Motion carried.

4. Appointment of Trustee to Fill Vacancy of Rick Martin: Although the charter states that a vacancy be filled within 30 days, it was agreed that candidates be sought before appointment is made. Alice Kelsey will submit a letter of interest.

Recent Community Deaths: Names submitted were Inarose McFarland and Christine Elisabeth Blanco.

Adjournment: Motion was made by Member Flower and seconded by Member J. Seiser to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Merrill
Deputy Clerk