01-19-2017 Supervisor Hodge to improve communications between Planning Commission and Bainbridge Boa
Supervisor Hodge to improve communications between Planning Commission and Bainbridge Board;
will seek 1 year extension to fire contracts
By Angela Stair
The Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on January 9. Supervisor Bill Hodge is still learning how the Township runs and communicates with the various boards and commissions.
The supervisor said he was made aware of a Board of Review training session and would suggest to the Township Board to approve all members of the review board to attend. The members of the review board have all at one time attended the training, but Supervisor Hodge feels they should be updated and current. He noted that attending is not mandatory, but is strongly urged. The Board approved all members of the Board of Review to attend the training session.
In learning how the Township works, Supervisor Hodge asked how the Planning Commission gets its information on what needs to be looked into, decided, discussed, or what ordnances need to be looked at or written.
There did not seem to be a clear chain of command as to how it was accomplished. Eventually the information the Board of Review worked on at the meetings was coordinated into a packet of information with an agenda by Township Secretary Barb Abbott and sent to the members a week before a meeting was scheduled.
Supervisor Hodge said he had been looking over the Township’s Ordnances and sees that many do not have a way to enforce them. This is something that needs to be corrected. An ordinance needs to be enforceable. He said there are a few things that need to be worked into an ordinance. “What about drones?” he asked. “We have nothing, but that will become an issue, it is only a matter of time. Even kids have them now and we need to be prepared”.
Storage units were another issue he addressed. “Yes, a decision had been made on the units as an individual case at the time, and then the problem went away. But I can guarantee the problem will be back and we should be prepared with a complete ordinance and enforceable rules.”
A meeting between the Board and the Planning Commission will be planned to work on a way to make sure the information goes smoothly between them.
As the end of Bainbridge Township approaches, the fire contracts have to be looked at again. As time is limited, Supervisor Hodge suggested to the Board to ask them to extend the contracts for another year.
The Board approved sending Fire Contract Letters to Sister Lakes Fire Department and Benton Charter Township Fire Department asking them to approve the contract they have for one more year.
Supervisor Hodge said there were no fire reports in Bainbridge Township for last month.
Resident Jim Doroh asked whatever happened to the research that was going on about putting a well or storage tank on the Township Hall property for fire protection.
Upon discussion Supervisor Hodge found that the committee assigned the research of information, cost, etc, had not gathered all the information and directed them to continue with their inquiries and bring some information to the Board. Trustees Don Baiers and John Yetzke will see that it is taken care of. The Supervisor suggested they also look to see if there are any fire prevention grants that might be available to help with the cost.
The Berrien County Road Commission will hold an Open House at the Bainbridge Township Hall on February 9 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Supervisor Hodge said the open house is not like a meeting, where you have to attend from start to finish. You will be able to come any time during the hour and a half open house and chose the information you are interested in.
The Open House will have different stations set up around the room showing the work and problems, and solutions for Territorial Road. There will be knowledgeable officials at each station to speak with the public and answer questions. More details will be available closer to the Open House date.
Supervisor Hodge also touched on the North Branch work to be done this year. He noted that it will not be a blacktop as he had heard someone say. The cost for one would be approximately $500,000. It will be made into a hard surface road as the rest are in the Township.
Resident Doroh asked if the Township has a five-year plan for the Township roads.
Supervisor Hodge said they do. He said the Berrien Road Commission usually has an annual meeting to discuss roads they found were in need of repairs and at that time the Township adds any from their plan that are not already listed and trouble spots that have turned up. He said they have not gotten an invitation to the meeting yet, but he will check on it.
Budget amendments, police report and other business
The Board looked over the amendments to the 2015-2016 Budget and approved the movement between accounts to balance the budget.
Berrien County Sheriff deputies Eberly and Allred reported on the activities in Bainbridge Township for the month of November. There were 36 complaints worked in the Township with five tickets issued and two arrests made. Of the 36 complaints, there were nine traffic accidents, four burglaries, three forced entry and one unlawful entry, and one civil matter-family dispute.
Deputy Eberly suggested the public be sure to lock their cars as they have had quite a few reports of cars being entered and ransacked in yards that were not locked. Also be sure to lock the door between your house and garage if they are attached. And above all, if you see something, call the police – do not try to take care of it yourself.
The Board approved the paying of bills in the amount of $56,956.39, payroll taxes $2,448.57, and payroll $7,805.25 for a total of $67,210.21.
There had been some confusion on the fuel bill. It is difficult to understand because there are three furnaces in the Township Hall. After getting a clarification on it, Supervisor Hodge suggested they get together to work on a way to make it easier to understand the billing for the three furnaces.
DECADES OF SERVICE… by Hartford icons Daun and Bud Pitcher were recognized during halftime of the Indians/Panthers annual Coaches vs. Cancer basketball game on Friday, January 13. The duo first came to Hartford in the 1960’s and jumped in with both feet volunteering to build Blossomtime floats and the original Indian Stadium football concession. The Pitchers served in many volunteer positions over the years as their three children graduated from Hartford. For many years Bud served as grill master at the annual Homecoming Brat Tent, while Daun ran the tent serving hundreds of fans the famous brat meal raising funds for athletics. Bud and his trusty Ducane grill made the occasional appearance on Boosters’ Burger Nights throughout the football season. Basketball fans all across SW Michigan have been greeted at Hartford by Bud and Daun at the ticket desk for over 20 years. High School Principal Dave Janicki said, “I cannot think of any more deserving folks to recognize. I do not know of any two people that have consistently put it the time and effort; year after year; in support of our athletic program. We are truly fortunate to (have) people like Duan and Bud in our community.” Athletic Director Nick Blackmer echoed Janicki’s thoughts saying, “We are truly grateful for the example set by such wonderful people who have given so much time to the school”, as they jointly presented the award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the cheers of a grateful community. (TCR photo by Kristie Noack)