Hartford Township works to clean up blight for year end
By Jon Bisnett
Zoning Administrator James Lechenet has been busy in the last few days of 2016 with consistent efforts to put pressure on non-conforming properties to clean up their parcels. Blight warning letters have gone out to 53424 CR-687, 60878 66th Street and 61196 66th Avenue. In addition Lechenet has confirmed via the State Licensing Bureau that the Jarvis Orr Mobile Home Park does not have a camping permit for the three recreation vehicles at their site. The State will review and intervene as warranted.
In other zoning matters, T-Mobile wishes to place a propane tank and backup generator at their cell tower located on 62nd Street, while Blue Stream Cellular is in the process of submitting a site plan for a proposed new tower to be located on 67-1/2 Street.
A permit was issued to Milmar Construction for a 60 x 60 horse barn to be built at 66579 CR-372.
Ryan Dysterheft has expressed interest in the former Shindeldecker Oil Company site on North CR-687 for the purpose of opening a physical training center. Dysterheft met with Lechenet and Building Inspector Chuck Moore to review requirements to pull permits for the building conversion.
Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department reported 169 calls during the month of November, including 42 traffic stops and eight traffic crashes.
Township Treasurer & Fire Board Chairman Steve Starner reported on behalf of Fire Chief Rob Harting. Steve described a busy Thanksgiving day with multiple structure fires including the former Krenek/Hokzema Ford building that most recently was the site of the Hornbarger Auction House.
Starner went on to say this was the first use of the new mutual aid alarm system which performed perfectly as multiple departments assisted Hartford Firefighters at the early afternoon blaze.
Bills for the month were presented totaling $53,325.12 of which $12,673.74 were payroll, with nothing else remarkable. A unanimous motion to pay bills followed.
Supervisor Sefcik updated the remodeling of the hall indicating only a few “punch list” items remained open.
Sefcik entertained the hosting of an open house which the board agreed would be best served by waiting until spring since winter has finally set in.
The board voted to rescind its prior agreement with Purhman Excavating since it had come to light that any burning of debris with 1,400 feet of the property line of city-township would be in violation of air quality standards.
The board went in to closed session at the request of Supervisor Sefcik for the purpose of discussion of a legal opinion from the township attorney.
Upon return to open session, the board approved the expense of software training for the new treasurer in addition to new official training offered by the Michigan Township Association.
Sefcik outlined new more stringent purchase order protocols that have been implemented. Personnel duties have been formally assigned to the supervisor by virtue of a resolution.
A new formal job description for the sexton/custodian is in the works.
The deputy clerk and deputy treasurer have been authorized to work four hours a month for the purpose of both serving the public better while also keeping them up to speed and in practice in the event they may need to stand in for their respective positions.
The final item of business entailed the acknowledgement that township cemetery records exist in rather antiquated form of a hand written 3-ring binder. It was suggested by Treasurer Starner that the Township review the leading cemetery software packages in the marketplace and then ultimately make a purchasing decision to modernize the records. Supervisor Sefcik noted also that despite what one might perceive at a glance, there are actually somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 available lots at Maple Hill.
With no other business pending, Sefcik adjourned the meeting at 8:22 p.m. while wishing a Happy Holiday to all.
The Board meets for its first session of the new year at 7:30 p.m. on Thursd