securing service contracts, pay rates, and new short-term rental guidelines
The Bainbridge Township Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on Feb. 13, 2023 at the Bainbridge Township Hall. The meeting was called to order by Township Supervisor Andrew Gardner. In attendance were Nancy Weber, Treasurer, Patty Hiler-Molter, the Township Clerk, and Trustees Don Baiers and John Yetzke. Office Manager Barb Abbott was also in attendance.
The township will be starting the fiscal year with a 7.8% pay increase for supervisor, clerk, treasurer, and the trustee position. Additional salaries were approved through the Bainbridge Township Salaries Resolution. This resolution authorizes salary, hourly, and per diem rates for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for both elected officials and employees of the township.
In addition, the board unanimously passed the following contracts for another year: Building Official contract for Ross Rogien; Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator contract with Ross Rogien Construction Associates, Inc.; Mechanical Service contract with Ken Jewell; Electrical Inspections Service contract with Ron Ketelhut; Plumbing Inspector Service contract with Ken Benjamin; Property Tax Assessment contract held by Scott Anderson; contract as the Ordinance Enforcer Officer held by Tracy Neuman. All the contracts will be in effect from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024.
The board also ruled to extend the fire contract with both Benton Charter Township Fire Department and the Sister Lakes Fire Department for another year.
Other agreements include contracts with Joshua Eisbrenner for HVAC repair and annual maintenance, a mowing contract with Fardello’s Mowing, and they also approved the purchase of two computers through Double K Enterprises.
Since the popularity of short-term rental websites, like AirBnB and VRBO, Southwest Michigan communities have worked hard to come up with reasonable rules and regulations that strike the delicate balance of allowing short-term vacation rentals in ways that keep all property owners in mind.
To monitor with reasonable regulations, the Bainbridge Township Board passed an amendment to Resolution 45A to establish a registration permit for individuals, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, or any other organization that operates a short-term rental business within the township.
This new resolution, 45B, aims to balance the needs of the local year-round visitors with a place to stay while also providing an avenue for concerns surrounding issues of traffic, parking, congestion, litter, noise, and meeting regulations for fire and life safety codes to ensure the safety and well-being of both residents and guests within the township.
Local leaders are best situated to maintain the delicate balance between residential and commercial uses, between residents and investment property owners, and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents, renters, and vacation visitors.
Finally, the board approved the resolution to adopt the 2023 Poverty Guidelines and Asset Test Resolution so that the board of reviews will follow the stated federal poverty guidelines for 2023 tax season.
Nancy Weber presented the treasurer’s report for January. The township board approved the paying of bills for a total of $126,811 for the month.
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department had not submitted a report by the meeting time, so it will be available for next month.
Pride Care Ambulance had logged 17 calls within the township for January. The report reflected an average response time of 12:30 minutes. There were five Priority I calls and twelve Priority II calls on record.
Sister Lakes Fire Department reported on Jan. 14 they were called to Meadowbrook Road for an EMS assist and then on Jan. 20 there was a motor vehicle accident on M-140.
Benton Charter Township Fire Department had no calls within the township for the month of December.
At the meeting, the board discussed and approved the Assessors Report submitted by Scott Anderson. Anderson has been preparing assessment notices for 2023. He is also preparing for the March Board of Reviews which will be held on March 13 & 14 this year.
The Code Enforcement Activity Log for January was presented for approval. There were three inspections on record and there were six notices given out for litter debris, all first time notices.
The Building and Zoning report submitted by Ross Rogien showed one permit totaling $225.50 for the building department for January.
The Mechanical Activity Report by Ken Jewell reflected an income of $2,270 for eleven permits.
The Plumbing Report by Ken Benjamin had two permits on record in January totaling $661.
Ron Ketelhut, the Electrical Inspector for the township, issued two new solar panel installation permits totaling $792.
All reports were approved as presented.
The board had no unfinished business to discuss and there were no public comments to report so the meeting adjourned.