Charter Township of Orion
Oakland County, Michigan


Township Board

Minutes, Regular Meeting, Monday, January 7, 2008


1. – 3.  CALL TO ORDER.
 The Charter Township of Orion Board of Trustees held a regular meeting on Monday, January 7, 2008, at the Orion Township Hall, 2525 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion, Michigan.  Supervisor Dywasuk called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Dywasuk, Bastian, Garlicki (6:10 p.m.), Gibb, Porter, Steimel (6:10 p.m.), Young.   ABSENT:  None.

EXECUTIVE SESSION.  Moved by Porter, seconded by Young, to go into Executive Session to discuss Attorney Opinion Letter.   AYES: Porter, Young, Bastian, Gibb, Dywasuk.   NAYS:   None.   ABSENT:  Garlicki, Steimel.   MOTION CARRIED: 5-0.

The Board of Trustees was in Executive Session from 6:05 p.m. until 7:15 p.m.

Moved by Porter, seconded by Garlicki, to reconvene the regular meeting. MOTION CARRIED.

OTHERS PRESENT: Shannon Ozga, Kristofer Enlow, Ed Ratzenberger, Will Wilsher, Diane Griffiths, Richard LaGrow, Joe Bird, Dan Myslakowski, Sandy Walker, Edward Peters, Jim Stevens, Reenae Tulip

All rose for the Pledge of Allegiance.  Pastor Blankenship of the Lake Orion Church of God gave the Invocation.  A moment of silence was observed for the passing of Larry De Rycke, a citizen active in his community, his church, and other notable organizations, and especially for his years of service as a member of the ONTV Board of Directors and volunteer at the ONTV public access studio.

4.  APPROVAL OF BILLS.  Moved by Gibb, seconded by Young, to authorize payment of   the bills dated December 21, 2007, December 26, 2007, and January 3, 2008, in the amount of $877,873.29; and payrolls dated December 20, 2007, December 21, 2007, December 28, 2007,  and January 4, 2008, in the amount of $193,249.35, for a total disbursement of funds of $1,071,122.64, as presented.  AYES:  Gibb, Bastian, Porter, Steimel, Garlicki, Young, Dywasuk.      NAYS: None.  ABSENT: None.  MOTION CARRIED: 7-0.

Clerk Bastian noted that the Clinton River Watershed Council membership invoice and the Paint Creek Trailway Commission annual invoice were included in the bills; in other years, they have been separate items on the Consent Agenda.

Treasurer Young clarified that invoices from NOTA were for pre-arranged trips, sponsored primarily by the Senior Center, and will be paid for by participating individuals as part of their registration fee for the activity.

Motion by Young, seconded by Porter, to authorize, as part of Approval of the Bills, the list of upcoming expenditures, January 8-22, 2008, for which payment will be required prior to the next Township Board meeting.  MOTION CARRIED.  [It was noted by the Clerk that additional expenses are not anticipated before Tuesday’s election, but Board authorization was requested in case the need should arise.]

5.  BRIEF PUBLIC COMMENT.

Dan Myslakowski, 2566 Browning Dr., spoke concerning diminishing lake levels; and on comments from Lansing about having a surplus and how that contradicts the recent tax increase.

Will Wilsher, 915 Buckhorn, asked when the Friendship Park investigation report will be made public; commented on standing water on a portion of the safety path in the northwest corner of Friendship Park; and will be submitting a copy to the Board of a letter regarding the Parks and Recreation Department.  [Supervisor Dywasuk replied that the investigation report should be on the next Agenda and that the Township engineers are looking at the safety path problem.]

Joe Bird, 573 Nakomis, responded to comments made by Mr. Wilsher by suggesting that he attend Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee meetings to get a better understanding of the Parks & Recreation Department.

6.  APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  Moved by Garlicki, seconded by Porter, to approve the Agenda, with the following amendments:

  • Add 7.H. Notice of Employee Retirement

  • Move 7.G. Schedule Special Meeting:  Board Work Session, to 8.C.

  • Add 8.D. Discuss Power Outages (Motion by Garlicki, seconded by Gibb, carried.)

MOTION CARRIED.

7.  CONSENT AGENDA.

A.  Minutes, Regular Meeting, Monday, December 17, 2007.  Approved minutes of the December 17, 2007 regular meeting, as submitted.

B.  PRAC Appointment.  Appointed Christopher Inch as a Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee Regular Member, for a term expiring December 31, 2010.

C.  2008 OCCCC Budget.  Adopted the Township portion of Joint Resolution of the Village Council of the Village of Lake Orion and the Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Orion, as presented, thereby approving the 2008 Orion Community Cable Communications Commission budget; and directed the Clerk to forward a certified copy to the Village of Lake Orion and OCCCC.

D.  Amendments to Personnel Policy:  Payroll.  Approved amendments to the Personnel Policy and Township Policy With Respect to Disability Benefits for Management Employees, specifically No.1 and No. 3 of the Clerk’s memo of December 12, 2007, as revised by the recommendations of the Township personnel attorney (letter of December 20, 2007), effective immediately.

E.  Orion Road Safety Path Cost Estimate & Easements.  Approved the addition of the Orion Road safety path, from Corners Court to Grampian, to the Grampian Drainage Project, at an estimated cost of $54,000, with funding to come from the Safety Path Fund; and authorized OHM, Township engineers, to secure easements for same.

F.  Advertise for Part-Time Park Maintenance Worker.  Authorized posting/advertising the vacant permanent part-time park maintenance worker position (Level 3, Clerical Union position, 20 hours per week, no benefits, starting pay rate of $13.16 per hour), as requested by the Supervisor.

G.  Schedule Special Meeting:  Board Work Session.  Moved to 8.C.

H.  Notice of Retirement (added).  Received and filed the notice of retirement from James Parkhurst, DPW worker, with regret, and authorized posting/advertising the vacancy.

Moved by Garlicki, seconded by Gibb and Porter, to approve the Consent Agenda, as amended.  AYES:  Porter, Garlicki, Bastian, Steimel, Young, Gibb, Dywasuk.  NAYS:  None.  ABSENT:  None.  MOTION CARRIED: 7-0.

8.  PENDING BUSINESS.

A.  Cable TV Issues:  AT&T PEG Fees and COMCAST Channel Changes.  Diane Griffiths, Executive Director of ONTV, made a brief presentation to the Board and noted that other communities are also receiving letters from AT&T stating they do not have to pay PEG fees in the amount of 2% (as indicated by the Township in the Uniform Franchise response letter), but they will pay it for the time being.  She explained that Comcast pays a 1% PEG fee and the other 1% is provided through in-kind services.  She suggested that the Township attorney respond to this letter.  [Board members wanted to make sure there is no regulatory language that could hurt the Township in the future.]

Regarding Comcast channel changes, Ms. Griffiths noted three (3) Comcast channel changes, to the access channels: public, government, and education.  According to Comcast, these channels will now be considered digital and all basic cable or analog subscribers will need to obtain a digital converter, digital service, or compatible equipment to receive these channels.  She stressed that analog customers are entitled to one free converter box; that each TV will need one; that the additional cost per box is somewhere between $2.00 and $3.00 per month; and that this offer has been extended until January 31, 2008.  It was noted that, even if a TV has digital capabilities, a converter box is still needed to receive these channels at the new location and there will be a charge (only analog customers will not be charged for the next year for the first box).  This issue pertains to Comcast Cable subscribers only and not to satellite dish users.  These changes, which are to be effective as of January 15, 2008, have been communicated to the public in several ways.

[Responses were given to questions from resident Richard LaGrow regarding PEG fees for AT&T and why they must be paid by customers and for what.]

B.  Continuance of Plante & Moran CRESA Contract.  Reenae Tulip, Buildings & Grounds Director, reviewed her recommendation as presented in a memo of January 2, 2008.  [Attorney Ozga explained that, per contract language, the CRESA group’s services would be reviewed after 90 days.  She clarified that the contract is still in effect on a month-to-month basis and does not need to be acted on; it can, however, be canceled with a 30-day written notice.  She suggested that if the Board decides to hold the work session, to include in that motion that it acknowledges the contract is still in place based on contract terms.]

Moved by Bastian, seconded by Young and Garlicki, to receive and file the Buildings & Grounds Director’s report dated January 2, 2008, as presented.  MOTION CARRIED.

C.  Schedule Special Meeting:  Board Work Session (moved from 7.G.).  The purpose of the special meeting is to discuss the Public Safety Complex: what is being proposed and to get answers to Board members’ questions.  Representatives from Plante Moran CRESA and the Buildings & Grounds Director would be asked to attend; the tentative date is January 26, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. at the Great Lakes Athletic Club.  [It was suggested that the Fire Chief, Director of Public Works, and OCSD Lt. also be present.]

The following agenda structure was proposed for the meeting:  1) for CRESA to provide a greater understanding of what they have done, intend to do, and how it meets Township Board goals; 2) a logistical discussion - how the complex fits in with everything else the Township is doing (i.e., Gingellville fire station improvements and the Village fire station) and how all components will fit with future Township planning; and the need for a fiscal plan; 3) how retrofitting the space left in this building (Township Hall) will be financed; and 4) how the Township is going to pay for the Public Safety Complex – the long- range impact and what if certain projections fail, such as operating millage renewals.

[Trustee Porter noted that he will not be able to attend due to a conflicting schedule.]

[The Clerk’s office was asked to provide Board members with materials from previous discussions on the topic, to review prior to the meeting.]

[Resident Will Wilsher asked the Board to study the potential savings if “green technology” were to be incorporated into the complex.]

Moved by Gibb, seconded by Young, to schedule a special meeting of the Board of Trustees, in the form of a work session to discuss the Public Safety Complex, on January 26, 2008; to convene at 8:30 a.m. with tentative work to start no later than 9:00 a.m., at the Great Lakes Athletic Club; with an Agenda based on tonight’s discussion.  MOTION CARRIED.

D.  Discuss Power Outages (added).  Trustee Garlicki commented that, in the last 9 months (one as recently as last night), there have been three (3) significant power outages in the northeast portion of the Township, in the area of Miller Road and Detroit Blvd.  Utility poles within blocks of each other have exploded and caught fire, rendering that area (and as far away as Indianwood Road, west of M-24) without power for hours.  [Supervisor Dywasuk will talk to a contact at Detroit Edison about the situation.]

9.  REPORTS.

A.  Investment Reports.  Because of the new fiscal year, two reports were presented.  Three (3) CD’s matured in 2007 and two (2) matured in 2008.

Moved by Bastian, seconded by Porter, to receive and file the Investment Report, dated January 7, 2008, for 2007, as presented.  MOTION CARRIED.

Moved by Porter, seconded by Bastian to receive and file the Investment Report, dated January 7, 2008, for 2008, as presented.  MOTION CARRIED.

[Treasurer Young will provide an Annual Investment Report, as usual, once all bank statements have been received and she has compiled the information, probably in February.]

B.  Proposals for HR Services.  Trustee Gibb reviewed the report that he and Trustees Garlicki and Porter put together.  Included in the report were ten (10) additional companies that provide outsourcing of various human resource functions (Michigan Municipal League will be added to the list).  It is their intent to use the RFP prepared by Treasurer Young, but adjust the dates.  The company that responded previously will also be contacted, in case they want to supplement what they’ve provided.  Other potential contacts can be forwarded to Trustee Gibb by January 11, 2008.  It is their goal to get as much response as possible so as to make a more informed decision.  Trustee Gibb will send out the RFP’s, on behalf of the Board, directing responses and questions to the Clerk’s office.

Proposals need to be received by 12:00 noon on January 29, 2008, with the contract for services to be effective as of March 1, 2008.

Moved by Gibb, seconded by Garlicki, to receive and file the Human Resources RFP Report presented by Trustees Garlicki, Porter, and Gibb, dated January 7, 2008.  MOTION CARRIED.

10.  PUBLIC COMMENT.  Will Wilsher commented on the high school’s robotics’ team challenge this year, how to visit their website, and that they are looking for donations.

11.  BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS.  

Trustee Garlicki – need to provide a NOTA website link from the Township’s website; and noted articles in  The Oakland Press regarding why people are moving out of Michigan and on growth in Oakland County (Orion Township and Oxford were mentioned).

Trustee Porter – was informed building permits have been down and suggested in-house staff, not OHM, perform certain soil erosion inspections to keep busy and prevent layoffs.

Clerk Bastian – gave an update on recent activities in the Clerk’s office and that staff is working well together; reminded everyone about the new absentee ballot process, that a photo ID is required to vote in-person, and a specific ballot style needs to be selected (Republican or Democrat) for the January 15th primary election; MDEQ will be holding a public hearing (January 22, 7:00 p.m., Auburn Hills) on the proposed expansion of the Oakland Heights landfill.

Trustee Steimel – noted “write-ins” are not allowed during this election: that voters will need to vote “uncommitted” if their candidate is not on the ballot; wished everyone a Happy New Year and looks forward to moving forward.

Trustee Gibb – wants to be proactive with future planning – keyhole ordinance on lakes, consider fee structure flexibility, and to look at some type of cooperative planning between the Township and the Village (he thanked the Clerk for a copy of the notice of changes to the Village’s Master Plan).

Treasurer Young – asked the Board’s permission to give a CD copy of the Reconnaissance Survey to the Orion Historical Society [Board consensus was “yes”, depending on contract language].

Supervisor Dywasuk – the Carlisle/Wortman and MDEQ investigation report(s) on the Elkhorn Lake wetlands issue will be on the next Agenda; and Oakland County will be holding a Home Retention Seminar here on February 21st at 6:30 p.m.

12.  ADJOURNMENT.  Moved by Young, seconded by Garlicki, to adjourn.  MOTION CARRIED. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:50 p.m.