August 25th, 2016
7:00 pm Meeting called to order by: Terry Acton
Pledge of Allegiance: Respected by all
Roll Call of Board Members: Present: Nancy Austin, John Scherrer, Terry Acton, Betty Laskowsky, Maye Rood
Terry Acton commented that rumors say this is a done deal, it is not. He opened the Floor to Public Comments with a short list of 17 property owners who wanted express objections to the road brining special assessment (see attached list). Of the 17 property owners, 12 property owners decided to speak their concerns and the other five had changed their minds.
Some comments were that they were on a court and are not being brined now But will they be if this is passed.
Another property owner said she had 8 lots, 5 across the street, Terry suggested she talk to our assessor Jim VanWormer to see if they could be combined to one or two lots to cut the 22 cost down to 2 lots instead of 8 to save a lot of money. A property owner on Maplewood said they never even get plowed and she was also told to get hold of our assessor about the bill. Combining property now will go into effect next year for the assessment cost of brining the road. Meaning is will not change the assessment for this year unfortunately the date to do this was December 31th, 2015 and no one knew there was going to be an issue with the brining situation.
The Road Commissioners meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. A large attendance of property owners would need to show up, hear what is going on and express their opinions regarding the road upkeep in the township of Hayes. When Terry Acton first took on the position of supervisor for the township back in August, 2013, he was astonished to find out that all the Road commission is responsible for is to keep the roads open and safe for the Fire, Police Department and Search and Rescue. Discussion of paving the roads came up once again, but it was explained that the cost would be astronomical with prices nowadays and all that would be involved to do it right. Many residents could not afford it due to being on fixed incomes.
Another property owner wanted to know who does the brining and if bids are taken. Terry Acton said Michigan Chloride is the brining company for Hayes Township and the only company that can service us because there are 138 miles of road to be done. Other companies who wanted to bid canít handle that many roads. Plus Michigan Chloride uses a high quality, salt water brine right from the deep wells which is safer and has no odor. Deep water wells are in St. Louis, Michigan. Other companies use petroleum/fracking waste by-products that have a profound unpleasant odor and are hazardous to the health of some residents and pets. The roads are graded first by the county and the brine goes down by Michigan Chloride. This is scheduled far in advance by Michigan Chloride and the schedule cannot be changed because rain is predicted, itís just impossible to do that.
A vote on the SAD (special assessment district) will be taken at the September 20th, 2016 Board Meeting. To stop this assessment from going through a petition with 21% of the property owners signatures would have to be presented to the board members.
The Board Members were asked if they live on dirt roads, the answer is that 4 out of the 5 members do live on dirt roads and if they were for or against this.
Four out of five had said they were in favor of the assessment; Terry Acton had changed his mind against it due to those opposing it. The other board members are for it due to the dust that is stirred up with fast vehicles, we breathe it and it comes in the houses consistently as many of the property owners in the township know. Again with a raise of hands, Terry asked who wanted the brining and most of who attended raised their hands in favor, a few against.
Terry Acton said there is no easy solution to this matter. Out of Four thousand property owners, there is no way we can satisfy all of them. Some donít want it, some truly canít afford an extra 22 a year and then the majority do want it done. If we go for an increase on the road millage that wonít work either, the taxes would increase even more. We are a county with an average income of 13,500 for most families and they would not be able to sustain a large increase in property taxes, so that is out. Lansing mandates what we can and cannot do with our roads.
The board members will have this on the agenda for the September 20th, Board Meeting at 7 pm, Thursday. If it doesnít pass then, the roads will not be brined.
7:57 pm. Motion by John Sherrer to adjourn the meeting, 2nd by Terry Acton,
all ayes, M/D.
Nancy Austin/Hayes Township Clerk _____________________