AUGUST 4TH, 2016
7:00 pm Meeting called to order by : Terry Acton
Pledge of Allegiance: Respected by all
Roll Call of Board Members: Terry Acton, Maye Rood, Betty Laskowsky, John Scherrer, Nancy Austin
Terry Acton explained to all that attended this special board meeting about the brining of the roads. The SAD (special assessment district) that is affected are those who own property on gravel roads. Four out of the 5 Board Members also live on gravel roads. If the brining of the roads were to go on a ballot, it would cost the township a few thousand for that election and the other downside is that those who do not maintain a permanent resident in the township would not be able to vote on it. By doing a SAD, all residents who have an opinion can state it personally at the meetings or in written form. That is the reason for the special meetings. For those who attended the meeting and wanted to speak against the brining, a sign in sheet was provided and 3 minutes was allowed to each, per State law. Twenty one residents had signed to speak, but by the time Terry Acton had explained how the SAD works, some changed their minds and did take the podium. Four letters had also been received at the office from property owners that object to the SAD. 4,312 post cards had gone out to residents and approximately 80 residents had shown up for the meeting. Three brinings a year is what the usual is, but a 4th brining has been asked for by the permanent residents due to the dust problem, especially with fast drivers going down the roads. Michigan Chloride is the company that brines the township roads, using a high quality Salt Water brine right from the deep wells compared to the petroleum/fracking waste by-products that other companies use that contain a profound unpleasant smell and are hazardous to the health of some residents. Michigan Chloride uses a safer product and it last longer. The roads are graded by the Road Commission Dept. and then the brining begins. SADs have been used since the 1900s and are used to finance services for the community. The township of Hayes has 138 miles of gravel roads, much more than other townships and cities around us. The cost of brining the roads has risen to an extremely high level of 25,000 a brining @ 3 brining is 75.000. Too high for the township to handle out of the general fund. And we are going to go to 4 brinings if we proceed with the SAD. This will bring it to 22.00 per parcel annually from home owners with dirt roads.
In 2004 the township’s allocated taxes were 85,000, plus a state revenue sharing of 370,000. In 2016 the allocated taxes were 77,000 and state revenue sharing of 360,000. Notice the figures are going down, not up. For 2020 the “projected” figures are 80,000 in allocated taxes and 360,000 state revenue sharing. Almost all of this money is sent to the County to cover costs that we are required to pay them. This leaves about 7,000 to run the township with after paying for the brining. In Terry Acton’s own words, this is not a sustainable figure.
Other expenses come into play as payroll, utilities expenses, up keep to the buildings and grounds. Fuel taxes and vehicle registration money (ACT 51 thru the State) are intended for use by communities for their roads, but it goes directly to the Road Commission. The Road Commission decides what needs to be done with the roads. Unfortunately, their meetings are at 9:00 a.m. in the mornings. Terry Acton suggested that citizens get out and attend those meetings to express direct concerns regarding Hayes Township Roads, as we have no direct access to that money. Suggestions were received from a Frost Township representative on how they manage their roads, an attorney who owns some property also make some suggestions/comments along with the residents involved in this SAD. All will be discussed by the Board Members.
Yes, we built a new Township Complex as the other was 100 years old and had not been kept in good shape over the years, before we came into office. To curb expenses, we as a board have eliminated health care subsidies and retirement for the elected officials and other employees. That covers 8 payments for the building. Operation costs have been reduced drastically, which makes another 3 payments for the building. The new banquet room, kitchen, gym and exercise room are bringing in rental money that will make another payment. The new complex is much appreciated by the elderly for a place to walk and exercise, plus the banquet room and kitchen have been popular for graduations, baby showers and family gatherings. The availability of the gym and exercise room will extend to longer hours when we have it in our budget to pay for an event planner to be in attendance or someone who is in need of credits at the college to be here. The gym is also used for our new voting center. In case of an emergency we are also set up to open the gym and kitchen area for residents in need, with the Red Cross if necessary.
This is not a done deal Acton had said and more needed to be looked at. Terry had asked for a raise of hands as to how many wanted the brining done. The majority raised their hands in favor of it but had suggestions as to how to handle it. Considering all the notices that had gone out we had a low turnout. We would appreciate more residents to show up for the August 24th meeting @ 7:00 p.m. (Thursday) The more we hear positive or negative the more it gives the board to work with. To defeat the SAD a collection of 21% of property owners will need to object in writing on a signed petition and presented to the Supervisor. At which time each name will be verified as a resident involved in this action to brine the roads.
The next SAD meeting is set for 7:00 pm on August 25th, Thursday at the Hayes Township
Complex at 2055 E. Townline Lake Road, Harrison, Mi 48625. The mailing address is
P.O. Box 310, Harrison, Mi 48625
We look forward to seeing a heavy turnout at this meeting. Please take an hour out of your time and join us for this extremely important action for the township. Seating is available in the gym for all whom attend.
If this does not go through by a certain date, it will not appear on your winter taxes, it needs to go on a ballot for next year. Therefore, that means, to our dismay, there will be NO Brining in 2017 due to lack of funding.
8:15 p.m. Motion by John Scherrer to adjourn, supported by Nancy Austin, all ayes, M/C.
Nancy Austin/Hayes Township Clerk _________________