Charlevoix County Board Nov. 12 meeting round-up

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Benjamin Gohs

News Editor

The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners convened for its regular bimonthly meeting on Wednesday Nov. 12.

The board had a rather full agenda which included a tech security policy, free senior busing, engineering services and a discussion of whether to postpone committee appointments.

“It was my understanding on our rules and procedure that the committee appointments were to be made before the November election. And, since this is after the November election, we either need to waive the rules to act on committee appointments today or they should be held until after the first of the year,” said Charlevoix County Commissioner Larry Sullivan (R-District 6).

Charlevoix County Clerk Cherie Browe said the board could postpone committee appointments for everything except the DHS board, which has seats that expired at the end of October.

“I don’t have a problem with waiving the rules but we do have a procedure … that we should follow,” said Sullivan.

The Charlevoix County Planning Commission also had three seats which would also expire before the county board’s January meeting. The Charlevoix County Road Commission had a similar situation. However, the county’s legal counsel said any committee members whose appointments have expired will simply remain on their respective committee until the new appointments are made in January.

Motion approved to postpone committee appointments until January


Charlevoix County Assistant Equalization Department Director Jeff Grimm gave commissioners a brief overview of the county’s latest apportionment report.

The county is looking at an increase in revenue of approximately 1.9 percent.

Charlevoix County Commissioner Joel Evans (R-District 4) asked Grimm where he sees property values going, value-wise.

“In 2008 we started really to see the decrease along with everybody else. I think it really started to hit us more in 2010,” Grimm said. “Last year, we started to see a little bit of an increase and we kind of held values the same in a lot of areas. Some areas along the lake started seeing an increase.”

He added, “We’re just starting to work on the new studies for 2015 and some townships are struggling a little bit still but I think they’re definitely closer to holding their value.”
Grimm said there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of bank sales and foreclosures, which helps the market.

“And, we’re definitely seeing some townships that are showing increases of maybe four percent,” he said.

Minor issues cited in the report included an amount owed to a contractor showing as paid twice, resulting in a general fund understatement of $103,573.

Cedar Ridge inspection findings

The county board received correspondence from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding the Cedar Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility’s (Eveline Township) post-closure inspection.

“On Sept. 29, staff of the DEQ office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection inspected the Cedar Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facilities… The purpose of this inspection was to evaluate compliance with part 115, solid waste management, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act,” John J. Ozoga III wrote in an Oct. 6 letter to the Waste Management company. “The facilities appeared to be in compliance… No deficiencies were noted.”

St Marys Cement inspection

The board also received the most recent DEQ findings of the inspection of St Marys Cement of Charlevoix’s low-hazard industrial landfill.

This inspection was performed by the DEQ’s office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection.

“The landfill was observed to be in compliance,” Ozoga sated in his Oct. 6 letter to St Marys. “No violations were observed.”

Fisherman’s Island management

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Park Management Plan Administrator Debbie Jensen has notified Charlevoix County that funding is in place to begin the general management plan process for Fisherman’s Island State Park.

“The DNR uses general management plans to define a long-range planning and management strategy for its state parks and recreation areas to guide future decisions,” Jensen wrote in her Oct. 16 letter. “The plan will assist the parks and recreation division in meeting its responsibilities to protect and preserve the site’s natural and cultural resources and to provide access to land and water based on public recreation and educational opportunities.”

Part of the process included two meetings recently held on the matter on Nov. 3 in Charlevoix.

Corrections grant

The community corrections coordinator has requested that Charlevoix apply for a Michigan Department of Corrections grant to help fund comprehensive plans and service, drunk driver jail reduction, community treatment and more.

If approved, the county would receive $45,343 to help fund the aforementioned initiatives.

Motion approved to apply for the grant

Corrections case manager

The county has received a grant totaling $42,686 for case management services for Oct. 1 of this year through Sept. 30 of 2015.

The motion to approve contracting for Community Corrections case management services was approved

Engineering services

NDG submitted a proposal for professional engineering services for the upcoming 3.29-mile Boyne City to US-31 non-motorized trail phase II.

The design work is estimated to cost $98,500.

The motion to hire NDG was approved

MSU Extension services

The MSU Extension office must have its agreement renewed with the county to continue so MSU Extension can continue to fund the salaries and benefits of its existing staff members working in the Charlevoix County office.

The county provides office space and clerical help in addition to general operational expenses for the office and non-MSU personnel.

The county will pay $69,511 to MSU Extension for the 2014-2015 period.

Motion to continue agreement was approved

Transportation agreement

A transportation agreement has been made between Charlevoix County Commission On Aging and Charlevoix County Transit.

The initiative is entitled the “Senior Ride Free Program” or SRF.

The agreement will ensure that county residents 60 and older will be provided transportation by the transit service for up to $25,000 worth of rides for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The program will provide seniors rides:to and from all areas including senior centers in the county; to and from medical appointments in the county; To make every effort to comply with reasonable demand response times requested by seniors

Motion to approve SRF program approved

Plow truck purchase

The count’s maintenance department has an opportunity to buy a truck and plow from Charlevoix County Transit for $4,250. The truck would be used at the Boyne Falls building to remove snow.

Motion approved

Building safety software

The Charlevoix County Building Department is in need of new software and a service system.

The new system would include building department and field inspection applications which can be tailored to meet Charlevoix County’s needs at a cost of nearly $64,000.

Motion approved

Information technology security

Charlevoix County needs a security policy to establish rules to ensure the protection of confidential and/or sensitive information stored or transmitted electronically and to ensure protection of the county’s information technology resources. The new policy would assign responsibility and provide guidelines to protect the county’s systems and data against misuse and/or loss.

Motion approved