Millage, excessive force, property rights top Charlevoix County Commission Board

COUNTY meeting webBenjamin Gohs

News Editor

The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners dealt with a wide array of issues during its end of June meeting.
Among items of interest was a request to add the Grandvue millage to the November ballot, a request for a legal opinion over a property rights issue and the consideration of an excessive use of force policy.

Property rights concerns
Roger Conaway, who owns property along Boyne City-Charlevoix Road, spoke to the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners during the board’s Wednesday June 25 meeting concerning his claims of a lack of proper procedure in the county’s handling of the extra 16.5-foot right-of-way upon which some of the Boyne City to U.S. 31 non-motorized trail may be built.
Conaway told commissioners he and some other property owners have been asking that the road be re-surveyed for at least the last five years in order that the actual right-of-way and property lines may be determined.
“We have a right as citizens to have our property rights respected,” he said.
Conaway read from Michigan Public Act 283 of 1909, which covers Public Highways and Private Roads: “If in the laying out, widening, changing or straightening of the road it becomes necessary to take private property or buy it … the board shall cause a survey of the proposed road to be made together with an accurate description of the lands required for the road and shall endeavor to agree with each owner who is a resident of the county for the purchase of a right-of-way over the owner’s land included within the description. If it is able to agree with the owner of the property, it may purchase the property and pay for the property out of the funds under its control. The land shall be conveyed to the county for the purpose of a road.”
He also read from Public Act 208 of 1959 that covers Highway Surveys of Public and Private Property Liability.
“In preparation for and in connection with the planning, construction and maintenance of a state trunk-line, highways and county roads it shall be lawful for the appropriate authorities to go on any land and waters in this state for the purpose of making necessary surveys, soundings and borings as necessary. And such action shall not be a trespass nor an entry. The authorities shall be liable for any actual damage thereby done to such premises. No fences, fencing, trees or shrubbery shall be removed without the written consent of a property owner of such property.”
Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners Chairman Joel Evans said the county’s civil counsel would have to look into the matter and respond in writing.
Grandvue operating transfer
The Department of Human Services Board through the Grandvue administrator has requested the transfer of $12,328.10 from the Grandvue Capital Depreciation Account to the operating account for the payment of a Service Care furniture deposit of $12,328.10.
Motion was unanimously approved
Area Agency on Aging plan
Motion to approve the 2015 Annual Implementation Plan of the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan (AAANM).
The AAANM has 30 employees that consist of an executive director, deputy director, information specialists, registered nurses, social workers, transition specialists, a housing coordinator, office administrator, accounting staff, data entry, long-term care ombudsman and Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Coordinator.
One of 16 such agencies in the state, the AAANM serves people in 10 counties in the Northwest Lower Peninsula with information and assistance, options consultations, caregiver support and education, the MI Choice waiver program, nursing facility transition program, veterans directed-home and community-based services, Medicare/Medicaid assistance program, elder abuse awareness and prevention and much more. The plan was unanimously approved
Grandvue millage renewal
Carole Timmer, the administrator of the Grandvue Care Facility, approached the board of commissioners to request the Grandvue millage renewal be placed on the November general election ballot.
“Because of the financial support we receive from this county, we continue to provide excellence in care and services to our residents,” she said.
The .75 mills would be levied for four years—2015 to 2018—if approved by the voters.
The millage is estimated to generate roughly $1.488 million in the first year of its renewal.
The motion was unanimously approved
IT award
A bid of $8,550 by Common Angle IT services was recommended by the Charlevoix County IT Committee. The firm will provide 24/7 IT monitoring in addition to preventative maintenance, unlimited tech support and other services. The move could save upwards of $50,000 in the short-term and more as time goes by. The initial cost of Common Angle’s services is $8,550; the monthly rate afterward is $6,690. The motion was unanimously approved
Employee vacations
The Charlevoix County Coordinator and Human Resources Director requested a change in language to the county’s employee handbook regarding vacations.
The new language is as follows: “Vacation accrual will be prorated to account for any unpaid time off exceeding two weeks the following year. For example, if an employee accumulates three months of unpaid time off they will earn 75 percent of their vacation for the following year.” The motion was unanimously approved
Excessive use of force policy
The United States Federal Government requires all public entities receiving or writing community development block grants to have a policy prohibiting the use of excessive force against non-violent civil rights demonstrators. The resolution is as follows:
“It is the policy of the county that the use of excessive force is prohibited by local law enforcement agencies against individuals engaged in lawful and non-violent civil rights demonstrations within the county. The county will adopt and enforce a policy of enforcing applicable state and local laws against physically barring entrance to or exit from a facility or location which is the subject of such non-violent civil rights demonstrations within jurisdictions. The board of commissioners directs the sheriff to implement this resolution by amending applicable police department procedures.
The motion was unanimously approved
Fiscal policy
A motion to adopt the fiscal policy for electronic transfer of public funds by the Charlevoix County Treasurer. The county has executed electronic funds transfers for years but the county’s auditor recently suggested the county have an official policy in place to cover the issue. The motion was unanimously approved
Parks committee by-laws
Motion to approve the Charlevoix County Parks & Recreation Committee by-laws as recommended by the Charlevoix County Personnel and Internal Government Committee.
The motion was unanimously approved
The Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners next meets this week at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday July 9 in the commissioners’ meeting room adjacent to the Charlevoix County Clerk’s Office at 203 Antrim St. in Charlevoix.[/mpinpage]