Date: Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 11:31 AM To:
To: Sonya K. Trudgeon
Management Control Officer | FOIA Coordinator | Civil Rights Liaison
United States Department of Agriculture
3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 200 | East Lansing, MI 48823
cc: Rural Development • Traverse City Area Office
Blake Smith- Area Specialist – email@example.com
1501 S Cass St, Suite A • Traverse City, MI 49684
cc: U.S. Department of Agriculture email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (E-FOIA) and USDA regulations (7 Coded of Federal Regulations, Part 1, Subpart A) and Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014:
Request for electronic copies of documents to and from the Village of Bear Lake, its Agents and Representatives relating to:
- Proposed application for USDA funding relating to vehicle purchases
On behalf of the citizens, residents and property owners of the Village of Bear Lake, Manistee County, Michigan I am requesting, under Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (E-FOIA) and USDA regulations (7 Coded of Federal Regulations, Part 1, Subpart A), electronic copies of documentation from USDA of all communications to, from and on behalf of the Village of Bear Lake: emails, electronic documents and copies of posted mail to share with the citizens and property owners of the Village of Bear Lake, Manistee County, MI.
- On May 26, 2017 the Village of Bear Lake held a meeting which has been described as either a Special Meeting, a Special Information meeting, a Public Hearing, a Public Hearing for a Notice of Intent to Apply to USDA, as well as a Public Meeting. I am attaching the Notice as published in the Manistee News Advocate. It was not published on the Village of Bear Lake web site as required under Michigan Law. [[Public Act 528 of 2012, which took immediate effect Dec. 31, 2012, amended the MI Open Meetings Act requirements for special meeting notices.] I am also attaching the Notice as posted at the Bear Lake Post Office which is the only ADA accessible location. It should be noted that barely a tenth of local residents subscribe the Manistee News Advocate and at least a third have route delivery so do not visit the Post Office.
Please note the discrepancy between the time listed on each Notice.
In prior Minutes it was stated a USDA grant of $39,500 had been applied for:
February 2017 – Equipment: G. McPherson reported proposed purchase of used/newer dump truck. Reconditioned truck around $40K. Will keep current truck as a supplement for salting streets. Will be putting in a grant for USDA and Revenue Sharing.
Approval of Grant Applications:
Motion was made by Bass to submit grant for a plow truck in the amount of $39,500.00 with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI), seconded by Johnson, motion carried. Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: None Absent: McPherson
Motion was made by Ronning to submit a grant for a plow truck in the amount of $39,500.00 with the USDA, seconded by Bass, motion carried. Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: None Absent: McPherson
Passed on May 16, but only received on June 13, the following Resolution states:
RESOLUTION # 2017 – 7 Village of Bear Lake
Acquisition of Blade Truck
Upon motion made by Schroeder, seconded by McPherson , the following resolution was adopted:
“RESOLVED, that the Village of Bear Lake, Michigan, does hereby accept the terms of the Agreement as received from the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, and the that the Village of Bear Lake does hereby specifically agree, but not by way of limitation, as follows:
- To provide match funds necessary to complete the acquisition of a Blade Truck for Snow Removal, in the amount of Twenty-four thousand ($24,000) dollars to match the grant authorized by the USDA-Rural Development.
- To comply with any and all terms of said Agreement including all terms not specifically set forth in the foregoing portions of this Resolution.”
The following aye votes were recorded: 7
The following nay votes were recorded: 0
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COUNTY OF MANISTEE
,I Cindi McPherson, Clerk of the Village of Bear Lake, Michigan, do hereby certify that the above is a true and correct copy of the Resolution relative to the Application for funding with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which Resolution was adopted by the Village Council at a meeting held May 17, 2017.
Please explain – “relative to the Application for funding with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,” ?
When the Clerk was asked if this was an error the reply was that this language came directly from USDA.
When also asked about any required match the reply was “this is a grant there is no match”. However here are the Minutes of that meeting on May 26, 2017
THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE COUNCIL
Bear Lake Village Hall 12376 Virginia Street
Friday May 26, 2017 at 3:30pm
- Called to Order by President Bair
- Pledge of Allegiance was said
- Roll call: President Bair, Treasurer King, Clerk McPherson Staff; Jared Bair
Council: Bass, Evans, Johnson, and Schroeder
Absent: McPherson, Ronning and Gibson
- Guests: 0
- Public Comment: None
- Plow Truck Grant:
o Information was reviewed regarding the Plow Truck Grant from the USDA Rural Development
- o $14,000.00 possible grant from USDA Rural Development
- Public Comment: None
- Adjournment at 3:10pm
Respectfully submitted by Clerk McPherson
As we have been unable to ascertain what is being proposed, even though a standing FOIA filed under Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014 and Title VI is on file, we are requesting documentation from USDA of all communications, emails, electronic documents and copies of mail to share with the citizens and property owners of the Village of Bear Lake, Manistee County, MI.
No response was received specific to this section of a broader FOIA request.
The status of a grant/match is unknown at this time.
“This public meeting was required by the Rural Development. The meeting was for individuals who wanted information on the Plow Truck Grant. No decisions were made no voting was done.”
So – please explain the following:
1. Has the Village applied for 1 or 2 USDA grant or grants?
2. If so, when
3. If so under which USDA grant program
4. If so what is the Village’s financial obligation to match any funds received.
5. Which Budget Line Item will that match come from
6. What was the legal nature of the meeting held on May 26 – you have previously stated this was a Public Hearing of a Notice of Intent? If that was the case the notice as published may not be legally formatted.
While our subscribers applaud the efforts of the Village to secure new/ newer equipment we would have liked the opportunity to have more information ahead of that May 26 meeting? As that was not provided we are asking for that information now.
Response June 29:
1. One (1) grant
2. April 24, 2017
3. Rural Development
4. The village is obligated to find financing for the remaining balance or fund it.
5. We are still waiting to hear back on additional funding
6. Rural development required the Public Meeting. It was public information meeting on the Snow Plow Truck Grant. If the public had questions they could attend, no one from the public attended.