Village of Bear Lake January 17, 2017 Meeting

No documents were received.

A member of the public has provided the following financial statements.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

011718VC_financials(PDF)

The telephone conference line was disconnected after 13 minutes.

Numerous attempts were made to reconnect for a further 45 minutes.

A public partial recording will be posted here as soon as possible.

Village of Bear Lake DRAFT December 2017 Minutes

As previously noted – following events concerning private individuals – Bear Lake News, on their behalf, submitted a formal FOIA to receive meeting notices and documents in advance of all meetings. The prior post can be read here.

The Draft December 2017 Minutes were again requested on January 8, 2018 – 16 business days after the December 13 meeting.

The Approved November 2017 Minutes were received by Bear Lake News on December 20, 2017 and became available on the Village web site bearlakemichigan.org on January 11, 2018.

As noted – there is an incomplete audio record of the December 13 Village Council Meeting. The December Draft Minutes were received January 11, 2018.

Village of Bear Lake Council

REGULAR MEETING December 13, 2017. Bear Lake Village Hall

Unapproved Minutes

The regular meeting of the Bear Lake Village Council was called to order by President Jeff Bair at 7:02 p.m. at the Village Hall. Pledge of Allegiance was said.

Present: President: Jeff Bair Council: Peggy Bass, Marla Evans, Jackie Johnson, Greg McPherson and Ron Ronning

(G. McPherson arrived at 7:21p due to snow conditions)

Treasurer: Sally King, Clerk: Cindi McPherson, Staff: Jared Bair and Larry Gibson
Absent: None
Guests: Two (2) guests

Motion to Adopt the Agenda with addition by Ronning and seconded by Johnson, motion carried. Ayes: Bass, Evans, Johnson, Ronning, Bair Nays: none

Absent: McPherson – late arrival

Addition: County Commission Report after Blight/CABA

Public Comment:

  • None

Correspondence: Read by clerk:

  • A note was received from a village resident for repair to water pipe clean out after repair to water pipe issue at street stop. Bill present was for $10.49, receipt of $75 repair bill was hand written to an individual making inside repairs. Discussion was held, suggests the maintenance manager to provide residents with instruction on what to do when turning water back on. Instructions also in the water newsletter.
  • Motion to pay bill for $10.49 when pay remaining balance when receipt of $75 is provided by Johnson seconded by Bass, motion carried. Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair Nay: none Absent: McPherson – late arrival

APPOINTMENT OF NEW COUNCIL MEMBER:

Andrea Ware was introduced by President Bair for appointment to replace past council member Joanne Schroeder.

Motion to approve and appoint Andrea Ware as replacement trustee to the council by Ronning seconded by Evans, motion carried.  Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, Ronning, Bair Nay: none

Absent: McPherson – late arrival

REPORTS:

Variety Store update: President Bair reported the demo is in progress and the finish date is December 29, 2017.

Approval of November 15, 2017 minutes on the Public Hearing for the new DPW Building Meeting and the regular November 15, 2017 monthly meeting:

  • Motion to accept the minutes from November 15, 2017 Public Hearing on the new DPW Building meeting by Bass, seconded by Evans. Motion Carried.Aye: Bass, Evans, Ronning, Bair Nay: None. Absent: McPherson – late arrival

Here is a recording of that meeting:

Minutes are as follows:

THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE COUNCIL

PUBLIC MEETING

Bear Lake Village Hall 12376 Virginia Street

November 15, 2017 at 7:00pm

Approved Minutes

  • Called to Order by President Bair at 7pm
  • Pledge of Allegiance was said
  • Roll call: President Bair, Treasurer King, Clerk McPherson Staff; Jared Bair and Gibson
  • Council: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson and Ronning
  • Absent: None
  • Guests: 3
  • Public Comment: None
  • New DPW Maintenance Building:
    o Information was reviewed regarding the new DPW Maintenance Building
    o Bid process will begin shortly
    o Estimated Federal Funding Assistance is $328,135.00
  • Public Comment: None
    Adjournment at 7:04pm
    Respectfully submitted by Clerk McPherson
    **********************

{The audio of the November 15 Public Hearing records a packet was presented for the Council to review and related to questions concerning requested amendments to an application. By FOIA the following was received.

DPW (click to view) 

As the public was unable to ask questions, yet to be determined is the interest rate of the loan or the term in years.

Past steps:

THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING Bear Lake Village Hall 12376 Virginia Street. Tuesday March 1, 2017 at 4pm

Approved Minutes

Motion was made by Bass to approve submitting grant paper work for a new maintenance building with the USDA, amount of $300,000.00, seconded by Ronning, motion carried.
Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: None
Absent: McPherson
Public Comment: None
Adjournment at 4:12pm

Respectfully submitted by Clerk McPherson

[ The following two documents were obtained via FOIA: send a comment if you need an Accessibility enabled version please]
BEAR LAKE PEC Estimate of costs

Preliminary_Progress_6-22-16 Schematics and Plans

In June, the FY2017-18 Operating Budget was amended to anticipate a $300k loan with a monthly repayment of $1250-$1500 per month.]

  • Motion to accept the minutes from November 15, 2017 regular monthly meeting with correction by Evans, seconded by Ronning. Motion Carried. Aye: Bass, Evans, Ronning, Bair. Nay: None

Absent: McPherson – late arrival

Correction: Special recognition: “awarded by Michigan Emergency Management Association (MEMA)” not the Manistee County Board of Commission. It was held at the Manistee Board of Commission.

  • Maintenance Report: Reviewed by Jared Bair. Written report on file with December 2017 minutes
  • December 2017 Village Council meeting maintenance reportPark
     Graded the park drive a few times
     Plowed the main drive in the park when needed
    Equipment
     The old dump truck went into the shop to get the transmission filter and fluids changed
    Water
     Daily well checks
     Monthly water paperwork and water testing done
     Weekly well checks with Ben (Our licensed operator at this time)
     Couple water turn offs
     Had to to a curb stop repair
     Plowed at the well houses when needed
    General
     Pushed the leafs at the compost pile back
     Sanded and plowed the roads when needed
     Put the hydrant flags on all working hydrants
     Put a no parking sign up on Cody street near Lynn street
     Cleaned up debris after all the wind storms
     Gave seasonal employees there EVAL
  • Treasurer’s Report: Reviewed by King. Written report on file in the December 2017 minutes binder. [Treasurer’s Report available here T Report November 30, 2017 ]
    General checking/savings total 56,017.77
    Water checking only 45,128.82
    Money Market Checking 10,075.66
    Park checking/savings total 13,058.51
    Park CD#2 33,065.98
    Major Street checking/savings total 30,483.51
    Minor Street checking/savings total 9,472.51
    Equipment Fund checking/savings total 3,054.69
    Honor Bank CD 1,029.93
    Motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as read by Bass seconded by Ronning, motion carried.
    Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, Ronning, Bair. Nay: none
    Absent: McPherson – late arrival
    o Amendments to Budget 2017-2018

Here is a recording of this portion of the meeting concerning why there was a need to Amend the Budget.

Amendments:

  • General Village Board & President amended to $14,480
    o Wages to General Fund: $2,019.00
    o Equipment Rental to General Fund: $2,370.85
  • Increase Wages to $41,260.00 $1800 from DPW Building
    $1460 from Repair & Maint
  • Increase Plan Comm. wages to $1,190.00 $290 from Trees
  • Increase Office Supplies to $1,610.00 $210 from Trees
  • Professional Services amend to $5110
  • Water Repair & Maint increase to $3,100 $600.00 from Capital Outlay
  • Professional Services increase to $20,000
  • Postage increase to $391 $41.00 from Capital Outlay
  • Equipment Rental $359 from Capital Outlay Capital Outlay reduced to $2,000.00
  • Park Increase Salary & Wages to $15,279.50 $100 from Print & Publishing
    $200 from Park Improve
    $200 from Garbage Collect
  • 2017-18 Budget Worksheets 11-13-17 (1) [It is worth noting that the Village has posted a link on http://www.bearlakemichigan.org/finances.html to
    MI Community Financial Dashboard
    The Dashboard opens to 2015, 2016 can be viewed from the drop down menu.]

Bills to be paid presented by Clerk. List on file in December 2017 minutes folder.

Discussion and concern on the cost to the village in attorney fees related to the Bear Lake News group. [this item will be addressed as a stand alone posting and relates to the item above.]

Motion to pay the bills with addition by Bass, seconded by Johnson. Motion carried. Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair. Nay: none. Absent: None

Addition: Two Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority $112.50

Motion to pay the bill to Bear Lake Township for Water Service Franchise Ordinance by McPherson, seconded by Evans. Motion carried. Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair. Nay: none Absent: None

A Copy of Bear Lake Township for Water Service Franchise Ordinance may be read here BL Twnship Water Service Franchise Oridanace 1-2017 – note Bear Lake News does not correct any document received for spelling.

Motion to amend the budget from Capital Outlay to Print & Publishing by McPherson, seconded by Evans. Motion carried.  Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair. Nay: none. Absent: None

Reimbursements to the General Fund were read by President Bair.

Committee Chair Reports:

Park:

  • Park Report by Park Manager, Jeff Bair on file in December 2017 folder.
  • No grant was received for the Canoe/Kayak launch. The application was short on points. Bair recommends trying again
    • Needs in the park for the 2018-2019 Budget year:
    • Replacing 5 picnic tables and 6 campground fire rings.

Discussion on a $700.00 bad check received from past summer camper, treasurer will send collection letter recommending a payment plan.

  •  “No Parking” sign installed on corner of Cody and Lynn
  • Water Well update; everything is very close to finished. Property split sale is being reviewed.
  • Water Ordinance is tabled until January for an appointed committee of Bair, Johnson & Evans to review language used.
  • Water rate is at USDA recommended rate.

Streets, Trees, Signs, Lights, Sidewalks:

Water:

Buildings, Grounds & Equipment:

  • Self-evaluation of village office building was completed. Report on file in December 2017 minutes file. Village maintenance can do most of the construction work to cut down on cost.
  • No additional money was granted for the plow truck from Revenue Sharing.
  • No money has been received from USDA at this time on the DPW building or plow.

Blight/CABA:

CABA: No report.

BLIGHT: Blight Officer report on file in the November Minutes folder. Report on posted properties, meeting with Manistee County Magistrate and future plans.

Blight Officer mentioned Manistee County Sheriff is offering training; Civilian Response Armed Situation Exercise (CRASE); and wanted to know if the village would be interested in hosting one in Bear Lake at the church or school. President Bair will check this out.

Blight Hearing Officer checking into the cost of liability insurance for him. Clerk checking with village attorney for minimum amount of insurance needed.

County Commission Report: No report

Planning Commission: No report, next meeting December 19, 2017 at 5pm Village office. [to be discussed in a separate post]

Manistee County Trail Committee Report: McPherson reported on meeting. Thompsonville/Kaleva trails inspected. Discussion on changing the name of committee, possibility of dropping the word “Authority”. Next meeting is February 12, 2018.

Bear Lake Improvement Board: McPherson reported no meeting. Next meeting will be December 14, 2017 at 7pm at Bear Lake Township Hall.

Two Lakes Sewer Collaborative: McPherson reported no meeting, not sure on next meeting date. [The Two Lakes Sewer Board met on January 3rd, 2018 – the Village’s Representative was absent. No October Draft Minutes or Adopted Operating Budget were available.]

Ad Hoc – Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee – No report Looking for a volunteer student to help out with policy, ordinance & resolution books. Did talk to a village resident to scan items in, waiting to hear back from her.

OLD BUSINESS

Budget Schedule: Clerk reminded Committee heads to look at their current budget & potential items to include in 2018 budget.

Employee ETO Policy: A copy can be read here Employee ETO Policy Nov 2017

Motion to accept the new Earned Time Off Employee Policy with corrections by Ronning, seconded by McPherson. Motion carried.  Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair. Nay: none. Absent: None

Corrections; change the word “vacation” to “ETO” throughout the document.

NEW BUSINESS

  • Year 2018 Meeting Dates

Motion to accept the 2018 Council meeting dates as presented with November date changed to November 14 by McPherson, seconded by Ronning. Motion carried. Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair. Nay: none. Absent: None

  • Villages 125th year – Looking at October 12 & 13, 2018 for celebration. Marla Evans will be village representative with the Bear Lake Promoters for BL Days promotion. Council would like to do a smaller celebration in October 2018. To be determined.
  • Community Clean-Up Day will be June 30, 2018. Will ask Bear Lake Township if they would like to partner with us for the clean-up day and split the cost. Possibly having one in the fall also. Evans and McPherson will work on this. Suggested Fall date is October 13, 2018
  • Employee Evaluation was reviewed for the Maintenance Manger
  • Mass Gathering Ordinance was discussed, would like a definition of Mass Gathering. Clerk will talk to the Village of Copemish regarding their ordinance.
  • Resolution for Appointment of Clerk & Treasurer- read here at Res for Vil Clerk – Treas Ord Prop 11-30-17
    – Tabled
    See prior posting on this matter here – https://bearlakemichigan49614.com/2017/11/30/village-clerk-treasurer-appointment-ordinance-ordinance-no-1-of-2017/
  • Water Review Board member – still looking
  • Water Superintendent contract – clerk McPherson will draw up a service contract for all individuals/companies that the village uses for service. Ex: trees removal, water shut off/on…etc.
  • Employee year-end bonus Motion to approve $200 year end bonus to Jared Bair by McPherson, seconded by Johnson. Motion carried. Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair. Nay: none. Absent: None
  • Gary McBride invoice – no approval given to pay this invoice.
    Discussion on: Water Superintendent’s responsibilities are other than MISS DIG flags; expense bills from Gary McBride’s education class & training (Village paid for classes & membership); review of travel expense submitted by Gary McBride will be done by President Bair. Hold on McBride MISS DIG payment until further clarification.

Follow up on item from October monthly meeting.

None

COUNCIL COMMENT:

  • PUBLIC COMMENT:

    COMING EVENTS

    • There will be no Community dinner at Bear Lake United Methodist Church, Thursday December 21, 2017
    • Sparkle in the Park

    Meeting adjourned at 9:50p.m.

    Respectfully Submitted, Cindi McPherson, Clerk

    REIMBURSEMENTS TO THE GENERAL FUND AND EQUIPMENT FUND:

    WAGES NOVEMBER 2017 AMOUNTS

    Water Fund 591-000-702 $1,106.00

    Park Fund 531-000-702 $104.00

    Major Fund 202-463-702 $409.00

    Minor Fund 203-463-702 $400.00

    TOTAL $2,019.00

    EQUIPMENT RENTAL NOVEMBER 2017 AMOUNTS

    Water Fund 591-558-943 $768.68

    Major Fund 202-463-943 $898.75

    Minor Fund 203-463-943 $703.42

    TOTAL $2,370.85

    Bills To Be Paid with additions December, 2017 Fund

    Payee

    Amount

    Account #

    Notes

    General

    Jackpine

    71.50

    101-265-900

    Receipt books

    MML Worker’s Comp Fund

    92.00

    101-265-702

    Paroll audit

    Manistee Ctyy Controller

    256.47

    101-265-801

    Tax Map & Assessment Roll Maint. Fee

    Pioneer Group

    37.63

    101-265-900

    Public Mtg announcement

    Staples

    65.06

    101-215-727

    Toner, Paper

    Young, Graham, & Wendling PC

    1,491.60

    101-265-801

    Bear Lake News Group emails, letters to them re: FOIA, ADA Act

    2,014.26

    Water

    Bear Lake Ace Hardware

    97.43

    591-558-775

    misc water supplies

     

Jared Bair reimbursement

28.59

591-558-775

Lowe’s purchase of tool & batteries

Haviland Products Co

471.00

591-558-775

Bleach

McBride Septic Systems

355.00

591-558-801

Wise St curb stop; Variety Bldgs disconn.

MISS DIG System, INC

434.29

591-558-801

Annual fees

SOS Analytical

60.00

591-558-775

Water testing materials

USA Blue Book

377.78

591-558-775

new pump

US Postmaster

48.00

591-558-850

stamps for January 2018 water bills

Bear Lake Township

591.25

591-558-943

reimburs for Water Serv Franchise Ordin

Two Lakes Collab Sewer Author

112.50

591-000-890

lawyer fees

Patricia Shijka

10.49

591-558-775

reimburse for damage from curb stop

Young, Grahm, Wendling

500.00

591-558-801

USDA water project

3,086.33

Park

Bear Lake Township

124.58

531-000-970

Winter Taxes on Lake Street property

Blarney Castle Oil Co

912.56

531-000-920

Fuel oil – Municiple Bldg

1,037.14

Major

Auto-Wares

230.94

202-463-782

Misc. supplies

West Coast Farm Services

224.75

202-463-783

Big Red transmission fluid/filter change

455.69

Minor

Auto-Wares

230.93

203-463-783

Misc. supplies

West Coast Farm Service

224.75

203-463-783

Big Red transmission fluid/fiter change

455.68

Total Bills to be Paid

7,049.10

Water

MISS DIGG System, INC

434.29

591-558-801

Annual Fees – HOLD for clarification

Partial Recording of Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting December 13, 2017

The Village does not record it’s meetings.

Requests under ADA to make a telephone conference line available were successful this year.

However, the conference line was terminated by the broadcaster not the resident calling in.

If you would agree to attend one Council Meeting a month we will provide a recording/streaming device if you don’t possess one.

2017-18 Budget Worksheets 11-13-17 (1)

2016-2017-budget-update-10-19-16

Village Variety Store Update

Source: Manistee County Commission DRAFT November 21, 2017 Minutes

PUBLIC COMMENT

Ryker Johnson and Jim Johnson of Onekama, requested permission to examine the area of the building and blue home in the downtown area in the Village of Bear Lake, that is scheduled for demolition soon. If any artifacts are found, they will be donated to the Manistee County Historical Society. There was a concern about the liability of the dilapidated building and others wanting to be on the property. It was a consensus to deny the request to allow Ryker and Jim Johnson permission to enter onto said property prior to and through demolition. Once the building is demolished, this could be reviewed in the spring 2018.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Russell Pomeroy, County Treasurer, presented his monthly report. Mr. Pomeroy reported that the dilapidated building in downtown Bear Lake will be torn down the last week in November 2017. He recognized and thanked Gary Buren of Lakeshore Construction, for putting together bid specs and writing the RFP, accepting bids and vetting the contractors all at no cost. The demolition project has come in significantly below what was expected at a cost of $57,500. The bid was won by a large Grand Rapids contractor who owns their own landfill. The demolition, permits and fees will cost total approximately $78,000 total. The demolition process will be taken down slowly as the contractor will be recycling the bricks.

Mr. Pomeroy will amend the request to the Revenue Sharing Board for funds. Between the blight elimination fund, the foreclosure fund and the Revenue Sharing Fund, and the bid coming in well below what was expected, there will not be a burden placed on the schools with less tax revenue.

Village of Bear Lake, December 13, 2017 Meeting Documents

Employee ETO Policy Nov 2017

T Report November 30, 2017 (1)

PROPOSED COUNCIL MEETING DATES FOR 2018

Res for Vil Clerk – Treas Ord Prop 11-30-17

Water Ordin 11-27-17 (1)

EARNED TIME OFF (ETO) POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES

Annual Holidays

The Village of Bear Lake observes the following holidays:

New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day.

Paid Holidays

All full-time employees will receive holiday pay of eight straight hours at their regular rate.

Holiday pay will not be paid if:

1. The employee has been on the payroll for less than 90 days.

2. The employee is on lay-off status.

3. The employee is a temporary or seasonal employee.

4. The employee is on leave of absence when the holiday occurs.

5. The employee is requested to work during a paid holiday and employee refuses to do so.

Employees who are requested to work during a paid holiday will receive holiday pay plus regular pay.

Continue reading “Village of Bear Lake, December 13, 2017 Meeting Documents”

Village Council December 13, 2017 Council Meeting Agenda

AGENDA

Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting
December 13, 2017
7:00 p.m. – Village Hall

CALL TO ORDER and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL
ADOPTION of AGENDA
• Additions:
PUBLIC COMMENT: Any agenda item ONLY (two (2)-minute maximum)
• Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
CORRESPONDENCE:
• Bill from village resident
APPOINT NEW COUNCIL MEMBER
REPORTS/DISCUSSION
Variety Store update –
MINUTES APPROVAL:
• Public Hearing DPW Maintenance Building- November 15, 2017
• Regular Meeting November 15, 2017
VILLAGE MAINTENANCE REPORT:
TREASURER’S REPORT:
• Acceptance of Treasurer’s Report
• Amendments:
BILLS to be PAID:
REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:
COMMITTEE CHAIR REPORTS:
• PARK:
o Park Manager Report
STREETS, TREES, SIGNS, LIGHTS, SIDEWALKS:
WATER:
• Water Well update
• Water Ordinance – held from June meeting
• Accessibility Self-Evaluation
BUILDINGS, GROUNDS, EQUIPMENT:
• Plow Truck Grant update – Revenue Sharing
• Maintenance Building update
BLIGHT/CABA:
• CABA :
• Blight Enforcement Officer report:
PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT:
MANISTEE COUNTY TRAIL COMMITTEE REPORT:
BEAR LAKE IMPROVEMENT BOARD REPORT:
TWO LAKES SEWER REPORT: Meeting Cancelled
AD HOC COMMITTEE: Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee – Clerk McPherson
OLD BUSINESS:
• Budget schedule
• Employee ETO

NEW BUSINESS:
• Villages 125th year
• Community Clean-up Day – are we having it?
• Employee eval – Jared
• Mass Ordinance
• Resolution for Appointment of Clerk & Treasurer
• Water Review Board member – replacement
• Water Superintendent contract
• Employee year end bonus
Follow up on items from October’s council meeting:

PUBLIC COMMENT: General Time – Any Village-related item (two (2)-minute maximum)
Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
Items on agenda or not listed
UPCOMING EVENTS and ANNOUCEMENTS:
• Community dinner
• Sparkle in the Park
ADJOURNMENT

REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:
NOVEMBER 2017
WAGES Accounts Amounts
Water Fund 591-000-702 $1106.00
Park Fund 531-000-702 $104.00
Major Fund 202-463-702 $409.00
Minor Fund 203-463-702 $400.00
TOTAL $2019.00

EQUIP RENTAL Accounts Amounts
Water Fund 591-558-943 $768.68
Major Fund 202-463-943 $898.75
Minor Fund 203-463-943 $703.42
TOTAL $2370.85

FOIA for Village Council documents

November 14, 2017

Under MI Freedom of Information Act (Public Act No. 442 of 1976 as amended)

We hereby submit this 6 month subscription request for the following documents. 

(refer to:  https://www.mikameyers.com/news/article/foia-update-the-question-returns-by-what-date-must-a-foia-request-be-fulfilled )

  • To be received via electronic mail. 
  • In advance of all Village Council, Planning, Two Lakes Sewer Authority meetings.
  • a) Agendas
  • b) Draft Minutes within 8 business days ( as per OMA)
  • c) Approved Minutes within 5 business days of approval (as per OMA)
  • d) All finance documents referenced in those Minutes
  • e) All spreadsheets referenced in the Minutes when the FY Operating Budget has been amended
  • f) All Special or Public Meeting Notices in no less than the notice required by law.

Said documents are required to be produced for all Village Meetings and therefore do not meet the additional labor charge time period.

To attach said documents to an email has been timed at 90 seconds.

We look forward to the Village’s compliance with their stated intent of open and transparent government. Perhaps a simpler solution would be a link to where a full meeting packet may be located on the Village web site?

Bear Lake News Media Service.

November 14, 2017:

I have reviewed the FOIA from the Bear Lake News.  With the exception noted below, all of the requested public records must be provided in electronic format and in advance of all Village Council and village planning commission meetings.

    Regarding the requested financial records, account numbers from the village bank statements must be redacted.  The legal authority to redact the account numbers is MCL 15.243(1)(d), since those account numbers are protected under MCL 488.12.

    Concerning the request for public records from the Two Lakes Sewer Authority, that Authority is a separate public body, distinct from the village.  Therefore, any FOIA request for information from the Authority must be submitted directly to the Authority.

    Concerning FOIA fees, if the time needed to compile and/or scan the requested documents in electronic format, as requested, exceeds 15 minutes, then appropriate FOIA fees should be assessed.  If the time needed to compile and/or scan the requested documents takes less than 15 minutes, then no FOIA fees should be assessed.


Good morning Mr. Graham,

thank you for your prompt response.

As we know the requested documents are ‘saved as’ a .doc or .xls in advance of all Council Meetings, the time necessary to email as attachments is minimal.

We have noted in prior communications that our service is used by individuals who rely on assistive screen reading devices which is why we request documents in a Section 508 compatible format or as plain text readable.

Our reason for including the Two Lakes Sewer Authority is that the Village, and Village Trustee (and TLSA Board member) Greg McPherson is the Two Lakes Board Secretary and responsible for the Minutes. At the October Village Council Meeting, the Draft Village Minutes reflect a directive that each unit of government should post the relevant reporting documents and notices as the Authority itself has no physical location either bricks and mortar or on the web. Onekama Township has only been designated the fiscal agent.

Therefore we ask that the request for all Two Lakes Sewer Authority documents be reinstated as they are required to also be published by the Village of Bear Lake.

Appreciatively,

Bear Lake News Editor.

Response:

Under the FOIA the Authority is a separate public body, distinct from the Village.  To the extent that the Village is posting Authority information on the Village website, the Village is acting as an agent of the Authority.  In addition, the individuals you noted, while also being public officials of the Village, are acting as public officials of the Authority when they are dealing with Authority matters.  To the extent you desire Authority public records in a timely matter as required by the FOIA, you must submit a FOIA request directly to the Authority.

    However, in an effort to foster good community relations, I would ask Cindi, when and if she receives public records from the Authority, such as minutes (draft and approved), agendas, etc., that she forward those public records to you.  Please understand, however, that when forwarding these Authority public records to you, Cindi cannot be held to the time requirements under the FOIA or the OMA, since she has no control when, or if, she will receive those records from the Authority.

    If there are further questions concerning this matter, please let me know.


Response:

As Greg is Cindi’s husband, we are sure those draft documents and reports will be easily accessible. And as all notices for the Two Lakes Authority must contain a mailing address, telephone number and a contact person hopefully a fixed point of contact is now available?

And thank you too Ms. McPherson, we just received the Agendas for tonight’s (November 2017) 2 meetings. Can you please clarify the purpose of the first? It has been listed as a Public Meeting, a Public Information Meeting and a Public Hearing? Is this a discussion or an action meeting and for what desired outcome?

As the October Draft Minutes reference amendments to the FY2017-18 Budget when can we receive that .xls file please?

The Village’s renewed commitment to informing residents and property owners is commendable.

Bear Lake News Media Service