The Two Lakes Sewer Authority meeting set for Wednesday at 4pm at Bear Lake Township Hall, corner of Virginia Street and US 31 Bear Lake. HAS BEEN CANCELLED
This date is listed on the Events Page> Calendar of the Village of Bear Lake but no information is listed on either Onekama, Bear Lake or Pleasanton Township web sites. Onekama Township and the Village of Bear Lake are currently displaying differing versions of the September organization meeting Minutes. None of the entities have published Draft Minutes for the October 4 meeting.
At the September, no later than October 2017, a schedule of meeting dates, times and locations should have been published together with an approved budget.
Also, no contact name, email, telephone and mailing contact information is published on any participating municipality web site.
The November Meeting was cancelled by printed notice on the door of Bear Lake Township Hall.
OPEN MEETINGS ACT Act 267 of 1976
15.265 Public notice of regular meetings, change in schedule of regular meetings, rescheduled regular meetings, or special meetings; time for posting; statement of date, time, and place; applicability of subsection (4); recess or adjournment; emergency sessions; meeting in residential dwelling; notice. [M.S.A. 4.1800(15) ]
(1) A meeting of a public body shall not be held unless public notice is given as provided in this section by a person designated by the public body.
(2) For regular meetings of a public body, there shall be posted within 10 days after the first meeting of the public body in each calendar or fiscal year a public notice stating the dates, times, and places of its regular meetings.
(3) If there is a change in the schedule of regular meetings of a public body, there shall be posted within 3 days after the meeting at which the change is made, a public notice stating the new dates, times, and places of its regular meetings.
(4) Except as provided in this subsection or in subsection (6), for a rescheduled regular or a special meeting of a public body, a public notice stating the date, time, and place of the meeting shall be posted at least 18 hours before the meeting in a prominent and conspicuous place at both the public body’s principal office and, if the public body directly or indirectly maintains an official internet presence that includes monthly or more frequent updates of public meeting agendas or minutes, on a portion of the website that is fully accessible to the public. The public notice on the website shall be included on either the homepage or on a separate webpage dedicated to public notices for nonregularly scheduled public meetings and accessible via a prominent and conspicuous link on the website’s homepage that clearly describes its purpose for public notification of those nonregularly scheduled public meetings.
15.269 Minutes generally. [M.S.A. 4.1800(19) ]
(2) Minutes shall be public records open to public inspection and shall be available at the address designated on posted public notices pursuant to section 4. Copies of the minutes shall be available to the public at the reasonable estimated cost for printing and copying.
(3) Proposed minutes shall be available for public inspection not more than 8 business days after the meeting to which the minutes refer. Approved minutes shall be available for public inspection not later than 5 business days after the meeting at which the minutes are approved by the public body.
The designated time, 4pm, precludes the attendance of employed citizens or those with school aged children.
NOTE: The December 6 meeting has also now been cancelled.
From: Jeffrey Harthun <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, December 4, 2017 10:49 PM
Subject: Re: Meeting
Mr. Meister has not called for a meeting. I know that when we hear something about the grant we will hold a meeting. When I hear something I will shoot you an email about them date and time. I am pretty sure it will be held at the township hall in BL.
WHEREAS, The purpose of the Authority is to plan, design, engineer, finance, construct, and operate a public sewage disposal system serving sewage districts within the constituent municipalities of Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, and transporting the collected wastewater for treatment to the facilities of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians; and
WHEREAS, the incorporating governmental units of this sewer authority are Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, located in Manistee County, Michigan; and
WHEREAS, the incorporating governmental units shall be constituent municipalities of this sewer authority as defined in MCL 124.281.
ARTICLE ONE – NAME
The name of this authority is the Two Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority, the Authority, with its principal office located at the Onekama Township Hall, 5435 Main Street, PO Box 458, Onekama, MI 49675, or at such other location determined by the Authority Board.
ARTICLE TWO – MUNICIPALITIES
The incorporating municipalities are Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, located in Manistee County, Michigan. The incorporating municipalities are constituent municipalities of the Authority.
The purpose of the Authority is to plan, design, engineer, finance, construct, and operate a public sewage disposal system serving sewage districts within the constituent municipalities of Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, and transporting the collected wastewater for treatment to the facilities of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, an Indian Tribe as defined in MCL 124.281(c) with which the Authority can contract for wastewater treatment.
ARTICLE FIVE – POWERS
The Authority shall have all of the powers enumerated in the Act (233 of 1955) by which the Authority can adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business, adopt an official seal, maintain an office, sue and be sued, determine the location and design of a sewage disposal system and the construction, financing, and operation of the sewage disposal system, issue bonds of the Authority for any of its corporate purposes, adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the use of the sewage disposal system, and acquire, hold and dispose of real and personal property in the exercise of Authority powers and the performance of Authority duties, and all other and related powers enumerated in the Act.
ARTICLE SIX – DUTIES
The Authority shall plan, design, engineer, develop, finance, construct, acquire, operate and maintain a sewage disposal system by agreement with the constituent municipalities and for the benefit of the customers who receive sewage disposal service. As a municipal authority and a public body corporate, the Authority shall comply with the Michigan Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act.
ARTICLE SEVEN – RULES AND REGULATIONS
The Authority shall adopt rules and regulations by resolution of its governing body with a concurring resolution adopted by the governing body of each constituent municipality, and according to procedures specified in the Act.
ARTICLE EIGHT – TERM OF EXISTENCE
The Authority shall continue in existence until dissolved by the constituent municipalities or by law, but the Authority shall not be dissolved if dissolution will operate as an impairment of any contract of the Authority.
ARTICLE NINE – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Authority shall be January 1st through December 31st.
ARTICLE TEN – GOVERNING BODY
The governing body of the Authority shall be its Board (the Board) composed of one voting representative appointed by each constituent municipality, who shall be an elected member of the governing body of the appointing constituent municipality. The members of the Board shall serve at the pleasure of the legislative body of the appointing constituent municipality and may be removed at any time with or without cause by the legislative body of the municipality which such Board member represents.
Upon approving and adopting these Articles of Incorporation, each constituent municipality shall appoint its first voting representative on the Board of the Authority.
Within 30 days of the effective date of the formation of the Authority, the appointed members of the Board shall qualify by taking an oath of office and holding an organizational meeting of the Board.
ARTICLE ELEVEN – VACANCIES
In the event of a vacancy on the Board, the legislative body of the constituent municipality selecting such representative shall fill the vacancy within 30 days.
In the event of a vacancy in any office of the Board, such vacancy shall be filled by the Board for the unexpired term. In case of the temporary absence or disability of any officer, the Board may appoint some person temporarily to act in his or her stead except that in the event of the temporary absence or disability of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall so act. All persons serving in the offices of Chair, Vice-Chair, or Secretary shall be members of the Board; the person serving as Treasurer may be a member of the Board, but need not be.
ARTICLE TWELVE – BOARD MEETINGS
The Board shall meet annually for its organizational meeting on the first Wednesday in January. If the Board elects to have regular meetings, these meetings of the Board shall be held at such time and place as shall be prescribed by resolution or motion of the Board. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Chair or any two (2) Board members, by serving written notice of the time, place and purpose, upon each member of the Board personally; or by leaving it at the Board member’s place of residence or delivering it via facsimile, email or text message to his or her home or office at least eighteen (18) hours prior to the time of the meeting; or by depositing the same in a United States Post Office or mail box within the limits of the Authority at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the time of the meeting, enclosed in a sealed envelope properly addressed to the Board member at his or her home or office address, with first class postage fully prepaid. Any member of the Board may waive notice of any meeting either before or after the holding thereof. Any meeting at which all members of the Board are present shall be a legal meeting for the conduct of business, notwithstanding that written notice was not provided in the manner set forth above, provided that public notice of such meeting of the Authority was given in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Act. At least a majority of the membership of the Board shall be required for a quorum. Each Board member shall have one (1) vote.
The Board shall act by motion, resolution or ordinance. For the passage of any motion, resolution or ordinance, the execution of any contract, and all other matters, there shall be required a majority vote of all of the members of the Board (three out of four), unless the unanimous vote of all Board members is required by these Articles.
Public notice of all organizational, regular, special or rescheduled regular or rescheduled special meetings of the Board shall be given pursuant to the applicable provisions of The Open Meetings Act.
The Board shall have the right to adopt bylaws governing its procedures and regulating the affairs of the Authority which are not in conflict with the terms of the Act, any other statute or these Articles. The Board shall have the right to establish rules and regulations in accordance with the Act for the use or administration of any Authority sewage disposal system or facility, by resolution and with concurrence by resolution of constituent municipalities. All actions of the Board of the Authority shall be governed by generally accepted rules of parliamentary procedure, fairness, civility, and common sense, not inconsistent with these Articles, the Authority ByLaws, or applicable law.
The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings. The minutes shall show how each member voted and each member shall vote upon all motions, resolutions and ordinances unless disqualified from voting thereon by reason of any direct or indirect personal interest as defined by the conflict of interest laws of the State of Michigan. All votes shall be “yes” or “no”.
ARTICLE THIRTEEN – OFFICERS AND BOARD AFFAIRS
The Board shall appoint the officers of the Authority annually by majority vote, and each officer shall be a member of the Board to qualify for appointment, except the Treasurer who need not be a Board member to qualify for appointment. The officers of the Authority shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The Chair of the Board shall be the presiding officer.
Except as otherwise provided, he or she shall not have any executive or administrative function within the Authority other than as a member of the Board. In the absence or disability of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair. The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the Board. The Treasurer shall be custodian of the funds of the Authority and shall provide a bond conditioned upon the faithful performance of the duties of his or her office. The cost of this bond shall be paid by the Authority. All money shall be deposited in a bank(s) to be designated by the Board, and all checks or other forms of withdrawal shall be signed by the Chair and the Treasurer or Secretary. The officers of the Board shall have such other powers and duties as may be conferred upon them by the Board.
The members of the Board and such officers thereof who also are members of the Board shall be paid no compensation; provided, however, that the Board may authorize the payment of the actual expenditures of any member or officer incurred in connection with the business of the Authority.
Bonds issued by the Authority, and interest coupons relating to the bonds shall be executed in the name and on behalf of the Authority by its Chair and Secretary.
The Board shall prepare, adopt and submit to their respective legislative bodies of the constituent municipalities an annual budget covering the proposed expenditures to be made for organizing and operating the Authority and for the necessary funds required from each constituent municipality for the next fiscal year beginning January 1. Such budget shall be submitted to each constituent municipality on or before October 1 of the previous fiscal year. No budget shall be adopted unless approved by a 3/4ths vote of the members of the Board; provided, however, that no obligation shall be assumed by the Authority which may then or at any time in the future become in whole or in part the individual liability of any constituent municipality without the prior consent of the constituent municipality; and provided further, that any constituent municipality may withdraw from the Authority at any time prior to the incurrence of indebtedness by the Authority for which the constituent municipality may incur an individual liability without any obligation whatsoever, and may also withdraw after the assumption of indebtedness by the Authority for which the individual constituent municipality has by its prior agreement incurred an individual liability, but in the case of such latter withdrawal, the consent of the creditor shall be obtained or the individual obligation assumed by the withdrawing member shall be paid by the withdrawing constituent municipality on terms satisfactory to the creditor.
During such times as the only Authority bonds outstanding are for a project or projects located exclusively in and benefitting solely one of the constituent municipalities, the constituent municipality where the project or projects are located and which is solely benefitted shall pay all of the expenses for the operation and maintenance of the Authority including, without limitation, the treasurer’s bond fee and all legal, accounting and audit fees.
The basic funding formula for each constituent municipality of the Authority shall be determined by the Authority Board with the unanimous vote of all Board members. The funding formula determined by the Authority Board shall be based on a pro-rata share of project costs, number of customers, REU’s, or any other factors determined by the Authority Board.
The provisions of this Article shall be considered controlling over all other provisions of these Articles of Incorporation to the extent of any conflict with them.
ARTICLE FOURTEEN – PROPERTY ACQUISITION
The Authority shall possess all powers necessary to carry out the purposes of the Authority. The Authority may acquire property by purchase, construction, lease, gift, exchange, devise or condemnation, either within or without its corporate limits, and may hold, manage, control, sell, exchange or lease such property. For the purpose of condemnation it may proceed under the provisions of Act 149, Public Acts of Michigan, 1911, as amended, or any other statute that grants a municipality or public body the authority to acquire private property for public use.
ARTICLE FIFTEEN – PROJECTS
The Authority and its constituent municipalities may enter into a contract or contracts providing for the planning, design, engineering, acquisition, purchase, construction, improvement, enlargement, extension, operation and financing of a sewage disposal system as authorized and provided in the Act.
However, the Authority shall not plan, design, engineer, acquire, purchase, construct, improve, enlarge, extend, operate or finance a sewage disposal system within any constituent municipality without the prior written approval of the legislative body of that constituent municipality. The Authority can enter contracts with any of its constituent municipalities to purchase, acquire, construct, operate and maintain a sewage disposal system, but no contract shall be for a period exceeding forty years.
ARTICLE SIXTEEN – SALE OF BONDS
For the purpose of obtaining funds for the planning, design, engineering, acquisition, construction, improving, enlarging or extending of a sewage disposal system, the Authority may, by ordinance or resolution duly adopted by it, issue its negotiable bonds, secured by the contractual full faith and credit pledges of each contracting municipality, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of the Act.
ARTICLE SEVENTEEN – EMPLOYEES
The Board shall have the power to hire employees to carry out the functions of the Authority and to establish compensation for them.
ARTICLE EIGHTEEN – AUDIT
The Board shall cause an annual audit to be made of its financial transactions by a certified public accountant and shall furnish a copy to each constituent municipality.
ARTICLE NINETEEN – PUBLICATION
These Articles shall be published once in the Manistee News Advocate, Manistee, Michigan, which newspaper has general circulation within the territory encompassed by the Authority. One (1) printed copy of the Articles of Incorporation as printed in this newspaper, certified as a true copy thereof as provided below, with the date and place of publication shown by a publisher’s affidavit of publication attached thereto, shall be filed with the Secretary of State and also the Clerk of the County of Manistee after the execution and publication has been completed.
The Onekama Township Clerk is hereby designated as the person to cause these Articles of Incorporation to be published, certified and filed with the Secretary of State and the Manistee County Clerk.
All expenses for the publication of these Articles and all other expenses incurred in the incorporation and establishment of the Authority shall be paid by the constituent municipalities.
ARTICLE TWENTY – EFFECTIVE DATE
This Authority shall become effective upon the filing of certified copies of these Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State and the Manistee County Clerk.
ARTICLE TWENTY ONE – AMENDMENTS
These Articles of Incorporation may be amended at any time to permit a municipality to become a member of the Authority, if such amendment to the Articles of Incorporation is adopted by the legislative body of the county, city, village, township or charter township proposing to become a member, and if the amendment is adopted by the legislative body of each constituent municipality of the Authority. Other amendments may be made to these Articles of Incorporation at any time if adopted by the legislative body of each constituent municipality of the Authority. Any amendment shall be endorsed, published, certified and filed in the same manner as the original Articles of Incorporation, except that the filed and printed copies shall be certified by an officer of the Authority.
These Articles have been adopted by the four incorporating municipalities, as set forth in the following endorsements, and in witness whereof the designated officials of each constituent municipality have endorsed thereon a statement of such adoption.
The foregoing Articles of Incorporation were adopted by the Onekama Township Board of Trustees, County of Manistee, State of Michigan, at a meeting duly held on the 5th day of July, 2017.
David Meister. Michelle Johnson
Onekama Township Supervisor. Onekama Township Clerk
The foregoing Articles of Incorporation were adopted by the Pleasanton Township Board of Trustees, County of Manistee, State of Michigan, at a meeting duly held on the 13th day of July, 2017.
Carol Merrill. Amy Cross
Pleasanton Township Supervisor. Pleasanton Township Clerk
The foregoing Articles of Incorporation were adopted by the Bear Lake Township Board of Trustees, County of Manistee, State of Michigan, at a meeting duly held on the 18th day of July, 2017.
Jeff Harthun. Deanna Pattison
Bear Lake Township Supervisor. Bear Lake Township Clerk
The foregoing Articles of Incorporation were adopted by the Bear Lake Village Council, County of Manistee, State of Michigan, at a meeting duly held on the 19th day of July, 2017.
Jeff Bair. Cindi McPherson
Village of Bear Lake President. Village of Bear Lake Clerk
Eric D. Williams
524 N. State Street
Big Rapids, MI 49307
124.282 Incorporation of authority by municipalities; purpose; adoption of articles of incorporation; endorsement; territory; publishing and filing articles of incorporation; effective date; presumption of validity.
(1) Any 2 or more municipalities may incorporate an authority for the purpose of acquiring, owning, improving, enlarging, extending, and operating a sewage disposal system, a water supply system, a solid waste management system, or a combination of systems by the adoption of articles of incorporation by the legislative body of each of the municipalities. The fact of the adoption shall be endorsed on such articles of incorporation by the chairperson of the county board of commissioners and the county clerk in case of a county; the mayor and clerk in case of a city; the president and clerk in case of a village; and the supervisor and clerk in case of a township, in form substantially as follows:
“The foregoing articles of incorporation were adopted by
the ……………… of the …………. of ………….
County Michigan, at a meeting duly held on the …………. day
MUNICIPAL SEWAGE AND WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS (EXCERPT) Act 233 of 1955 124.288 Municipality or Indian tribe desiring to contract with authority; authorization; resolution; notice; contents; execution and delivery of contract; effective date; petition requesting referendum upon contract; voting; effect of action taken prior to effective date of subsection (2); special election; verification of petition signatures; number of registered electors.
(1) A municipality or Indian tribe desiring to enter into a contract with the authority under section 7 shall authorize, by resolution of its governing body, the execution of the contract. After the adoption of such a resolution by a municipality, the municipality shall publish a notice of the resolution in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. The notice shall state all of the following:
(a) That the governing body has adopted a resolution authorizing execution of the contract.
(b) The purpose of the contract.
(c) The source of payment for the contractual obligation.
(d) The right of referendum on the contract.
(e) Other information that the municipality’s governing body determines to be necessary to adequately inform all interested persons of the nature of the obligation.
(2) A contract under subsection (1) may be executed and delivered by the municipality upon approval by its governing body without a vote of the electors on the contract, but the contract shall not become effective until the expiration of 45 days after the date of publication of the notice. If within the 45-day period a petition signed by not less than 10% or 15,000, whichever is less, of the registered electors residing within the limits of the municipality is filed with the clerk of the municipality requesting a referendum upon the contract, the contract shall not become effective until approved by the vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the municipality voting on the question at a general or special election. If, before November 19, 1981, a municipality published a resolution authorizing the execution of a contract under this section in substantial compliance with this section as then in effect, and the referendum period formerly provided by this section expired, but the bonds were not issued, the resolution and the publication of the resolution are valid and, if a petition for a referendum on execution of the contract was not signed and filed within the time period formerly provided by this section, the contract may be executed and shall become effective without submitting the proposition for approval to the electors, or if a petition was so signed and filed, the contract may be executed and become effective if approved at an election as formerly provided in this section. A special election called for the purpose provided in this section shall not be included in any statutory or charter limitation as to the number of special elections to be called within any period of time. Signatures on the petition shall be verified under oath as the actual signatures of the persons whose names are signed to the petition. The clerk of the municipality has the same power to reject signatures as city clerks under section 25 of the home rule city act, 1909 PA 279, MCL 117.25. The number of registered electors in any municipality shall be determined by the registration books as of the date of the filing of the petition.
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF THE TWO LAKE COLLABORATIVE SEWER AUTHORITY
The resolution was offered by _______________________________________ and supported by ________________________________________________________.
WHEREAS, the Village Council was presented with Articles of Incorporation of the Two Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority authorized by Act 233 of 1955 as amended, MCL 124.281 et seq, and
WHEREAS, the Village of Bear Lake can be a member and constituent municipality of the Two Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority by approving and adopting the Articles of Incorporation, and
WHEREAS, the four municipalities considering adoption of the Articles of Incorporation are Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, and
WHEREAS, the stated purpose of the Two Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority is to plan, design, engineer, finance, construct, and operate a public sewage disposal system serving sewage districts within the constituent municipalities of Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, and transporting the collected wastewater for treatment to the facilities of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, an Indian Tribe as defined in MCL 124.281(c) with which the Authority can contract for wastewater treatment, and
WHEREAS, the Village Council is prepared to approve and adopt the Articles of Incorporation,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Council approves and hereby adopts the Articles of Incorporation of the Two Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority as presented at this meeting and authorizes and directs the Village President and the Village Clerk to endorse and sign the Articles of Incorporation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Village Council appoints _______________________ as the Village representative to serve on the Two Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority Board.
The Village President declared the Resolution _________________________________________, on the __________ day of __________________________, 2017.
I hereby certify the foregoing Resolution was adopted by the Village Council at a meeting held on _______________________________________, 2017.
The following was received from the Village Clerk. Bear Lake News submitted the following request: “Please note there are 2 items of Correspondence not listed in the April Agenda which will be forwarded for your attention again should you not be able to locate the original.
a) Confirmation from Manistee County Planner to correct the March Village draft Minutes to reflect that you were informed, in advance, that the Trails Committee did not meet in March, that the Village Council was asked to provide feedback on the supplied maps, and that the April meeting has now also been cancelled.
b) You were also sent a list of Village resident questions regarding the proposed Three Lakes Sewer project to be directed to the Village Council – please address these during the April meeting. As the Council is prepared to sign a Resolution to be a participant, we would anticipate the Council is now sufficiently informed to be able to answer these questions.
c) please provide all documents relating to the proposed Planning Commission organization meeting scheduled for noon on Tuesday April 18 as per our standing filed FOIA.
Again, as a public service, and for public transparency, as Clerk we ask you to propose providing your own conference service (for as little as $25 per month) at the next Council meeting and take this opportunity to fully comply with your Title VI NonDiscrimination Policy which guarantees equal access to any and all Village Council business.
In the mean time, as a public service, we expect to be able, as you have previously stated is permitted, to connect to 231.970.2066 on Wednesday April 19.”
[NOTE: if you are a Village resident and/or property owner and wish to be connected to our free telephone bridge please reply to this posting. All attendees will be muted until Public Comment or unless comment is invited.]
Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting
April 19, 2017 7:00 p.m. – Village Hall
CALL TO ORDER and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ADOPTION of AGENDA
PUBLIC COMMENT: Any agenda item ONLY (two (2)-minute maximum)
Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
b. MINUTES APPROVAL:
a. Regular Meeting March 15, 2017
c. VILLAGE MAINTENANCE REPORT:
d. TREASURER’S REPORT:
a. Approval of Treasurer’s Report
e. BILLS to be PAID:
f. REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:
FUND NAME DATES AMOUNT
Major Street 3/01/2017-3/31/2017 $149.50
Minor Street 3/01/2017-3/31/2017 $162.50
Park Fund 3/01/2017-3/31/2017 $609.50
Water Fund 3/01/2017-3/31/2017 $390.00
Equipment Rental $1,708.40
Total to transfer to General Fund = $3,019.90
COMMITTEE CHAIR REPORTS:
g. BLIGHT/CABA : Blight Enforcement Officer report:
Village of Bear Lake Blight Enforcement Report
April 19, 2017
7667 Stuart St.
o Talked to new owner. Frost law regulations lifted on 4-10, will be bringing in equipment to bulldoze and remove debris within a couple of weeks.
o Plans to start construction of his garage as soon as the lot is cleard.
12238 Virginia St.
o No reply from owner to my last email. Property believed to have gone for back taxes on March 31 st .
12273 Lynn St.
o No new information at this time.
12252 Maple St.
o Inspected & photograph property. Initial contact letter sent.
Blight Enforcement Tickets.
o Received information from our attorney’s office. Have contacted a company for
information and price quote on tickets to be used when issuing a violation.
Respectfully submitted by, Larry J. Gibson
Blight Enforcement Officer
h. PLANNING COMMISSION:
i. MANISTEE COUNTY TRAIL COMMITTEE REPORT:
j. AD HOC COMMITTEE: Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee – No report
k. Sewer – Resolution
VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE MANISTEE COUNTY RESOLUTION NO. ___________
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF THE THREE LAKE COLLABORATIVE SEWER AUTHORITY
The resolution was offered by _______________________________________ and supported by ________________________________________________________.
WHEREAS, the Village Council was presented with Articles of Incorporation of the Three Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority authorized by Act 233 of 1955 as amended, MCL 124.281 et seq, and WHEREAS, the Village of Bear Lake can be a member and constituent municipality of the Three Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority by approving and adopting the Articles of Incorporation, and WHEREAS, the five municipalities considering adoption of the Articles of Incorporation are Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Arcadia Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, and WHEREAS, the stated purpose of the Three Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority is to plan, design, engineer, finance, construct, and operate a public sewage disposal system serving sewage districts within the constituent municipalities of Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township, Arcadia Township, Bear Lake Township, and the Village of Bear Lake, and transporting the collected wastewater for treatment to the facilities of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, an Indian Tribe as defined in MCL 124.281(c) with which the Authority can contract for wastewater treatment, and WHEREAS, the Village Council is prepared to approve and adopt the Articles of Incorporation, 2 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Council approves and hereby adopts the Articles of Incorporation of the Three Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority as presented at this meeting and authorizes and directs the Village President and the Village Clerk to endorse and sign the Articles of Incorporation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Village Council appoints _______________________ as the Village representative to serve on the Three Lake Collaborative Sewer Authority Board. YEAS: ___________________ NAYS: ___________________ The Village President declared the Resolution _________________________________________, on the __________ day of __________________________, 2017. I hereby certify the foregoing Resolution was adopted by the Village Council at a meeting held on _______________________________________, 2017. ____________________________________ Cindi McPherson, Village Clerk
l. Sewer representative appointment
m. Attorney Quinn – Medical marijuana
n. Water Rate Resolution
VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE RESOLUTION NO. _____________OF 2017
Resolution to Adjust Water Rates per Ordinance No.________
Pursuant to Section 13 of the Ordinance
At a regular meeting of the Village Council of Bear Lake held in the Village Hall located at 12376 Virginia Street, Bear Lake, Michigan, 49614 on _____ , 2017 at p.m.
The following resolution was made by ____ and seconded by____________, to-wit:
WHEREAS, _______________ , Section 13, allows the Village Council to establish and change water rates from time to time by the Village Council, and
WHEREAS, it is necessary to make an adjustment to the rates in order to meet USDA requirements, and
WHEREAS, the Village Council had passed a motion at their regular meeting on February 15, 2017 to adjust those rates, but was requested by the USDA to have the adjustment contained in a separate resolution form.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT: the Village Council hereby adjusts the water rates to increase in April, 2017 making all users as of April, 2017 pay One Hundred Twenty and 00/100 ($120.00) Dollars per REU per quarter, and for such rates to increase again beginning in October, 2017 to One Hundred Thirty-Five and 00/100 ($135.00) Dollars per REU per quarter to meet USDA requirements.
RESOLUTION DECLARED ADOPTED.
I, the undersigned, the Clerk of the Village of Bear Lake, Manistee County, Michigan, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of certain proceedings taken by said municipality of Manistee County at its regular meeting held on , 2017, relative to adoption of the resolution therein set forth; that said meeting was conducted and public notice of said meeting was given pursuant to and in full compliance with the Open Meetings Act, being Act 267, Public Acts of Michigan, 1976, and that the minutes of said meeting were kept and will be or have been made available as required by said Act.
Cindi McPherson, Clerk
PUBLIC COMMENT: General Time – Any Village-related item (three (3)-minute maximum)
Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
The Village no longer records meetings. As a service for those unable to attend, volunteers supply recordings as permitted under the Open Meetings Act. The Village provided a telephone number for a public access bridge to listen to this meeting.
For those who require a screen reader accessible PDF you can download the February Draft Minutes here [supplied by an accessibility volunteer]
The regular meeting of the Bear Lake Village Council was called to order by President Jeff Bair at 7:05 p.m. at the Village Hall. Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Present: President: Jeff Bair Council: Peggy Bass, Ron Ronning, Jackie Johnson, Carver Edwards, and Greg McPherson
Treasurer: Sally King, Clerk: Cindi McPherson Staff: Larry Gibson and Jared Bair
Guests: Four guests signed in
Motion to Adopt the Agenda as presented and with additions by Bass and seconded by G. McPherson, motion carried.
Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, G. McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Clerk McPherson added:
Under Correspondence; Resignation of Janene Gee
Under Treasurer’s Report; Amendments to 2016-2017 Fiscal Year
Under Old Business; Lake Improvement Board Meeting & Appointee
Under New Business; DeRidder Claim, Employee Evaluation for Jared Bair, Land Bank Report and Continue to work with Bear Lake Township on projects.
Public Comment: Jason Wilder Evans commented on Carver Edwards health issue, nominate self for open position and item on budget, election money.
Correspondence: Read by clerk:
Resignation letter from council member Janene Gee.
Email correspondence was read from Dendra Best regarding January 2017 regular meeting minutes in regards to her Manistee County Trail Committee report. Per Ms. Best, she did not submit a “bullet list”.
Approval of the following meeting minutes:
Motion to approve minutes from January 18, 2017 with additions by G. McPherson, seconded by Ronning. * Additions: Under “New Business”, Mansitee Household Hazardous Day and BL Village Community Clean Up Day, June 24, 2017
Aye: Bass, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Motion to approve minutes from February 1, 2017 Public Hearing, Budget 2017-2018 Work Meeting by Johnson, seconded by Ronning.
[SPECIAL MEETING THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE and the Bear Lake Township Board Monday February 13, 2017 at 7pm
Bear Lake Township Hall, 7771 Lake Street
The meeting was called to order by Bear Lake Township President, Jeff Harthun at 7pm
Pledge of Allegiance was said.
No roll call was taken, members of both Bear Lake Village and Township were present and general public individuals.
Public comment: None
Discussion was held on:
Banners – Julie Griffis updated on project.
Kayak Launch – grant is being written. A legal document will be drawn up to put kayak launch on Bear Lake Village property.
Community Projects – Both Bear Lake Village and Township will continue to work together on park/village projects.
County Trails – Julie Griffis gave an update.
No decisions were made
Public Comment: None
Adjournment at 8:16pm
Respectfully submitted by Cindi McPherson, Village Clerk]
Maintenance Report: Read by Jared Bair. Report on file with February 2017 minutes
Treasurer’s Report: read by King. Report on file in the 2017 Minutes binder.
Equipment Fund checking/savings total 3,270.45 Honor Bank CD 26,004.30 Minor Street checking/savings total 20,239.16 Major Street checking/savings total 41,000.41 Park checking/savings total 28,947.75 Park CD#2 32,844.39 Water checking only 32,921.54 Money Market Account 10,049.03 General checking/savings total 22,401.61
Motion to accept Treasurer’s Report by Ronning seconded by Bass, motion carried.
Council member Johnson asked about a contingency fund for the water. Both President Bair and Ken Mlcek (Fleis & Vandenbrink) said it will be done before closing on the loan.
Amendments to 2016-2017 were tabled, Special Meeting to be held on February 22, 2017 at 7pm. Bear Lake Village Hall [see stand alone post here]
Bills to be paid were read by Clerk. Motion to pay the bills as amended by Johnson, seconded by Bass. Motion carried. Amendment: Blarney Castle, Major Fund $1,000 and Minor Fund $617.67. List of bills is found at the end of the minutes.
Reimbursements to the General Fund were read by Clerk. Total to General Fund: $2,018.50
Reimbursement list is found at the end of the minutes.
Committee Chair Reports:
Park: President Bair reported pre-sold camp spots at $22K.
Trees: No report
Streets: No report
Water: Ken Mlcek from Fleis & Vanderbrink – Water/Well Project going well. Bids and permits should go out in March. Working on meter info and USDA list.
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.
Sidewalk: No report
Blight/CABA: Gibson reported: 7667 Stuart Street property has been sold. 12238 Virginia Street property offer fell through. Full Blight Report on file with February 15, 2017 minutes.
[Village of Bear Lake Blight Enforcement Report
February 15, 2017
7667 Stuart St.
Property has been sold, purchase agreement signed, back taxes paid. New owner will get a demo crew in as quickly as possible to clean it up. Drafting plans to put a garage on it.
12238 Virginia St. Talked to owner, perspective buyer has not given a final answer yet and now say they will decide by end of March. They are concerned about the flooding of the shop/garage area. Owner says it will go back to the county for back taxes on March 31st.
Respectfully submitted by, Larry J. Gibson. Blight Enforcement Officer]
Planning Commission: No report
Manistee County Trail Committee Report: Clerk McPherson summarized email from Dendra Best. Complete report on file with February 15, 2017 minutes.
[Rob Carlson will be sending an updated prioritized map this morning which I will forward for attachment once received.
It is requested that each municipality review and comment but appreciate that future completion of the priorities is a 5-10 year funding horizon.
Any suggested local additions should be framed on a 10-20 year completion timeframe as funding is already tenuous.
There is a possibility of future linking from Arcadia to join the Trail Head located at Pleasanton Township Hall US31 junction.
The Alliance is requesting efforts for local funding use them as a clearing house to avoid duplication or competing applications.
There was discussion concerning the goals of the linking of county wide trails and how to formulate them for public presentation: economic impact from tourism, promotion of outdoor activity as a wellness enhancement, quality of life for residents, greater awareness of the natural environment.
Discussion have been held with other state and local trails associations to garner expertise and assistance. Also Consumers Energy.
I raised the issue of combining motorized and non motorized use, particularly in winter. If the trend continues of shorter, warmer winters, the issue of maintaining trails will have to be addressed.
Accessibility for those who need assistance is going to be limited:
mobility will be difficult during non snow seasons due to prohibition of the use of ORVs on many trails, some trails will eventually be useable by motorized wheel chairs but the range will be limited to battery power
accessible signage for the visually impaired was suggested
I raised the issue of seeking funding to address the needs of disabled veterans and those who are unable to ride snowmobiles
There was discussion of promoting bike trails both for off road winter and all season use.
There was discussion of talking to individual Fire Chiefs about emergency response issues.
Ad Hoc – Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee – Reviewed Policy on Employee Holiday/Vacation – Tabled until new council member is added.
Lake Board Improvement appointee – council member Greg McPherson. * Joint meeting of The Village of Bear Lake, Bear Lake Township and Pleasanton Township will meet on March 7, 2017 at 7pm at Bear Lake Township Hall.
Motion was made by Bass to approve water rate increase in April, making all users $120.00 per quarter, seconded by McPherson. Motion carried.
MANISTEE COUNTY COLLABORATIVE SEWER INITIATIVE (1/31/17)
WHEREAS, our local government has participated in a preliminary collaborative sewer project involving Onekama Township, Arcadia Township, Bear Lake Township, Pleasanton Township, and the Village of Bear Lake; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of the project is to assess the economic and practical viability and benefits of developing a sewer system that would connect participating local governments with the wastewater treatment plant owned and operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LROI) with the understanding that LRBOI has agreed to make treatment capacity available to the participants; and
WHEREAS, the potential benefits of constructing such a sewer system include: creating infrastructure to develop and expand businesses and create jobs; protecting surface and ground waters and Lake Michigan from pollution caused by septic system failure; protecting three critically important watersheds; and achieving an economy of scale in completing such a project through collaboration; and
WHEREAS, because of the potential benefits of the project the participants believe that their respective governments should proceed to the next phase of the project; and
WHEREAS, the next phase of the project involves two steps: (1) formation of a sewer authority involving all local governments and (2) an application by the sewer authority to USDA Rural Development to finance the construction of the sewer system which would result in a definitive financing proposal involving grant and loan funding; and
WHEREAS, the estimated cost for the next phase of the project includes legal fees of $10,000 to establish the sewer authority (Attorney Eric Williams) and $30,000 in fees to complete the application to USDA Rural Development (Wade Trim/Brian Sousa), a total of $40,000; and;
WHEREAS, a USDA Rural Development Planning grant could be sought by the Sewer Authority that could cover $23,000 of the $40,000 in costs to establish the authority and complete the financing application, leaving a balance of $17,000; and
WHEREAS, if all five local governments continue to participate in the next phase, each local government would contribute a sum of $3,400 if the planning grant is secured or $8,000 if it is not secured, with an understanding that the sum ($3,400 or $8,000) could be financed through the financing provided by USDA Rural Development for the sewer project;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that our local government, contingent on full participation by the above referenced local governmental units, will allocate $3,400 toward establishing the sewer authority and submitting a complete financing application to USDA Rural Development with the understanding that the participants, through the Sewer Authority, will make their best efforts to secure a planning grant and that Attorney Eric Williams and the firm Wade Trim will proceed to establish the sewer authority and the sewer construction grant application to USDA Rural Development, respectively; and
FURTHER, that the participants will collectively establish a communications process to discuss and answer questions about the project, including three open public meetings; and
FURTHER, that we be provided copies of all agreements and other documents executed, prepared or completed as part of this phase of the Initiative; and
FURTHER, that our current representative(s) on the collaborate sewer ad-hoc committee continue to be our representative(s) to develop the proposed sewer authority and funding application with final approval by our governing body.
THIS RESOLUTION DECLARED ADOPTED THIS 15TH February 2017. I, Cindi McPherson, Clerk of the Village of Bear Lake, State of Michigan, do hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution No. 2017-1 was duly adopted by the Bear Lake Village Council during its regular meeting held in the Village Hall in the Village of Bear Lake on 15 February 2017.
Motion was made by G. McPherson to adopted the MDOT Performance Resolution for Governmental Agencies, seconded by Ronning, Motion Carried. Needed for parade & street maintenance.
Jackie Johnson commented that the Meeting with Bear Lake Township & BL Village was exciting.
Jason Evens Wilder called for the resignation of Council Member Carver Edwards due to his health condition.
Community dinner at Bear Lake Methodist Church this Thursday.
Girls & Boys basket ball games
5th Quarter at Bear Lake Methodist church after the game on Friday.
Bear Lake Promoters After Hour Event will take place on May 18, 2017 at 5-7pm at Bear Lake Hardware Design Center. Speakers will be landscape architects from Beckett & Raeder discussing the US 31 Corridor Plan.
Meeting adjourned at 8:47p.m.
Cindi McPherson, Clerk
a. REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:
FUND NAME DATES AMOUNT
Major Street 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $1,490.50
Minor Street 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $00.00
Park Fund 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $00.00
Water Fund 1/01/2017-1/31/2017 $528.00
Equipment Rental $
Total to transfer to General Fund = $2,018.50
Bills To Be Paid
Date: February 15, 2017
Name, Amount, Fund, Account Notes
Young, Graham & Wendling $350.00 General Fund 101-265-801 phone retainer 1 ½ months, update FOIA policy & forms
Bear Lake Township $1,028.34 General Fund 101-191-740 Election
West Coast Farm Service $175.00 Major Fund #202-463-783 Winter
Bear Lake Ace Hardware $63.47 General Fund 101-265-930
Haviland Products Co. $460.50 Water Fund 591-558-775 Bleach
District Health Department #10 $120.00 Park Fund 531-000-740 Campgrd Annual Inspection
Blarney Castle $1,000 Major Fund 202-265-776 Fuel Oil- Maint Build
$617.67 Minor Fund 203-265-776
Manistee, Mason, & Oceana Conser District $125.00 General Fund 101-000-803
Reimbursement, Sally King $193.32 General Fund 101-265-500 Lansing travel MMTA Wkshop
Bittner/Jennings Attorneys $531.30 General Fund 101-265-801 FOIA
$931.38 Water Fund 591-558-801 Water Project – reimbursement
IRS payment $266.73 General Fund 101-265-714 Tax period March 2013
Manistee Co. Road Comm. $264.15 Major Fund 202-463-783 Salt/Sand
$264.15 Minor Fund 203-463-782
Jackpine Business Center $85.97 Park Fund 531.000.900 Camp Permits
Staples $151.33 General Fund 101-215-727 Toner, ink
Gabridge & Co. $400.00 General Fund 101-265-801 QB training & W/2 & W/3 forms
EPA’s Watershed Academy will host a webinar on its new online “Model My Watershed” tool on Thursday, March 9 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm (eastern).The tool allows users to model and run scenarios for stormwater runoff and water quality impacts. During the webinar, presenters will provide an overview and a demonstration of the tool, and highlight how it is being used by several states for their total maximum daily load, nonpoint source, and municipal stormwater programs. Webinar participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance. Register HERE.
It is regrettable that the following is not available on the Village of Bear Lake web site bearlakemichigan.org or Bear Lake Township at bearlaketwp.com
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CONSIDER NEXT PHASE OF MUNICIPAL SEWER PROJECT
MANISTEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN — Five local units of government are considering participating in an initial stage of a municipal sewer project aimed at consolidating their municipal wastes around portions of three watersheds and sending them to the Wastewater Treatment Plant owned and operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI).
The governing bodies of three of the local units, including Onekama Township, Pleasanton Township and Arcadia Township have passed resolutions to participate. Bear Lake Township and the Village of Bear Lake expect to consider participation soon. The project would provide wastewater treatment for residences and businesses around Portage Lake, Bear Lake and Arcadia Lake.
Under the resolution, participating local governments would collaborate in forming a sewer authority which would then submit one application for financing to the U. S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. USDA would then provide a response indicating the amount of grant funding, low-interest, long term loan financing and the timeframe for providing funding to support the sewer project. Participating local governments are free to drop out of the project at any time.
The cost of forming the Sewer Authority is estimated to be $10,000 through Attorney Eric Williams, Big Rapids, who specializes in multi-government agreements. The cost of developing the USDA funding application is estimated to be $30,000 through the firm Wade Trim. At most the participating local governments would pay their share of the total costs. However, the local governments plan to prepare a Program Planning Grant Application through Wade Trim and the Alliance for Economic Success for $23,000 which, if granted, would reduce the total cost of the Authority and USDA funding application from $40,000 to $17,000. Williams and Wade Trim have prior experience with the LRBOI staff and wastewater treatment facility and their collaboration with Manistee Township in treating their wastes.
The goals of the project are to: protect and preserve the watersheds; enable planned development; and take advantage of economies of scale created by having a number of local governments collaborating with the project.
The five local governments are represented on a work team by: Arcadia Township, Doug Carter; Bear Lake Township, Jeff Harthun; Onekama Township, David Meister; Pleasanton Township, Judy Girven; and Village of Bear Lake, Jeff Bair. Coordination with the LRBOI is through the auspices of Ogema Larry Romanelli and the Tribe’ Utility Department Supervisor, Gary Lewis. The team is also working directly with Christine Maxwell, Director of Community Programs for Michigan with USDA Rural Development.
“Sewer projects are costly, time consuming and generate a lot of public interest,” said Judy Girven, Treasurer with Pleasanton Township. “It’s of great importance that we have an ongoing process for people to ask questions and receive answers so all input can be considered throughout the course of this project. Everyone on the team agrees that transparency is of utmost importance.” Girven said that the first in a series of information flyers has been prepared that provides information about the project and upcoming public meetings and provides direction on how all interests can receive answers to their questions.
“We want everyone to ask whatever questions they have about the project,” said Bear Lake Township Supervisor Jeff Harthun. “We may not always have the answers immediately but we will get them and plan to periodically print and disseminate the questions and answers so that everyone can gather more information about the project. On March 16 and 18, 2017 we will hold three public meetings on the project where we will update everyone on status, answer questions and ask for any other questions. We’ll be announcing the exact time and location in the near future.”
In addition to asking any of the local government team members, questions about the project may also be submitted by:
Phoning them to the Alliance for Economic Success at 231-723-4325
Sending them to the Alliance for Economic Success by telefax to fax no. 231-723-3717
INFORMATION: MANISTEE COUNTY COLLABORATIVE SEWER INITIATIVE
Arcadia Township ● Bear Lake Township ● Onekama Township ● Pleasanton Township ● Village of Bear Lake
Municipal sewer projects require commitments of local resources and have impacts that need to be understood by communities. A process has been established by local governments participating in the Manistee County Collaborative Sewer Authority for everyone to ask questions and receive feedback about the project.
This is the first information flyer about the project. We will create and issue additional flyers as we have more information about the project.
Individuals, groups and agencies may submit questions they have about the project so that answers can be provided. Questions may be submitted by:
2. Phoning them to the Alliance for Economic Success at 231-723-4325
3. Sending them to the Alliance for Economic Success by telefax to fax no. 231-723-3717
Questions may also be forwarded to the following individuals who are contacts for the project on behalf of the local government they represent. In many cases, an answer may not be readily available but, in every case, we will follow up. Periodically, we will complete and disseminate a compilation of questions received and answers provided.
“On March 16 and 18, 2017 we will hold three public meetings on the project where we will update everyone on status, answer questions and ask for any other questions. Our goal is to record all questions, obtain the answer and publish an ongoing list of questions and answers that everyone can access. We know that many people are not in the area during this time. We will have speaker phones available and a pre-published phone number for anyone to join the meetings by phone. We will also tape each of these meetings and publish the date and time when they will air on the Manistee Public Access Channel. We will also have a set of public meetings after we receive a response from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Rural Development on the funding application for the project. We believe that those meetings will be held in late summer 2017 when most residents are in the area.”
1. How did this initiative begin
Onekama Township explored options to help protect Portage Lake water quality and develop capacity needed by the new owners of Portage Point Inn through a sewage collection system serving residential and commercial customers along the lakeshore. It was concluded that the Village of Onekama’s wastewater treatment plant did not have sufficient capacity. It was determined that the treatment plant owned and operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI) had capacity and would make that capacity available to Onekama Township and other neighboring local governments if interest existed. Because of LRBOI’s partnership, Onekama Township felt that the capacity and a collaborative project might be of interest to neighboring local governments.
2. How did the initiative expand to include other local governments?
The Alliance for Economic Success (AES) was assisting Onekama Township, partly because of the importance of the project to the renovation and restoration plans of Portage Point Inn. When it was known that LRBOI had the potential to handle municipal waste from Onekama Township and neighboring jurisdictions, the AES and Onekama Township contacted the other local governments to assess their interest in the project.
All of the partnering local governments passed resolutions agreeing to join in Phase 1, the initial exploratory phase of the project, that focused on gaining a preliminary understanding of the viability of the project and required no financial commitment by the parties.
As the following explains, the next phase of the initiative for the local governments that choose to participate would involve forming a sewer authority and submitting an application for funding to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development to fund the sewer project.
3. What are the goals of the initiative?
Water Quality. To protect and preserve the Portage Lake, Greater Bear, Arcadia Lake and Lake Michigan watersheds from pollutant threats from on-site waste disposal systems. This includes both surface and ground waters.
Economic/Community Development. To enable development in the form of businesses and jobs in keeping with local objectives.
Realize Collaborative Benefits. Through collaboration, engineering and construction costs for the system designed to accommodate all participating municipal units will be shared. In addition, because of collaboration, there will be a sole focus for preparing the financing application, constructing and operating the system.
4. What is the status of the initiative as of February 2017?
We have determined that we must form a sewer authority to submit one funding application to USDA Rural Development to realize the benefits of collaboration. This is a unique project in that all participating local governments would be part of a regional sewer system that will connect with one wastewater treatment plant.
5. What is the next phase of the project?
Local governments that participate will do two things in Phase 2 of the project.
Form a Sewer Authority to Seeking Funding and Manage the Project. There will be approximately $10,000 in legal fees to establish a Sewer Authority and to create bylaws, operation policies, and procedures. All local governments that participate will have representation on the Sewer Authority. The formation of an authority is required so they can submit one financing application to USDA Rural Development on behalf of the participating local governments. Participating local governments will want to have their respective legal counsel review the documents involving the creation of the sewer authority. The ad-hoc team from the local governments that have been involved in the project have selected Attorney Eric Williams of Big Rapids to help form the authority. Mr. Williams has significant prior experience with multi-governmental projects, including sewer authorities and has no representation that could pose a real or perceived conflict of interest. Mr. Williams was retained as a counsel in the collaborative sewer project involving the Little River Band and Manistee Township and by Filer Township in the collaborative sewer project.
Complete a USDA Rural Development Financing Application. Wade Trim will prepare the project funding application. Wade Trim has worked with LRBOI on the Filer Township project and in the initial application between Onekama Township and USDA Rural Development. Wade Trim has also developed all of the preliminary information to date at no cost. The typical cost for an application for a governmental unit is $10,000. Because of the number of local governments participating and the fact that some of the data required exists, the total application development costs will be $30,000 spread amongst the five local governments.
Assuming all five local governments remain in the process, each will need to contribute approximately $10,000 in attorney fees + $30,000 for engineering fees = $40,000/5 = $8,000 from each local government.
However, the Authority will be eligible to apply for a planning grant through USDA Rural Development of up to $23,000. If this application is submitted and awarded, that would reduce the total cost of the next phase of the project to $17,000 ($40,000 – $23,000 = $17,000). If this should happen, the equal share that would be contributed by the partnering local governments would be $3,400. Because of limited funds, the planning application should be submitted to USDA by no later than mid-April 2017.
6. Can a participating local unit cease participation in the project?
Yes. A participating local unit of government can stop participation in the project at any time.
7. What is the primary source of funding for the project?
USDA Rural Development is the primary source of financing for this initiative. USDA is the preferred source of funding for a project such as this that has the capability to provide both grant funds (that do not have to be repaid) and long term loan funds at a favorable rate of interest.
8. Do we know who is and is not to be included in the sewer district?
We will have a preliminary sewer district mapped by the time of the public meetings.
9. What is the Total Estimated Cost of the Project?
With all local units involved, we believe the total project cost may be approximately $37 million. We want to emphasize the word “approximately” since the actual cost of the project will only be known once final design and engineering is completed and bids are let and received within the expected cost of the project.
10. What is the grant and loan funding that USDA will provide for this project?
We will not know the answer to this question until a formal grant application is submitted to USDA and we receive a proposal from them. On a preliminary basis, we anticipate that:
– The total amount of the project would be proposed to be funded by USDA with a combination of grants and loans.
– The amount expended by the sewer authority and local units would be reimbursable through funding for the project provided by USDA.
– The interest term would likely be 40 years at a rate of interest that is more favorable than the rate of interest under any commercially available financing.
– A meaningful portion of the project would be funded through a grant.
The above are preliminary expectations based on prior experience and history. USDA, like all federal agencies, is subject to annual appropriations of Congress and support of the President. The Michigan USDA must then be provided an allocation of funding by the Washington USDA office.
One of the common difficulties with projects such as this is that people often form opinions about the cost of projects without accurate information. We urge that all interests not form opinions about financing until a firm proposal from USDA is received in response to a funding application.
11. What is Known about the Costs to End Users?
Much work needs to be completed before end-user costs are known.
A significant factor in determining end-user costs is the total number of users on the system. Typically, user costs can be broken into two categories: bond repayment and user costs after they are connected to the system.
As previously noted, we expect financing in the form of grant funds and a low-interest, long-term loan through USDA Rural Development.
Oftentimes, a special assessment is established by the Sewer Authority or local governmental unit to repay the loan through a bond. This loan repayment is usually spread over 40 years and the resulting annual bond repayments are passed on to the residents/businesses/properties that benefit from the project. An individual may choose to pay off his or her share early of the bonded indebtedness that is the subject of a special assessment. The monthly payment is determined based on residential equivalent units (REU’s). One REU is equivalent to one single family home. Commercial businesses could be assessed a number of REU’s. For example, a hotel with 50 rooms might be assessed 30 REU’s. The number of REU’s assessed is usually based on an adopted REU calculation chart. The fee can also be placed on property taxes and paid that way rather than monthly. Once the assessment is established, it would not change until the bond is repaid.
Once a business or residence connects to the system, a monthly or quarterly bill will be sent to the user by the Authority to account for transport and treatment of the wastewater. This fee covers the cost of operation and maintenance of the system including treatment of the wastewater. The individuals representing the local governments in this process have agreed that the LRBOI is best suited to manage operations and maintenance.
12. Who has to hook up to a sewer?
The requirement for connecting to the sewer line would be established in the sewer ordinance established through the Authority. Usually, the funding agency, (in this case USDA Rural Development) requires connection by users within a certain distance of the sewer line within a specific timeframe (18 months is typical). The cost to hook up is not yet known but it usually is established to cover the construction cost to hook up and the cost per REU as determined from the assessment.
13. What is the Estimated Schedule for the Project?
Milestone Approximate Date
Pass resolution kicking off formation of Authority March 15, 2017
Form Sewer Authority April 14, 2017
Submit Planning Grant Application April 28, 2017
Submit Financing Application to USDA October 2017
Receive Response from USDA on Financing December 2017 Application
Design Begins April 2018
Finalize design/USDA submittal items December 2018