Financial implications of infrastructure projects

A reminder – the function of this news media is to provide information not pass judgement.

No one in this community is opposed to progress but how to pay for, and ensure a fair and equitable financial distribution and timeline requires basic financial information. In order for residents to give proper consideration to their potential financial obligations a full disclosure is preferred.

The graphic above comes from this official web site

https://www.accessmygov.com/MunicipalDashboard/FinancialData?uid=2090

 

The following is a depiction of actual financial data supplied by the Village in it’s accounting spreadsheets.

There are 3 major infrastructure projects being proposed.

The costs are divided by the latest official US Census figures.

Obviously the actual sewer transmission costs will depend on the extent of service connections within the Village and whether transmission is gravity or pumped fed. One item of concern in the preliminary language lists REU’s by Lot, not parcel. The final household obligation will depend on the ratio of loan to grant funding, connection fees and unfunded obligations to remove prior septic systems plus necessary household electrical upgraded.

village financial position

The Village amended it’s budget in June:

  • At the request of the USDA & Rural Development, repayment of loan for construction of new DPW building (approx.. $310k over 30 yrs.) must be amended into the 2017-2018 Village Budget. Loan repayment per month approx.. $1,225-$1500) ▪ Motion to amend the budget for repayment of DPW building in 2017-2018 Budget as follows: General $1,800, Water $7,200, Park $1,800, Major $3,600, Minor $3,600, by Bass, seconded by McPherson. Motion Carried 

A member of the Bear Lake News Board asked for more information concerning this item.

Hi Cindi
The June meeting of the Village Council indicates that a request was made by the USDA and Rural Development that the Village amend the Budget to reflect the monthly loan repayment for the new DPW building. I would like to formally request copies of any and all documents sent to the Village by the USDA and Rural Development regarding this matter.
Thank you

This was the response:

From: “Cindi McPherson, Clerk” <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com>
Date: July 14, 2017 at 2:12:43 PM EDT
Subject: Re: FOIA – USDA AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT LOAN LETTER RE: BUDGET AMENDMENT
I received a call from AES which stated we needed to show repayment of the loan for the DPW building in our budget.  There were no documents involved.
Cindi McPherson, Clerk
Village of Bear Lake
And in response:
Thanks for your prompt response, Cindi. Sounds like will have to FOIA from USDA and Rural Development as I am sure they would have to put a requirement such as this in writing.
I’m surprised that the Village would not want something in writing to back up the request and the need to amend the budget.
Thanks.
**************
July 11:

Good afternoon,

we are concerned about this item in the June Village of Bear Lake Minutes:
  1. “At the request of the USDA & Rural Development, repayment of loan for construction of new DPW building (approx.. $310k over 30 yrs.) must be amended into the 2017- 2018 Village Budget. Loan repayment per month approx.. $1,225-$1500)▪ Motion to amend the budget for repayment of DPW building in 2017-2018 Budget as follows: General $1,800, Water $7,200, Park $1,800, Major $3,600, Minor $3,600, by Bass, seconded by McPherson. Motion Carried

Yays: Bass, Evans, Johnson. McPherson, Ronning, Schroeder, Bair

Nays: None”

Under Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014:

Please tell us, when did discussions commence regarding this loan? When was this discussed at a public meeting? As this intends to place an escrow and commit the General Fund does this require a published Notice of Intent? Does this loan require a renegotiation of the Qualifying Statement to authorize exceeding the Village debt to revenue ratio?

Vern Best

No response was received other than that already posted here REVISED FOIA Request Response Letter (2)

Here are the proposed construction plans:

BEAR LAKE PEC

Preliminary_Progress_6-22-16

February 22 Village of Bear Lake Budget Amendment Meeting

No response was received for the request for accommodation for attendance at either the February 1 or February 22 meeting.

PDF of FY 2016-17 Budget Amendment Sheets as provided

Fiscal Year 2016-17 End Amendments

2017-18 Budget Worksheets

Bear Lake News Subscribers submitted the following questions for review at the February 1, 2017 Budget Meeting. The following was received in reply on February 22:

Listed are the answers to your questions you submitted.
1. If deficits are noted at the close of the current FY in any Fund, and it becomes necessary to use reserve savings to make up the difference – has that been carried over to the FY17-18 spreadsheets
A. No, it is a 2016-2017 transaction.
General Fund:
1. Has the Council discussed the increasing % of Property Tax income that now goes to cover wages and salaries? $56k in income v $76,700 in expenditures. Can you list the current combined payment to the Village President that comes from all sources.
A. Wages & salaries are distributed to all funds where employees worked.
We are unsure of where you got the $76,700 number from, please explain.
[ From previously supplied spreadsheets:
President pay: monthly $250, quarterly $450, Maintenance Supervisor $1,000.
[it is customary for the Park Manager to receive a % of Park rental fees, please clarify?]
2. How many part time employees does the Village currently have, contractual or employee, at what rate of pay and what duties do they perform. Is there now a requirement for 2 individuals to be present when snow plowing Village streets.
A. Part-time employees are Larry Gibson – Blight Officer, Lane Lee & GaryMcBride.  – Maintenance.  One paid person drives the plow truck.
3. A line item of $1000 has been created for ‘Election’ – is the Village anticipating a need to reimburse the Township for election services this year.
A. The amount has always been there to the best of our knowledge.
4. Public Utilities – at $17,000 for which services and locations is this anticipated.
A. All public Utilities and all village owned locations.
[we have asked for a more specific breakdown of services per location]
5. $5800 is budgeted. Actual expenditures on tree damage this current year is over $12,000, with trees also being listed in both Minor and Major Funds. When tree invoices are paid is it noted where the location is to comply with State regulation.
A. $12,000 was from 16/17 budget. yes, location is noted, Major/Minor
Major and Minor Streets
1. With action pending at the State level to eliminate State Income tax does the Village have any reserve funds or plan to express it’s opposition to such action.
A. No
Park
1. if the proposal is to eliminate several prime Park lots – what steps have been considered to explain the increase in rental income (to $38k when actual rent income  is listed at $33,360)
A. There is no proposal.
[we have asked for detailed information on siting of the proposed Kayak launch which is the subject of a Public Hearing March 13 at the Village Hall to consider an application for funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund]
2. $10k is listed as Salaries and Wages – can you elaborate please which employees this relates to and where the corresponding Park line item for Withholding appears (actual expenditure is currently $14,565) During summer 2016 the Village employed at least 2 additional part time employees – does this budget anticipate requiring the same number in 2017, at what rate of pay, for how many hours, and are they classed as contractual or an employee.
A. Wages are tranfered to General Fund. At this time we anticipate 1 part-time employee. $9.00 per hour.  Employee
3. Public utilities are listed at $12k – actual expenditures in FY16-17 is overdrawn by $2,810 to $10,360. What steps are being taken to do an energy audit in the Park to bring those costs down.
A. No engergy audit will be done. This depends on what type of camper/trailers are in the park.
Water
1. An increase in water bill revenue is listed at $100k ( $70k in FY16-17). The discussion and approval of an increase in water rates has not taken place yet, what is the anticipated monthly/quarterly increase.
A. We approved this at our February 2017 meeting for rate increase in April & October of 2017.
2. Salaries and Wages have increased from $2,500 to $10,000 – for which employees is this increase necessary
A. Treasurer, President & Maintenance staff spending more time with water system.
3. Sewer Project – $3,500 – at which public meeting was the need to allocate this amount convened and for what purpose
A. Done at February 2017 meeting, to further investigate the cost.
4. Professional Services at $14k – current FY16-17 Budget is for $20k with actual expenditures at $22,806. How is the reduction in expenditures anticipated when the current agreement with Mead Hunt is as follows:

Weekly pricing is on Time and Materials (T&M) basis at $50.00 hour with minimum of 4 hours plus Water Sample Analysis as required by the MDEQ. All water samples analyzed will be at the Villages expense with invoices billed on a T&M basisCall-outs and Extra Time are at $65/hour with authorization only by the designated representative of the Village of Bear Lake.

Weekly site visit, well house/wellhead inspection, chlorine application and distribution system residuals monitoring, hands-on Village employee training and water sample collection and delivery to the labminimum of $200.00 per visit.

Will the Village have a fully certified water system operator on staff this year?

A. We are looking into different possibilities.

5. Bond payment has increased from $10k to $25k – Bond Interest increased from $2,200 to $14k.
Please explain.
A. We may need to make a double bond payment for this year.
Cindi McPherson, Clerk
Village of Bear Lake

 

THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE will be meeting on: Budget Amendments for Fiscal Year 2016-2017

SPECIAL MEETING NOTICE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE will be meeting on: Budget Amendments for Fiscal Year 2016-2017
Meeting date: Wednesday February 22, 2017
Meeting Time: 7pm
Location: Bear Lake Village Hall
12376 Virginia Street
Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for effective participation in the public hearing/public meeting should contact the Bear Lake Village Clerk at 231.970.2066 or at the above address one week in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing, or other assistance.

Cindi McPherson
Village Clerk
February 16, 2017 posted


NOTE: the Village Council no longer records it’s meetings. If you are willing to attend and either audio or video record meetings please respond to this post.

The following Request  is again submitted under Title VI (Referenced in the Village Title VI Non Discrimination Plan with Clerk McPherson as the Village Title VI Coordinator):

The Village of Bear Lake serves all people, including minority populations, low income populations, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and those who traverse the Village.  The Village of Bear Lake, recognizes in responsibility to provide fairness and equity in all of its programs, services, and activities, and that it must abide by and enforce federal and state civil rights legislation. 
The Village of Bear Lake has developed this Title VI Plan to assure that services, programs, and activities of the Village of Bear Lake are offered, conducted, and administered fairly, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability of the participants or beneficiaries of federally funded programs, services, or activities (see Title VI Assurances). 
and Americans With Disabilities Act Title II 

Subpart E—Communications
§ 35.160 General.
§§ 35.153—35.159 [Reserved]

  • (a)
    • (1) A public entity shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, members of the public, and companions with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.”
To prevent discrimination toward registered voters and property owners who are unable to physically attend live on site meetings, we request access to either record or broadcast all public meetings. We have offered to purchase and provide digital recording devices to enable instant archiving and file sharing.
Bear Lake News Editorial Board.

February 15 Village of Bear Lake Meeting. Notes and Audio

On behalf of residents and property owners unable to attend in person Bear Lake News requested access via speakerphone as the Village no longer records its meetings. A call in number was provided at 12.59pm Wednesday February 15, 2017.

The following amalgamation of requested information to be addressed at the Budget Hearing was sent by return email at 1.02pm

Good morning,

Respectfully, here are the combined questions submitted to us which we are asking be addressed at this evening’s FY2017-18 Budget Hearing.
1. If deficits are noted at the close of the current FY in any Fund, and it becomes necessary to use reserve savings to make up the difference – has that been carried over to the FY17-18 spreadsheets
General Fund:
1. Has the Council discussed the increasing % of Property Tax income that now goes to cover wages and salaries? $56k in income v $76,700 in expenditures. Can you list the current combined payment to the Village President that comes from all sources.
2. How many part time employees does the Village currently have, contractual or employee, at what rate of pay and what duties do they perform. Is there now a requirement for 2 individuals to be present when snow plowing Village streets.
3. A line item of $1000 has been created for ‘Election’ – is the Village anticipating a need to reimburse the Township for election services this year.
4. Public Utilities – at $17,000 for which services and locations is this anticipated.
5. $5800 is budgeted. Actual expenditures on tree damage this current year is over $12,000, with trees also being listed in both Minor and Major Funds. When tree invoices are paid is it noted where the location is to comply with State regulation.
Major and Minor Streets
1. With action pending at the State level to eliminate State Income tax does the Village have any reserve funds or plan to express it’s opposition to such action.
Park
1. if the proposal is to eliminate several prime Park lots – what steps have been considered to explain the increase in rental income (to $38k when actual rent income  is listed at $33,360)
2. $10k is listed as Salaries and Wages – can you elaborate please which employees this relates to and where the corresponding Park line item for Withholding appears (actual expenditure is currently $14,565) During summer 2016 the Village employed at least 2 additional part time employees – does this budget anticipate requiring the same number in 2017, at what rate of pay, for how many hours, and are they classed as contractual or an employee.
3. Public utilities are listed at $12k – actual expenditures in FY16-17 is overdrawn by $2,810 to $10,360. What steps are being taken to do an energy audit in the Park to bring those costs down.
Water
1. An increase in water bill revenue is listed at $100k ( $70k in FY16-17). The discussion and approval of an increase in water rates has not taken place yet, what is the anticipated monthly/quarterly increase.
2. Salaries and Wages have increased from $2,500 to $10,000 – for which employees is this increase necessary
3. Sewer Project – $3,500 – at which public meeting was the need to allocate this amount convened and for what purpose
4. Professional Services at $14k – current FY16-17 Budget is for $20k with actual expenditures at $22,806. How is the reduction in expenditures anticipated when the current agreement with Mead Hunt is as follows:

Weekly pricing is on a Time and Materials (T&M) basis at $50.00 hour with a minimum of 4 hours plus Water Sample Analysis as required by the MDEQ. All water samples analyzed will be at the Villages expense with invoices billed on a T&M basis. Call-outs and Extra Time are at $65/hour with authorization only by the designated representative of the Village of Bear Lake.

Weekly site visit, well house/wellhead inspection, chlorine application and distribution system residuals monitoring, hands-on Village employee training and water sample collection and delivery to the lab, minimum of $200.00 per visit.

Will the Village have a fully certified water system operator on staff this year?

5. Bond payment has increased from $10k to $25k – Bond Interest increased from $2,200 to $14k.
Please explain.
On behalf of residents we appreciate the work you do and trust you agree that transparency and fiscal responsibility is essential to establish trust.
Kind regards,
Bear Lake News
2 independent recordings were made for publication.

Proposed Village of Bear Lake FY2017-18 Operating Budget

THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING

The Village of Bear Lake Village Council will be holding a public hearing to approve the budget for 2017-18 fiscal year on February 15, 2017 at 7pm at the Bear Lake

Village Hall, 12376 Virginia Street. The regular monthly council meeting will immediately follow.

THE PROPERTY TAX MILLAGE RATE IS 10.5363 TO BE LEVIED.

Here is a copy of the received non accessible PDF which has been reformatted for screen readability by an accessibility volunteer.

2017-18-budget-worksheets pdf

Questions received relate to the following items in the Water Fund: [water Sales in FY16-17 i.e from water bills was $70k]

waterfund1718

and in the General Fund:

generalrevenue1718

For comparison FY16-17 current spreadsheets can be viewed here.

Village of Bear Lake February 15 Meeting Packet

The following was received from Village of Bear Lake Clerk McPherson February 13, 2017 at 4.41pm:

PERPOSED AGENDA Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting

February 15, 2017 7:00 p.m. – Village Hall

  1. CALL TO ORDER and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

  2. ROLL CALL

  3. ADOPTION of AGENDA

  4. 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:

i. Dendra Best, email regarding wording on Manistee Co. Trail Committee notes from last month

  1. REPORTS/DISCUSSION

a. MINUTES APPROVAL:

a. Regular meeting – January 18, 2017

b. Special Meeting – February 1, 2017

c. Special Meeting – February 13, 2007

b. VILLAGE MAINTENANCE REPORT:

c. TREASURER’S REPORT:

a. Approval of Treasurer’s Report

b.

d. BILLS to be PAID:

e. 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

COMMITTEE CHAIR REPORTS:

 PARK:

 TREES:

 STREETS:

 WATER:

 EQUIPMENT:

 SIDEWALK:

 BLIGHT/CABA : Blight Enforcement Officer report

 PLANNING COMMISSION:

 MANISTEE COUNTY TRAIL COMMITTEE REPORT:

 AD HOC COMMITTEE: Policy, Resolution &amp; Ordinance Committee

 Employee Holiday / Vacation Policy

  1. OLD BUSINESS:

  1. NEW BUSINESS:

 Water rate increase

 Lake Improvement Board Meeting on March 7, 2017 – new appointment to board

 Sewer Resolution

 MDOT Resolution

  1. 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.

 Items on agenda or not listed

  1. UPCOMING EVENTS and ANNOUCEMENTS:

  2. ADJOURNMENT


Requests have been made for all documents to be in screen readable format – the following received PDF has been resampled to allow screen readability as required by law.

Screen Readable treasurers-report-1-31-17.pdf

treasurers-report-1-31-17.xls

FY2016-17 January Village of Bear Lake Treasurer Report

February 15, 2017 FY2017-18 Budget Public Hearing

On February 1, 2017 the Village of Bear Lake held a formal FY2017-18 Budget meeting.

A FOIA request had asked for the proposed operating budget spreadsheets, the December 2016 and January 2017 presented Fund by Line item Budget to Actual Expenditures – in advance of those meetings. They were not received.

The following DRAFT Minutes were provided subsequently:

Village of Bear Lake

PUBLIC HEARING MEETING

2017-2018 Budget Work Meeting February 1, 2017

Unapproved Minutes

The Meeting of the Bear Lake Village Council was called to order by President Jeff Bair at 7:00 p.m. at the Bear Lake Village Hall.

Allegiance was said by all.

Council Present: President: Jeff Bair Council: Ron Ronning, Greg McPherson, Jackie Johnson, Peggy Bass, Treasurer: Sally King, Clerk: Cindi McPherson Staff: Jared Bair

Absent: Carver Edwards, Janene Gee and Larry Gibson

AGENDA ITEM: Budget: Discussion was held on individual accounts with changes made as needed to proposed budget accounts.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:38pm

Respectfully submitted by; Cindi McPherson, Clerk

On February 6, 2017 the following notice was received:

THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE

NOTICE OF BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING

The Village of Bear Lake Village Council will be holding a public hearing to approve the budget for 2017-18 fiscal year on February 15, 2017 at 7pm at the Bear Lake Village Hall, 12376 Virginia Street.  The regular monthly council meeting will immediately follow.

THE PROPERTY TAX MILLAGE RATE IS 10.5363 TO BE LEVIED.

A copy of the proposed budget is available for public inspection at the Village of Bear Lake office, 12376 Virginia Street during regular business hours; Monday – Friday, 1pm -3pm.

Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for effective participation in the public hearing/public meeting should contact the Bear Lake Village Clerk at 231.970.2066 or at the above address one week in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing, or other assistance.

Cindi McPherson, Clerk

Village of Bear Lake

A reminder of the existing FOIA request for the FY2016-17 December and January finance spreadsheets and the proposed FY2017-18 Operating Budget was sent together with a request for speakerphone access to both the Budget Hearing and Regular Council Meeting on February 15, 2017 to accommodate those unable to attend.

Also on February 6 we received the following spreadsheet of the current Village financial status as discussed at the February 1 meeting.

2016-2017-budget-update-1-13-17-2-for-sharing-1

Below is the General Ledger sheet given out at the November 2016 Council Meeting.

general1116b

Below is the General Ledger sheet just provided.

generalrevenue0117

The following communication was received from the State of MI Department of Treasury in August 2016:

0816

0816b

From the following link provided at the Manistee County Treasurer web page:

This is the 2016 Financial Health Report for the Village of Bear Lake as provided by the State of MI:

exp16 rev16 position16
details16

For Comparison:

details15

The following request was sent to the Village Clerk on January 17 and again on January 27, 2017:

Six Month Subscription Request under FOIA

As a digital media news service, providing information to residents and tax payers we are again requesting, respectfully, in advance of each Special, Commission and Regular Council Meeting, by electronic means, the full packet of documents and Agenda provided for Council / Commission Members and made available to all who may physically attend such meetings.
 
Specifically we are requesting all documents referenced in, and including, each meeting Agenda for all meetings from January 2017 to June 30, 2017.
In addition, this request is submitted under Title VI (Referenced in the Village Title VI Non Discrimination Plan with yourself as the Village Title VI Coordinator) 
The Village of Bear Lake serves all people, including minority populations, low income populations, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and those who traverse the Village.  The Village of Bear Lake, recognizes in responsibility to provide fairness and equity in all of its programs, services, and activities, and that it must abide by and enforce federal and state civil rights legislation. 
The Village of Bear Lake has developed this Title VI Plan to assure that services, programs, and activities of the Village of Bear Lake are offered, conducted, and administered fairly, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability of the participants or beneficiaries of federally funded programs, services, or activities (see Title VI Assurances). 
and Americans With Disabilities Act Title II 
 
We are requesting the reinstatement of audio recordings of all meetings, to be made available for registered voters and property owners who are unable to physically attend live on site meetings. Again, we are offering to purchase and provide digital recording devices to enable instant archiving and file sharing.
 
Thank you for your cooperation and service in enabling Village Residents to have full access to operational and financial information. If we can assist in any way do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Bear Lake News Editorial Board.
We have not thus far received the requested copy of the proposed FY2017-18 Operating Budget and it is not posted at BearLakeMichigan.org. The last Minutes posted there are November 2016.

December 2016 Village Council Meeting

The Approved November 2016 Council Minutes have been published. A request was made to list the noted FY2016-17 Budget Amendments and the amount of Christmas bonus’s. Neither were included.

[“Motion made to accept recommended amendments to budget by Johnson and seconded by Bass. Motion carried.
Aye: Edwards, Johnson, Bass, Ronning and Bair
Nay: none
Abstained: Gee”]

December 2016 DRAFT Minutes. The Village does not publish Draft Minutes in advance of the following month’s meeting. The following is provided as a public service via a FOIA request. Draft Minutes are required to be publicly available within 8 business days under the MI Open Meetings Act and to accessible under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

NOTE: the Village Council no longer records it’s meetings. Volunteers were not able to provide one for the December 2016 meeting. If you are willing to attend and either audio or video record meetings please respond to this post.

Requests for the itemized FY2016-17 Budget To Actual finance reports for December 2016 which itemize ‘month to date’ expenditures have not received a response. (See the November Accounts here)

{UNIFORM BUDGETING AND ACCOUNTING ACT Act 2 of 1968
AN ACT to provide for the formulation and establishment of uniform charts of accounts and reports in local units of government; to define local units of government; to provide for the examination of the books and accounts of local units of government; to provide for annual financial reports from local units of government; to provide for the administration of this act; to prescribe the powers and duties of the state treasurer, the attorney general, the library of Michigan and depository libraries, and other officers and entities; to provide penalties for violation of certain requirements of this act; to provide for meeting the expenses authorized by this act; to provide a uniform budgeting system for local units; and to prohibit deficit spending by a local unit of government.

History: 1968, Act 2, Imd. Eff. Feb. 20, 1968;.Am. 1978, Act 621, Eff. Apr. 1, 1980;.Am. 1996, Act 401, Eff. Dec. 18, 1996.

141.438 Incurring debts or obligations; dividing appropriations into allotments; expenditures; application or diversion of money; restrictions on delegation of duties; enforcement power; suit against chief administrative officer of county; standing; mediation; 60-day period to bring suit in Michigan court of appeals; court jurisdiction; limitation; certain actions barred; expenditure of funds; severability.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in section 19, an administrative officer of the local unit shall not incur expenditures against an appropriation account in excess of the amount appropriated by the legislative body.]

See September 2016 Minutes for State of Michigan Notification.

Village of Bear Lake Council
REGULAR MEETING
December 21, 2016
Bear Lake Village Hall

Unapproved Minutes

The regular meeting of the Bear Lake Village Council was called to order by President Jeff Bair at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall. Pledge of Allegiance was said.

Present: President: Jeff Bair Council: Peggy Bass, Ron Ronning, Jackie Johnson, Janene Gee, Carver Edwards Treasurer: Sally King, Clerk: Cindi McPherson Staff: Larry Gibson
Absent: Jared Bair
Guests: Four guests signed in

Motion to Adopt the Agenda as presented and with additions by Ronning and seconded by Johnson, motion carried.

President Bair added Planning Commission appointments under Old Business and FOIA Appeal under New Business.
Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none

Public Comment: None

Correspondence: Read by clerk:

  •  Email from Jason Wilder Evans; requesting the Village Council to sign attached proclamation for JWEDAY2017. No discussion was held. Email on file with Dec 21 2016 minutes.
  •  Email from Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission regarding Planning Commission Ordinance. No discussion was held. Email on file with Dec 21, 2016 minutes.
    [Subject:Village Planning Commission Ordinance 2016-4- Sec 15 & 16Hi Cindi,
    Please read the following at the beginning of the Village Council meeting on Wednesday, December 21,2016:
    Please note that Section 15 and 16 of Ordinance No 2016-4 do not apply to either Ordinance 2006.01 nor the Village Planning Commission established in 2013 for the following reasons:
    1. Ordinance 2006.01 referred to a Joint Planning Commission formed by this Ordinance on 12/15/06, not a Village Planning Commission and this was invalidated on August 19, 2009 and October 21, 2009 when the Village Council (twice) voted to withdraw from this Joint Planning Commission. This effectively repealed this Ordinance. No new Ordinance was ever passed or published by the Village according to Village Council minutes and the acknowledgement of the Village Council at the October 2016 meeting.
    2. The Village Planning Commission that was formed in 2013 was not a valid Planning Commission as it was in violation of a number of requirements in the MPEA of 2008 including, but not limited to:
    A. This group was not established by a published Ordinance.
    B. Undated and invalid Planning Commission Bylaws were posted on website for this group.
    C. Membership of this group was in violation of the MPEA by having multiple Council members on the Planning Commission.
    D. No record of Oaths of Office were ever taken according to available minutes of this group and/or the Village Council minutes which is required by MI Attorney General Opinion #7236.
    E. The lack of regular elections as required by the MPEA.
    F. The lack of Annual reports as required by MPEA.
    G. The lack of meeting minutes prior to 2015.
    H. A violation of Open Meetings Act by holding two closed session meetings on September 23, 2013 and September 30, 2013 to discuss the Master Plan which is not one of the allowed topics for a Closed Session meeting according to the Open Meetings Act.
    As a result, this was not a valid Planning Commission according to the law in effect at the time (MPEA 2008) but rather just a group of people that the Village decided to name a “Planning Commission”, which in itself is not appropriate nor valid. Consequently nothing this group did can be “approved, ratified and reconfirmed” as noted in Ordinance No. 2016-4. I am sure the Village Attorney will confirm this.
    Sincerely,Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission]
  •  Email from Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission regarding Blight Hearing Officer position was filled. No Blight Hearing Officer was hired. Blight Enforcement Officer was hired on July 20, 2016. Minutes of July 20, 2016 Council Meeting will be sent to them.
    [Hi Cindi,

    Please read this at the beginning of the Village Council Meeting On Wednesday, December 21, 2016:
    We noticed that the position of Blight Hearing Officer that was posted on the Village website has been labelled “filled” yet there have been no indications in the Village Council Minutes nor the recordings of the Village Council meetings that this matter was ever discussed nor have there been any notices on the website calendar nor the website in general of any Council Meetings concerning this. The applicant was required to be interviewed at a posted meeting according to the Open Meetings Act. This appears to be similar to the Open Meetings Act violation that I pointed out to the Council that occurred in July 2016 when the Blight Enforcement Officer was interviewed by a quorum of the Council without prior notice to the public of the meeting.
    Please clarify when and who was hired for this position was along with the Minutes of the meeting when this was determined that indicate who was present at the meeting in addition to how the Council notified the public of the meeting.
    I would like to remind you and the rest of the Village Council that according to the Open Meetings Act of 1976 As Amended in 2013 (see both 15.268 and  [MSA41800(18)] Section 8 page 8 (f) ) a Closed Meeting is permissible only “to review and consider the contents of the application (note that it does NOT say applicant)… all interviews by a public body for employment or appointment to a public office shall be held in an open meeting pursuant to this Act.”
    Thank you,
    Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission]
    It should be noted that the position of Blight Hearing Officer was posted as ‘filled’ until January 10, 2017.

REPORTS:

  • November 16, 2016 minutes: Motion to approve minutes with corrections by Bass, seconded by Gee.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: None
  • Maintenance Report: No report
  • Treasurer’s Report: read by King. Report on file in the 2016 Minutes binder.

Equipment Fund checking/savings total 3,270.23
Honor Bank CD 25,999.18
Minor Street checking/savings total 22,762.08
Major Street checking/savings total 42,023.66
Park checking/savings total 32,770.06
Water checking only 25,575.78
Money Market Account 10,040.17
General checking/savings total 29,800.53
Motion to accept Treasurer’s Report by Ronning seconded by Gee – motion carried.
Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none

  • Bills to be paid were read by Clerk. Motion to pay the bills as presented by Johnson, seconded by Bass. Motion carried. List of bills is found at the end of the minutes.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • Reimbursements to the General Fund were read by Clerk. Total to General Fund: $1,239.50
    Reimbursement list is found at the end of the minutes.
  •  Committee Chair Reports:

Park: No report
Trees: No report
Streets: No report
Water: No report
Equipment: No report
Sidewalk: No report

Blight/CABA: Blight Enforcement Officer, Larry Gibson gave report on; Zaleski house. 12238 Virginia St. and 12273 Lynn St properties. Report on file with Dec 21 2016 minutes.

Planning Commission: No report

Manistee County Trail Committee Report: Clerk McPherson requested a report from Village representative (Dendra Best). Best emailed clerk Trail Committee agenda from December 12, 2016 meeting and a drafted update on projects, on file. No report was received.

Ad Hoc – Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee – no report

OLD BUSINESS

  •  Appointment of Pro Tempe, Jackie Johnson, Motion to accept by Bass, seconded by Gee. Motion carried.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • 2017 Council Committees Motion to approve with correction & changes by Ronning, seconded by Edwards. Motion carried. List of Council Committee members on file in Dec 21, 2016 minutes. Correction changed year from 2016 to 2017. Buildings, Grounds & Equipment, take Peggy Bass off and add Jeff Bair in place.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • Update on US 31 Corridor Plan – AES / Manistee County Planning Project – Clerk McPherson gave an update on Nov 17 & 19, 2016 community meetings by AES. Concept designs can be found at the Village Offices. Discussion held.

NEW BUSINESS

  • Motion to approve 2017 Regular Council Meeting dates with one date change by Gee, seconded by McPherson. Motion carried. Change December 20, 2017 to December 13, 2017. Dates can be found on Village website.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • 2017 – 2018 Projected Budget – Clerk McPherson suggested all committee chairperson meet with President Bair to review any upcoming projects/repairs/purchases.
  • Municipal Attorney – Clerk McPherson/ Johnson reported on attorney information gathered. Council tabled until January 2017 meeting, council would like to invite a representative from Young, Graham, Elsenheimer & Wendling, PC to meet with them. McPherson will contact the office. Information is on file.
  • Motion to adopted resolution to follow General Records Retention and Disposal Schedule #8 by Ronning, seconded by Bass. Motion carried.
  • Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none

    • Banner update – Clerk McPherson updated Council on planned Crowd Funding for downtown & BL Township banners along streets. Discussion was held.
    • Education – Clerk McPherson & Treasurer King planning on attending upcoming training in January & February 2017.
    • Planning Commission Appointments; Barb Farfsing (3 years), Jackie Thomas (1 year), Cindi McPherson (2 years), Bill Beaver (3 years) Myrna Walters (2 years). Oath of Office will be given at the first Planning Commission Meeting in 2017.
    • FOIA Appeal – Clerk McPherson read an email regarding a formal appeal of denial of a FOIA request from Jeanne Walsh, regarding Bear Lake Area Historical Society, Kendra Thompson Architects drawings and an asbestos report. Discussion was held. Appeal was denied by the Village Council. FOIA request is on file in Dec 21, 2016 minutes.

    FOIA APPEAL: Village of BL – Museum & BL Area Historical Society
    Cindi McPherson, Clerk <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com> Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 2:02 PM
    To: Jeanne Walsh
    Jeanne –

    Just to clarify your statement that I, the Village Clerk denied your FOIA request for Kendra Thompson’s documents and the report on asbestos for the Bear Lake Area Historical Society. Your FOIA request was not denied, it was stated “the village does not have your requested documents on file”.

    Per the FOIA letter mailed to you (Jeanne Walsh) on December 13, 2016 stating:

    The records you are requesting; Kendra Thompson – documents and Report on asbestos for the Bear Lake Area Historical Society, are not contained in the files and records of the Village of Bear Lake. The Village is not required to take any additional steps to obtain the materials that you are requesting. You are welcome to seek the documents you are requesting from other possible sources.

    Under FOIA requirements, a public body is not required to search out documents they do not have on file. It has been stated in the FOIA responses pertaining to this request, we do not have the documents on file you are requesting. You are welcome to seek the documents from other possible sources.

    Cindi McPherson, Clerk
    Village of Bear Lake
    P. 231.970.2066
    E: bearlakeclerk@gmail.com

    On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 1:18 AM, Jeanne Walsh wrote:
    Hi Jeff,
    Please consider this a formal appeal of the denial of my FOIA request by the Village Clerk for copies of any and all documents produced by Kendra Thompson a/k/a Kendra P. Thompson Architects, P.C. and the Village of Bear Lake including the Museum Committee a/k/a Historical Society a/k/a Bear Lake Historical Society a/k/a Bear Lake Area Historical Society regarding the portion of the Village property owned by the Village and leased to the Bear Lake Historical Society in addition to the Engineer’s Report on asbestos testing referenced in the 1/15 Village Council Meeting Minutes for the same property.
    Please note that this original request was made on 9/15/16 and was recently denied by the Clerk after much communication back and forth and my final communication with her regarding this denial was on 12/12/16 and it has gone unanswered.
    The Museum was a Committee of the Village as shown in their Constitution and the Village Council Meeting Minutes at the time this work was conducted, thousands of taxpayers dollars have gone to the Museum and repair/renovation of the area of Village property leased to them and, according to the State of Michigan Records Retention Schedule, these property related documents were to have been kept permanently by the Clerk for the Village.
    Sincerely,
    Jeanne Walsh

    On Nov 28, 2016, at 7:36 PM:

    Hi Cindi
    Thanks for the information. However, as I mentioned, the State of MI has no record of the Bear Lake Area Historical Society as a registered entity of any kind. However, it was first mentioned in the Village Council approved minutes of November 2013, it was formed as a Committee of the Village with the VC appointing the members of the Committee in the approved minutes of 12/13, the VC approved the Constitution and Bylaws of the Bear Lake Area Historical Society in the approved minutes of 4/14, the VC Minutes of 8/14 indicate the “approved updated lease edited by Village Attorney and turned over to Museum Committee for their approval and signatures and in 9/14 the VC minutes state” sign the lease regarding the Museum as approved by both the Village of Bear :Lake Board and the Museum Committee.

    For all of these reasons, the approved VC Minutes make it clear that until the Museum Committee was disbanded by the VC in 9/16 the Historical Society legally existed as a committee of the VC. In addition, thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on the Museum over the course of the past three years. Kendra Thompson is first mentioned in the approved VC minutes of 11/14 and it is clearly noted that she produced more than, as you stated, “state stamped approved prints”.

    The Museum being a member of the Manistee County Arts and Cultural Alliance, a voluntary nonprofit arts organization, is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    So once again, I am formally submitting a FOIA request for any and all documents submitted by Kendra Thompson a/k/a Kendra P. Thompson Architects P.C. and the Village of Bear Lake including the Museum Committee a/k/a Historical Society a/k/a Museum a/k/a Bear Lake Historical Society a/k/a Bear Lake Area Historical Society regarding the portion of the Village property leased to the Bear Lake Area Historical Society and will expand my request to include the Engineers report on asbestos testing that was referenced in the 1/15 approved VC minutes.
    Please keep in mind that this original request was made on 9/15/16.

    Please feel free to email these reports to me.

    Thank you
    Jeanne Walsh

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Cindi McPherson, Clerk <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com>
    To: Jeanne Walsh
    Sent: Mon, Nov 21, 2016 3:14 pm
    Subject: Village of BL – Museum & BL Area Historical Society

    Response to your request is below.

    Jeanne Walsh Nov 19

  • Hi Cindi,
    I have not received a response to this FOIA request from a month ago for the report prepared by Kendra Thompson on the Museum Building.
    Research has shown that the Museum is and has not been registered with the State of MI in any capacity and the Museum Committee of the VC was just disbanded in Sept 2016 as it pursues 501c3 status. This means that the Museum was solely a VC Committee until Sept 2015 so the report is subject to FOIA.
    In addition, I question how the VC could have signed a lease with itself as the Museum was solely a Committee of the Village?
  • Jeanne –
    Most of your request is not a FOIA request for the Village of Bear Lake but I will answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.Kendra Thompson was used only to provide the state stamped approved prints.Bear Lake Area Historical Society has been members of Manistee County Arts & Cultural Alliance.The Museum Committee was disbanded awhile ago but it was never made formal at a VC meeting.The Village of Bear Lake has a lease with Bear Lake Area Historical Society.Cindi McPherson, Clerk
    Village of Bear Lake
    P. 231.970.2066
    E: bearlakeclerk@gmail.com

    FOIA request response letter Jeanne Walsh Dec 12 2016 BLAHS.docx]

    PUBLIC COMMENT:

    •  Jason Wilder Evans wanted to know if the council decided to sign his proclamation. Concern on snow piled on downtown sidewalk in front of a business. Manistee County Road Commission would need to called by him.
    •  Jeannette May – Thank you to council for doing a good job.
    •  Rick Farfsing – Impressed with council moving forward with projects and working together with Bear Lake Township. Also, said his eye dr. in TC mentioned Sparkle in the Park
    •  Julie Griffis – Was questioning who the village representative was on the Manistee Trail Committee, as they should have had a report for this council. Also, glad Village & BL Township is working together on projects.
    •  Pauline Jaquish reported on Manistee Treasurer is moving forward with the Michigan Land Bank, should be in place by April 1, 2017
    •  Donning Ronning said her eye dr. also mentioned Sparkle in the Park.
    •  Sally Gibson – great to hear the village is moving forward.

    COMING EVENTS:

    •  None

    Meeting adjourned at 8:43p.m.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Cindi McPherson, Clerk

  • REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:

    FUND NAME DATES AMOUNT

    Major Street 11/01/2016-11/30/2016 $258.00

    Minor Street 11/01/2016-110/30/2016 $285.00

    Park Fund 11/01/2016-11/30/2016 $825.00

    Water Fund 11/01/2016-110/30/2016 $396.00

    Total to transfer to General Fund = $1,764.00

    Bills To Be Paid

    Date: December 21, 2016

    Company Description Amount Fund Account #

    MISS DIG Monthly Membership ,Ed Fee, Annual Maint. Fee $395.74 Water 591-558-801

    Bittner/Jennings Attorneys Water Well Project $2,497.95 Water 591-558-801

    Bear Lake Ace Hardware $100.83 Water 591-558-775

    Bittner/Jennings Attorneys FOIA $978.07 General 101-265-801

    MML Worker’s Comp Fund Comp Fund $86.00 General 101-265-910

    The Pioneer Group Ad for Plan Comm Ordin $499.94 General 101-265-900

    Inacomp Computer Center Computer repair $67.50 General 101-265-801

    Manistee County 2016 Fee for Tax Maps & Assessm Roll $253.98 General 101-265-801

    Mich Assoc. of Municipal Clerk Clerk state membership $60.00 General 101-265-500

    Jackpine Printing Village Newsletter $18.75 General 101-265-900

    Reimbursement to Jared Replace mini bar light $103.98 Major 202-265-775

    West Coast Farm Services Truck equip $1,418.75 Major 202-265-775

    Auto Wares Group Auto Value Supplies $54.50 Major 202-463-783 $54.50 Minor 203-463-782

    Mark Thompson Tree & Stump Tree & limb removal $3,400 Minor 203-000-951

    State of Michigan Campground license $120.00 Park 531-000-801

Village of Bear Lake – October Finance Reports

As noted – these were not presented at the October Council Meeting. They are provided here via a FOIA request in both PDF and Excel format – the mark up colors are from an independent accounting review.

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

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

And for comparison here are the sheets from September.

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