Welcome to our new web site!
To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.
During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.
HARRISON – Melissa Townsend, district manager for the Clare Conservation District, brought a Gypsy Moth Program spraying contract recommendation to commissioners at the Feb. 20 Board of Commissioners meeting. Townsend said that in 2018 the CCD received an increase in calls from landowners who said they had gypsy moth infestations.
“The gypsy moth counter started in August and ended around mid-November,” she said. “The surveys indicated we did experience an increase in gypsy moth populations in the townships of Winterfield, Summerfield, Frost, Lincoln, Greenwood, Hatton, Arthur, Surrey, Grant and Hayes.”
Townsend said the CCD recommends spraying approximately 9,276 acres of Clare County through Al’s Aerial Spraying to control the gypsy moth population. She said the cost per acre would be $34.71 and that the approximate total cost would be $321,000.
“Landowners will be notified by a letter in the mail,” she said. “And they do have an option of opting out of the spraying.”
Townsend also brought along maps of the spray blocks for the commissioners to review, if they chose to do so.
Jack Kleinhardt, Board chairperson, questioned whether that large sum would wipe out the Gypsy Moth Fund, and Administrator Tracy Byard said that would equal about half the fund balance.
The Board then approved the CCD’s recommended spraying bid of $321,196.96 with funds to be paid from the Gypsy Moth Fund.
Townsend also reminded the Board of the CCD’s annual tree sale which is currently underway.
Tom Pirnstill, Clare County Transit Corp. executive director, addressed the Board about its annual action to authorize pass-through of funds from the state to the Transit, along with authorizing him to execute contracts with MDOT in amounts of $600,000 or less.
“For the newest people on the Board, what this means is the Board of Commissioners is the direct recipient of all the funds from MDOT for transportation,” Pirnstill said. “You have chosen Clare County Transit as the vendor of choice and we are the sub-recipient. All the money comes from the state, to you, to us.”
Pirnstill said the Transit requests no money from the BOC, and that the only thing the county does is conduct the Transit millage vote.
“We have our own board of directors; we have our own budget,” he said.
Pirnstill added that the resolution just voted on included a 2020 budget which gets forwarded to MDOT.
“It was kind of hard to get the crystal ball out to see how much diesel is going to cost, but we do our best shot that way,” Pirnstill said.
He also took a few minutes to update the Board on what had been going on with the Transit during the previous weeks of severe weather.
“We’ve all been beneath the snow and the weather problems,” Pirnstill said. “We’ve closed several days, and we don’t just close for the whim of it. We protect the security and safety of all our customers. We call the schools in the mornings; my operations manager drives the roads in the morning; we talk to the road commissioners and we talk to the sheriff department.”
He said knowing what road conditions are helps, because closing the Transit is not taken lightly, particularly considering the riders who need to get to medical appointments, school, jobs, etc.
“We have almost $3 million worth of mobile equipment that we have to protect also, along with the security of the people both off the bus and on the bus,” he said.
Pirnstill reminded that the Transit serves as another set of eyes and ear for the community and spoke of the ongoing cooperation between Transit and the sheriff department.
“If we notice a resident who usually rides the bus, and they haven’t done it for a while, we’ll ask them to do a wellness check,” Pirnstill said. “Unfortunately, we had an incident yesterday [Feb. 19] where we did that, and I’m sorry to say the gentleman did not make it.”
He said that is just one example of the extra things done by the Transit beyond simply transporting people.
“We try to look out after the security and safety of the public,” Pirnstill said.
Additionally, Pirnstill said he is in the final stages of obtaining some bus shelters for Farwell, Clare and Harrison. He said shelters are part of a plan to improve the Transit’s timeliness in getting people where they need to go, as well as for picking up riders.
“After we get that done, we’ll go into another phase of redirecting some routes to make us more productive and more efficient,” he said.
Pirnstill added that the Transit has dedicated drivers who look for people, look for traffic accidents, fires, anything that is out of normal.
“And we’ve got great participation with the sheriff department and all law enforcement,” he said. “I appreciate that.”
Pirnstill then invited the Board to attend the 15th Annual Pirnstill Health Fair scheduled for April 20 at Farwell High School.
BOC Passes Motions
HARRISON – The Clare County Board of Commissioners passed the following motions at its Feb. 20 meeting. The Board moved to:
• Approve the recommended gypsy moth spraying bid at a total cost of $321,196.96 with funds to be paid from the Gypsy Moth Fund;
• Allow the sheriff department to purchase 30 body cameras and 15 tasers from AXON by reallocating $41,365.50 already approved toward the $93,576.91 project price with five annual payments at no more than $10,488.04 each for the remaining balance to come from already existing 595 revenue;
• Approve the Managed Assigned Counsel Administrator contract between Clare County, Gladwin County and Karen Moore from March 1,2019 through September 30, 2020 for Indigent Defense Administrator services;
• Enter into a lease agreement for two Animal Control trucks for a total amount of $79,241.20 for four years with the first payment to be made in the amount of $21,640 to be paid in October 2019;
• Approve Resolution of Intent No. 19-01 to apply for the financial assistance for fiscal year 2019-2020 for our public transportation program; Contract Resolution FY 2019-20 No. 19-02 which allows Tom Pirnstill to execute contracts with MDOT which are $600,000 or less; Resolution authorizing adoption and ratification of Contract Clauses Certification No. 19-03 which governs how any transit project requirements apply and such clauses apply to all federally funded contracts for FY 2019-20; and Resolution adoption and ratification of Public Act 51 to maintain an accessibility Plan with MDOT No. 19-04 addressing accessibility for all residents;
• Approve Statutory Finance Committee meeting minutes of Jan. 15, 2019 in the amount of $153,803.96 and Jan. 29, 2019 in the amount of $284,220.22;
• Approve the expenditures for the month of January 2019 in the amount of $2,446,682.97 with the General Fund expenditures totaling $1,171,072.36;
• Approve Budget Adjustments Nos. 19-23, 19-29, 19-30 and 19-31 in the amounts of $55,600; $17,160; $10,000 and $224,197 to be distributed;
• Approve the increase of $1,380 to the Guard16-18001, Legal Intervention Agreement;
• Approve Resolution No. 19-15 authorizing the treasurer to deposit county public moneys in any of the financial institutions named hereto pursuant to Act 40 of 1932 and Resolution No. 19-06, County of Clare Investment Resolution;
• Appoint Jenny Beemer-Fritzinger, Michelle Bott and Maye Tessner-Rood to the Land Bank Board Authority with the terms to expire Sept. 30, 2021;
• Allow the clerk to add an expedited fee of $12 to birth certificates obtained directly from the State of Michigan through the Birth Register System with funds to be deposited in the General Fund;
• Adopt Resolution No. 19-07 authorizing the county to borrow $1.5 million in anticipation of collection of taxes, “Tax Anticipation Note” and approve all required parties to sign as specified: To be distributed: Tax Anticipation Note in the amount of $1.5 million-Board Chair and County Clerk; Closing Certificate-County Clerk; Non-arbitrage and Tax Compliance Certificate-Administrator; Form 8038-G, Information for Tax-Exempt Governmental Obligations-Administrator; Receipt of Treasurer-County Treasurer; and
• Make the following changes to Board of Commissioner appointments: Add Karen Lipovsky as the delegate and Tracy Byard as the alternate for the Northern Michigan MAC and add Commissioner David Hoefling to the County Road Commission.