HARRISON – The Hayes Township Board held a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 6 which was preceded by a public hearing on the road brining special assessment district. Very little comment was made about the SAD, and the hearing was closed. Supervisor Terry Acton was not in attendance and, in his absence, the meeting was called into session and conducted by Deb Hoyt, township clerk.
Under New Business, the board moved to accept with regret the resignation of Tom Vaughn from the Zoning Board of Appeals. It was stated that Vaughn had moved to another township, and that the board thanked him for his many years of experience on the ZBA.
The board then moved to fill that vacancy by accepting the appointment of Frank Gadberry to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
In its next action, the board moved to send Jim Neff, Gail Downs and Frank Gadberry to attend the Michigan Townships Association Hot Topics in Planning and Zoning training for Zoning Board of Appeal members Aug. 27 in Cadillac at a cost not to exceed $745.
A contract with Bay Area Specialty Flooring was approved for the annual sealing coating of the gym floor at a cost not to exceed $1,660. It was noted that during the week of Aug. 19 the gym will be closed for three days while the floor dries, and that it is anticipated the township offices will close for one to two days due to the fumes.
The one item that brought the most public comment was the board’s approval of a traffic study of the intersection of Mostetler/Grant and N. Clare Avenue (U.S. 127) to be completed by the engineering firm of Progressive AE at a cost not to exceed $1,500 to evaluate traffic issues on Mostetler Road and its intersections. This action was approved by a unanimous roll call vote.
This study was requested by the Hayes Township Planning Commission, and Ken Hoyt, zoning assistant, said Progressive AE had been recommended by the township’s attorney.
Lavonne Mahar inquired whether the City of Harrison was part of the study, since the city limits include half of Grant Avenue at the intersection in question. Hearing that the city had no concern in the matter, Mahar said there was need to go and speak to the City of Harrison and present a concern, because it does affect city residents on Grant.
Hoyt recommended that Mahar contact the City of Harrison about her concern. When Mahar asked whether she should find out whether the road commission or commissioner [Jack] Kleinhardt has anything to say on the issue, Maye Tessner-Rood, township treasurer, asked what was it Mahar wanted those entities to say.
“I feel its more than just Hayes Township’s concern,” Mahar said.
Tessner-Rood explained that it is Hayes Township’s concern because there was a need to determine if there is a safety issue because of the proposed gravel pit. It was further explained that the study is part of the special use permit research conditions set forth by the Hayes Planning Commission.
“So, they don’t have to, because this is an issue for us of our concerns,” Tessner-Rood said. “We want to know what the safety issue is.”
Mahar responded that she believes it is still a community concern. Hoyt recommended that Mahar take her concerns to the city, the county commissioners and the road commissioners.
“And you can explain that Hayes Township is taking a positive role in this,” Hoyt said.
The final order of business for the board was a second roll call vote, this time on Resolution 19-01 approving Road Brining Special Assessment District. Hoyt noted that the township has 3,710 parcels on gravel roads and that they are assessed a brining fee of $29.25 per parcel. That resolution passed unanimously. A question arose seeking clarity that the assessment is done only for those living on dirt roads, and it was pointed out that those living on private roads are obliged to contract on their own for brining.
In Public Comment, Mahar thanked the board for making some positive inroads, “no joke intended.”
Mahar spoke of a time when the gravel pit issue was battled over in the past, and a time when the then-board had not allowed public comments on the issue.
“I believe this board is very cognizant of listening to the people in our community,” Hoyt said.