By Pat Maurer
For the second month in a row, Grant Township has tabled a decision on renewing the contract with the Sheriff’s Department for additional road patrol.
Grant shares a full time road patrol officer with Surrey Township, with each township getting 20 hours of additional patrol each week.
Supervisor Dan Dysinger said last month that he and Township Treasurer Tammy Shea had been working on developing a “services agreement” flat-fee contract with the Sheriff’s Department. At the September meeting, he said, “In a nutshell it would cost $22,000 for 2012-13 and for the other two years $20,000 each year. Over the life of the contract, the average cost increase would be 4 percent. The board now has the option to send it [the contract] back for changes; to approve it; to disapprove it.”
The township has been paying for the road patrol service on a month-to-month basis.
At Tuesday’s meeting Dysinger said he wanted the matter tabled again because Clerk Sue Wentworth had only just received some information and hadn’t had time to research it yet.
Last month Dysinger said, “It is no secret where I stand on this. My position is we would like to spend some money on our roads because they are in dire need. From my point of view, what we would spend [on additional road patrol] could be put to good use for improvements on gravel roads.”
In August the board heard a report from Rowe about the needs of the roads in the township. The report estimated that $3.6 million is needed for asphalt projects and $650,000 for improvements to gravel roads.
The cost of the study, approximately $6,800 is being paid for equally by the township and Clare County Road Commission, Dysinger said Tuesday evening.
In another matter, Dysinger reported that burning leaves or debris will be “much more restrictive” with the new Outdoor Burning Regulations. Dysinger said PA 102 or 2012 will become effective next Tuesday.
The new rules prohibit:
*Open burning of grass clippings or leaves in cities with a population of 7,500 or more unless specifically authorized by local ordinance.
*Burning household waste containing plastic, rubber, foam, chemically treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals or hazardous materials.
Burning allowed includes:
*Wooden or vegetable storage bins constructed from untreated lumber for disease or pest control, not conducted in a city or village or within 1,400 feet of the boundary of a city or village.
*Burning of an unserviceable United States flag by a congressionally chartered patriotic organization.
Violations will be civil infractions and subject to warning for a first offense; a fine of up to $75.00 for a second offense within three years; a fine of up to $150 for a third offense in a three-year period; up to a $300 fine for a fourths of subsequent offense in a three-year period.
The board also approved a resolution establishing a Receiving Board in the township, another State requirement, to verify all numbers and procedures are correct during an election. “This is another unmandated State regulation, Dysinger said. “I think it is unfair.” He said the boards to verify election numbers and information correct was formerly done at the county, but has not been done at all in recent years. Wentworth said the township has been doing it during elections, but now with the establishment of the board, there will be additional costs for the township.
In other business Tuesday evening:
*Dysinger reported the replacement of the assessor’s computer at a cost of $834.
*Clare County Road Commissioner Dick Haynak reported that 14 townships financed road projects this year. “We couldn’t have done the improvements without their help,” he said.
*In his County report, Commissioner Leonard Strouse reported that the fund balance, nearly $5 million just five years ago, is now down to $200,000. “Jack [Kleinhardt] and I are both very conservative with county funds,” Strouse said, “but we are only two votes on the board. There is a time coming when we won’t be able to fund all of the programs. Bad news is coming.”
*Clare School Superintendent Doniel Pummell introduced herself and gave a brief report on the district. She also provided information about the upcoming Regional Education Service District (RESD) Enhancement Millage Proposal, explaining how it would help students in the area’s districts as well as provide much needed funds for busses, technology and building repairs in the Clare district.
*Clare County Clerk Kim Davis gave a brief presentation about her qualifications to the board and audience members.