By Pat Maurer
Budget changes headlined the activities at the Surrey Township Board meeting Tuesday evening.
Township board members approved a 26,000 increase in the cemetery maintenance budget to cover the cost of tree removal.
The board had approved a $15,000 cost to remove 53 trees in the cemetery at the December meeting. The existing funds in the budget, $5,000 wouldn’t cover the cost of trees previously removed by Timber Tree Services or the 53 additional removals approved last month.
Treasurer Esther Pitchford estimated the budget should be increased by $26,000 to cover current costs and future maintenance. Wednesday Clerk Glenna Bradbury said Timber Tree Service had already been paid $10,400; $5,400 for previous tree removal and $5,000 towards the present work. She said they have a balance due of $10,000 on the current project to remove dangerous trees from the cemetery.
The board also voted to establish a new account for printing and services related to taxes and to put $4,000 in that budget from the fund balance. Pitchford said the township accountants had recommended adding the new account.
In another matter, township trustees heard a report from Clare County Road Commissioner Dick Haynak and one from CCRC Manager Ron Bushong.
Haynak reported that the Road Commission is still struggling to work with a very limited budget, saying priorities included replacing the building roof, adding a blade truck, a patcher and a boom mower.
Bushong reported on the winter maintenance policy and told the board about the $2 million budgeted to reconstruct Clare Avenue (Old U.S. 27) from Mannsiding Road to M61 scheduled next year and about renovation planned for the Pine River Bridge.
Other business at the Surrey Township meeting included:
*Reports from Fire Chief Dave Williams and Zoning Administrator Rod Williams.
*A Sheriff’s Department report by Deputy Tom Francisco.
*A written report from County Commissioner Lynn Grim.
*The re-appointment of Debra Jones to the Zoning Board of Appeals for three years and Dave Williams to the Board of Review for two years. A motion to appoint Christopher Swinehart as an alternate for the Board of Review was defeated in a 2-2 vote with Joe Maxey and Esther Pitchford voting no.
*Notice that the Planning Commission will meet Wednesday January 15 at 7 p.m. and the Zoning Board of Appeals will meet January 20 at 7 p.m.
*Approval of the payment of bills for December totaling $30,216.51.