There were five Sumpter Township employees listed on the Sept. 11 agenda for the township board meeting, all to be considered for four-year contracts.
But, at the beginning of the meeting one item on the agenda was changed from “renew contract for Les Powell” to “accept retirement” for Powell.
It was said that Fire Chief Les Powell had handed in his resignation. The board accepted it without comment, except to say he would get a plaque, retirement badge, and be able to keep his chief’s helmet.
Powell’s brother-in-law Joe Januszyk was named interim chief.
Four-year contracts, all expiring in November 2016, were approved for Police Chief James Pierce, Police Department employee Malissa Baker, CPA Jim Glahn, and Water and Sewer Director Marvin Drews.
In other business at the 25-minute, Sept. 11 meeting, the board:
• Approved moving temporary part-time employee Michele Roman to full-time employee in the floater position, under the direction of the supervisor or deputy supervisor. She has worked 90 days part time and did an excellent job, according to Supervisor Johnny Vawters. She’ll be doing CDBG, building department, and other assignments;
• Heard Hennessy engineer Ryan Kern explain that the pump station at the corner of Willis and Sumpter roads has the inside surface eroding due to a hydrogen sulfide attack and part of the problem has to do with ventilation. He estimated it would cost $40,000 to $50,000 to reline the wet well and $300,000 to rebuild it. More tests are being conducted and when they are done, the results will be brought back to the board with a recommendation. Engineers will be checking all the wet wells in the township to make sure there are no other problems;
• Heard township attorney Rob Young say the township’s 1992 20-year agreement with YCUA (Ypsilanti Community Utility Authority) will be expiring soon and so he is working on it and will send back information with Trustee Alan Bates, the water department liaison;
• Heard Supervisor Vawters say he had just returned from a two-week vacation, but he had a few reports. He said he heard back from Wayne County Commissioner Kevin McNamara on the township’s request for a four-way stop operation at the corner of Wear and Sherwood roads. McNamara reported due to low traffic volume the four-way stop is not warranted. A lowering of the speed limit also is not warranted because of low traffic counts, few pedestrian/cyclists, and no crash history in this area. A service order has been made to install a playground sign (W15-1) at the corner. Vawters also announced that the Nature Conservancy is asking for volunteers for its projects within the township;
• Heard Trustee Peggy Morgan give a police report in the absence of Chief Powell. She said 40 dozen ears of corn were picked by Moe’s farm the morning of the fire department chicken broil on Sept. 9. The young workers also shucked all the corn for the fire fighters; and
• Approved paying warrants totaling $758,294.78.