By Rosemary K. Otzman
Last year, Belleville got a gift from Van Buren Township: no raise in the rates it paid for emergency dispatch and lockup services.
The charge for 2013 was the same as 2012: $145,600, although the rates had been rising every year since the agreement started in 2005.
At its regular meeting on May 20, the Van Buren Township Board of Trustees made up for lost time and approved a three-year intergovernmental agreement with the City of Belleville for the services.
The increase will be 6% in 2014, 4% in 2015, and 4% in 2016.
The agreement also named each municipality as an additional insured to the other’s insurance in connection with the emergency dispatch agreement.
The agreement will expire Dec. 31, 2016.
Supervisor Linda Combs and VBT Public Safety Director Greg Laurain met with Belleville Mayor Kerreen Conley and City Manager Kollmeyer to negotiate the intergovernmental agreement.
At the May 20 meeting, VBT Trustee Jeff Jahr asked if the agreement is being audited, since the contract says VBT will be reimbursed for actual cost.
Treasurer Sharry Budd said when it was first drawn up there were estimates and an audit of actual costs.
The City of Belleville had its regular meeting the night before VBT’s meeting and the new dispatch/lockup agreement was not mentioned.
When asked, City Manager Kollmeyer told the Independent that the agreement will be on the agenda at the next city meeting on June 2, at the same meeting as the city budget hearing. She said the new charges are included in the 2014-15 city budget.
In other business at the May 20 meeting, the VBT board:
• Approved changes to the Water and Sewer Commission By-Laws, as recommended by the Water and Sewer Commission;
• Learned Oakland County required a resolution from the board for CLEMIS (Oakland County’s Courts & Law Enforcement management Information System) services for the fire department, so the board passed a resolution. The contract was originally approved by the board on May 6;
• Heard a review by SEMCOG of the 8 ½-hour strategic planning session held by the board on Feb. 8;
• Approved the second reading and final adoption of three ordinances on drug possession, use, and paraphernalia to put the local laws in compliance with the state Medical Marijuana Act and the Department of Health;
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance amendment that repeals the begging ordinance. It was discussed in closed session with the township attorney on March 31;
• Approved phase II of the parking lot replacement program and awarded a contract extension to Asphalt Specialist, Inc. for $90,426, plus a 10% contingency amount to address changes and unforeseen conditions that may arise during construction. Phase II will upgrade the parking area around the senior center and recreation center part of the building;
• Approved a professional services agreement with engineers Wade Trim not to exceed $6,000 on an hourly schedule to oversee the parking lot upgrade;
• Approved awarding a pump station replacement contract to TSP Environmental for $348,292, plus a 10% contingency fee, for replacement/upgrade of three sanitary lift station located at Ryznar, Haggerty, and North Shore;
• Approved the pump station project administration services by Wade Trim at a cost not to exceed $36,000;
• Removed from the agenda the request of DPW Director Taylor to purchase a 2014 F-150 XLT from Jack Demmer Ford for $30,706. The request will be further discussed at the board’s June 1 work/study session;
• Heard Supervisor Combs read a letter from Huron Valley Ambulance Paramedic Supervisor Robert Gibbons to Fire Chief Dan Besson complimenting the emergency crews on a job well done on the way to Oakwood Wayne Hospital. It involved a 7-week-old child in full cardiac arrest at 6:10 a.m. the previous Saturday at Belleville Manor. The police and fire emergency crews were praised for their professional efforts, although the child did not survive;
• Heard DDA Executive Director Susan Ireland talk about the Belleville Road construction that people are “up in arms over.” She said it will take a little pain to have a good outcome. Ireland said the first phase is expected to be done by July 12 and the second phase by Aug. 15. She said there will be no work scheduled on July 4 and Memorial Day and access to all businesses will be maintained. Ireland also said the cleanup and landscaping along the new fence along Belleville Road near Harmony Lane will be done before the contractor gets paid;
• Heard Belleville High School student Dequan Robertson tell how he appreciates Clerk Leon Wright’s efforts to bring voting lessons to BHS, especially by speaking to civics classes and running the student council elections. Clerk Wright said he got the idea from a clerk in another community. He praised the efforts of Deputy Clerk Kathy Cline and Election Clerk Joanne Montgomery;
• Heard Treasurer Sharry Budd announce 80 dogs were vaccinated at the recent drive-in dog clinic and she thanked her staff for running the event since she was unable to be there since she had just had knee-replacement surgery;
• Heard Clerk Wright thank Bob and Marie Krouse for putting flags on the graves of township veterans;
• Heard Fire chief Dan Besson announce that Coffee With a Cop, which had been scheduled for Memorial Day week end, has been cancelled; and
• Heard a township resident press the board to make sure the township cemeteries are cleaned up. She said Denton Cemetery looked so bad on Mother’s Day when she went to her mother’s grave to place a flower on it. She said when Parks and Recreation Bruce Ross was at the township he fixed a lot of tombstones.
By Rosemary K. Otzman