By Rosemary K. Otzman
After a public hearing at its Feb. 3 meeting, the Van Buren Township Board of Trustees approved a budget for about $124,895 in 2015 federal Community Development Block Grant funds.
About $89,921 is being designated for use in Van Buren Park, since the most recent federal map for low and moderate income areas now includes the park area.
The park work was to include demolition of a log cabin and the stage.
Trustee Regina Miller said that DPW Director Jim Taylor said the stage should be inspected and maybe could be refurbished instead of demolished.
Patrick Sloane of McKenna Associates, who manages the CDBG funds for the township, agreed with Miller’s suggestion.
“Sure, we can do that,” he said, noting the budget can be amended to do different types of things.
The CDBG 2015 funds, which will be available July 1, also includes $8,992 each for senior services and youth services, $5,995 each for planning and administration, and $5,000 for housing rehabilitation loans.
In other business at the Feb. 3 meeting, the board:
• Congratulated five probationary fire fighters who were being promoted to regular fire fighters and receiving their badges and helmet shields. Fire Chief Dan Besson presented Mike Vlademar, Ryan Smith, Dustin Cox, and Rachel Spence. The fifth fire fighter, Jason Martin, could not be present but was presented with his badge and shield earlier;
• Heard a letter read by Supervisor Linda Combs from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office praising two police officers for their work on a recent armed robbery case;
• Was informed Trustees Phil Hart and Jeff Jahr have completed their Michigan Citizen Planner Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning certification through Michigan State University Extension. Bob McKenna also has this designation and Don Boynton has earned a Master’s of Planning and Development. Also, Jahr, Hart, Miller, and Wright attempted the Michigan Township Association’s Leadership Conference and took the “Will to Lead” classes. Trustee Hart said he carried the VBT flag at the MTA convention;
• Heard Clerk Leon Wright read thank you letters from Water’s Edge apartment for all who helped after the fire and from Rawsonville and Savage elementary schools for the coats that were distributed. Clerk Wright said he hopes to make the coat distribution a yearly event;
• Approved an Automatic Mutual Aid Agreement with Ypsilanti Township Fire Department that would bring two additional fire engines to “working” fires in VBT complexes including Capitol Hills, Presidential Estates, Providence of Harbour Club, Van Buren Estates, Linda Vista, Cobblestone Creek, Cobblestone Ridge, Briarwood Estates, Cape Condos, and Mission Pointe. In return, VBT will send two fire engines to “working” fires in a southwestern eight-mile section of Ypsilanti Township;
• Approved the supervisor’s reappointments to the Recreation Committee with terms to expire Feb. 1, 2016: Charles Coleman, Mark Duff, Kimberly Nofz, Sam Villa, Tammy Wall, and Rondell Sherman;
• Approved the reappointment of Robert McKenna to the Board of Zoning Appeals with a term to expire Oct. 1, 2017;
• Approved corrections to the 2014 Amended General Fund Budget, increasing it by $14,600;
• Approved correcting the GPS coordinates for placement of outdoor warning sirens for the Wayne County Infrastructure Improvement Permits;
• Amended Resolution 2014-30 to make it 2014-33 because of a numbering error;
• Thanked all the people who work on the township’s boards and commissions. There are no vacancies now, but people were invited to fill out applications on line or to come into the supervisor’s office to pick up a paper application. Supervisor Combs said they will be kept on file;
• Was reminded that the township hall be will closed on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 16, and so both the work/study and regular meetings will be held on the same day, Feb. 17;
• Heard Clerk Wright say election inspectors are needed for the May 5 election, as well as the 2016 presidential election; and
• Heard Treasurer Sharry Budd say a charge card system is now in place at the township and things can be charged at the counter or on line. The user has to pay a 2.75% charge.
Trustee Brenda McClanahan was absent from the meeting due to the death of her mother.
By Rosemary K. Otzman