Barton Hills Village, Michigan

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January 16, 2006


January 16, 2006

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Laporte at 6:06 PM at the Village Hall.

ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Bogat, Butterwick, Laporte, Lindstrom, Perry and Wilkes; Atty. Reading, Asst. Treas. Redies and Supt. Esch; BHMC President Bultman and resident Maria Paluszny. Absent: Trustees Boddie and MacKrell.


MOTION Mr. Al-Awar moved that the minutes of the December 12, 2005 Trustees meeting be approved with the following addition: Page 5, line 2 "…Wireless Washtenaw agreement extends for five years and would have an option to extend for another five years." Ms. Bogat seconded; the motion carried.

FINANCE Mrs. Redies read the cash balances as of January 16, 2006:

Cash Balances

General Fund

Checking Account $ 6,995

Savings 728,402

Total General Fund $735,397

Public Improvement Reserve Fund
Savings $114,176

Motor Vehicle Highway Fund
Savings $102,404


Bank One Govt. Trust Account $ 616,764

Bank of Ann Arbor 120,245

Ann Arbor Commerce Bank CD 107,907

United Bank & Trust Washtenaw 100,066

Total Savings $944,982

Mrs. Redies referred to the cash disbursements listed in the Financial Report dated December 31, 2005. It was noted that $2,600 was spent on transmission and other repairs to the Police Car. It was also noted that there is generally a $100,000 limit on funds which are insured, and that the Finance Committee should investigate ways to diversify current BHV savings arrangements.

MOTION Mr. Perry moved that the 3rd Quarter Disbursements be approved as printed (See Aux. Book IX D). Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried.

UTILITIES Atty. Reading stated that the franchise for electric utilities apparently expired about fifteen years ago so a new franchise is needed. DTE Energy has proposed an irrevocable thirty-year franchise; Mr. Reading advised that it may be premature to accept the agreement in light of the case before the Michigan Supreme Court regarding the burying of utility lines. An irrevocable franchise requires a vote of public approval and the Trustees could decide to plan for such a vote, but other terms of the agreement should be negotiated after the Supreme Court decision is made, and BHMC should be involved in the negotiations. Absence of a franchise does not affect utility services. Concern was expressed for liability to BHV without a current agreement.

MOTION Mr. Al-Awar moved that Atty. Reading be asked to do what is legally necessary to provide liability protection for Barton Hills Village until a new franchise can be negotiated with DTE Energy. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried.

Mr. Al-Awar explained the request received from Cingular Wireless (current owner of the former AT&T telecommunications lease) for a reduction in lease payments from $30,000 to $24,000. He felt it would cost the company more to remove their equipment from the BHV water tower and find a new location than they would gain in savings on the reduction, so there was a minimal risk that they would actually do so. There is no obvious benefit to BHV to agree to the reduction in payments. Mr. Al-Awar had consulted with Mr. Boddie on this issue; Mr. Boddie supported Mr. Al-Awar's conclusions. Atty. Reading added that the first amendment to the original lease refers to additional equipment installed, which the provider could remove with 30 days notice to BHV, but if that were done the original agreement would still be in place with a higher rent schedule.

MOTION Mr. Lindstrom moved that the request from Cingular Wireless to reduce their lease payments be refused. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried. Ms. Laporte will write the letter, with Atty. Reading's review.

SECURITY Mr. Butterwick deferred to Mr. Esch who reported 2 false alarms in the past month.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Mr. Butterwick will work with Mr. Esch to identify trees that are near the power wires and need to be trimmed or removed by DTE Energy. Mr. Butterwick will also follow up on the quotations received for lightning protection for landmark trees in the Village Green area.

FINANCE Mr. Boddie was absent.

LONG RANGEPLANNING Mrs. MacKrell was absent. Ms. Laporte reviewed the purpose of the proposed resolution to support study of the US-23 corridor from Ann Arbor north to Brighton. Comments included:

--The resolution doesn't obligate BHV to any action other than support for the study.

--The Michigan Department of Transportation and Washtenaw Area Transportation Study websites indicate that widening of the expressway is scheduled but unfunded for the 2006-2010 period and beyond.

--Comments at the December BHV Trustees meeting indicated concern that widening the expressway would lead to undesired urban sprawl in that area.

--Mrs. MacKrell has invested a lot of time studying this issue and attending meetings, and supports the resolution.

--Improvements on US-23 would take pressure off Whitmore Lake Road, which many motorists currently use to avoid the traffic back-ups on the expressway, but would also support additional development in that area which is not desired, so the outcome of the study is not predictable.

MOTION Mr. Lindstrom moved that the Resolution of Support for Removing the US-23 EIS Study from the Deferred List be approved, with the additional clarification in the "Now Therefore Be It Resolved" paragraph, last line to indicate specifically what portion of the US-23 Expressway (from Ann Arbor to Brighton) is being studied. Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried with Trustees Al-Awar, Bogat, Lindstrom and Perry voting yes; Trustees Butterwick, Laporte and Wilkes voting no.

PERSONNEL Ms. Laporte had no report.

RECREATION Ms. Bogat had no report.

ROADS Mr. Al-Awar stated that the drain near the Boddie's home on Underdown Road has been repaired at a cost of about $10,250, which is a savings of about $1,750 from the original estimate. He commended the maintenance crew for keeping BHV roads in good shape during snowfalls. Mr. Esch added that road salt is purchased under a yearly contract and that BHV has received its last shipment of salt for the year. Salt is applied both by hand and by spreader, and early depletion of the supply can be attributed to the spreader, which uses more salt but is safer for employees, and the higher rater of snowfall in December 2005. Mr. Al-Awar and Mr. Esch will investigate other sources of salt to ensure adequate supply for the remaining winter months.

VEHICLES/EQUIPMENT As noted during the Financial Report, the Police Car with about 50,000 miles on it is beginning to need repairs so should be considered for replacement in the next year or two. The pick-up truck has over 100,000 miles, and is scheduled to be replaced in this year's budget.

WATER Mr. Wilkes distributed a written report, noting that work is progressing on replacing Well #1. Cost so far totals about $50,000 for drilling and testing, with another $30,000 estimated for pump and pipes to connect to the water system. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is studying the test results and it is expected that the new well will be satisfactory. It was agreed that the water system is BHV's most important asset and worth the investment. Mr. Wilkes further noted:

--The Phase II Stormwater Permit Annual Report had been submitted.

--MDEQ denied permit for a wastewater treatment plant in Superior Township.

--Mr. Wilkes will be away on Wednesday, January 18, 2006, when a meeting of the Huron River Watershed Council will be held for the planning of the Huron River Day Festival in July. Anyone who would like to attend the meeting should contact Mr. Wilkes for details.

Mr. Perry added that Ann Arbor Township is developing an ordinance for regulation of private wastewater treatment plants that will include provision for adequate on-going supervision of such plants.

ZONING Mr. Perry stated that the committee will be reviewing the BHV Zoning Ordinance with regard to building height and fencing, and asked if there were any other issues in the Ordinance that should be addressed. Ms. Laporte received an email from Mr. Bultman concerning the Ordinance that she will forward to Mr. Perry.

BHMC LIAISON Ms. Laporte reported that BHMC is developing a website through the efforts of Donna Kelly and Ray Bishop. The site will include a level for the general public, a password level for shareholders and a level for communication between BHMC Directors, and between the Directors and the shareholders. There will be options as to the extent of information shareholders wish to have included. The BHMC Directors are also working on a policy regarding the tearing down of houses in BHV. Mr. Bultman added that since there are very few lots available for new construction, the community is facing the "second generation" of homes. There has been considerable comment directed to BHMC on the replacement or restoration of older homes and the desire to preserve the historical heritage while not infringing on owners' rights. It was agreed that the BHV Board of Trustees need not take any action, but that shareholders should express their opinions to the BHMC Board on this complicated topic.

BUILDINGS Mr. Lindstrom stated that Mrs. Esch and Mrs. Redies spent extra hours going through the old records in the furnace room as part of the VAC Committee process. Mrs. Esch has been compensated, as she works on an hourly basis, but Mrs. Redies is employed on a salary basis and should be compensated for this time that is beyond the normal scope of her work.

MOTION Mr. Lindstrom moved that Mrs. Redies be compensated in the amount of $100 for the estimated six hours of work in records management that was beyond the normal expectations of her employment. Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried.

Mr. Lindstrom distributed a written report from the VAC Committee, reviewing the three proposals presented at the December 2005 Trustees meeting and progress that has been made since. The report notes that it is likely a basement would be included in a stand-alone building, and that the meeting room in any option would accommodate at least 20 people rather than the originally stated 15 to 20 people. In regard to the option of replacing the block maintenance building, Mr. Lindstrom read through the several considerations the committee has studied. These considerations include the impact of construction on the maintenance staff as they carry out their daily responsibilities, the larger size required that would seriously endanger the landmark trees, impact on the Village Green, parking limitations, limitations on future growth of either department and difficulties in protecting the administrative portion of the building from the noise and fumes of the maintenance portion. The committee concluded that it did not recommend this option, or the second option which would have the same issues. The latter section of the report stated reasons why the committee favors a stand-alone building at the site between the salt shed and the employee home. These reasons include appropriate amount of space to meet the goals of the project, proximity to the maintenance area without being impacted by maintenance operations, minimal disruption during construction, no impact on landmark trees or the Village Green, adequate parking and adequate potential for future needs.  

The next step of the committee is to gather input from BHV Trustees and BHMC Directors on all facets of the project to date. Comments from those present included:

--I endorse the direction the committee is going. (agreement from another person)

--Please describe a "wick" building. Response: Wick is the name of one of two companies being considered who provide system-built structures that are delivered in sections and constructed on site, similar to the employee home but designed for commercial use. The committee was favorably impressed with the quality of the building's construction (having visited such structures in current use), the price and the options available for interior design and exterior materials.

--Is the records management process going well, with destruction of materials that are not needed and preservation of historical materials as well as required documents? Yes. Off-site storage is not needed and the option of donating historical items to the Bentley Library is recognized.

--When will the design team be assembled? It is important to receive BHMC feedback and establish the site before funds are spent on architectural services.

--The newsletter to the residents should have a picture of some kind so people can see what is actually going on rather than having to imagine from a verbal description.

--Can other sites in the area be considered? This site was chosen near to the maintenance area so the superintendent could make efficient use of the building. It is not favored by some because one has to travel through the maintenance area to get to the building, but it is the most cost-effective site.

--The project will not be able to please everyone, so the committee is aiming at meeting the goals in the most cost-effective way.

--Wouldn't it be a good idea to hire an architect now to help with the siting of the building?

--Architects were hired three times before, at a combined expense of $30,000, and all

that work is useless. No funds should be spent until the basic concept is clearly set.

--What about the site by the tennis courts, with a separate drive from Barton Shore Drive? Security, increased visibility to non-residents and public/private issues all seem to make that an unsatisfactory option.

--It's very important to have the input of BHMC before going much further in the project. They are the arbiters of taste and their views are needed.

--Will the services of an architect or site-planner be used? Absolutely, but it is essential to have momentum behind a single plan before spending money.

--Could the advice of residents who are architects be solicited? That isn't fair to either party.

--Will BHMC support the ideas presented? BHMC is divided in their opinions.

--It isn't necessary that BHMC provide a unified response, but the committee is anxious to receive their total input.

--Is there a timetable for the project? Not as such; the plan has to be approved first rather than controlled by an artificial timeframe.

--Should there be a mechanism for allocation of funds? The committee won't be spending any money before the next Trustees meeting.

Mr. Lindstrom expressed appreciation for the input from the Trustees and proposed that the committee invest its time before the next meeting in developing a list of potential architects, gathering input from BHMC and putting this information into a report for the Board to consider in determining the next steps.

MOTION Mr. Perry moved to call the question. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried to terminate debate.

MOTION Mr. Wilkes moved that control of the VAC project continue to reside in the committee and that they proceed as described by Chairman Lindstrom. Ms. Bogat seconded; the motion carried.  

MOTION Mr. Al-Awar moved to table the discussion of Wireless Washtenaw until the next meeting of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried. 

NEW BUSINESS Mr. Lindstrom asked if members of the Board of Trustees could participate in meetings by way of conference calls or video conferencing. Atty. Reading responded that these methods are allowable under the Open Meetings Act.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 PM.

Jan Esch, Assistant Clerk