Barton Hills Village, Michigan

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February 20, 2006


February 20, 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, Boddie, Bogat, Butterwick, Laporte, MacKrell, Perry and Wilkes; Atty. Reading, Asst. Treas. Redies and Supt. Esch; BHMC President Bultman, Village Administration Center (VAC) Committee member John MacKrell and resident Mary Bennett. Absent: Trustee Lindstrom.


BENNETT FENCE  Zoning and Planning Administrator Perry reviewed the application submitted by Mary Bennett to install a dog run fence on her property at 240 Barton Shore Drive. Procedure as outlined in the BHV Zoning Ordinance Section 4.05 was followed, including timely notice to neighbors. No written comments were received. Trustees received copies of the application, drawing and supporting materials prior to the meeting. Mrs. Bennett explained that the fence would be laid out so it wouldn't be visible from neighboring properties or Barton Shore Drive, mostly due to dense privacy hedges and brush already on the lot. The fence will be black vinyl-coated metal to reduce visibility, 5 feet tall and located an adequate distance from property lines.

Motion  Mr. Boddie moved that the application for a dog fence at the home of Mrs. Mary Bennett, 240 Barton Shore Drive, be approved as submitted under Section 4.05 of the BHV Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried.

Motion  Mr. Boddie moved that the minutes of the January 16, 2006 Trustees meeting be approved as printed. Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried.

FINANCE  Mrs. Redies read the cash balances as of February 20, 2006:

Cash Balances

General Fund
     Checking Account $ 7,496
     Savings              691,017
Total General Fund   $698,513

Public Improvement Reserve Fund
     Savings $114,176

Motor Vehicle Highway Fund
     Savings $103,442

     Bank One Govt. Trust Account $ 479,944
     Bank One CD                           100,000
     Bank of Ann Arbor                    120,558
     Ann Arbor Commerce Bank CD    107,907
     United Bank & Trust Washtenaw 100,226
     Total Savings                        $ 908,635

Mrs. Redies noted that a new 12-month CD earning 3 1/2% interest has been purchased from Bank One so about $400,000 of the savings funds are now covered by insurance. Mrs. Redies was asked to explore options for higher return rates.

BUILDINGS  VAC Committee member John MacKrell commented in Mr. Lindstrom's absence, referring to Mr. Lindstrom's written report distributed with the agenda. Committee members conducted a "walk-about" of six possible sites, rating each location on a number of factors. The committee will meet soon to evaluate the ratings. Discussion turned to the future of the pool. Ms. Laporte stated that Barton Swim Club no longer exists, noting that the pool was not open last summer. The obvious choices are to abandon the pool entirely or modernize it to attract enough new members to support the facility. It was estimated that renovation of the pool could cost at least $100,000; Mr. Esch was asked to obtain more quotes. It was suggested that the administrative center might be incorporated with the pool in a joint facility, but concerns were expressed about the public/private natures of each use. Further discussion of the pool will be included in the agenda for the next Trustee meeting. Ms. Bogat asked about the potential builders referred to in the VAC Newsletter recently distributed to residents. Mr. MacKrell and Mr. Al-Awar responded that general building sizes and costs were being considered, but that very little discussion of exterior styles had taken place yet until other aspects of the project were more settled. Ms. Bogat suggested exploring "green" issues, such as energy-conserving solar shingles, and supported a style similar to existing buildings rather than a modern design that would seem out of place.                                                   Mr. Butterwick arrived

FINANCE  Mr. Boddie had no report.

LONG RANGE PLANNING  Mrs. MacKrell stated that a public hearing will be held by the Ann Arbor Planning Commission on Tuesday, March 7, 2006 at Ann Arbor City Hall regarding adoption of the Northeast Area Plan. It is expected that the Northeast Area Transportation Plan, including the recommended closing of the M-14/Barton Drive ramp, will be included in the discussion. She urged Trustees to communicate with friends and business owners who live in Ann Arbor City, asking them to attend the hearing as well to speak in favor of keeping the ramp open. Mrs. MacKrell also asked about BHV Ordinance #21, suggesting that requirements for septic tank pumping should be more stringent. It was agreed there are many factors to consider for each home and that "at least every four years" as stated in the ordinance was a happy medium of possible time allowances. A motion offered by Mrs. MacKrell, seconded by Mr. Butterwick, to amend the ordinance to require two to three years rather than four years for septic tank pumping was defeated with Mrs. MacKrell voting yes, the remaining seven Trustees voting no.

PERSONNEL  Ms. Laporte had no report.

RECREATION  Ms. Bogat asked for suggested dates and ideas about the BHV picnic.

ROADS  Mr. Al-Awar commended the maintenance crew for keeping the roads in good condition during the winter. Potholes will be filled as soon as weather permits. Ms. Laporte received a letter asking for a speed table on Underdown Road. Mr. Al-Awar replied that speed tables were initially installed wherever state regulations permitted. He will check the laws to see if anything more can be done in that area. Mr. Esch was asked to conduct radar tests to determine usage and speed on Underdown Road.

SECURITY Mr. Butterwick toured BHV with Mr. Esch to identify trees that posed a threat to the power lines. Forty-two trees were listed, many of which are on private property. DTE representative Paul Ganz was contacted, who agreed to send a professional assessment team, noting that DTE trims trees but does not remove them completely. For the trees on private property, Mr. Butterwick will send letters to those BHV residents encouraging them to remove the hazardous trees.

Mr. Butterwick expressed concern about listing personal information on the proposed BHMC website mentioned at the last Trustee meeting. He suggested that a "sense of the board" letter be sent to BHMC asking for an opt-out option. Mr. Bultman commented that the purpose of the website is to encourage communication among the shareholders and the BHMC Directors, and that participation is optional on the not-yet-active site. It is hoped that the site will be used as a tool to keep shareholders up to date on BHMC issues and curtail the spread of erroneous information. The home page available to the general public will contain only basic contact information, with passwords required to access other areas of the site.

Motion Mr. Boddie moved to express in writing to BHMC the sentiments of the BHV Board of Trustees that the proposed BHMC website should include personal information only on an opt-in basis; Mr. Butterwick seconded. The motion was amended to state that no personal information should be included on the site at all (Bogat/Wilkes/carried). The motion as amended carried. Mr. Butterwick will write the letter with Ms. Laporte's assistance.

Mr. Butterwick deferred to Mr. Esch who reported 5 false alarms in the past month. Efforts will continue to ensure that the emergency sirens are working properly.                                           Mr. Boddie left

Ms. Laporte received a resident request for notification of deer management activities.  Several ideas were offered, but it was agreed that the random movement of the deer herd makes it very difficult to give advance notice. It was suggested that someone meet with the residents who have specific concerns. Mr. Wilkes moved to call the question. Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried to terminate discussion.

Motion  Ms. Bogat moved that the Security Committee further explore issues connected with the deer management program. Mr. Perry seconded; the motion carried.

VEHICLES/EQUIPMENT  Mr. Al-Awar reported that the new garbage box has been delivered but cannot be mounted on the truck until warmer weather since the work has to be done outside due to space requirements. A new pick-up truck has been ordered and is expected soon.

WATER Mr. Wilkes referred to his written report, stating that progress on the new well looks promising. Contingent on approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the engineering firm Stantec (formerly Ayers, Lewis, Norris & May) will be engaged to connect the well to the water system. Mr. Wilkes also stated that recent testing showed no detection of 103 organic chemicals in BHV water, with very low occurrence of arsenic. The second annual report on Phase II Stormwater Runoff activities was submitted to MDEQ and received with commendation to BHV for "its continued effort in environmental excellence." A water main leak was repaired, the Water Consumer Confidence Report will be distributed with the February 2006 Barton Bulletin, and Mr. Wilkes will consult with the Huron River Watershed Council concerning update of the Wellhead Protection Plan adopted in 1997.                                                       Mrs. MacKrell left

Motion  Mr. Al-Awar moved that funding up to $10,000 be authorized to enable Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Esch to proceed with the contracting of Stantec to connect the new Well #1 to the BHV water system after MDEQ approval is received. Mr. Perry seconded; the motion carried.

Mr. Wilkes offered to continue mapping water main breaks and keep a close eye on any problems that might arise, since the recent leak was caused by a hole in the pipe rather than a break. To date there has been little evidence of corrosion in the pipes. Mr. Esch added that the older pipelines laid around 1918 were made of heavier material and were in better condition than newer lines that are no longer made as heavy as the older ones.

ZONING  Mr. Perry commented on three items:

--A proposed second-story addition to the Martens home at 747 Country Club Road was reviewed and posed no problem; however the existence of an apartment over the garage required further investigation. It was determined that the apartment was in existence before the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance and therefore may be (amended 3/20/06) a permissible non-conforming use. Investigation is being made of applicable Ann Arbor Township zoning requirements that were in force at the time. 

--A request for further consideration of the Probst/Klein construction project at 280 Barton North Drive is expected in the near future.

--Ms. Laporte and Mr. Perry will be meeting with Mr. Bultman to discuss suggested amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, including current requirements concerning fences.

BHMC LIAISON  Ms. Laporte reported that in addition to the website concerns already discussed, the BHMC Board referred to a joint meeting of the BHV and BHMC boards [in March 2003] regarding the public/private road issues in relation to the VAC project. Mr. Bultman added that reviewing the minutes of that meeting would be helpful to keep newer board members apprised of important discussions. Mrs. Esch will distribute copies of those minutes to both boards. Ms. Laporte also noted that the original plat map shows the measurements of BHV roads which may be helpful in the discussion of utility franchises. Atty. Reading was asked to investigate whether there are utility easements on record and if public rights-of-way exist.

Motion  Mr. Al-Awar moved that an expenditure of up to $1500 be authorized for Atty. Reading to facilitate a title search regarding utility easements and rights-of-way. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT  Mr. Butterwick will continue to investigate control methods for garlic mustard. Mrs. Redies stated that about $4700 of the $5000 included in the current year's budget for this issue is still available. Quotations of $8500 and $13,000 have been received to affix lightning rod protection to four "landmark" trees in the maintenance area. Mr. Wilkes commented that extensive photos and description were sent to these specialized companies, both of which are members of a national organization. An amount of $5000 was included in the current budget for this project.

Motion  Mr. Butterwick moved that $3500 be added to the budgeted $5000 to enable acceptance of the $8500 bid to affix lightning protection to four large trees in the maintenance area. Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried.

DTE FRANCHISE  Atty. Reading contacted DTE representative Paul Ganz regarding liability concerns while the franchise is being negotiated. Mr. Ganz assured that these concerns were covered; Mr. Reading sent a letter requesting written verification, but no reply has been received yet.

WASHTENAW WIRELESS  Mr. Perry reported that participant agreements have been revised in response to questions raised by Atty. Lillich (Reading, Etter & Lillich) representing several communities. The new documents await approval from Washtenaw County, so further discussion would be premature at this time. Concern was expressed for current telecommunications commitments on the BHV water tower, with the suggestion that this site should not be offered for use by Washtenaw Wireless. It was expected that Atty. Lillich would provide commentary on the new agreements and that there would be adequate time in the coming months to discuss the subject in depth.

AT&T  Mr. Al-Awar asked about the reply letter to AT&T discussed at the last Trustee meeting; Ms. Laporte will make sure the letter is sent.

NEW BUSINESS  Mr. Bultman asked that consideration of the status of BHV property near the Lower Gate be listed on the agenda for the next Trustee meeting. Ms. Laporte agreed, adding that other BHV properties should also be included in the discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Jan Esch, Assistant Clerk