Barton Hills Village, Michigan

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May 11, 2009



May 11, 2009

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Laporte at 6:11 PM at the Village Hall. Ms. Laporte welcomed the residents in attendance.

ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat, Butterwick, Langford, Laporte, Lindstrom, MacKrell and Wilkes. Absent: None.
Others attending: Atty. Laidlaw, Asst. Treas. Redies, Supt. Esch, ZPA Perry, BHMC President Bultman and 23 residents.

Applicant Linda Pickl described her proposal to construct a black vinyl chain-link dog fence in the back yard of her home at 860 Colliston Road, stating it was the best choice for the protection of her pet and the preservation of the natural beauty of her property. It will be virtually impossible to see from the road or the neighboring properties. A zoning variance has been approved for the portion of the fence that encroaches in the side set back. Motion Mr. Boddie moved to approve a fence permit for construction of a dog fence at the home of Linda Pickl, 860 Colliston Road.

Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried

Wallace/Cannell Applicant Bruce Wallace described the landscaping project that was begun in the summer of 2008 involving an already constructed retaining wall and a proposed garden pond, with apologies that all approvals had not been obtained at that time. ZPA Perry confirmed that the misunderstanding was unintentional and that the retaining wall in question is made of layered stone with a total height of about three and one half feet. Motion Mr. Boddie moved to approve a wall permit for a retaining wall (previous construction) at the home of Bruce Wallace and Susan Cannell, 435 Hillspur Road. Mrs. MacKrell seconded; the motion carried.

Thelen/Flood In the absence of the applicants, ZPA Perry explained that a retaining wall behind the home of Bruce Thelen and Kathryn Flood was part of a construction project approved last summer. It was originally described as an extension of an existing boulder wall, but when the extent of the project was realized, it was changed to a layered stone wall ranging from about six feet to about sixteen feet in height. It is not visible from the road. (Question called Lindstrom/Boddie/P) Motion Mr. Boddie moved to approve a wall permit for a retaining wall (previous construction) at the home of Bruce Thelen and Kathryn Flood, 560 Barton Shore Drive. Mr. Lindstrom seconded; the motion carried.

PUBLIC BUDGET HEARING The Public Budget Hearing was convened at 6:17 PM.

Ms. Laporte stated that a synopsis of the Barton Hills Village 2009-2010 proposed budget was distributed to all residents (See Barton Bulletin Vol. LV No. 6). Treasurer Boddie noted a transposition of figures on the synopsis (General Operating Fund, Budget 2009-2010 revenues=$667,829, expenditures=$690,280, ending balance=$636,599), stating that the expected ending balance of about $635,000 was a healthy figure. Expenditures exceed revenues by about $25,000, which is about the amount of the funds carried over for the Village Hall landscaping. The amount listed in the synopsis under the Public Improvement Fund revenues for 2009-2010 should only be $5,000 (ending balance $238,233) which is what is affordable this year ($25,000 has been added to this fund annually in the past). It is unknown if BHV will continue to receive Motor Vehicle Highway Funds, so an estimated amount ($18,000) was used in the synopsis. Mr. Boddie added that the entire budget was reviewed in detail by the Trustees and approved at their April 13, 2009 meeting.

Public Comment(Q. = question; R. = response from the Trustees)

Q. Why have revenues decreased? R. At least two factors: 1) The amount borrowed for the VAC project ($340,000) was included in last year’s budget figures, but not this year and 2) tax revenue has decreased by about $90,000 in the past two years. Not all, but many tax bills have gone down, some by as much as 50%. We have gone through the entire list with actual figures and this is what we can expect to receive.

Q. Are there other factors, such as how long a person has owned the home? R. There are a number of factors and no easy formula. If an owner was paying on a $5 million home which sold for $2.4 million, the new owner will be paying based on the lower amount. BHV has available funds of around $800,000 which is sufficient to carry us through the foreseeable future without a millage increase.

Q. Can you indicate which numbers should be changed in the Revenues on page two of the synopsis (the correct balance for total revenues in the 2009-2010 column should be $667,829)? R. We’ll sort out the discrepancy.

Q. Last year the budget amount for parks maintenance was around $30,000; this year it’s $16,000. Will we see changes in actual maintenance? R. The figures represent an allocation—a percentage—rather than specific expenses; we didn’t buy $30,000 worth of equipment or anything. Almost all of it is employee time which hasn’t changed, plus the resurfacing of the tennis courts which will not be done again for awhile.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed at 6:34 PM.

FINANCE Mrs. Redies distributed the cash balances comparison report, the budget report and the April 2009 disbursement list. Motion Mr. Boddie moved that a millage rate of 10.000 mills be levied to generate $524,216 in village taxes for operating expenses, and that the amended 2008-2009 budget and proposed 2009-2010 budget be approved. (See Aux. Book XXV D). Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried. Motion Mr. Boddie moved that the Cash Disbursements for April 2009 be approved as printed. Mrs. MacKrell seconded; the motion carried. Mr. Boddie presented a resolution approving authorization for disbursement of funds from Ann Arbor Commerce Bank which has changed its name. Motion Mr. Boddie moved that the resolution authorizing disbursement of funds from Michigan Commerce Bank, formerly known as Ann Arbor Commerce Bank, be approved. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried.

MINUTESMotion Mrs. MacKrell moved that the minutes of the April 13, 2009 Trustee meeting be approved as printed. Mrs. Langford seconded; the motion carried.

CHARTER AMENDMENT Ms. Laporte and Atty. Laidlaw described the progress of the proposed charter amendments put forth by the Trustees in March 2009. Mr. Laidlaw is in conversation with the Assistant Attorney General of the State of Michigan concerning ballot language and other questions; the Attorney General makes a recommendation to the Governor who must approve the proposal. A number of sections are proposed to be amended, requiring lengthy discussion with state officials. The resolution to put the proposal on the ballot will be ready for Trustee consideration either at the June 8, 2009 regular meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose prior to the July 7, 2009 ballot wording deadline. The proposed amendments were published in the Ann Arbor News and are available for public inspection at the Village Hall and on the BHV website.

ORDINANCE AMENDMENT Mr. Wilkes explained that in the discussion at the April 13, 2009 Trustee meeting when Ordinance No. 29 was adopted for regulation of geothermal systems, it was pointed out that technology may change and the ordinance may be too specific to be relevant in the future. The Water Committee recommends amendment of the ordinance, which requires a permit from BHV where testing standards (maximum design pressure) can be specified. Motion Mr. Wilkes moved that Ordinance No. 30, amending Ordinance No. 29 (Geothermal Systems) by striking the phrase “not less than 100 psi” from Section 4 (c), be adopted. Mr. Lindstrom seconded; the motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS Written committee reports were distributed to the residents in the Barton Bulletin (See Vol. LV, No. 6). Questions/comments from the public were received. (Q. = question; R. = response from the Trustees)

Q. What is the status of the Deer Culling Program? There has been a major increase in destruction of vegetation. What are we doing in the future? R. We’ve been working on this project, which is extremely complicated, since last September. The response to the proposed plan was definitely not supportive. The Environmental Committee welcomes continued input from residents as they work on this issue.

Q. Are there alternatives to shooting? R. Not that we are aware of. A program administered by the Federal Wildlife Services is being explored.

Q. There are public health issues involved—deer ticks, Lyme disease, accidents. Also, the demographics of the village are changing—there are more children. Public education is needed to explain why the program is being proposed. R. The committee and board appreciate the public input that has been given and the issues that have been raised.

Q. Are there funds in the 2009-2010 budget for deer culling? R. No.

Q. What is the process needed to adopt a new ordinance? Can it be accomplished at a single meeting, without prior notice to residents? R. Ordinances are not adopted often, and are frequently a response to a situation that arises. The most recent ordinance regarding geothermal systems is a good example. BHV received a construction proposal that included a geothermal system. The Water Committee investigated the issue in depth and recommended an ordinance be drafted, which was done at the next monthly meeting. Second readings of proposed ordinances are not required, but a subject is usually discussed at two meetings before an ordinance is adopted. The best way for residents to be informed is to read the minutes that are posted on the bulletin board and website, and attend the meetings. There is a lot of good information on the website and in the Barton Bulletin. We are always trying to improve communication with the community.

Q. Have there been any reports of mail in mailboxes being tampered with? R. Not that we know of. Please relay any concerns of this nature to Supt. Esch.

Q. Are there any good methods for controlling speeding, especially on the upper roads? R. We have requested use of the Washtenaw County electronic sign that indicates the speed of a vehicle as it approaches, but haven’t been successful yet. It is an on-going problem that we are constantly working on, with reminders to motorists and pedestrians alike to adhere to the law.

Q. Is there an official BHV position regarding the Argo dam situation? R. The Board of Trustees discussed this, and felt the wise choice was not to make a community statement but to encourage residents to send individual communications to Ann Arbor City. Contact information can be printed in the next Barton Bulletin.

Motion Mr. Lindstrom moved that the annual committee reports be accepted as submitted. Mr. Boddie seconded; the motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENT Congratulations were expressed on the success of the new Village Hall, with appreciation to all who worked so hard on the project. New residents were introduced.


Mrs. MacKrell moved the meeting be adjourned at 7:33 PM. Mr. Boddie seconded; the motion carried.

Janice K. Esch, Deputy Clerk