Village drafts fire contract for Pleasant Plains Township

BALDWIN — During the Baldwin Village Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 11, council members drafted a fire contract proposal for Pleasant Plains Township, whose fire contract expires with Baldwin Fire Department in December.

"The 10-year contract proposal is essentially word for word like the fire contract we have been using for decades," said Village President Jim Truxton. "There is a change in calendar year and in due dates for clash flow payments. The first payment is due before the March tax settlement day and 10 days before the June tax settlement day."

The proposal is for 2 mills minus payment out of the millage to the Downtown Development Authority up to $1,000 and $3,000 for the township's audit.

"This proposal is what the township asked for," Truxton said.

Also during the meeting, council members announced they are looking to fill vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Board as well as the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Village clerk Terra Dickson said anyone interested in applying can contact the village.

"You don't have to be a village resident to apply for the Planning and Zoning Board, but you do need to be a village resident to be on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Renters qualify to apply," she said.

Also during the meeting, council members approved switching the council meetings to 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. They also approved setting up an optional meeting each month to take place at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month.

In other business:

• Council members amended the fire budget. The amount of $1,500 was added to the general fund with $500 from an insurance claim and $1,000 earned during a controlled burn. The firefighter's salary was decreased from $16,000 to $14,200. Truxton explained the decision to cut the pay is to help balance the budget.

• In a 3 — 2 vote, council members reappointed Marty Walker as fire chief for Baldwin Fire Department.

• The council acted on the Ferrellgas LLC Zoning Map and Text Amendment resolution. The council approved a motion to disregard the Ferellgas project to ramp up fuel-tank storage and transportation on 21 acres in the village, and further disapproved amending the zoning ordinance.

• The council discussed verbal changes with the contract agreement for Infrastructure Alternatives.

• During public comments Walker asked how much will raising the water rates by nine percent generate. Truxton said it would raise $80,000 a year, but council members haven't voted on this yet. Trustee Kelsey Bennett said it wouldn't be raised at once, but gradually.

• During the Downtown Development Authority report, Truxton said the footing is being constructed for the world's largest brown trout sculpture.

• During the water and wastewater report, wastewater manager Russ Johnson said they cleared debris from the  forest main, including a black garbage bag filled with underwear, socks and a T-shirt. The bag of clothes became stuck in the impeller.

• During the fire report, Walker said how the department conducted a controlled burn of the old Cajun Bayou restaurant building in Pleasant Plains Township. He said the $1,000 received for the burn went toward firefighter pay. He said the fire department is working on removing the building across from St. Ann's Catholic Church where free clothing used to be handed out.

• During the buildings and grounds report, Baldwin Municipal Airport manager Mac McClellan said about six planes a week have been coming in.

"Over this weekend five planes landed at the airport including one Aeromed," he said. "The 2017 Soar In at the airport was nicely attended. People came from all over Michigan and out of state to fly. I was surprised by number of spectators at the event. We also picked up six new flyer pilots for the Lake County Modelers and Flyers Association."

• Lake County Commissioner Karl Walls gave a commissioner report.

"We will host our second commissioner meeting of the month at the Baldwin Village Office at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27," he said. "We try to have our second monthly meeting quarterly at different locations in the county. This is a good way to reach out to different municipalities and give residents a chance to ask questions and meet their commissioners. We usually try to have water, coffee and cookies and talk with community residents before and after the meeting."

• As street administrator, Dickson reported purchasing a snowblower for $2,800. Some tweaking needs to be done. She said the village saved $5,000 purchasing this snowblower instead of one they previously looked at buying.