Webber Township approves 90-day moratorium
WEBBER TWP. — Due to an influx of recreational campers, new campers will not be allowed to sit on private, vacant lands in Webber Township for 90 days after the township board last Thursday approved a moratorium that will allow planning officials to review their recreational ordinance.
“This moratorium does not apply to legal existing campers, as the recreational ordinance allows an annual permit for temporary campers for up to 180 days. It is just stopping for new ones coming in,” said Webber Township Supervisor Ernie Wogatzke.
Campers coming in 15 days or less are exempt, as well as those legally stored at a dwelling. The moratorium is in place until Dec. 11.
A workshop for the planning commission to take comments from the public occurred on Monday, Sept. 17.
Also during the meeting, an update was given on the Aug. 28 storm. Kylyn McCavitt, who ran the township hall shelter for the Webber Township Fire Auxiliary gave a report, saying the hall was originally opened up for firefighters, but they also opened their doors to the community.
More than $1,200 was raised to help recoup auxiliary expenses, and many people volunteered services and resources.
Wogatzke gave a report on damage in the Webber Township Cemetery.
“More than 20 trees were blown down. They were cleared. We are having a logging company come in to purchase trees to recover costs. Insurance covered $10,000 of damage repair. No vaults caved in and there were no broken stones. There are maybe eight to 10 trees left, with 60 to 70 percent destroyed,” he said, adding the project to put up fencing at the cemetery will be on hold until the immediate need is addressed.
Also during the meeting, a township resident submitted a petition with more than 30 signatures for the township to amend their medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries, which was rejected by the board when they approved opting in to medical marijuana last winter. The board discussed taking another look at allowing dispensaries, seeing there is an interest among residents.
In other business:
• Ideas from township residents regarding a joint project with Webber Township and the village of Baldwin Downtown Development Authority were discussed, including sidewalks east of M-37; Bush Lake launch, though it was mentioned this may be outside the village; cleaning up blight; and a crosswalk at the intersection of Washington Street and M-37.
• The board approved a resolution rejecting House and Senate bills for counties to take over assessing.
• The $8,000 the township set aside for a survey of Whalen Lake Drive came back at a $4,000 bid.
• During the fire report, Webber Township Fire Captain Mike Oisten said the department made 71 runs in August, a big increase from the usual amount of runs because of the storms in late in the month.
“The storm kept us busy. I want to thank everyone who helped with the shelter,” Oisten said.
• The board approved $965 not to exceed $1,000 to replace hose reel, fire line tape and other equipment and materials used in the storm. The funds will come out of the capital repairs budget.
• During the zoning administrator’s report, Oisten said he is working with lot owners associations on Mench Lake and Putnam Lake for clean up projects.
• Board members approved the maintenance worker’s request for six paid holidays and five non-accumulative sick days.
• Wogatzke addressed a question from last month’s meeting about what is a responsible fund equity. He said 25 to 30 percent was a safe amount. He said there was an issue getting certain grants because the township had too much fund equity.
“We are looking at putting together a financial plan in conjunction with the capital improvement plan to identify projects and responsibly spend for these projects,” he said.
• The township had a quote of $3,500 to seal coat the township hall driveway.