Minutes - Board of Trustees|




OCTOBER 15, 2013

6:30 P.M.

Usakowski opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.            


ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS: Usakowski, Jackson, Hand, Ritter, Sturdevant, Kilroy, Wrubel. ABSENT: None


INVOCATION BY: Pastor, Sara Sinda, Cross Current Church.



    Add under New Business: b. Deputy Treasure Position

    Add under New Business: c. Meeting Dates

    Add under New Business: d. Assessing Law Changes

    Add under New Business: e. MTA Conference


Usakowski motioned to approve the agenda as amended supported by Sturdevant. Motion Carried



    Page 2: Joann Hunter address should be 843 not 1843.


Sturdevant motioned to approve the minutes as amended supported by Jackson. Motion Carried



    a. Check Register from 09/21/2013 – 10/04/2013

  1. Revenue & Expenditure Report for Period ending 10/31/2013


Usakowski motioned to receive and file and pay the bills supported by Jackson. Motion Carried


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Usakowski, Jackson, Hand, Ritter, Sturdevant, Wrubel, Kilroy. NO: None. ABSENT: None. (7-0-0) Motion Carried



  1. Minutes of the Planning Commission of July 23, 2013


Kilroy motioned to receive and file supported by Ritter. Motion Carried


  1. Board of Public Works of the County of St. Clair for September 17, 2013
  2. Board of County Road Commissioners of the County of St. Clair Sept 17, 2013


Kilroy motioned to receive and file supported by Hand. Motion Carried


V.    PUBLIC COMMENT (Brief Comments)




  1. Fire Bill Appeal: Karen Hudolin, 7237 Gratiot, St. Clair, MI



  1. Fire Bill Appeal: Bernadine Tomic, 1557 Richman Road, Kimball, MI

    She states that she did not know that she was not allowed to burn a pool liner and she did not have a burn permit.


Jackson motioned to reduce the fee to $300 and allow payments supported by Sturdevant.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Jackson, Sturdevant, Usakowski, Hand, Ritter, Wrubel, Kilroy. NO: None. ABSENT: None. (7-0-0) Motion Carried


  1. Gorski/Gratz: Staff and Command School

    Gratz is looking into traveling to the school with another chief from Fort Gratiot to save on costs. One week per month for nine months.


    Kilroy: Are these really topics you need to understand?


    Hand: I was impressed with the amount of information you would learn.


    Gratz wants to attend; Gorski thinks it is a great idea.




    Usakowski motioned to approve the Staff and Command school for Ed Gratz and the transportation costs supported by Hand.


    ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Usakowski, Hand, Jackson, Ritter, Sturdevant, Wrubel, Kilroy. NO: None. ABSENT: None. (7-0-0) Motion Carried






  1. Applications for Fire Board and Planning Commission

Usakowski commented about how do we make the decision and he feels that we are not getting enough information on the applications.


Ritter would like to have them come in.


Hand suggested sending them a letter and having them come to the next meeting.


Usakowski agreed with Hand’s suggestion and have them come to the next meeting.


  1. Deputy Treasure Position

Jackson mentioned that Sally Dupell would be retiring the first of December tentatively. He said that the first person he had asked turned it down. He then offered it to Wendy O’Connor but he will have to come up with a compensation figure by the MTA laws and what the position will require. He is trying to put forth is a 40 hour workweek, hospitalization involved, but the person will take on more duties than what the deputy has had in the past. One thing that he has looked at and he hasn’t made a complete decision yet is that he would do all the cash outs and allow that person to do more jobs. Jackson would like that person be involved deeply with building and fire billing which she has done them both already because we do have some absenteeism in some areas of the office and there’s days that we don’t have somebody to take care of those situations.


Jackson would make a motioned to make the position a 40-hour position at this time and then the next one would be the wage that he has in mind. And that would probably be more negotiable than the 40 hours.


Sturdevant: Like the deputy clerk, this is not going to be a union position is that correct?


Jackson: This is non-union position, and there would probably be a part-time cashier put on if the 40-hour deputy were approved instead of a 40-hour Clerk I position.


Sturdevant: How’s the union feel about kind of half way of eliminating one of their positions?


Usakowski: I can tell you what they’re going to say and I can tell you what our response would be. They’re going to want to protect their jobs. They tried to get that into the last agreement and we negotiated that out. However, we have complete management rights according to that contract. If they were to come back and say you can’t do that that’s union work, bologna, it says right in our contract that we have the right to outsource or manage or do whatever we want within a particular realm.


Ritter: I know the other one that we don’t really mention; she worked 40 hours for a while and there was no issue with that before Mr. Jackson came aboard, the other deputy treasurer.


Jackson: I was not planning putting completely the building on that person, but that person would oversee it and any extra work that had to be performed would be done by one of the clerks, either the part-time or the full-time.


Jackson motioned to approve a 40-hour week deputy treasurer with the full benefits and those benefits will coincide with whatever the union contract ends up with supported by Sturdevant.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Jackson, Sturdevant, Usakowski, Hand, Ritter, Wrubel, Kilroy. NO: None. ABSENT: None. (7-0-0) Motion Carried


Jackson motioned to pay the new deputy treasurer $14.80 an hour with benefits supported by Usakowski.


Hand had one issue with the pay for the deputy treasurer is that his deputy is doing an outstanding job and she doesn’t make that and your starting someone new higher than her. I’m saying to you George, you better be supportive when I come and ask for a raise for my deputy in a month.


Jackson: I don’t know what your deputy makes so.


Hand: Not $14.80. Just letting you know.


Jackson: I wanted to go more than that because I know what I’m up against in the outside world as far as the position. That’s why I had a CPA turn it down because I wasn’t willing to pay that wage. That’s where I’m at. This person is going to have a lot to do as Nicole has a lot to do. But then also the part-time person will be available to help you at anytime.


Hand: I doubt that. She will be at the window.


Jackson: No, there will still be two people at the window. Three days a week there probably will be two people at the window. And then two days a week, which I know which days are the lesser days, of the week there will be just one person for the window.


Sturdevant: When will this person be starting the first of December?


Jackson: That wage won’t go into affect until then. We are going to do some training. But that wage won’t go into affect until December 1.


Sturdevant: Wendy was hired in; she’s a Clerk One?


Jackson: She hasn’t accepted it yet. I told her not to accept it until I get all the facts and she might not. If she doesn’t, I’ve got one more alternative.


Jackson motioned to pay the new deputy treasurer $14.80 an hour with benefits supported by Usakowski. It’s probably forty cents more an hour than what Sally is getting but Sally hasn’t had a raise for two years.


Usakowski: We have people making a lot more than that an hour. Ingrid and Denise are making more.


Jackson: Can I just say one thing to Bob before we vote, that Nicole has been here almost a year.


Hand: That’s what I said next month will be a year.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Jackson, Usakowski, Hand, Ritter, Sturdevant, Wrubel, Kilroy. NO: None. ABSENT: None. (7-0-0) Motion Carried


  1. Meeting Dates

Ritter: I don’t think we need two meetings a month during the winter.


Rob: It is difficult from my perspective because my other job is extremely busy in September but we are always in a perpetual of putting together another agenda. It does get a little difficult sometimes and Connie feels the same way. She feels she is just in a perpetual preparing of minutes phase.




Wrubel likes the smaller agenda because you have more time to read them. When you have a whole month of agendas there is just an overload.


Kilroy: My problem is if you have something that comes in late in the month and it gets on the agenda and we don’t get to research it and then we have to hold it over for the next month and it involves a resident and then they have to wait for two months to get anything done.


Usakowski: Let’s put it on the next agenda and bring back your thoughts.


  1. Assessing Law Changes

Our legal costs are going to go up because we have some big cases going on that are going to hit the Michigan Tax Tribunal. One of the biggest issues right now is how the state, there’s a loophole in the law related to big box stores.

Example: Panera Bread in Fort Gratiot filed a tax appeal before they opened and they won. CVS is filing an appeal on their taxes with Kimball Township. The tax tribunal ruled in another CVS favor, and basically they valued that property as if it were empty. CVS is trying to do the same thing with the property in Kimball Township that they did with the other location. Something you will want to keep an eye on is HB4977 is proposed legislation that would eliminate that loophole. Usakowski talked to Phil Pavlov last week; they have an identical Senate Bill SB511 that would eliminate that loophole. Basically what it would do is those buildings could no longer be assessed as if they were vacant.




Usakowski mentioned that we would need to hire an independent appraiser.


Senate Bill 25 has been passed and what it will do is remove the capping of recovery of PRE. Someone that did not have their PRE on their property will be able to collect that all the way back where the mistake was made.




  1. MTA Conference

MTA Conference is coming up in January and Rob wants to know if anyone is interested in going. Usakowski would like to go and will bring back to next meeting with the cost. Ritter mentioned that she would be interested in going if she can.






  1. Supervisor Usakowski

Mr. Strait had asked for exemption from the sewer project. Usakowski did talk to DEQ. They have done some research and they are willing to exempt him from the project, which would affect our needs for an easement. However, they are asking that someone come out and do an inspection from the St. Clair County Health Department before they do that. Usakowski will try and get that arranged between him and them so they can go out and inspect and then we can get that wrapped up.


Usakowski mentioned that we have submitted our third or fourth revision of the application for the easement under the railroad. Hopefully that will be approved



Union negotiations and the need to discuss in closed session.


  1. Clerk Hand

Hand went to the Road Commission for the roads and bridges meeting. They discussed the projects around the county and how they are getting done. They also mentioned that the salt prices were quoted a lot lower this year and St. Clair County had already purchased theirs. So they went back and asked if they would lower the price that they quoted them for this year and they did. It will save them around $30,000 for salt.


They are coming along with Smith Creek Road. It is supposed to be done by the 14th.


He had an individual come and ask about cutting trees at the new cemetery. Bob asked everyone what they thought of this. If they do they would need a waiver of liability. Everyone take a ride out to the cemetery and look at it and bring it back next month.


Elections storage

    Discussion: Get cost comparisons; C & H Solutions.


    Russell Electric looked at library lights and emergency lights; Emergency lights

    have to be done now and get bids on the other.

    Emergency lights to be replaced but need to get two bids for the other.




Brett Lowell coming in tomorrow to meet with George, Rob and Bob with a proposal for starting up a program for the lift stations.


    Hand wants to figure out something with Wayne’s job by end of year.


Hand got a call from McDonalds about the drain not working and he had Jason look at the sewer and he said that from Bi-Lo all the way to Talmer Bank was plugged with grease and other sewage. He was there until 9 p.m.- 10 p.m. He had the vac people come. He went down to Talmer and found that the cover to the sewer was down under the asphalt about three to four feet down. They had to cut the asphalt in the driveway just to find it.


  1. Treasurer Jackson

Title companies inquiring a lot about the Afr property and strip mall.



  1. Trustee Kilroy



  1. Trustee Ritter

Congratulation to Jackson on water bill compliments.


  1. Trustee Sturdevant

We need to get Outdoor Gathering information for a permit into the newsletter. People don’t know what they need one for.


    g. Trustee Wrubel

Questioned about getting Corkboard Strips for the meeting room.


Usakowski motioned to go into closed session at 7:57 p.m. supported by Jackson.

Motion Carried


Usakowski motioned to open the meeting back up at 8:17 p.m. supported by Ritter.

Motion Carried



    Usakowski motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:17 p.m. supported by Ritter.

    Motion Carried


    Meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.


    Submitted by

    Robert G. Hand, Clerk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close Search Window