Minutes - Board of Trustees|




NOVEMBER 5, 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, Wrubel, Kilroy, Sturdevant.

ABSENT: Ritter.





Kilroy motioned to approve the agenda as is supported by Sturdevant. Motion Carried



  1. Page 5 end of page will not be in the minutes


Usakowski motioned to approve minutes as amended supported by Kilroy. Motion Carried    



    a. Check Register from 10/07/2013 – 10/25/2013

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


Sturdevant: Did Torello go too far with the driveway?




Usakowski motioned to receive, file correspondents and pay the bills supported by Jackson.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Usakowski, Jackson, Hand, Kilroy, Wrubel, Sturdevant.

NO: None. ABSENT: Ritter. (6-0-1) Motion Carried



  1. Board of Public Works of the County of St. Clair for October 1, 2013
  2. Board of County Road Commissioners of the County of St. Clair for Oct. 1, 2013
  3. Township Roads and Bridges Advisory Committee of St. Clair County Road Commission Meeting Minutes for October 8, 2013.


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


V.    PUBLIC COMMENT (Brief Comments)

a. Brian Reed, 1305 Range Road: Thank you on the memory markers but they are still up.


Usakowski: We will be going out tomorrow to make sure they are removed.




    (Late because of traffic) Apologized for being late.


Building Committee is on track and he hopes to present it to the board by the end of the month.


Halloween was a good time at the fire hall. Just a little over 200 children between the two halls.


Fire Board Discussion



  1. Strategic Plan Update

Updates were given about the first survey. Next survey will be Parks and Rec.




  1. Economic Development Committee Meeting

Minutes presented for Community Center and Beautification


Council on Aging – Explore Clinics: Where are residents centrally located? What would be the best location for this building? What locations are available? Wadhams & Griswold, Allen & I-69, and Carter Lumber.




Beautification: Helping seniors with yard work – involving groups to help with these projects.


Keep sign areas clear and clean. Add flowers at key areas.


Next meeting November 15th at 6:30 p.m.


  1. Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting

    Discussed parking, picnic area, groomed trails and a dog park for Sutherland Park. Also, outdoor sports/courts and dog park for Smiths Creek Park.


  1. Applications for Fire Board and Planning Commission

    Fire Administrative Board Applications

    1. Nicole Blaszczuk, Allen Road
    2. Robert Brisson, North Birch Hill Road


Questions asked and answered.


They are the only two present.






Planning Commission Applications

  1. John Milton, Griswold Road
  2. Teresa London, Lorwood Drive




Sturdevant motioned to appoint John Milton to the Planning Commission supported by Wrubel.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Sturdevant, Wrubel, Usakowski, Jackson, Hand, Kilroy.

NO: None. ABSENT: Ritter. (6-0-1) Motion Carried


    Discussion with Robert Brisson


Kilroy motioned to appoint Robert Brisson to the Fire Administrative Board supported by Wrubel.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Kilroy, Wrubel, Usakowski, Jackson, Hand, Sturdevant.

NO: None. ABSENT: Ritter. (6-0-1) Motion Carried


Usakowski motioned to re-appoint Al Grabowski. No Support. Motion died.


Usakowski motioned to appoint Nicole Blaszczuk to the Fire Administrative Board supported by Kilroy.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Usakowski, Kilroy, Jackson, Hand, Sturdevant, Wrubel.

NO: None. ABSENT: Ritter. (6-0-1) Motion Carried    



  1. Timekeeping: Employee Time Clock Policy

Usakowski explained need to improve this.




Usakowski motioned to approve the Timekeeping: Employee Time Clock Policy with the changes supported by Sturdevant. Motion Carried


  1. MTA Conference

Total cost per person, not including meals or travel would be $601.00. Need to know for early bird registration by December 19 to get the early bird price.




Sturdevant motioned to approve the $601.00 per person to any one of the board members that want to attend the MTA Conference supported by Kilroy.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Sturdevant, Kilroy, Usakowski, Jackson, Hand, Wrubel.

    NO: None. ABSENT: Ritter. (6-0-1) Motion Carried






  1. Supervisor Usakowski

We have the opportunity to obtain a grant from the Kresge Foundation for $120,000.00. That grant would be used to do some regional planning. The total cost of the project is $145,000.00.




  1. Clerk Hand

Hand got a letter from SEMCOG about paying for the membership that is $1,171.00 for the year.


Hand motioned to pay $1,171.00 for the SEMCOG membership supported by Usakowski.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Hand, Usakowski, Jackson, Sturdevant, Wrubel, Kilroy.

NO: None. ABSENT: Ritter. (6-0-1) Motion Carried


Russell Electric did emergency lights.


Election Storage: Will bring back to next meeting.


Trees at cemetery: Tanya O’Boyle has someone licensed and insured that will cut trees for the wood. He will contact Clerk Hand.


Usakowski: Trees on Burns Road that need to be removed. The cost would be $2,000.00 to remove five Ash trees.


Hand motioned to remove the five trees for $2,000.00 supported by Usakowski.


ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Hand, Usakowski, Jackson, Sturdevant, Wrubel, Kilroy.

NO: None. ABSENT: Ritter. (6-0-1) Motion Carried


  1. Treasurer Jackson

We were looking at putting on a part-time Clerk 1 position, which we are going to have to do that. But as things have been going lately and the auditors requested that we have somebody else look at reading meters, would the possibility be that we put a full-time Clerk 1 on and use that person to read meters between the 10th and the15th of each month.


Sturdevant: Read what meters?


Jackson: The water meters. That’s what the auditors want. They don’t want somebody that’s directly involved with the water reading the meters. It’s something we’ve got to think about. I’ve got to make the decision quick here. I have to put an ad out to Career Builders or something, get some more applications because the other resumes are two years old.


Sturdevant: Are there services out there that read meters for you? I don’t think Edison does it on their own anymore.


Usakowski: There are private companies that do.


Sturdevant: I think maybe we ought to look at possibly that too.


Usakowski: I guess my only thing is I mean is where are we going to, if we hire somebody in here full-time to read meters, where are we going to reduce workloads somewhere else?


Jackson: No we wouldn’t be hiring someone here full-time reading meters.


Wrubel: Didn’t we have hire an extra person in maintenance because they were running, they didn’t have enough time to read meters?


Usakowski: No we were down a person because Wayne was out. So we were going on two people and so we hired somebody to come in and work to pick up the workload that was lost because we didn’t have Wayne.


Wrubel: Their excuse always was they were running late. They didn’t have enough time do it.


Usakowski: I think we’ve accommodated and fixed that. What we’re doing now is we’re doing a first; you did this last month correct?


Hand: Yes.


Usakowski: You did the first reading last month and identified what meters were not working, went out repaired those meters and then did the actual reading when it was suppose to happen.


Wrubel: So have they been doing it on time then?


Usakowski: It was done on time.


Wrubel: Okay.


Sturdevant: So is the DPW going to file a grievance if we hire somebody to read their meters that they’ve been doing? Now we’re taking work away from DPW. They’re liable to file a grievance about it because you’re taking work that they’ve been doing.

Now were going to say because the auditor says we should have somebody else doing it, is that a management right?


Usakowski: It is a management right. It says in our contract that we have the right to outsource, do whatever we want. I’m just wondering if that’s the most efficient way to do it. Me personally, I do care what the auditor is saying, but at some point in time there’s some scales of efficiency here. We’re not the city of Port Huron. We don’t have the staff available to have someone here in the office separate doing meter readings. We’ve got to have people do multiple functions. To me that’s the way it is. Granted I want to make our system as good as possible, foolproof as possible, secure for the auditors standpoint as possible. But as some point in time you’re going above and beyond what a smaller community can do. It’s just like in here, they say that certain people should never, ever touch the money, well there are times when we don’t have the people in here and somebody’s got to do it. In the rare exceptions when we do that internally, but I think this is another one of those things, we’ve been doing it this way for how many years and now all of a sudden it’s an issue.


Jackson: That’s because they have found problems in other districts.


Usakowski: Other communities?


Jackson: Right. That’s why they gave us this suggestion.


Sturdevant: Recommendations right.


Jackson: The only problem I have with the way it’s doing now is one cycle you get a reading that was maybe done two days into the previous month when the bills go out on the 15th and then the next month you don’t get that reading until the15th or the 20th so you’ve got a 30 day spread there. And that’s what creates the problem. The person calls in and says my bills $157.00 when it’s normally $110.00. That’s what causes problems. That’s why I suggest that they’re done between the 10th and the 15th by an individual out of this office and that’s the only time they’re done. If they don’t get a reading, then they turn that into the DPW to get it fixed.


Sturdevant: I just don’t understand why the DPW can’t do it between the 10th and the 15th unless you know.


Jackson: Well that’s, I’m not going to touch that.


Sturdevant: Okay.


Usakowski: Well I mean this last time, you guys were on time this last time right?


Hand: Yes.


Usakowski: Part of the issue has been, and we’ve talked about it quite a bit, our meters are reaching the end of their lifecycle and we are constantly repairing. I look at some of the misreads and we’ve had some meters misread six straight cycles. Well replace it. I know it cost money to replace but it’s creating some inefficiencies that are going to, in terms of cost are going to outweigh the cost of the meter. Just go and replace the meter and get some newer meters in there so we’re not constantly faced with the same battle. And that’s the biggest battle, we’ve had some periods where we’ve gotten almost 200 misreads. That’s not acceptable. It’s not, and that’s what I told Jason, it’s not Jason’s fault, they’re old meters. We need to start replacing those meters. I think if we got into a system where as things are failing we start replacing and then be pro-active moving forward instead of waiting until they break down. If there life cycle is ten years, then nine years and six months we should have a plan in place to replace those because sure enough once we get that tenth year they’re going to start failing. So be proactive in their replacement moving forward so that we don’t run into this situation.

Me personally I’m a little bit apprehensive about adding a full-time employee if we don’t need to. We already made Wendy full-time correct as the Deputy Treasure so I would hate to add another full-time employee. Budget wise I don’t know how that’s going to fit.


Jackson: Well you’d have to weigh it, you’re talking $10.00 an hour is what that wage is right now unless the contract changes it so we’re talking $400.00 a month compare to what a company would charge us to read those meters.


Sturdevant: That would be worth looking into. How many meters do we absolutely have?


Jackson: You average 600 to 700 hundred a cycle a month.


Usakowski: There’s three cycles, somewhere around 2000.


Jackson: There are 1900 customers plus you’ve got sprinkler meters with some and regular meters.


Usakowski: And I’m okay with looking at that cost but again how are we going to off set that? We have someone doing that.


Sturdevant: But we could also free up their time to do something else.


Usakowski: We could, the problem is though is now we don’t have it in the budget. It’s something we could certainly fit in the budget if we want to move in that direction and look at.


Sturdevant: I’d like to see at least get an estimate from somebody that does meter reading as to what it would cost us to have somebody read all 1900 or whatever we have and do it every quarter or however we’re doing it. Just to get a number out there so we’ve got an idea, okay so this is how much it will cost us. Now if our DPW is doing it, how long does it take him? Does it take him two days to do it each time, three days to do it each time? And what is that actual cost to us?


Unknown: The electronic ones, you can just drive down the street and pick it right up.


Usakowski: We can. We actually kind of looked at that but it is extremely expensive to layout the cost to put those systems in. I’m not necessary opposed to that; the problem is that their life cycles not much different than what we have now. If the life cycle was a little bit longer, then it would make sense to go in that direction but since their life cycle is the same, you would hope that you would recover some of the cost over time. Unfortunately I don’t think you do.


Jackson: We have the electronic ones where they drive down the street but to do the auto reads, we’d have to invest $340.00 per resident or account and that’s 600 and some thousand dollars to put the auto reads in like Port Huron is doing. That was based on the figures I got from Eric Witter who runs that department up there over how many they put in and how much it cost them so I just took those figures.


Kilroy: How many are on auto read?


Jackson: A lot of them are on auto read; the majority of them are on auto read, not on auto read but I mean electronic reads.


Kilroy: I was on previous boards when they started this and I thought it was planned that every year we’d add more to it through the budget.


Usakowski: I was actually talking about a different system. There is actually a system where we could put a signal up on the water tower where it sits and we could have those meters actually send the data right in here and we wouldn’t have to send somebody out to read them


Kilroy: That would be nice.


Wrubel: Sweet.


Usakowski: Yes, that would be sweet.


Jackson: So where we’re at right now, do you want me to post in Career Builders for a part-time Clerk 1?


Usakowski: Well I think that we at least need to go part-time; I mean we can’t leave that spot empty. And if we evaluate it later on and say it’s full-time and that person is available for full-time then we could always change it. I would hate to see us hire somebody full-time and then reduce it back to part-time.


Sturdevant and Kilroy: Start with part-time and see how it goes.


Jackson: All right. I’ll call Career Builders and get some more. I’ll just do it for seven days even though they charge for a month.


Wrubel: So this is an additional position?


Usakowski: It’s not an additional; we’re just replacing Sally.


Wrubel: Okay.


Sturdevant: Wendy took Sally’s position as Deputy Clerk then?


Usakowski: Right.


Jackson: Not yet, not until December 1st.


Usakowski: Well December 1st. but we’re moving her to full-time in that position which means that in order to keep us where were we as far as staff we need to go part-time. That keeps us staffed at the same level we were at before.


Jackson: She will have other responsibilities that Sally did not have.


Usakowski: Have we, and just along those lines, has there been any lash back from the union on that?


Jackson: Somewhat. A little bit. More or less using her as an over seer that’s what I left it with the union representative. To oversee that department, those departments when something is figured out what they owe, she will know what they owe and record when the payments are made. Somebody else will be collecting but she’ll be seeing it.


    Jackson passed out paperwork about the water situation on whether to raise the cost of

    water to township residents.




    Jackson will bring the proposal back next meeting on raising the water rates.


    Took care of Burns Road.


  1. Trustee Kilroy



  1. Trustee Ritter



  1. Trustee Sturdevant



  1. Trustee Wrubel




    Usakowski motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m. supported by Wrubel.

    Motion Carried


    Meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.


    Submitted by

    Robert G. Hand, Clerk

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