2008-06-26 / News

Clark Twp. Board Hosts Hazardous Waste Clean-up; Gives Staff Raises

By Amy Polk

The Les Cheneaux Watershed Project and Clark Township will host another hazardous waste clean-up at the township hall, following board approval of the site June 19. A collection is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 26, and hours will be announced closer to the date.

The clean-up day follows last year's successful event, when eight tons of hazardous waste were removed from the community. A company is hired and paid to properly dispose of the waste, and project volunteers planned to spend $5,000 every year for three years of clean-ups. So many people brought so much stuff in the first year, however, the 2007 collection exhausted the project's entire three-year budget. Old paint, fuels, oil, pesticides, household chemicals, and lead batteries were disposed of, and one man brought 40-year-old chemicals he was never able to dispose of before.

There are still a lot of hazardous materials out there, Watershed Project Manager Pat Carr said.

"We are confident that there is a need to continue this effort," he said, adding only 10% of Clark Township households participated in last year's event.

Project volunteers are now seeking donations to pay for two more years of collection. Les Cheneaux Watershed Council has committed $5,000 to the collection, and another $5,000 in donations is sought. Mr. Carr estimates the collection will cost at least $10,000 this summer.

Clark Township Board of Trustees agreed to host the collection again in the township hall parking lot, which creates an easily accessible drive-through waste drop-off. Trustees decided, however, the township cannot afford to donate money to the collection this year.

Treasurer Katie Carpenter thinks the hazardous waste collection is a good project, but there are other things the township needs to spend money on.

"We do have an obligation to maintain what we have," she said, listing a number of necessary re - pairs and improvements to township property, such as new windows at the Hessel Marina, airport repairs, and other facility improvements.

The rest of the board noted the budget is too tight this year to spare any money.

The board unanimously ap - proved changing trash collection service providers to Smith San - itation, which will save the township at least $43.18 a month for trash collection at the Com munity Center.

The board resolved to designate First National Bank of St. Ignace, Soo Co-Op Credit Union, and Central Savings Bank the township's financial institutions, and reappointed the law firm Plunkett and Cooney of Petoskey as the township attorney.

Election workers for the August 5 primary election will be Kathryn Hills, Lori Jacobus, Julie Smith, Lois Tassier, and Lorie Thompson, as approved by the board June 19. They will get the same pay as in the May election: $10 per hour, with the election chair getting an extra $20 for working the day of an election.

Trustees gave raises to all Clark Township employees, calculating the raise on the 3.98% rate of inflation. Deputy Supervisor Jessica Maze's hourly rate was increased from $11.09 to $11.54. Deputy Clerk Julie Smith's rate went up from $10.32 to $10.73. Deputy Treasurer Jennifer Becker's rate was increased from $11.36 to $11.81. Sewer Billing Clerk Maxine Bryner's rate was in - creased from $11.36 to $11.81. Transfer Site Manager Bob Izzard's rate was increased from $8.25 to $8.58.

Department of Public Works employees all received 50¢ raises, increasing Wastewater Treatment Supervisor Jim Landreville's hourly rate to $18. Tony Hamel will receive $13.50 and Alan Huff will receive $12.50.

Supervisor Linda Hudson, Mrs. Carpenter, and Clerk Cathy Nord - quist reported the township has received five applications so far for the assessor job vacated by Sherry Burd this summer. Mrs. Burd has agreed to stay through July 25, when trustees expect to hire a new assessor. Mrs. Nord quist said only three of the five applicants are qualified, however, according to the board's interest in hiring a Level II or Level III assessor. Applications are still being accepted, and trustees will review applications and narrow the choices at a Monday, June 30, special meeting. Interviews will be scheduled for July special meetings.

Clark Township Planning Com - mission needs a new member, as the board accepted the resignation of Marti Hart Thursday night. Mrs. Hudson said she has already received two inquiries, and wel- comed any other letters of interest from the public. She will advertise the position, and hopes to return with an appointment by the July board meeting.

The board approved a permit application for beautification work to the northwest corner of highways M-134 and M-129. Les Cheneaux Advisory Committee volunteers will perform the work, but needed a municipal agent to apply for permission from the Michigan Department of Trans - portation. Landscaping and planting are among the activities volunteers have planned for the corner.

Trustees amended the township's zoning ordinance that establishes fines and enforcement procedure for civil infractions. The amendment establishes a $100 fine for failing to correction a zoning ordinance violation, in addition to costs, damages, expenses, and other sanctions for each infraction. The township board may instruct a zoning enforcement officer, township attorney, or authorized township official to issue civil infraction or criminal complaints against someone violating the ordinance. Repeat offenses will be assessed with a fine of at least $250. Three repeated offenses will be assessed a $500 fine. Failure to answer a citation about an ordinance violation will result in another fine of no more than $500.

The board joined the Michigan Small Harbors Coalition by signing a resolution of support for the organization's efforts to get more government care and maintenance funding for the state's more than 50 small harbors, including Clark's. The group charges that Michigan's small harbors have the same needs as large commercial harbors, and should be dredged. All have suffered from low water levels, natural sedimentation, storm events, and litter drift that is making it more difficult to use these harbors.

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