The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, March 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse.

Present: Commissioners Ted Postula, Don Cooper, Jesse Knoll, Richard Timmer, Don McLean, Jim Moore and Chairman Scott Shackleton

Also Present: Scott Brand, Evening News, Brian Bartlett, IT Dept., Steve Mason, Lighthouse.net, Tim McKee, 9-1-1 Director, Kathy Noel, EDC, Bud Willis, John Willis, Derek Myerscough, Jay Gage, Julie Beck, Public Defender, Jim German, Administrator, and Diane Cork, Clerk

Additions/Deletions to Agenda

It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, supported by Commissioner Moore, to add under the “Administrator’s Report” consideration of letter of support for the Last Mile Grant. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner McLean, to approve the agenda as amended. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Correspondence Received in the Clerk’s Office

It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to acknowledge the correspondence received in the Clerk’s Office and if necessary, forward to the appropriate committee. On a voice vote the motion carried unanimously.

Approval of County Board minutes

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the County Board minutes of February 8, 2010 and Workshop minutes of February 4, 2010 with the following correction:

On page 5 of the regular board minutes, 10th paragraph reads “On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner voting no”. It should read “On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no”.

With that correction, the motion carried unanimously.

Public Comments

John Willis, Sugar Island, commented on notices being sent out to property owners.

Jeff Crane, 2010 Census, just wanted to make the Commissioners aware that there are people out in the County delivering the census to households that for some reason can’t receive them by mail.

Old Business

A. Appointments to various boards and authorities

Building Authority – 1 appointment – term expires December 21, 2010 Candidates: Don Cooper

It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, supported by Commissioner Moore, to cast a unanimous ballot for Don Cooper. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Building Code of Appeals – 2 appointments – term expires December 31, 2010 Candidates: Derek Myerscough and Marvin Willis

It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, supported by Commissioner McLean, that Derek Myerscough and Marvin Willis be appointed to the Building Code of Appeals Board. On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Postula voting no.

Regional Planning – Township level – 1 appointment Candidates: William Ferguson

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to cast a unanimous ballot for William Ferguson. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

B. Nominations to Allocation Board

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to appoint Ron Meister to the Chippewa County Allocation Board. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Administrator’s Report – Jim German

Mr. German stated that the union had accepted the County’s offer (POLC – Road Patrol).

He also stated that the County was able to secure a grant for enhanced courthouse security from MMRMA in the amount of $4,000-$5,000. The project will cost between $12,000 and $13,000.

Letter of Support for PFM

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve a letter of support for PFN (Middle Mile Grant). The PFN proposal will provide to Chippewa County, access to broadband services and other fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Standing Committee Reports

A. Personnel – Jim Moore – 2-18-2010

Administrator German noted that the Public Defender secretary would be off for three weeks and a temporary would be needed. Mr. German noted there was an individual, who has filled in the past with the County, who was familiar with legal issues.

It was moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner Postula, to hire a temporary secretary for the Public Defender’s Office.

Discussion was held on other positions that did not hire a temporary when employees took vacation or were on sick leave.

On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.

The rest of the report was for informational purposes only.

It was moved by Commissioner Moore, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to accept the report of the Personnel Committee as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

B. Equalization & Apportionment – Jim Moore – No meeting

C. Health & Social Services – Ted Postula – No meeting

D. Building, Grounds and & Jail – Don McLean – 2-25-2010

Members of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee Robert Wilson, Brooks Partridge and Paul Clement spoke regarding the need for a new monument, due to the unfortunate passing of two Chippewa County residents during this current war. The members expressed the importance of remembrance and they felt each war should have its own monument. An example of the monument was presented to the Committee for review; the cost of the amber glow monument is $4,188.00 plus a verse on the monument at $1.65 per letter. The monument needs to be in place by Memorial Day with a walkway to the monument area as well as a permanent structure (pavilion) that could provide shelter during ceremonies held on the Courthouse lawn which would also be used as a reflection area.

It was moved by Commissioner McLean, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the purchase of the amber glow monument from St. Peter Monuments at a cost of $4,188 plus a verse to be inscribed on the monument (to be chosen by the Veterans Affairs Committee) at $1.65 per letter and to have the monument placed by Memorial Day. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Margie Hank addressed the Committee regarding continued storage issues with County records: not only for her office but for many of the offices with retention schedules requirements that are difficult to deal with as storage areas are filled and obstructed from getting to easily.

Treasurer Hank reviewed the County’s current financial status with the Committee regarding the renovations to the City/County Building and suggested that the Committee consider using part of the City/County Building as storage rather then renovating the whole building, and eliminating a building that is paid for before all options are pursued, and the renovations are done in phases with input from all the departments to see if they do in fact want to move to the City/County Building.

It was moved by Commissioner McLean, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to have the Administrator’s Office meet with the departments and to assemble the square footage of storage currently in use and anticipated record storage needs; and information on electronic record storage options and costs for future Commission consideration. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee reviewed a letter regarding the handicapped entrance door of the County Courthouse Annex being too cumbersome when needed by individuals’; as the door is quite heavy. Additional signage was also recommended to help direct people to the entrance.

It was moved by Commissioner McLean, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to seek quotes for an electronic door opener, as well as, signage directing people to the entrance for the Courthouse Annex. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee felt they should wait until the full Board could be updated on the potential new option of the direction of the City/County building renovation.

It was moved by Commissioner McLean, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to reconsider the current option of the City/County building. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Having completed the report, it was moved by Commissioner McLean, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

E. Transportation – Ted Postula – No meeting

F. Legislative & Natural Resources – Richard Timmer – No meeting

G. Computer – Jesse Knoll – No meeting

H. Finance, Claims & Accounts – Don Cooper – 3-4-2010

Director McKee reviewed the County Ambulance and Fire Protection Proposition Millage renewal which will permit the county to restore and continue the millage previously approved by the electors in 2006.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Knoll, to approve the language and place the County Ambulance and Fire Protection Proposition Millage renewal on the August ballot as follows:

AMBULANCE AND FIRE PROTECTION PROPOSITION MILLAGE RENEWAL

(This proposal will permit the County to restore and continue the millage previously approved by the electors in 2006)

Shall the previous voted increase in the 15 mill limitation imposed under Article IX, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution on general ad valorem taxes within Chippewa County, Michigan of .4293 mill ($0.4293 per $1,000 of taxable value) which was reduced to .4280 mill by the required millage rollbacks, be renewed at .4280 mill ($0.4280 per $1,000 of taxable value) for 4 years, being 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for the public services of Ambulance and Fire Protection county-wide with the provision that the levy be disbursed in the following manner: 35% administration, training, and communications operations, and 65% to be disbursed annually pro-rate based on taxable valuations to the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Townships of Chippewa County, Michigan?

The estimate of the revenue the County will collect if this millage is approved and levied in 2010 is $438,000.

On a roll call vote:

Yeas: Commissioners Postula, Cooper, Knoll, Timmer, McLean, Moore

Nays: Chairman Shackleton

The motion was declared adopted.

Director McKee addressed the Committee regarding the State 911 Committee needing to be advised on an annual basis of Chippewa County’s 911 collection intention; and the three options were reviewed. The OES911/OES Committee supported and is recommending to the Board that the MPSC $.99 surcharge be approved which is how the collection is currently being done.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the continued collection of MPSC approved surcharge of $.99 and to authorize the Clerk’s signature on the SNC-500. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee reviewed the bid summary from the previously approved RFQ seeking to purchase two vehicles for the Sheriff’s Department. Four bids were received that met the specifications.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the lowest local bid from O’Connor’s Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep to purchase two Dodge Chargers at a cost not to exceed $21,915 per vehicle. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee reviewed an out of state travel request from the Health Department that was forwarded from the Board of Health seeking approval. The cost of the travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a National WIC Conference will all be covered by a scholarship.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the out of state travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to attend a National WIC Conference as presented, with travel expenses covered by a scholarship. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

An updated listing of Courthouse renovations and repairs was reviewed. Discussion followed regarding the need to prioritize the items, funding and monies not expended during the previous fiscal years for renovations. Discussion also prompted the future RFP’s to read “any or all” with regards to making sure the proper expertise is used for the work and that the best pricing is sought by the Commission. It was also noted that the quotations need to be good for an extended amount of time, with regards to the building season.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to forward the Courthouse maintenance items to the Building and Grounds Committee so that RFP’s can be prepared and advertised. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee reviewed the RFP to purchase five desktop computers.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Knoll, to approve the RFP for five desktop computers, as amended to change the monitor (display) requirement to read “a minimum of 22”. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee reviewed the RFP for the Cost Allocation Plan, with questions answered regarding the Plan’s necessity to seek reimbursement for certain Courts and departments.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the RFP for the Cost Allocation Plan as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee reviewed the RFP to have the offices on the east side of the Courtroom painted, which was forwarded from the Building and Grounds Committee.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve the RFP to paint the Circuit Court offices as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee reviewed the request to have the kennels painted at the Animal Control Shelter, which two part epoxy paint needs to be used. This item was forwarded from the Building and Grounds Committee.

It was Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the RFP to paint the kennels as presented. Discussion was held on the removal of all animals before painting. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Building and Grounds Committee forwarded an RFP to this Committee to have the Hakola Ross Drainage District cleaned up and sprayed for weeds.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Timmer , to approve the RFP Hakola Ross Drain District Clean Up and Spray for Weeds, as presented. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Steve Mason of Lighthouse Computers presented a power point presentation reviewing the Broadband initiative. The presentation included information regarding the project, the grant process, the network services, the operation, the grant responsibilities, projected financials – results and assumptions and network cost. Several questions were asked regarding funding, liability, ownership, fiscal agent agreements and the possibilities of an Authority being established.

It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to approve submission of the grant application.

On discussion:

Commissioner Cooper stated his hesitation on moving forward with a project that could commit the County to $19,000,000.00. This project would include Mackinac and Luce Counties, but Chippewa County would be liable for the loan with a 13 year payback.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie will not be included in this because they already have broadband so the County tax payers are going to be liable for this and half of them won’t be able to use it.

Commissioner Timmer said that there are more residents that live out of the City than in the City and they are entitled to some of the same options.

Commissioner McLean said the County will end up with a network of fiber optic cable plus the infrastructure that is worth at least $50,000,000.00. The County needs to do something to more ahead.

Commissioner Moore felt the County should move forward with this because at the point of receiving the grant, it still gives the County the option to say no.

Chairman Shackleton stated that he didn’t want to say no if the County was lucky enough to receive the grant. He is very comfortable with applying for this grant.

Extended discussion took place on partnering with Mackinac and Luce Counties, the liability to Chippewa County, the benefits to the residents and businesses and grant restrictions.

Steve Mason, Lighthouse, spoke briefly to the Commission about time lines and a quick decision as to going forward or stop the process.

On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.

The Committee reviewed a request from EUP Regional Planning regarding an application for funding through Federal Scenic Byways Program for a grant to fund the development of a preliminary engineering study for a non-motorized pathway along the current Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route.

It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Knoll, to approve the request seeking a letter of support for the grant application for a non-motorized pathway along the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route with no financial obligation to the County. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

The Committee received information from the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation regarding a change to their MERS retirement, being changed from “B2” to “B3” which has been approved by the EDC Board of Directors.

It was moved by Commissioner Postula, supported by Commissioner Moore, to approve the EDC Board of Directors request to change the MERS retirement program from a “B2” to a “B3”.

Extended discussion ensued on EDC being a separate entity, who should approve this request and the County being liable for long term financial commitments.

It was moved by Commissioner Timmer, supported by Commissioner Moore, to amend the original motion to approve changing the MERS “B2” to “B3” contingent upon the EDC moving to the same hybrid plan that the County has for new hires. On a voice vote the motion carried with Commissioner Knoll, Postula and Cooper voting no.

Commissioner McLean questioned whether the County has now established the County Board’s authority over the EDC relative to wages and fringe benefits.

Chairman Shackleton replied by saying that what the County Board is establishing is that anyone who is going to raise their retirement system and encumber the County long term should have it approved by the County Board first.

Commissioner Moore felt that it was more of a MERS requirement and not the County.

On the original motion as amended: the motion carried with Commissioners Cooper, Postula and Knoll voting no.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to recommend the approval of general fund claims totaling $169,553.97, other fund claims of $115,929.16, payroll of $433,085.26 and health department claims of $582,297.42 for total claims of $1,300,865.81; B-1 through B-204 and 5019 through 5082.

Having completed the report, it was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner Moore, to accept the report as given. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

New Business

A. Appointment to EDC Board – Appointment by County Board Chair

Chairman Shackleton appointed Leisa Mansfield, Executive Director of the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce, to the EDC Board and also asked that the County Administrator send a letter of appreciation to Paul Coutant for his many years of service on this Board.

Commissioners Comments

Commissioner McLean commended Chairman Shackleton for appointing Leisa Mansfield to the EDC Board.

It was also noted that the natural gas cost saving are posted on the Chippewa County website.

Having no further business, it was moved by Commissioner Knoll, supported by Commissioner Timmer, to adjourn. On a voice vote, the motion carried and the Board did adjourn at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane S. Cork, Clerk

Scott Shackleton, Chairman