This section is very unofficial -- just observations of Your Editor.
Report On Highlights of November 9, 1998 Township Board Meeting.
Members Jim Boggio, John Clarkson, Gerry Johnson and Don Keith were present along with deputies Ann Johnson and Nancy Clarkson, and assessor Bob Talyor. About ten local residents witnessed the affair. It was Packer monday night football night so the meeting started early and adjourned in time for the game.
The October 12th Meeting Minutes were approved without change.
Township's Assessed Value Increases $ 4.6 Million.Assessor Bob Taylor reported that the Township's state equalized value, or SEV, (supposedly half of market value) increased $ 4,613,000 in 1998. Some of this was attributable to new construction and the addition of YSI (the Youth Academy at Gratiot) to the tax roll, but the majority was due to increases in market value. The County Equalization department annually reviews property sales, comparing them to assessed values and orders adjustments in overall Township values to keep pace with the market. The local assessor then allocates the ordered adjustment among township properties as he/she deems appropriate. (I believe the $ 4.6 million increase represents about a 20% growth in the Township's state equalized value.) Bob noted that properties grandfathered by state law (not recently improved or sold) would have their taxable value (what tax rates are levied against) increase held to 1.6%, what the state has established as the 1998 "cost-of-living" index rise.
Matthew Arko Appointed Township Assessor.Bob Taylor reported that two applications from qualified assessors were received in response to the Township's job posting. (Bob had previously announced he would be vacating the post for personal reasons. A great loss!) He said that he and Mike Hohner had reviewed the applications as requested by the Board, and that they were recommending the appoinment of Matthew Arko. Matt is currently the assessor for several nearby jurisdictions, including our neighboring townships Grant (Copper Harbor) and Houghton (Eagle River). Bob reported that Matt was highly regarded by his present clients. He maintains an office in Calumet and would be willing to be occasionally present in the Township to assist local property owners. His services would be provided under contract at a rate of $500 per month, the present rate of compensation for the Township's assessor. Bob suggested that the contract be effective February 1, 1999, by which time Bob will have completed work on the 1999 assessment roll. Bob also suggested that he be retained on an out-of-pocket expense reimbursement basis for a few additional months to assist Matt with the transition. The Board accepted the recommendation and appointed Arko assessor effective February 1st on a $500 per month contract.
Shared Solid Waste Facility Between Gratiot Lake Residents And YSI Academy.
Supervisor Boggio read a letter to be sent to YSI thanking them for assisting the township's Gratiot Lake residents by allowing them access to YSI's solid waste compactor providing the resident has paid the township's solid waste fee. This arrangement makes it much more convenient for these residents to properly dispose of their waste. (Just one more bit of evidence of what a good neighbor YSI is turning out to be!)
Goodell Road Inprovement. The Board adopted a resolution authorizing the improvement of goodell Road with the entire cost to be assessed against the benefited properties on the basis of their state equalised value. Goodell Road is a private road serving the lots along the lake east of Grand Marais. The Board had received a petition signed by more than 51% of the affected properties. Townships are authorized to improve and/or repair private roads on this basis. The work will be done next spring under a contract awarded by the Board on the basis of competitive bid. (It wasn't clear what the total cost would be or how the Township would fund the project pending receipt of the assessments.)
Water System Ordinances Published.Clerk John Clarkson reported that the two ordinances adopted by the Board at its last meeting were being published this week and would take effect 30 days thereafter. One ordinance establishes a proceedure for management and operation of the system, the other prohibits cross connections between private well sources and the township's system.
Jeane Olson Sworn In As TrusteeNewly elected Township trustee Jeane Olson took the oath of office and will assume her duties at the Board's December meeting. She replaces Nancy Sherk, who was appointed to the Board to serve for resigned member Peter Van Pelt until the next election. Jeane will complete Peter's term which expires in 2000.
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