Meeting Minutes March 2014



The regular meeting of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board was called to order at 6:00 p.m., by Chairman Tim Trudell, at 4123 Vance Road, Traverse City, MI 49685.

Roll call – 5 members, a quorum


Fife Lake – Linda Forwerck                                       Chief/CEO Theo Weber

Long Lake – John Linnerson                                      Dave Milliron – Accountant

Paradise – Tim Trudell                                                Blair Chief Jim Carroll

Springfield – Tom Gray                                              Public – Dave Petrove (Ret FF)

Union – Doug Mansfield

Absent: Grant, Green Lake, Whitewater


AGENDA:   Revised – added Ron Popp’s correspondence to the Board. Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to approve the revised Agenda.   All ayes. Motion carried.


MINUTES:   Motion by Springfield, supported by Long Lake to approve the 2/19/14 Minutes as mailed.   All ayes. Motion carried.


FINANCIAL REPORTS:   General Op.Budget – Dave Milliron reported the Money Market balance is $180,479.04.   Investments at $308,604.40.  Cost Controls and Line Items are in balance.

Public Improvement Fund balance is $1,389.92

Grant Fund balance is $5.01

Motion by Fife Lake, supported by Union to approve the Financial Reports as presented.


PRE-AUTHORIZED CLAIMS:  03/06/14 – $3,088.84, 03/07/14 – $2,000.00 for snowmobile purchase. Motion by Union, supported by Fife Lake to approve the Pre-Authorized Claims in the amount of $5,088.84.   All ayes. Motion carried.


OPEN INVOICES:  $27,678.82 and $900.00 for Maue Designs Web Site. Motion by Union, supported by Long Lake to pay the Open Invoices totaling $28,578.82. All ayes. Motion carried.


PAYROLLS:   2/23/14 – $7,719.32 and 2/17 – $7,018.72.   Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to approve the payrolls.   All ayes. Motion carried.


CORRESPONDENCE:   Ron Popp memo to be added to minutes.   Chair Trudell asked if it should be discussed now or under Unfinished Business.   Union said to table it until later.


CHIEF WEBER:   (See Activity Log).   Chief Weber reported he has more gear on order.

Chief Weber reported they are doing inventory on radios and pagers.

Chief Weber reported Ron Hollister is working on a special project of finding out how much hose there is for getting a bid on Hose Testing.

Chief Weber reported on a few fires.   Chair Trudell asked about a life saved. Chief Weber explained Neil Haycraft saved another life.

Chief Weber has been going to meetings (see list).

Chief Weber has been attending some trainings.

Chief Weber reported they have been getting more applicants.

Chief Weber reported on the new Website.

Chief Weber canceled a meeting and training with Northern Michigan Chiefs so he could attend another meeting.


Linda Forwerck asked about honoring fire fighters with a dinner. Discussed venues and events.


Mansfield – Union stated he was happy with how Chief Weber was handling the day to day duties.


RTC:   Chief Weber said they changed the meeting date so the Chief’s could attend a funeral for a fire fighter from Inland Township. Chief Weber reported enrollment has gone up.


Attorney:   Excused.


UNFINISHED/OLD BUSINESS:    *Revised Lease Agreement. Ron Popp-Whitewater Township could not attend the meeting and sent a memo to the Board asking that his comments be read aloud.   See following comments that Secretary read aloud.

A) The revised lease agreement Paragraph I appears to describe he entire building located at 4123 Vance Road is leased to the Tennant. Do we currently occupy the entire building as described, or does the Landlord maintain control a portion of the building? I believe the description of the leased premises should be as accurate as possible.

B) Paragraph 7 what is considered Routine Repair 7 Maintenance? Routinely furnaces require replacement every fifteen (15) to twenty (20) years.  Is the tenant responsible?

What about the electrical, plumbing, and septic systems? I propose a simple sentence be added just before the last sentence stating: replacement of major building systems including HVAC, electrical, plumbing, well and septic shall be the responsibility of the landlord. Then the last sentence as it exists.

Under A paragraph 1 Mansfield-Union stated he is fine with the clarification of the portion of the building leased so that the description is accurate.


Under B paragraph 7 – Routine Repair & Maintenance. Gray-Springfield stated they need to discuss it with the landlord before they change the wording.   Discussed having yearly inspections and just doing general preventable maintenance to the systems.   Dave Petrove

(public) stated it was like leasing a car- the owner puts restrictions and responsibility on the tenant.   Chief Weber will speak to the landlord about it. Secretary read aloud Ron Popp’s comments as they continue below.

Final revised Policy for Disposal of Surplus Property

A) Computer related equipment section details concerns about software license violations. The section does not describe a method of software disposal, or how to mitigate the potential software license violations identified.

Adhoc Committees:

A) I would submit an important issue such that staffing and compensation is, should be investigated by the entire Rural Fire Board rather than a Committee.

Policy for Disposal of Surplus Property: Chairman Tim Trudell stated he had no issue with the Disposal of Surplus Property Policy.


Ad Hoc Committee to discuss staffing and compensation: Chief Weber said according to the Board he was supposed to bring back information to the Board and he still needs information from Whitewater. Chair Trudell said table it until Chief Weber gets information from Whitewater, and when Popp-Whitewater is present.   Forwerck-Fife Lake asked if it was for the staff in the office or the stations. Chief Weber said it was for the whole department, he has to gather information about how and where they are spending their money. Forwerck stated she thought a committee was the way to go, they can bring something back to the Board.   Gray-Springfield agreed.   Chair Trudell said if they don’t receive something from Whitewater they will have to move forward without the information, and Whitewater will have to conform to the policy they set.   Chief Weber stated that as he was looking at how they compensated people in the past, he may have uncovered some violations of the fair standards law.   He asked Attorney Young for a legal interpretation and Young brought on-board a labor attorney as well.   When he gets information from Whitewater he can develop that and then have a meeting with the accountant, the attorneys and Chair Trudell.   Forwerck asked if he knew how many years they go back.   Chief Weber did not know yet.

Chair Trudell said the Popp’s comments about Agenda Changes and Board Packet contents could go under other business.

NEW BUSINESS:  Electronic Packets.   The Board was happy with them.   They will continue with that.

Public Input:   Dave Petrove thanked the Board for allowing him to make a comment.

OTHER BUSINESS:    Agenda Changes and Board Packet content: Secretary read aloud Ron Popp’s comments as they continue below:

Agenda changes and Board Packet Content:

A) For sometime, information contained in our “mailed packets” did not support agenda items and vise versa. Holding true to this pattern, the most recent electronic packet received contains a revision to the intergovernmental agreement creating Grand Traverse Fire Department-Rural Division. Is this going to be a surprise agenda item? At what meeting did the Rural Fire Board authorize revisions to this agreement?

Chair Trudell said the Revision was food for thought, something for the future and informational, not an Agenda item.   Gray-Springfield stated they have discussed it in the past. They discussed it a few years ago.   Forwerck-Fife Lake said it was good Chief Weber was looking down the road. Discussed the rise in medical – ambulance calls. Chief Weber said the volunteers would be cross-trained.   EMS offsets the cost of the Fire Departments.   Nothing can happen without all townships agreeing. Nothing is secret.   Chair Trudell said he would like to have an ALS unit in Paradise so his constituents don’t have to pay another ambulance company. Chair Trudell thanked Chief Weber for his work on the “agreement revision”.   Chief Weber said the Agreement they have in place will continue until they want a change.

Chair Trudell asked if there was a way they could send a recording of this meeting to Ron Popp.

Chief Weber said he had a digital audio file he can send him.

Gray-Springfield told the Board they purchased a new ambulance with 4 wheel drive, and it’s paid for.   Chief Carroll said the next ambulance Blair buys will have 4 wheel drive.

No other business.   Meeting adjourned 7:12 p.m.


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Chairman Tim Trudell                         Secretary Julie Dunham