Meeting Minutes October 2014



The regular meeting of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board was called to order at 6:01 p.m., by Chairman Tim Trudell, at 4123 Vance Road, Traverse City, MI 49685

Roll call – 7 members, a quorum


Fife Lake – Linda Forwerck                               Chief/CEO Theo Weber

Green Lake – Paul Biondo                                 Dave Milliron – Accountant

Long Lake – Karen Rosa

Paradise – Tim Trudell                                      Vance Stringham – Supervisor Central Dispatch

Springfield – Tom Gray

Union – Doug Mansfield

Whitewater – Ron Popp

Grant – absent

AGENDA:   (Revised – added correspondence) Chief Weber asked if Vance would be allowed speak so he would not have to sit through the whole meeting.   Board agreed.  Motion by Union, supported by Fife Lake to approve the Agenda with the addition of placing the 911 presentation right after the approval of minutes.  All ayes.  Motion carried.

Chair Trudell called for a Motion to approve the agenda with the changes.  Motion by Springfield, supported by Green Lake to Approve the Agenda.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


MINUTES:    8/20/14 Minutes were revised to show the Motion to go into a Closed Session.  Motion by Long Lake, supported by Union to approve the revised 8/20/14 and the 9/17/14 Minutes as presented.  All ayes.  Motion carried.

Closed Session Minutes and email from Atty. Young giving the Board options for approving the Closed Session Minutes.  Board had a copy of the Closed Session Minutes to read.  Biondo-Green Lake wanted to avoid a Closed Session to read the minutes.   Chairman Trudell said the second option was to read them over and go into a closed session if anyone had a problem with them.  Motion by Green Lake, supported by Whitewater to approve the Closed Session minutes.

All ayes.  Motion carried.   Copies of the Closed Session minutes were given to secretary for disposal.

911 Telephone Surcharge presentation:   Vance Stringham had a hand-out fact sheet about the 911 surcharge.   The technology has improved and the equipment is out of date at Central Dispatch.  They are asking Nov. 4th voters to approve a $1.85 per month over a six year surcharge that will go on phone bills, not taxes.

FINANCIAL REPORTS:   Dave Milliron gave reports.  General Fund Money Market balance is $160,860.56.  Cost Control Centers are in balance.   Line Item #801.000 Legal Services is overdrawn due to Labor issues and there is a Budget Amendment.

Public Improvement Fund balance is $232,655.40 (Tanker loss insurance check earmarked for new equipment).

Grant Fund balance is $28,568.03 (from GT Band for Lucas machines)

Motion by Union, supported by Long Lake to approve the Financial Reports.  All ayes.  Motion carried.

Budget Amendment to increase Legal Services by $7,000.00 and Decrease Contingency by $7,000.00.   Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to approve the Budget Amendment as presented.  All ayes.  Motion carried.

CLAIMS:   PRE-AUTHORIZED CLAIMS in the amount of $2,237.86.  Motion by Springfield, supported by Fife Lake to approve the Pre-Authorized Claims.  All ayes.  Motion carried.

OPEN INVOICES in the amount of $44,015.65 with the addition of $52.00 to Karen Rosa.  Total 44,067.65.    Motion by Springfield, supported by Union to approve the Open Invoices with the addition of $52.00.  All ayes. Motion carried.

PAYROLLS:    Sept.11th – $6,966.18 and Sept. 25th – $6,614.10.  Motion by Long Lake, supported by Paradise to approve the Payrolls.  6 Ayes   1 Nay (Popp-Whitewater).

CORRESPONDENCE:   Letter to the Board from Chief Michael Cousins of Thomas Twp. Fire Dept. complementing Chief Weber on his professional operation of the Rural Fire Department.

CHIEF REPORT:   (See activity report) Annual Equipment testing – Fire Pumps, Hose and Ladders.  New compensation policy.  Budget preparations.

*Chief Weber reported Engine 6 still has a shake.  Spencer claims to have a letter from someone who worked here – absolving them of any need for repair – but they can’t produce the letter.

They reprogramed the motor which lessened the shake but not resolved it.

*They tested 27,000 feet of hose.  They still need to test the aerials.

*Chief Weber reported they will test their 4 gas monitors in time for the winter home heating issues.

*Chief Weber reported he went to a lot of meetings.   He met with Chief Parker and Roye Meis of Northflight and resolved an issue of non-rural people who were dispatching Rural units into different townships without going through the Incident Command System.

*Chief Weber reported he is working on obtaining N95 masks – due to the Ebola crisis.  The masks are recommended by the Health Department, Munson Medical Center and leaders in the field as to what gear is needed to protect the responders.  He would like to purchase some PPE which is not very expensive.  They will need fit-testing to fit the N95 masks.

RTC:   Chief Weber reported on the October Board Minutes.  They presented a plaque of appreciation to retired Chief Rich Vandermay who was one of the founders of the RTC.

Classes are filling up for Fire School.

Chief Weber reported they now have 75 members in Rural and 13 registered for Fire School.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:    Act 57.  Chairman Trudell said he had a partial list of questions people asked him and he will pass them on to Chief Weber.  Chief Weber attended an MTA meeting with Fire Officials and a Chief from Brighton Township spoke about Act 57.  His department is under Act 57.  Chief Weber asked him that if he was ever up here if he could talk to the Rural Fire Board about Act 57.

Grand Traverse Band Agreement:  Chief Weber spoke with Chuck Stuart who said he was going to present a rough draft to his Board.   There were a couple of adjustments made that Atty. Young approved.   Chief Weber hopes to have it by the next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:     2015 Budget:  The Budget committee needs to set a meeting.   The meeting will be November 4th at 9:00 a.m. at the Fire Office.  The secretary will post the meeting.

Fire Code Enforcement discussion:   Chief Weber stated the Rural Board Townships adopted the 2006 Fire Code.  He checked with Atty.Young about liability and Young said it would be a minor liability if they did not enforce the Code.   There are occupancies recorded in Fire House but things may have changed since then.   ISO uses the adoption and enforcement of a Fire Code as part of their grading system.  GT County Construction Codes adopted the 2012 Code.  When Site Plans are being done the question comes up about Fire Department approval.

They will discuss the cost of hiring a code inspector during the Budget process.

PUBLIC INPUT:   Linda Forwerck – Fife Lake said Fife Lake Township is still planning an Open House

Popp-Whitewater asked about using lake water points because no one inspects lake water points. Chief Weber stated lake water points are not ISO compliant.  They are not used as a water supply anymore  because they ruin the pumps and are hard to maintain.  Chief Weber said they get enough water with water supply trucks, tankers and mutual aid so he recommends removing the lake water points.  He recommends using cisterns.

Popp-Whitewater wanted the following statement to be on record.  “With respect to the modification of the job posting description he believes that by taking out the requirement of transcribing minutes they have done a disservice to this organization…they are trying to help the Chief with the requirements of the Open Meetings Act, posting act, etc.    Someone who transcribes Minutes is fully aware of what to do, and that is where we need help in this organization, to make sure we are in compliance with the Open Meetings Act, which we are not currently, and everybody is aware of that, correct?  Is there anybody who is not aware of that?”  Biondo-Green Lake said he was not aware of it – every meeting he attended was in compliance.  Popp also stated that “they don’t have their minutes available within 8 days after the meeting.”   Chief Weber stated they don’t have to be posted electronically.  The Rural Website has a technical difficulty they are working on and they can’t post the Minutes on it.  The secretary stated she gets them done but doesn’t send them until before the meeting.  Anyone can request them sooner.

No other business.    Motion by Fife Lake, supported by Long Lake to adjourn at 7:18 p.m.  All ayes. Carried.