Meeting Minutes September 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 – 7 members, a quorum


Fife Lake – Linda Forwerck                           Chief/CEO Theo Weber

Green Lake – Paul Biondo                             (Dave Milliron excused)

Long Lake – Karen Rosa

Paradise – Tim Trudell

Springfield – Tom Gray

Union – Doug Mansfield                                Blair Chief Jim Carroll

Whitewater – Ron Popp                                 Dave Petrove – Public

Grant – Excused

AGENDA:   Revised – Motion by Long Lake, supported by Fife Lake to approve the revised Agenda as presented.   All ayes.

MINUTES:   8/20/14 Special Meeting and 8/20/14 Regular Meeting.  Regular Minutes Question about Motion to go into a Closed Session. (Secretary will re-do Regular Minutes so that it shows Motion for a Closed Session.)  Motion by Fife Lake, supported by Long Lake to approve both Meeting Minutes for 8/20/14.  All ayes.  They want to look at the Closed Meeting Minutes at the October meeting.

FINANCIAL REPORT:   (See Dave Milliron’s memo- Financial Report) Money Market balance $178,121.14.   Motion by Whitewater, supported by Green Lake to approve the Financial Report as presented.  All ayes.

CLAIMS:  Pre-Authorized in the amount of $1,868.27.  Motion by Long Lake, supported by Union to approve the Pre-Authorized.  All ayes.  Motion carried.

Open Invoices in the amount of $21,798.09.  Motion by Green Lake, supported by Springfield to approve the Open Invoices.  All ayes.  Motion carried.

Payrolls in the amount of $7,458.74 and $6,801.54.   Motion by Union, supported by Fife Lake to approve the payrolls.  6 ayes,   1 nay (Popp-Whitewater)   Motion carried.

Correspondence:  None

Rural Board Minutes 09/17/14

CHIEF REPORT:   (See attached report) Chief Weber reported Pump Testing was delayed but did get completed.

There are no significant issues with the Apparatus, just minor repairs they are dealing with.

He met with Spartan/Spencer about an on-going problem with Engine 6 – from day one there has been a drivability issue.   They gave him a computer code to re-program the motor to give it less torque between the 20 and 30 mile range.  They will drive it for a month to see how it goes.

See attached report about August incidents and details.

Met with County Commissioners about the 911 Surcharge and communication issues they have in some townships and upgrading the infra-structure.

He has processed new members.   His goal is 75 members.  It will fluctuate up and down.

Flow testing is complete.

Chief Weber reported he will be attending a 4 day Fire House software training next week.

Hose and Ladder testing scheduled for October.

RTC:    See attached minutes and budget.

ATTORNEY:   excused

UNFINISHED/Old BUSINESS:    ACT 57 was discussed last month and a Special Meeting was held.   Chairman Trudell asked the board if they took it back to their Township Boards.

Chief Weber said he would attend any Township’s Board meeting to explain Act 57.   Chairman Trudell stated they will skip putting it on the ballot in 2015, and do it in 2016.  It will give them time to educate everyone.  Popp-Whitewater wants to keep the “Old Agreement” and Gray-Springfield wants to keep the “Old Agreement”.   Discussed ambulances.

FLSA (see attached proposed payroll policy and pay rate schedule).  Chief Weber stated the policy was crafted by him and the labor law attorneys.  Chief Weber would like the Board to adopt the policy tonight. The Compensation policy ends September 30 and he would like to start the payroll policy and pay schedule October 1st.    Chief Weber met with Karen Rosa about how it would affect her pass-through dollars.

The pay rates are comparable with other fire departments in Grand Traverse County.   There will be stipends instead of points.   They would get a stipend per call or per required training.  The calculations of all of the costs, based on the average number of responders based on the last two years of history would increase our compensation from $60,000 to $66,500.00.  Chief Weber recommends they budget $70,000.00.   There are 2 different pay schedules presented.   The management of this will be done by the senior officers who enter the hours into Fire House.

Popp-Whitewater would like to see the math – as to what Long Lake chooses.  Popp-Whitewater asked if the fire fighters know about this.  Chief Weber stated he will meet with his officers tomorrow and explain it all.  Discussed payroll periods.

Popp said he is not comfortable with the Policy.   Paul Biondo-Green Lake supports the Policy.  Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to accept the Payroll Policy.

Roll call vote:  6 ayes    1 nay (Popp-Whitewater)    Motion carried.   

Administrative Assistant job description and job posting (see proposed posting).  Discussed salary and benefits.   Chief Weber said the average wage is $32,500.00.  He proposed $32 to $35,000 with health benefits.  Chairman Trudell requests that Chief Weber and Julie do the interviews.  Popp-Whitewater said he felt cheated that he didn’t get to meet all of the candidates they interviewed.  Forwerck- Fife Lake said she was on the committee to hire the Chief, and they offered that, and the Board just wanted a recommendation.   Chief Weber said his plan is to get the applications, he and Julie will sift through them, and he would like to call on board members if he needs to.   Chairman Trudell said they should be able to trust their CEO to hire the right person.   Biondo asked about a Personnel Policy.  Chief Weber said they would pick 5 or 10 to interview.   Mansfield-Union said MTA requests a cover letter.  Mansfield said the posting should include the after-hours work.   Chief Weber requests that the Board allows him to do the process.   There will be no interview committee so it won’t have to be posted.   Chairman Trudell clarified the salary of $32-$35,000 a year plus health benefits (not to exceed $40,000), after hours work, Associates degree or related field, and must have a cover letter.  Motion by Union, supported by Green Lake to approve the Job Posting with additions and changes.  All ayes.  Motion carried.   They will post at every station.   They will ask Jim Young to clarify what needs to be posted.

Roll call vote:   Seven ayes     Motion carried

Grand Traverse Band Agreement:   Chief Weber said it has been a positive experience and they are moving forward.  Attorney Young told him they were 95% complete.

NEW BUSINESS:    Budget Process.   Chairman Trudell said they need a committee.

Chief Weber said he and Dave would do all the work.   Karen Rosa said she would do it, Tom Gray was on it before and will do it again, and Tim Trudell will also be on the committee.

They need a work session.  They will post a work session meeting.  The final budget hearing will be posted.   Karen said meet in October, Approve it in November, and Post it in December for final approval.

Other Business:   Popp-Whitewater said their Board decided they will maintain the Kubota, trailer and Expedition.

Karen Rosa said they are looking at a Kubota because they have so much natural area in Long Lake.

Popp-Whitewater mentioned water points and maintaining them.

No other business.   Motion by Green Lake, supported by Fife Lake to adjourn at 7:30 p.m.

All ayes.  Motion carried.