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This section is very unofficial -- just observations of Your Editor.

Report On Highlights of October 13, 1997 Township Board Meeting.

All members (except Peter Van Pelt who has resigned his trustee position ) and other Township officials were present as were about twenty-five residents. The meeting was held in the Township Office.

September Meeting Minutes . Approved without correction.

"Hebard Subdivision" Error. Supervisor Jim Boggio reported that upon advice of the Township attorney, the Township would not participate in correcting survey errors in the almost two-and-one-half mile of lakeshore platted by Hebard many years ago. The property is in the vicinity of Hebard Park, at the extreme east end of the Township. The survey stakes do not match the property descriptions on the deeds. The error results in one property having substantially less "staked" lake frontage than the property description states. That owner had sought the Township's assistance in correcting the problem. About 44 properties are effected. Jim added that in the event a majority of the property owners petitioned the Township to assist, the Township could direct the preparation of an "assessor's plat" resolving the discrepancies, with the cost of doing so assesssed to the properties. He noted that the titles to all the properties are impacted by the error.

New Fire Truck ProposalBoggio noted that the Board had received a letter from the Township Attorney advising of the proper way to proceed with the consideration of the Volunteeer Fire Department's request for a new firetruck, and, if authorized, the funding of it through special assessment levied on all Township property. The Board will consider the letter at its November meeting and at that time decide how and when to proceed. The necessary public hearings would be held at a later date. It was suggested that the hearings not be held, "in the dead of winter", in deference to the many property owners who may want to participate and not be here at that time.

Gratiot Lake Street Light and Pay Phone.A Gratiot Lake resident questioned why the Township had not proceeded with the installation of the street light authorized at the September meeting. Supervisor Jim Boggio said that immediately following that meeting a number of Gratiot Lake residents had contacted the Township expressing their opposition to the light or the proposed location of the light (on the street in front of the fire truck building). Trustee Don Keith reported that similiar opposition had been expressed to the pay phone. Jim said that in light of these petitions he had placed the matters back on the Board's agenda for recondideration. He again urged the Gratiot Lake neighbors to reach some consensus on these matters. A lively, sometime unruly, discussion ensued among the Board and the Gratiot Lake residents in attendance. The upshot: no Board action but an agreement among the Gratiot folks present that they would meet together to attempt to work out their differences, and an agreement by the Board that the Township would implement whatever that consensus agreement might be.

CellularOne Transmission Tower.Clerk John Clarkson urged the Board to put the Township on record in support of CellularOne's petition to Keweenaw County for zoning approval of a cellular transmission tower on Bumbletown Hill in Allouez Township. He said many of our township residents utilized CelluarOne's services and that the tower would permit access to their system without incurring "roaming" charges. Cellulink, a competitive cellular service provider, has a tower in Eagle Harbor Township. The Board adopted a resolution expressing the Township's support of the proposed CellularOne tower.

Nancy Sherk Selected To Fill Township Board Vacancy.The Board selected Nancy Sherk to fill the trustee position vacated by Peter Van Pelt. Her appointment will extend through 1998. The remaining two years of Peter's term will be filled by election in November, 1998. Nancy was one of four residents who were candidates for the apointment. The others were Gratiot Lake residents Bruce Wagner and Virginia Jamison, and Jeane Olson from Cat Harbor. The Board expressed its appreciation that four such qualified residents had offered their services to the township...a feeling shared by all of us.

Nancy and Doug Sherk have lived on M-26, between Cat Harbor and Great Sand Bay, since 1991, and have owned property in the Township since 1972. In her letter applying for the vacancy, Nancy cited her, "...experience in managing a successful professional office, as well as managerial and leadership experience in her professional field of nursing..." She has served on the boards of the Auxiliary to the Marquette Medical Society and the Marquette Choral Society and is involved as a volunteer with the Keweenaw County Historical Society and the Calumet Theater.

Congratulation Nancy, and a big thank you to all four candidates for their willingness to serve our town in what, at times, can be challenging public service.

Bruce Wagner Appointed to Board of ReviewSupervisor Boggio recommended that Gratiot Lake resident Bruce Wagner be appointed as an alternate member of the Township Board of Review. (The Board hears and acts on appeals to property assessed value determinations.) The regular embers are Vern Robinson (Eagle Harbor), Bruce Olson (Cat Harbor) and Fred Bieti (Agate Harbor). The Board approved the appointment. Bruce will attend and participate in the Board's deliberations, and vote in the absence of a regular member.

Use of Soaps and Detergents in Harbor. A resident living near the east beach of Eagle Harbor requested the Board's assistance in prohibiting the use of soaps and detergents in Harbor waters. He noted that the use of soaps and detergents by persons bathing and/or washing clothes and eating utensils was creating unsightly foam and constitued a health risk to the few properties at the east end of the harbor that were still drawing some of their water supply from the harbor. He specifically suggested that language prohibiting the use of soaps/detergents be added to the signs authorized by the Board at its September meeting prohibiting dogs on the beach and that such a sign be placed on the east beach as well.

Supervisor Boggio reported that he had checked with County and state public health, environmental quality, and law enforcement officials and that their consensus was that biodegradeable soaps and detergents were not considered a pollutant, and that a prohibition of their use in harbor waters would be unenforceable. He further noted that the east beach was not public property (it's owned by Champion Paper) and as such the Township could not regulate activity at that location.

The resulting discussion disclosed that the Township does have an ordinance prohibiting a laundry list of "nuisances": everything from noisy gatherings (pig roast?), high speed boats(PWCs?), to barking dogs (Abby?). Someone dug this up out of the Township archives. Adopted 25 years ago in an apparent fret over motorcycles (remember the "Hell's Angles"), it has apparently gone unnoticed ever since. It is sufficiently broad in scope that it could be construed to prohibit bathing/washing in the harbor and a lot of other harbor shenanigans that in proper time, place and degree are acceptable, but in extreme are a nuisance.

After a much too long and often silly debate among all concerned, the matter was returned to the resident to work with the east beach property owner (Champion) to install whatever sign they felt approrpiate and could be privately enforceable. (In your Editor's humble opinion, a little common sense and common courtesy by all of us, potential "nuisancee" and "nuisanceor" alike, would avoid having any of us placed in these awkward and unsettling disputes.)

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