THREE OAKS – The members of the Three Oaks Township Board during their Dec. 9 meeting conducted a review of their budget at the third quarter mark of the 2019-2020 fiscal year that ends on March 31, and they found the budget to be in good fiscal shape with the one exception of above normal expenditures for professional services which include legal expenses, consultant fees and auditing services.

Supervisor George Mangold reported that legal work was done on zoning, township ordinances and the codification of them, and that legal reviews were done on everything by township attorney David Peterson.

“Our professional fees are up and over budget at this time, but we’ll adjust that and have it balanced by the end of the fiscal year,” Mangold said. “But we now have ordinances with some bite in them. We’ve got to have ways to make people comply to community standards.”

In other business, looking forward to elections in 2020, the Board members followed the recommendation of clerk Liz Zabel and unanimously approved a motion to sign a five year contract with ElectionSource for election equipment maintenance at an annual cost of $385.

Trustee Chris Mitchell did his monthly update on the status of the Spring Creek School building restoration and preservation project, and he reported that work on Phase I was proceeding at a good pace.

Architect William McCollum and general contractor Gary Geist attended the meeting.

Geist reported that the flooring had been installed and a new opening between the main room of the schoolhouse and the back room had been cut in.

“Masonry work is being done on the outside of the building, and we just keep plugging away,” Geist said.

McCollum concurred, and he added that a sign had already been made for the grand opening.

The current timeline for the completion of Phase I that has a budget of $77,000 is the end of March.

A motion to allow McCollum and Geist two draws of $15,000 on those budgetary funds received unanimous approval.

Fire Chief Dave Flick attended the meeting and informed the Board members that the fire department and ambulance service would be in need of 800 MHZ radios and pagers that would replace their current antiquated equipment.

Flick explained that the upgrade to the 800 MHZ equipment would help his firefighters do their jobs more efficiently and more safely because they would be able to communicate with other departments in the county that are already using 800 MHZ equipment.

In other business, the resignation from longtime Planning Commission member Kathy Snyder was accepted, with regret.

There was unanimous approval on a motion to appoint Sarah Bardusk to replace Snyder on the Planning Commission and complete her term that runs through 2021.

A motion to pay Michigan City Monuments $250 for their work on a monument at Forest Lawn Cemetery that had been damaged by a fallen tree also received unanimous approval.

Finally, among the items approved in the consent agenda was a copy of a letter from the Materials Management Division of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) regarding the closure of the Forest Lawn Landfill that was addressed to John McEvoy in Hillside, Ill.

Among other things, it stated that after review the EGLE staff had found that the closure certification for that 40 acre site is consistent with administrative rules, and the approved construction plans and specifications for that facility.

The 30-year post-closure period for the Forest Lawn Landfill began Nov. 25.

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