HARBERT – Discussion about the Coronavirus pandemic and steps that township officials were taking to try to prevent its spreading locally took place during the March 12 meeting of the Chikaming Township Board.

Supervisor David Bunte said that he’d met with staff members to let them know where things stood at the moment and to make sure they were as prepared as possible.

“We are doing our best to be proactive with this and to make sure we are following the best practices for the people who come to Chikaming Township Center,” Bunte said. “We’re making sure everyone is following the best hygiene practices.

“We’re just taking it day by day and hour by hour,” he added. “That’s where we’re at with that.”

Treasurer Liz Rettig said that there should not be as many visitors coming in since the deadline for the payment of winter property tax bills had passed.

As of March 17 a notice on the township website stated that Chikaming Township offices would be closed to the public until further notice. Scheduled Board of Review appointments were slated to still take place on March 19 (call 469-1676 to schedule).

Clerk Paula Dudiak said during the March 12 meeting that everything had been sanitized for the primary election that took place on March 10.

“Nobody seemed upset about it, and we had  good voter turnout,” Dudiak said. “We’re glad that our township and our state got through the primary election in good shape.”

Board members gave their thanks to the voters who passed the Public Safety Millage renewal and the .5 millage increase that was requested by the Public Safety Department.

It is hoped that being a self-sustaining Public Safety Department will allow for the better planning and budgeting of future projects.

There was a Public Budget Hearing for the 2020-21 fiscal year that begins April 1.

Resolutions for the following annual salaries were adopted unanimously, with the persons holding the salaried positions being voted on abstaining: supervisor, $71,196; clerk, $45,900; treasurer, $31,630; and each of the two trustees, $7,650.

In other business, Bunte gave an update of where the Union Pier Project was at this date.

“Bids for the sewer line work have gone out and are expected to be reviewed and awarded at the March 25 meeting of the Galien River Sanitary District,” he said. “You’ll start seeing signage alerting motorists about the work being done.

“Future work there will have the intersection of Red Arrow Highway and Townline Road closed for four to six weeks; also, Berrien Street will have to be closed for a one week period, and Community Hall Road for another week period.

Also on the agenda, after a short discussion on the matter, there was a unanimous roll call vote to approve a motion for a Michigan Liquor Control Commission application for the Round Barn Winery business at 9185 Union Pier Road.

It will allow Round Barn to create an outdoor seating area where food and alcoholic beverages may be served.

There was a lengthy discussion on an appeal for a property split for a parcel located at 7510 W. Warren Woods Road.

That property split was denied by zoning administrator Van Thornton.

Property manager Sara Orpurt of Trupro’s Property Services said that she would like to have time to contact Chikaming Open Lands to see if they would be interested in purchasing five acres of that property that is located in close proximity to the COL’s Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve at a reduced sale price.

A motion to deny the appeal with the stipulation that the applicant is able to reapply in the future with the waiving of an additional $500 fee and no time restriction passed unanimously.

Finally, Bunte announced that the township was planning to partner with the Chikaming Campus of River Valley Elementary for Earth Day events there on Wednesday, April 22, 1:30 p.m. that will include tree plantings.

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