THREE OAKS – During the June 10 meeting of the Three Oaks Township Board, Supervisor George Mangold expressed some guarded optimism about the future of the Enterprise Park property that is under the terms of a 425 Contract with the Village of Three Oaks.

That acreage, located on the southeast corner of U.S. 12 and Schwark Road, has remained vacant despite marketing efforts by the township and the village, but Mangold said that he had received a phone call from Jim Frye, president of the Shoreline Development Co., who inquired about the status of theta  parcel.

“We had a good conversation, and he expressed interest in the property,” Mangold stated. “We agreed that it would be a good idea to conduct a roundtable discussion that would include village officials as well as our attorneys. I also suggested that the members of the village Planning Commission be in attendance.

“We are looking for the best date and time when all interested parties would be available to attend, and at that time hopefully many things can be clarified and straightened out,” he added.

Mangold said that he had met with Village Manager Mike Greene to discuss any interest the village may have in the old township hall building and property.

“What we asked for, and what was agreed to, is that the village submit a written proposal expressing their interest in that building,” Mangold said. “If we receive that we can contact the defendant’s attorneys in the pending court case to let them know.”

That “pending court case” involves the township seeking clarification as to whether or not it has the authority to sell the old township hall as one of the many options being explored for the future of the property.

During the final public comment portion of the meeting former State Sen. Ron Jelinek said that the document deeding that property to the township over a century ago by Charles and Fannie Warren for the sum of one dollar for use as a township hall also stipulated that any future uses beyond that had to be used for public purposes.

“I think it has great value to the people here, and it has to stay with the people,” Jelinek said. “That property should never go out of the hands of the people.”

In other business, after discussion there was unanimous support for a motion to adopt a resolution for the township to opt out of the establishment of marijuana establishments.

Also receiving unanimous support was a motion to adopt a resolution to waive penalty fees for failure to file a property transfer affidavit.

That action was suggested by Assessor Shalice Northrop who submitted a letter stating that an effort to collect such penalty fees in Royalton Township resulted in anger and refusal to pay those bills due to lack of knowledge.

A motion to retain Northrop’s services as assessor for a three-year term received unanimous support.

She will be compensated $18,540 for the first year of the contract; $19,096 for the second year; and $19,669 for the third year.

Trustee Chris Mitchell said that the project he is heading to restore and preserve the historic Spring Creek School building continues to move forward.

He announced that a $10,000 matching challenge grant from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation had been received, and a motion by his fellow Board members to accept that grant was approved unanimously.

Mangold expressed thanks to Mitchell for his time and effort on the project that has raised $80,800 toward funding the first phase of the project, but he also voiced concerns about raising another $80,000 to fund the second and final phase of the project.

“I think we all basically agree that building needs to be preserved, but I don’t want to see us being left with a half-done project,” Mangold said.

Mitchell expressed his optimism that would happen, and he also said that a major fundraiser was being planned for September.

It was announced that the tombstone leveling project at Forest Lawn Cemetery continued to make progress, and a motion to spend an amount not to exceed $4,000 to level 10 or more additional tombstones there was approved unanimously.

It was also announced that the following millage tax rates for 2019 would remain unchanged: Operating, 0.7481; Library, 1.4724; and Roads, 0.3656.

Finally, a letter of resignation from Planning Commission member Don Jackson was accepted, with regret and thanks for his many years of service in that position.

A search to replace him and also find an alternate to serve on the Planning Commission is underway.

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