THREE OAKS – The possible sale of the 70-acre Enterprise Park property, located on the southeast corner of Schwark Road and U.S. 12, was once again on the agenda at the Oct. 14 meeting of the Three Oaks Township Board.

Supervisor George Mangold reported that he had recently visited Village Hall to meet with village president Dave Grosse, village attorney Charles Hilmer, and prospective property purchaser Jim Frye, among others.

“The meeting lasted around 90 minutes, and a number of issues arose and were discussed,” Mangold reported.  “One point was that if an ordinance change is needed to change the zoning designations at the Enterprise Park property, that process must begin with the village’s Planning Commission.”

On Nov. 9, 2015, the township and the village entered into a 425 Agreement on that parcel in a collaborative effort to market it and enhance the opportunities to find a buyer.

Most recently that effort has involved a request to change the zoning of 7.5 acres of that property with frontage on U.S. 12 from Industrial to Commercial; and approximately 60.5 additional acres there from Industrial to General Mixed Use to make it more attractive to developers such as Frye, who is the president of the Shoreline Development Company.

“A rezoning request needs to be compatible with the village’s Master Plan, and, unfortunately, the Enterprise Park property is not included in their Master Plan,” Mangold said. “The village would like to keep this process on schedule, but they know that everything that is put in place needs to be done properly.”

He commented that another meeting would be necessary for the parties to sign a purchase agreement.

In other business, it was reported that the estimated 12 wee first phase of the Spring Creek Schoolhouse Renovation Project could be underway sometime before the end of the month.

Architect William McCollum of McCollum Architects & Builders was joined at the meeting by general contractor Gary Geist of Triton Construction Services, and they both expressed their optimism and enthusiasm for the project.

Trustee Chris Mitchell has spearheaded the project, and he said the estimated cost of the first phase of the two phase reconstruction project would be $80,000.

He said funds for the project were being garnered from successful grant applications, generous donations from members of the community, and successful fundraisers such as the one that was hosted by Allen and Lynn Turner at their Spring Creek Farm.

Mitchell said that McCollum would be the person responsible approving draws from the funds for ongoing construction costs, and that he would also be monitoring the progress of the construction and making sure that the project stayed on budget as it progressed.

McCollum said that the initial part of the plan would include a new electrical system, new flooring, fixing the ceiling, masonry work and drywalling.

“The building will be usable after Phase I is completed, and our focus is to make it look fabulous to help attract more donors,” McCollum said.

Mitchell said that the outhouse on the schoolhouse grounds would remain there.

“The outhouse stays forever,” he stated.

A motion to allow the work to begin after the contract is reviewed by township attorney Davis Peterson and then signed by township officials received unanimous approval.

Also receiving unanimous approval was a motion to allow for two draws per month on construction funds as needed, with a special meeting needed to be convened to approve the issuance of a second draw, if requested.

After a review by Mangold and discussion on the matter, a “Tall Grass and Weed Ordinance” was adopted with unanimous approval.

It is similar to one already in use by the village, and, among other things, states that the owner and/or occupants of land to which the ordinance applies shall not allow tall grass or weeds to grow over six inches in height throughout the growing season, including grass and weeds in the right-of-way. In addition, on an undeveloped lot in excess of two acres in area, tall grass and weeds must be cut back at a distance of at least 50 feet from the edge of a street/road surface edge so as to allow a clear line of sight.

Enforcement of the ordinance will be done by an Ordinance Enforcement Officer designated by the board.

Any violation of the ordinance is a civil municipal infraction subject to a fine of not less than $50, and not in excess of $500, plus court costs and expenses.

Fines for first repeat offenses will be not less than $100; not less than $200 for second repeat offenses; and not less than $300 for third repeat or any subsequent repeat offenses.

Each day on which any violation of the ordinance occurs or continues will constitute a separate offense subject to separate sanctions.

Finally, Mangold said that there continue to be upgrades made at Shedd Cemetery, with a flagpole and flag being installed there recently, and two “Caution – Cemetery Entrance” signs that he and Tom Jelinek will install in the near future.

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