THREE OAKS — Three Oaks Police Sergeant Carl Krause provided a recap of 2020, along with some 2021 updates, to the Three Oaks Village Council during its Feb. 10 regular Zoom meeting.
He said Officer Andrew Taylor receiving a lifesaving award last year for helping to save snowmobiler Cody Keller after a Jan. 19, 2020, accident on Stickles Road in Three Oaks Township, and mentioned the installation of a digital radar speed sign entering the village from the north.
Krause also shared some more recent news regarding technology.
“Both patrol vehicles are on the road and are being used right now. We do have our body cameras up and going and also the new in-car camera system,” he said, adding that the department received a grant for “one of those body cameras and in-car camera systems.”
The Village Council later approved an agreement for a LexisNexis “e-citation” in-car ticketing system and “e-crash” accident report system for the police department.
Krause said changes due to a recent state Supreme Court ruling rendered the current printed ticket forms obsolete as of Feb. 12, leaving the village with the choice of buying new paper tickets ($800 for the minimum order of 40 books representing more than 2,000 tickets) or go to an electronic system that would utilize printers already installed in the police vehicles while sending an electronic copy to the court (instead of driving or mailing them).
In response to a question, Krause said there are different options if the LexisNexis system were to be down. He also said area departments that have gone to e-citations that he has checked with had “very little to no issues with it.”
Later in the meeting, Village Manager Dan Faulkner said ads have been placed seeking a new police chief and after Feb. 28 Sheriff Paul Bailey, Village President Richard Smith, Deputy Julie Flick and himself will review the resumes and make recommendations to the Village Council at its next meeting. The council accepted the resignation of Police Chief Dennis Buller on Jan. 13
Council member Colleen Newquist reported that members received training from Becky Harvey on how to treat requests from potential marijuana businesses as they pertain to special land use permits during the most recent Planning Commission meeting.
Faulkner later said three special land use permit requests have been received for such businesses, one returned because the owner didn’t sign the application, another under review for some minor issues, and one complete with a public hearing to be set at the next Planning Commission meeting.
Newquist also said the proposed conditional rezoning of a property at 23 West Ash St. was discussed by planners, with the owner verbally indicating he will seek a change from residential to commercial for only the front portion of the parcel. She said a formal proposal is expected at the next Planning Commission meeting.
Newquist later asked when does the bidding period for marijuana licenses get set and was told that a resolution including that information should be on the agenda for next month’s Village Council meeting.
Council member Tyler Ream gave a report from the February Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, saying “Operation Pollinator” plans are being made with the Rotary Club of Harbor Country involving possibly some pollination plants being put in at Hoadley Trail along with some other improvements there.
Smith said the DDA is awaiting the final agreement for a car charging station, and the manager of the Three Oaks Farmers Market would like to continue using the parking lot downtown on Saturdays.
In his Village Manager Report, Faulkner said the village issued 54 building permits in 2020 totaling $816,503 (with permit fees of $11,189 and inspection fees of $7,273 captured).
He said the village has received grant funds of $79,000 from the USDA for the Chamberlain Path Project.
“This is the final payment of the project and we would like to thank The Pokagon (Fund) and the USDA for their help,” Faulkner said.
He said a new truck for the Water and Sewer Department has been picked up labeled and should be in service quickly.
Faulkner also noted that Electrical Inspector Charlies Basinger is retiring in September, and thanked him for 13 years of service to village. Faulkner said he has reached out to J&L Electric tp provide inspection services.
In other Feb. 10 business the Three Oaks Village Council:
Passed a village rule pertaining to mobile food vendors that allows the village manager to approve allowing a food truck/outdoor special event for a local “brick-and-mortar” business without council approval. The village’s moratorium on mobile food vendors from outside sources remains in place.
OK’d having Abonmarche handle the engineering design work and seeking of bids for a project to reconstruct Michigan Street from Cedar Street east toward Tulip Street at cost of $15,000.
Approved a $1 an hour raise for Alex Keen of the Water and Sewer Department retroactive to January 1. City Manager Dan Faulkner said “since January 1st he’s been stepping up and doing a great job working with the DPW guys.”
Appointed Ayla Batton to a seat on the Planning Commission in the wake of the resignation of Commissioner Rob Woerdehoff (she will serve the remainder of his term).
Approved having Wightman & Associates complete the hydrogeologic investigation for the village’s sewage treatment lagoons ($19,770 balance versus the original estimate of $36,000 leaving the total maximum cost about $5,000 less than that). Faulkner said “The balance of this money is to finish this report, to get to the state. Once they get the report at the state then we’ll figure out what our next step is regarding reshaping the ponds or cleaning the ponds or what other items we have left to complete.”
OK’d an application form for a Downtown Facade Improvement Program designed to “improve the overall business climate of the DDA district, improve the general appearance and visual amenities of the district, and preserve buildings with unique features or character, and provide assistant to small business owners.”