Answers from the Board

Q. What is the process for creating the minutes?

A. The recording secretary takes notes during the meetings. Then he uses his notes to draft the minutes of the meeting. The draft minutes then go to the township manager for review for accuracy, format, and grammar. The draft minutes are then distributed to the members of the board that had the meeting as well as being posted on the township website. The minutes stay in draft form until being approved by the board that held the meeting. The township does not take audio, visual or any other electronic recording of any meeting.
Posted: Oct. 17, 2023

Q. Most of the township has broadband internet though there are a few homes that do not. What is the township doing to get service to those unserved homes?

A. The township’s goal is to have 100 percent of the homes in the township have broadband internet. The township has been asking Comcast to run service to those homes for over two years. The township will continue to lobby Comcast to get them served and is willing to help Comcast achieve serving the unserved.

In addition, the township has met with Allegan County to explore getting service to a few homes on the east side of the township that are near the area to be served by 123NET. This has possibilities though it is likely 2-3 years before the Allegan County system is built.
Posted: Aug. 22, 2023

Q: What kind of information may I request under the Freedom of Information Act and how do I request it?

A: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires a public body to furnish certain DOCUMENTS that are in the possession of the public body. If the requested document does not exist in the possession of the public body, they are not required to create a document or look for a document elsewhere. Some documents are exempt from disclosure. Information on how to create a FOIA request can be found under the Ordinances and Legal Notices tab of our website. The full text of the State law can be found at: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(f5inzgxb4pdq5khqz1malmhk))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-Act-442-of-1976 .
Posted: Aug. 1, 2023

Q: What gives the Laketown Township Building Authority the ability to rent out the Wolters House?

A: The building authority was formed in 1995 under state law PA 31 of 1948 which allows the authority “to acquire, furnish, equip, own, improve, enlarge, operate, and maintain buildings … for the use of any county, city, village, or township …”

The building authority is charged with managing certain properties for the township and has considerable discretion in that management. Though any significant financing, such as bonding, requires township board approval. 

The first project for the Laketown authority was the demolition of the former Michigan Dunes Correctional Facility.
Posted: Aug. 1, 2023

Q: The Land Conservancy of West Michigan holds a conservation easement on the Huyser property. How does this impact what can be done to the Huyser House and the land around it?

A: The Land Conservancy of West Michigan does hold a conservation easement on the Huyser Farm. The conservation easement divides the property into three areas: the natural area, the agricultural area, and the residential area. The Huyser House is located within the residential area. The conservation easement states the township may maintain, renovate, replace or demolish existing structures within the residential area. Uses of the house other than residential use could be considered if they are in keeping with the conservation values and purposes of the conservation easement and are approved by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. There is a prohibition on commercial activities anywhere on the Huyser Farm.
Posted: July 6, 2023

Q: Does the township maintain a list of people to be considered for openings on the board of trustees?

A: The township does not maintain a list of interested people for board openings. People’s interests and needs change, as do the township’s needs. As positions open up, we ask people to apply for that position. If they are not selected, they need to apply again for the next opening.
Posted: July 6, 2023

Q: There are concerns about safety, parking, speeding and trespassing on 138th Avenue leading up to and beyond the entrance to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Who is responsible for that stretch of road? 

A: All public roads in Laketown Township are under the control of the Allegan County Road Commission. But even the road commission doesn’t have total control. For instance, they cannot issue a traffic control order (TCO) for no parking signs until the Michigan State Police (MSP) conducts a traffic study. A traffic study for that area of the township has been requested of the MSP.
Posted: June 30, 2023

Q: Are any grant applications being worked on to fund replacing the beach stairs at Laketown Beach?

A: No grant applications for the stairs are in process at this time. We have done some dune grass planting for stabilization of the trafficked area and done some survey work for preliminary planning.
Posted: June 30, 2023

Q: Has the Land Conservancy of West Michigan been informed of the potential changes to the Huyser House? 

A: The Land Conservancy of West Michigan will be notified once a plan for the Huyser House has been decided. There are very few prohibited uses for the Huyser Farm in our conservation easement agreement. Most of the prohibited uses are very active uses, such as stadiums, bowling alleys, golf courses, airports and fairgrounds. Thus finding a use that is unquestionably compatible with the conservation easement agreement shouldn’t be a problem.
Posted: June 27, 2023

Q: Was the Huyser House inspected and is there any documentation?

A: The township building inspector examined the building and found it structurally sound. The report was publicly discussed on March 15, 2023, at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting.

Here are the highlights of the report:

Huyser Farmhouse 4188 64th Street Inspection Results

Chad Warden Laketown Township Building Official …

Opinion of Condition:

To save the property it will need repairs started within the next 12 months, due to the siding deterioration and chimney flashings.  The foundation and framing are in good to excellent condition making a rehab of this property financially feasible in my opinion.  I would not recommend reusing any of the Mechanical systems (Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC) including the well and septic.  No inspection was done on the well and septic.  Due to the age and time the well and septic went unused replacement is almost certain. …

Findings:

Foundation is in good condition.  No frost heaving or damage was visible. Crawl space will require Insulation and vapor barrier.

The roof is not visible leaking with 5 to 10 years left.

Siding is starting to fail and rot is observed around windows, doors, etc.  Repairs and paint are required or replacement.

Framing is in excellent condition.

Chimney/fireplace need minor masonry repair and tuck pointing.

Driveway and sidewalks need maintenance.

Some original trim and hardwood flooring could be salvaged and reused keeping some of the original and historic finishes.

Items needing total replacement:

Well/Septic ; Plumbing; Heating/AC system Wiring/electrical system; Landscaping and exterior grading; Doors/windows including overhead garage door.; Insulation; Drywall; Interior Doors; Kitchen/bath Cabinets/appliances; Interior and exterior paint; Flooring (3/4 flooring has buckled but could be salvaged and reused, as it is original)
Posted: June 22, 2023

Q: What is the status of the Building Authority regarding the Huyser House?

A: The Building Authority is working on developing a plan for the Huyser House and is currently working to stabilize and secure the building.
Posted: June 22, 2023

Q: Could you update what’s going on at Gibson Cemetery?

A: We have had ground penetrating radar survey performed and we are reviewing those results and comparing them to existing data. The process helps us confirm historic burials and the accuracy of our files.
Posted: June 22, 2023

Q: What’s going on with the Wolters House?

A: The Building Authority is studying possible future uses for the house and discussing the house with various groups and organizations.
Posted: June 22, 2023