Township Board Mtg Minutes July 2019

Skanee Townhall


CALL TO ORDER:  Supervisor James Soli called the Regular Board meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. at the Arvon Township Fire Hall on July 1, 2019.

ROLL CALL OF MEMBERS PRESENT:  James Soli-Supervisor, Lisa Marinich-Clerk, Krystal Larson-Treasurer, Keith Erickson-Trustee and Chris Wahmhoff-Trustee.

MINUTES APPROVAL:  Erickson motioned, seconded by Wahmhoff to approve the June 3, 2019 minutes.  All in favor, motion passed.

AGENDA APPROVAL:  Soli requests “Bid for cemetery” under “Old Business.”  Erickson motioned, seconded by Larson to approve the agenda with the one addition.  All in favor, motion passed.


OLD BUSINESS: Bette Gabe hasn’t received a response from either Brad Newman or Sarah from Mekena about updating the Township’s Master Plan.  She did hear from a Mary VanTilburg about possibly helping out with it.  This will be tabled until next month’s meeting.

-The provisions of the ordinance shall be administered by the Zoning Administer who shall be appointed by the township board not the Planning Commission.  Marinich approved it seconded by Erickson.  All in favor, motion passed.

-Soli found out that Covington, L’Anse and Baraga all pay their Firefighters a certain amount to attend a fire, but also have to take taxes out and send out W2’s at the end of the year.  This will be tabled until next month’s meeting. 

-The Planning Commission has a revised zoning map update including better color clarity and road name corrections.  Marinich motioned, seconded by Erickson to approve the map revision as an adopted amendment to the Arvon zoning ordinance.  All in favor, motion passed.  The Planning Commission also has a zoning text correction in all districts and wherever else references are made in the zoning text regarding small non-inhabitable structures such as utility buildings, the zoning administrator has permitting and approval authority not the Planning Commission.  Marinich motioned, seconded by Erickson to approve the adoption of this amendment.  All in favor, motion passed.  Marinich will put the notice in the paper by the due date.

-Soli did not hear back from the township’s new attorney about the zoning additions and corrections.  This will be tabled until next month’s meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:  The State is requiring township’s to either opt in or opt out of the Recreational Marijuana establishment. Marinich motioned, seconded by Erickson to Opt out of the Recreational Marijuana Establishment.  All in favor, motion passed.

Residents on Portice Road are concerned about all the dust from traffic.  Soli let them know that the township can’t afford putting chloride down on all the gravel roads in Arvon Township.  He let them know that years ago the township had a road maintenance millage and the dust control was an issue even then.

-The Kallio Fund donated $1,200.00 this year towards the Skanee Cemetery clean up. The board thanks them for such a big donation. 

-Scott Swanson bid $2,600.00 to provide surveying services for the Skanee cemetery expansion to the north of the existing cemetery plats.  Services would include working on design of new lot and block area.  Setting iron pins at block corners and a map will be provided in PDF form as well as hard copy.  Iron pins will be provided by the township.  Marinich motioned, seconded by Larson to approve Swanson with the job.  All in favor, motion passed.

FEDIE:  He is working on the rest of the field work for the Township.

MAIL CALL: Received the invoice from the Portage Health Foundation.  The township approved $1,000.00 to donate to UPSET.  Marinich will make the check out for next month’s meeting.

TREASURER’S REPORT:  Larson gave the Treasurer’s Report.  General Fund-$239,160.03, Ambulance/EMT Fund-$30,260.89, Fire Fund-$133,669.94, Liquor Fund-$503.70, Road Fund-$18,340.83.  Erickson motioned, seconded by Wahmhoff to approve the Treasurer’s Report.  All in favor, motion passed.

BILL APPROVAL:  Erickson motioned, seconded by Larson to approve the bills.  All in favor, motion passed.

NEXT MEETING DATE:  The next meeting date will be held on August 5, 2019 at the Arvon Township Fire Hall.

ADJOURN:  Erickson motioned, seconded by Marinich to adjourn at 6:50 p.m.  All in favor, motion passed.

Lisa M. Marinich/Arvon Township Clerk

Planning & Zoning Quarterly Minutes July, 2019



JULY 10, 2019

CALL TO ORDER:  6:02 p.m.

ROLL CALL AND RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:  Bette Gabe, Chairperson; Jay Loman, Trustee; Dorothy Nankervis, Trustee; Keith Erickson, Township Board Representative; Joe Bollech, Trustee.  Absent:  Mary Deline, Trustee, out of town.

Visitors included:  Jeff Loman, Wayne Abba, Pat Stein, Linda Kinnunen, Katherine Andrews.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:  Addition to agenda under Old Business add Township Website.  Keith made a motion, seconded by Dorothy.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Jay requested a correction in the Public Hearing minutes to indicate that he was in attendance and to correct the name to Bob Kissel in attendance.  Approval of minutes by Jay, seconded by Dorothy with the changes.


PUBLIC COMMENT:  Katherine Andrews made comment on a comment during the public hearing about nature conservancy being unique.  She stated it is not unique.  There are several nature conservancies in the state.  We explained that statement was made by a public member and we recorded it as stated.

Jeff Loman stated how important it was that the wind energy systems be addressed by Arvon Township and changed in our ordinance.  On SAVE, the attorney Mr. Tinti said if zoning ordinance prevented wind turbines on forest resource land that township would get sued.  Not true, L’Anse didn’t get sued.  If attorney continues to advise that we would be sued, ask him to provide a case example.

Wayne Abba stated that restrictrictions are not exclusive and our attorney does not have an understanding of wind energy.  If a threat should arise, ask what is it based on.  The big push for wind energy is that tax credits for this will end in 2020.

Katherine commented that L’Anse’s attorney would get back to them right away with an answer.  Technology makes it possible to do business without having face to face contact.

Another topic that came up at a township board meeting was the issue of dust abatement on our unpaved roads.  Wayne stated that too often the first response is that it is too expensive and the county will not do anything.  Wayne stated when a problem arises to acknowledge the problem and try for a solution.  He suggested:  1.  There is a problem.  2.  Present solutions (all of them no matter how expensive).  3.  Find which solution may have possibilities, then look into the cost and find ways to resolve it.  Maybe cost share for residents who are directly affected.



  1. New zoning map and 2 corrections adopted as amendments to zoning:  This was effective on July 17, 2019.
  2. Statue of remaining amendments:  Unknown.
  3. Updating Master Plan:   Bette has been having difficulty finding someone who wants to help us with our master plan.  She has made calls but without anyone returning her calls.  Jeff Loman suggested she try Michigan Tech MSU Extension.  Contact person Dr. Guy Meadows.  Bette will try to get in touch with him.


  1. Correspondence received:  None.
  2. Planning commission members concerns, if any:   None.
  3. Members of the audience concerns:  Wayne and Jeff both addressed how having blight addressed in our ordinance could make Arvon Township more attractive to visitors and perhaps future residents.  Wayne also asked if we have all the attractions in Arvon Township on the website including the marina, Silver River Falls, and the various falls in the area.
  4. Township Website:  Paul Warner will be meeting with Kay Erickson on updating or changing the software used for the site. 





  1. Damaged buildings, timeline for removal and clean-up:  Ken brought up that when buildings are damaged, like in a fire, we have no timeline for cleanup.  Eagle Harbor has a 12 month limit for cleanup.  Discussion included what responsibility is for insurance companies, etc.  We decided to check into other townships and what they have and resume this topic at our next meeting.
  2. Temporary buildings and travel trailers:  On page 73 of the Ordinance, a correction needs to be made. Section 1407, Other Uses of Mobile Homes and Trailers, H, #4.  It reads; other temporary uses of mobile homes, travel trailers, or motor homes for a period not to exceed 24 months upon review and approval by the Planning Commission provided it is determined that the use is consistent with the intent of the Zoning Ordinance and would not be detrimental to any surrounding uses or properties.  The correction would be the Zoning Administrator, not the Planning Commission would do this.  Dorothy made a motion to make this correction, Keith seconded it, all approved, motion carried.
  3. Ken also requested that the Principal Uses section of FR and FF concerning temporary mobile homes, #2 on page 50, be added to RR and SR.  This reads:  Temporary mobile home or travel trailer maintained in sound running condition with a current vehicle license, provided occupancy is limited to not more than thirty (30) days in any calendar year.  Discussion included the problem of enforcement and decision to not honor this request was made unless the enforcement issue is resolved.
  4. Any other new business:  None.
  5. Setting public hearing dates, if needed:  None.


NEXT QUARTERLY MEETING DATE:  Oct 9, 2019, 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

ADJOURNMENT:  7:40 p.m.  Keith made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Dorothy.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary