You are on page 1of 6

Minutes of September 17, 2008

The regular meeting of the Board of Calhoun County Road Commissioners was held on Wednesday, September 17, 2008
at 5:30 p.m. in their office located at 13300 Fifteen Mile Road, Marshall, Michigan.

Present: Commissioner Scott A. Brown, Chairman


Commissioner Hugh T. Coward, Vice Chairman
Commissioner Charles E. Monaweck, Member
Commissioner Eric J. Tobin, Member
Commissioner Chester E. Travis, Member
Kevin S. Henning, Managing Director
Pixie Coats, Director of Administrative Services
Angie Kline, Assistant County Highway Engineer
Erin Cummings, Permit Agent

Also Present: General Public

Chairman Scott Brown called the regular meeting of the Board of Calhoun County Road Commissioners to order at 5:30
p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Moved by Commissioner Tobin and supported by Commissioner Travis to approve the


September 3, 2008 regular meeting minutes of the Board of Calhoun County Road
Commissioners. Voice vote: Motion carried.

SUPERVISORS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND CITIZENS COMMENTS REGARDING AGENDA ITEMS ONLY
Mr. Gardy Berezonsky, Marengo Township Resident, stated that he would like information on the revisions to
Policy #29 – Travel and Policy #52 – Career Development and In-Service Training.

COMMUNICATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS


Mrs. Coats read the communications as follows:

a) Received the Amendment to Contract No. 2003-0369 between MDOT and the Board of Calhoun County Road
Commissioners for State road maintenance
b) Received the revision to Policy #29 – Travel
c) Received the revision to Policy #52 – Career Development and In-Service Training
d) Received Traffic Control Order 08-160-001 requesting F Drive North from 16 ½ Mile Road to West Drive be
posted as “No Thru Trucks over 10,000 pounds”
e) Received a memorandum and resolution from Kevin Henning, Managing Director, regarding MERS benefits
f) Received a memorandum and bid tabulation from Tiffany Eichorst, Solid Waste Director, regarding the Waste
Services Bid for 2009-2011

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Policy #97 – Proper Installation of Mailbox/Newspaper Boxes Along County Roads: Mr. Henning presented a
video on mailboxes that was viewed. He discussed the policy and the research he has done on mailbox guidelines.
Chairman Brown noted that we are being proactive to protect the public with this policy. Commissioner Travis agrees
with the policy. Commissioner Tobin asked our attorney’s opinion on the policy. Mr. Henning stated that the Road
Commission has the authority to enact this policy, since the road right-of-way is under road commission jurisdiction.
However, the property owner has the legal right to object, but if they do not comply we would have to file a suit against
the property owner for trespassing. Commissioner Tobin agrees that it is a good policy. Commissioner Monaweck asked
how many documented accidents there have been in Calhoun County involving these types of mailboxes. Mr. Henning
replied that there are a lot of mailboxes that get knocked down in accidents. Mrs. Kline added that the Michigan State
Police codes these accidents as fixed objects and does not specify mailboxes. Commissioner Coward stated that he is in
favor of keeping the policy, but questioned the cost and resources needed to enforce and police this policy and asked if
we would be ramping up our efforts to identify mailboxes that do not comply with our policy. Mrs. Cummings explained
that the complaints come in from our drivers and county residents and we are not intending to spend extra time/money
to start looking for mailboxes that are not in compliance. Mr. Henning noted that if the policy is reaffirmed, he would like
1
Minutes of September 17, 2008

Board guidance on a time frame for residents to comply with moving their mailboxes. Commissioner Monaweck asked
about our liability with utility poles that are in the right-of-way. Mr. Henning responded that it would be similar to trees
that are within the road right-of-way. Chairman Brown noted that the policy should be applied consistently.

Commissioners Brown, Tobin, Travis, and Coward reaffirmed Policy #97. Commissioner Monaweck also
reaffirmed the policy, but stated that he did not like it.

NEW BUSINESS
Moved by Commissioner Tobin and supported by Commissioner Travis to approve the
September 10, 2008 accounts payable for $648,314.78 and the September 10, 2008 payroll
for $106,235.68.

Commissioner Tobin suggested that accounts payable and payroll be put into one line item for approval.
Mr. Henning noted that our last payment for salt from last winter is included in this accounts payable.

Roll call vote: Monaweck-Yes; Tobin-Yes; Travis-Yes; Coward-Yes; Brown-Yes. Motion


carried.

Moved by Commissioner Tobin and supported by Commissioner Coward to approve the


Amendment to Contract No. 2003-0369 and corresponding Resolution 2008-02 between
MDOT and the Board of Calhoun County Road Commissioners for State road maintenance.

Mr. Henning noted that this is a 12-month extension to our current contract that expires on 9-30-08, with
an expiration date of 9-30-09. All conditions of the current contract remain in effect. Those are: a 5%
handling surcharge on bulk materials, an 8 ½% surcharge on overhead, and 100% reimbursement from
the State on all equipment, hours, fringe and overhead spent on State trunk lines.

Roll call vote: Travis-Yes; Coward-Yes; Tobin-Yes; Monaweck-Yes; Brown-Yes. Motion


carried.

Moved by Commissioner Travis and supported by Commissioner Tobin to approve revised


Policy #29 – Travel.

Mr. Henning noted that he provided the draft revision to Policy #29 – Travel at the last meeting, as well
as a memo explaining the revision. Originally adopted by the Board in 1983, the policy has usually
required annual revisions because it has specified mileage reimbursement per mile for business use of a
personal auto. The requested revision to this policy sets forth IRS approved reimbursement rates at the
time of travel. The IRS sets this rate every 6 months at least, and sometimes quarterly. By including the
IRS reimbursement rate in the policy, employees would have no tax consequences. If employees are
reimbursed below the IRS rate, employees may have unreimbursed expenses. If employees are
reimbursed in excess of the IRS rate, this would need to be reported as income on the employee’s W-2
form. Other parts of the policy that did not change include: CCRC vehicles are for business use only, all
travel must be approved by the Managing Director, and receipts are required for reimbursement.

Roll call vote: Coward-Yes; Travis-Yes; Tobin-Yes; Monaweck-Yes; Brown-Yes. Motion


carried.

Moved by Commissioner Coward and supported by Commissioner Travis to approve the


revision to Policy #52 – Career Development and In-Service Training.

Mr. Henning noted that he provided the draft revision to Policy #52 – Career Development and In-Service
Training at the last meeting. Originally adopted by the Board in 1990, the last revision was approved in
January 2001. At that time, the policy was changed to allow pre-approved in-service training for
employees, which is non-collegiate training, as well as undergraduate tuition reimbursement with a grade
of “C” or better. Credit hours were capped at 10 per year, per employee and the requirement that
employees must remain employed with CCRC for at least one year after course completion and
2
Minutes of September 17, 2008

reimbursement. If an employee left prior to one year, they would be required to pay CCRC back the
portion of service they did not complete.

The requested revision to this policy is to allow for graduate tuition reimbursement and increasing the
credit hours from 10 to 12 per employee, per year, due to block scheduling by colleges. This would allow
an employee to take up to three courses per year. The revision would also increase the time an
employee must remain at CCRC after course completion/reimbursement from one year to two years.
Other parts of the policy that did not change include: prior approval by the Managing Director is
required, employees must maintain a grade of “C’ or better, and receipts are required for reimbursement.

Commissioner Tobin asked how financial aid would be handled. Mr. Henning replied that if an employee
was eligible for a scholarship or grant, reimbursement would not apply. However, if an employee
received a student loan that must be repaid, they would be eligible for reimbursement to pay back the
loan. Commissioner Tobin pointed out that the policy does not put a cap on the amount of
reimbursement and asked if this could be a concern since tuition costs differ between colleges and
universities. Mr. Henning explained that this is why the policy caps the credit hours per employee, per
year and added that all requests received would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Chairman Brown
emphasized that education and training for our employees becomes even more important, as we are
doing more with less employees. Commissioner Tobin asked how much was spent in the last year in
tuition reimbursement. Mr. Henning replied that over the past year, he was the only employee who
benefitted from this policy, under his previous contract, at the cost of approximately $4,200; however,
there are employees who are interested in continuing their education at the undergraduate and graduate
level. Chairman Brown added that because requests are on an individual basis and require prior
approval, we will know who the employee is, what their job functions are, what courses they are
interested in taking, and what the benefit would be to CCRC.

Roll call vote: Tobin-Yes; Monaweck-Yes; Travis-Yes; Coward-Yes; Brown-Yes. Motion


carried.

Moved by Commissioner Travis and supported by Commissioner Tobin to approve Traffic


Control Order (TCO) 08-160-001 requesting F Drive North from 16 ½ Mile Road to West
Drive be posted as “No Thru Trucks over 10,000 pounds”.

Mr. Henning quoted the Michigan Vehicle Code (Excerpt) Act 300 of 1949 MCL compiled law 257.726,
which states “Prohibitions, limitations, or truck route designations by local authorities and county road
commissions; signs; violation as civil infraction.” He quoted Section 726 that allows “ (1) Local
authorities and county road commissions with respect to highways under their jurisdiction, except state
trunk line highways, by ordinance or resolution, may do any of the following: (a) Prohibit the operation
of trucks or other commercial vehicles on designated highways or streets. (b) Impose limitations as to
the weight of trucks or other commercial vehicles on designated highways or streets. (c) Provide that
only certain highways or streets may be used by trucks or other commercial vehicles. (2) Any
prohibitions, limitations, or truck route designations established under subsection (1) shall be designated
by appropriate signs placed on the highways or streets. The design and placement of the signs shall be
consistent with the requirements of section 608.” Mr. Henning explained that section 608 refers to sign
placement. He added that it is within the authority of this Board to designate roads as “No Thru Truck”
routes and to post weight limitations, with appropriate signage, on trucks that are allowed, at the request
of the township, which we had at the last Board meeting.

Voice vote: Motion carried.

Moved by Commissioner Travis and supported by Commissioner Coward to approve the


resolution regarding MERS benefits for Mr. Henning.

Chairman Brown explained that the contract with Mr. Henning that was approved by the Board included
retirement benefits at 50 and 15 that do not exist through MERS. Therefore, MERS has “carved out”
Division 11 to create a plan of 55 and 15 for Mr. Henning, as defined in the resolution.
3
Minutes of September 17, 2008

Roll call vote: Brown-Yes; Travis-Yes; Coward-Yes; Monaweck-Yes; Tobin-Yes. Motion


carried.

MANAGING DIRECTOR REPORT


Mr. Henning provided a PowerPoint presentation with the following information:

Hurricane Rains: Over 9 ½” of rain came down last weekend. B Drive North near Harper Creek Middle
School is closed and extra efforts have been made to keep traffic from travelling through the closure. Mr.
Henning noted that the Super Core was installed without a foundation, just as on 6 ½ Mile Road that we
recently repaired. We will be excavating as soon as possible to determine the best fix, as the entire super
core is under water. Mr. Henning noted that this super core is 10’ longer that the one on 6 ½ Mile Road.
Discussion continued.

I-94 Service Drive: A preconstruction meeting was held today and we are still awaiting final approval from
the State. We were told it may be approved on 9-25-08 or 10-7-08. We continue to coordinate with Fire
Keepers, the Development Authority and MDOT.

Marshall Township Development: Have had many meetings regarding the proposed development
including improvements to road infrastructure, grant applications and match dollars.

GASB 43 and GASB 45: Met with Ron Reid regarding GASB 43 and GASB 45 in regards to pensions and
Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) disclosure. Mr. Henning noted that we do offer other benefits to
retirees. GASB 45 refers to what our liability is and GASB 43 refers to our plan to fund that liability. We
have submitted a request for information to Burnham & Flower, a company out of Kalamazoo that provides
actuarial services. We will soon be receiving a quote from them on the cost for an actuarial for OPEBs.
Discussion continued on the time frame for completion of our financial statements and being in compliance
with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (GAAP).

Superintendents Association Meeting: We hosted the Superintendents Association meeting earlier today
with 27 superintendents and operating managers in attendance from Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe, Hillsdale,
Ingham, Washtenaw and Calhoun County road commissions. Discussion topics included the nuts and bolts
of winter maintenance, union contracts, equipment sharing, summer construction, etc. Many counties have
had to take a hard stance on winter maintenance operations. Mr. Henning noted that it was a good meeting
with good information. He will be using this information and other counties’ operating procedures to craft
our winter maintenance plan. Discussion took place on winter pothole patching. Mr. Henning stated that
many counties want to buy the cold patch that we make on-site.

Office Changes: Some changes continue to take place in our office environment. We have a new auto
attendant on our phone system. This has always been part of our system but never previously utilized. The
total cost to incorporate this technology in our business is estimated at less than $400. With the decrease in
office staff and the realignment of job duties among our office staff, we believe the auto attendant will
provide needed assistance. We will also be moving cubicles around in the front office. Chairman Brown
commented that he understands the need for the automated system and applauds our creativity, but he has
never been a big fan of automated phone systems. It was noted that the new phone system is user-
friendly.

Durapatchers: Commissioner Tobin inquired about the Durapatchers. Mr. Henning responded that they are
scheduled for delivery in October and will be fully operational upon delivery. Both day and night crews will
be utilizing these units, as they will not be bid equipment.

Road Closures: Commissioner Tobin asked if we have closed any other roads beside B Drive North. Mr.
Henning replied that no other roads have been closed, but “Water over the Road” signs have been posted.
It was noted that Historic Bridge Park is flooded. Commissioner Coward asked if we had checked out the

4
Minutes of September 17, 2008

washout on North Avenue, past Crandall that he reported. Mr. Henning replied that he believes our
Drainage Coordinator, Paul Adams, has been out there and a truck of rotomill was sent, as well.

SUPERVISORS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND CITIZENS TIME

Mr. Art Smith, Burlington Township resident, asked if there is a plan on where we will be using the Durapatcher or
if it will be dispatched based on requests. Mr. Henning responded that we plan to start in the outlying townships
where cold mix has been used, since hot mix has not been available (i.e., Homer, Sheridan, Lee, Clarence). Mr.
Smith asked Mr. Henning to review Burlington Township roads for the Durapatcher.

Mr. Art Farmer, Lee Township Supervisor, referenced P Drive North that was closed for a short period of time and
asked if there is any communication with schools regarding road closures on bus routes. Mrs. Cummings noted
that if she is notified of a closing, she makes notification to the schools and bus garages. Mr. Henning added that
we normally notify Dispatch, as well. Chairman Brown asked that we revisit our notification procedure for road
closures to ensure it includes Dispatch, school bus garages, and townships.

Mr. Farmer asked if CCRC still plans to place rotomill and seal over it. Mr. Henning replied that we are planning
to finish 24 Mile Road and Baseline.

Mr. Farmer asked if the mailbox policy reflects the policy of the U.S. Post Office. Mr. Henning replied that the
Board’s mailbox policy is based on that of the U.S. Post Office and the guidelines are the same.

Mr. Frank Manke, Clarendon Township Supervisor, asked about the grant for the bridge on 22 Mile Road. Mr.
Henning responded that it is on the list for 2009 construction and we have the funds for this project. Mr.
Henning and Mrs. Kline are working on sending out an RFP for design. All of the 2008 projects that we did not
have match money for are being moved to 2009.

Mr. Gardy Berezonsky, Marengo Township resident, commented that the new road to the fairgrounds should be
closed, since it does not go anywhere and is being used by teenagers to do donuts on the gravel. He commented
that MDOT has a new parking garage by the airport. Also, he believes that CCRC staff needs to look at taking
pay cuts to meet our obligation to take care of the roads.

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS
Commissioner Monaweck met with Leroy Township Supervisor, John Neterer, regarding a concern with a driveway on
2 ½ Mile Road. The property is under foreclosure and he believes this would be a good time to correct the problem. He
is doubtful that it was ever permitted. He took pictures and will pass them on to Mr. Henning. Mrs. Cummings
commented that she has worked with the homeowners in the past to put down crushed concrete, but it continued to
wash into the road.

Commissioner Monaweck noted that Mr. Neterer also discussed the subdivision that was built on 2 ½ Mile Road and H
Drive South. CCRC took over the roads, but road markers have never been installed. The address numbering system
seems to be out of whack (there is a corner lot with two different addresses) and the Fire Department is having trouble
finding the correct residences. Mr. Henning stated that he spoke with Mr. Neterer about this last Thursday and told him
that we would correct this situation as soon as possible.

Commissioner Monaweck stated that during his tenure on this Board, discussions have taken place on a countywide tax
for roads. He referenced a newspaper article that Van Buren County voters passed a countywide tax for their roads. He
believes that this would be possible in Calhoun County if approached in the correct manner. Mr. Henning agreed that this
could stabilize an economy without influence from what happens at the State and federal level. Commissioner Monaweck
also referenced the CRAM report and budget cuts experienced by other county road commissions.

Commissioner Tobin agreed that he would like to see a countywide millage for roads. He also asked about the emulsion
problem on driveways on Oak Lane. Mr. Henning replied that we have been applying brake cleaner to remove the
emulsion and are also considering applying a curing compound after the emulsion has been removed.

5
Minutes of September 17, 2008

Commissioner Monaweck commented that at the Annual Farm Bureau meeting, he spoke with Sheriff Byam about the
work crew using weed whips to clear grass at intersections that are view obstructions. Sheriff Byam is not opposed to
the Sheriff’s Work Crew using weed whips and Commissioner Monaweck suggested that we consider this for next year.

Chairman Brown informed everyone that we are lobbying the County to purchase a Durapatcher to add to the two we
have purchased. Also, he believes a millage for roads is a good idea and hopes to have it on the ballot next year.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
The next regular meeting of the Board of Calhoun County Road Commissioners is scheduled for Wednesday, October 1,
2008 at 5:30 p.m.

There being no additional business before the Board, Chairman Brown adjourned the meeting at 7:05 p.m.

Submitted by:

________________________________________ ________________________________________
Mary Jo Crumpton, Deputy Board Clerk Scott A. Brown, Chairman