County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee

 

Joseph Allen

Bernie Blackmore Chairman

Eugene Dawson

 

Minutes – March 26, 2007

Members Present:

 

Gene Dawson, Joe Allen, and Bernie Blackmore

Members Absent:

 

None

Staff Present:

 

Joe Meyers and Charlie Koop

Others Present:

 

Mike Meriwether, Greg Croftchik, and Jon Corcoran

1.         Meeting called to order at 9:00 a.m. 

2.         Public Comment

 

None.

 

3.         Forestry Update

 

Mike Meriwether informed the Committee of activities regarding the Forestry Program. 

 

Mike spoke on the 40-acre parcel off Valley Road that is landlocked.  Mike indicated that there was a property owner that would be willing to sell us an easement. 

 

Motion by Joe Allen, supported by Gene Dawson to allow the County Forester to negotiate an easement for public access to the Valley Road property in Mancelona.  Motion carried – unanimous.  

 

Discussion ensued over cleaning up the titles on some forestry properties.  Further discussion was delayed until later in the meeting.

 

4.        Oil and Gas Leases

 

Charlie Koop indicated that we received two proposals for an oil and gas lease on the Cedar River Natural Area.  Mr. Koop indicated that OIL and DTE have presented the County with leases.  OIL indicated that they would consider leasing half of the property and letting DTE lease the other property.  OIL also indicated that if they split the land for two leases that they would raise their offer to DTE’s offer.  Discussion ensued over leasing the property.  OIL indicated that they would not be willing to lease the whole property for DTE’s bid. 

 

The Committee decided we should address this at a special meeting prior to the Board of Commissioner meeting on April 12.

 

5.         Forestry Property Title Restrictions

 

Mike indicated that the state passed a law allowing counties to remove the “for forestry purposes only” restriction on all forestry parcels under 120 acres.  Mike also indicated that he would like to see some protection of the property if these restrictions are lifted.

Motion by Gene Dawson, supported by Joe Allen, to recommend the Board of Commissioners apply to the State of Michigan to remove the “for forestry purposes only” restrictions on all county property under 120 acres and to not sell any of these county lands until an ordinance is passed protecting the land.  Motion carried – unanimous.

 

6.        Member/Public Comment

 

Ed Martel spoke on personal property tax and the oil companies.

Meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.