County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee

 

Joseph Allen

Bernie Blackmore Chairman

Eugene Dawson

 

Minutes – May 22, 2006

Members Present:

 

Joe Allen, Bernie Blackmore and Gene Dawson

Members Absent:

 

None

Staff Present:

 

Joe Meyers

Others Present:

 

Mike Meriwether, Russ Blasdell, Pete Garwood and Laura Sexton

1.         Meeting called to order at 9:04 a.m. 

2.         Public Comment

 

None. 

3.         Memorandum of Understanding – Forestry   

 

The Committee discussed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Antrim Conservation District.

 

Discussion ensued over the changes to the document.

 

Motion by Joe Allen, supported by Gene Dawson, to recommend the Board of Commissioners approves the Memorandum of Understanding.  Motion carried – unanimous.    

4.          Village of Bellaire Ballfields

 

Pete Garwood noted that four dugouts have been placed on the leased County Property without permission and indicated that this is a breach of the lease.  According to the lease, all additions must be approved by the Board of Commissioners.   

 

Discussion ensued over what action should be taken.  The Committee decided to wait for a response from the Village of Bellaire and discuss this at the Commissioner meeting.

5.           Forestry Update

 

Mike Meriwether, County Forester, gave an update on events regarding County Forest lands. 

 

The Committee discussed the possibility of a County Lands budget fund. 

 

Discussion ensued over what would be included in the fund.

 

Motion by Gene Dawson, supported by Joe Allen, to recommend the Finance Committee create a fund for County Lands from monies generated by oil and gas royalties and easement revenues.   MOTION –RESCINDED

 

Laura Sexton, County Clerk informed the Committee of the current funds in place and what the process currently is. 

 

Motion by Gene Dawson, supported by Joe Allen, to recommend the Finance Committee create a Special Revenue Fund named the County Lands Enhancement Fund.  Also, the Committee would like the revenues from the Oil and Gas Fund to be transferred into this fund and all new oil and gas royalties and easement payments go directly to this fund. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that expenditures are limited to the recommendations of the County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee on all County lands.  Motion carried – unanimous. 

 

Mr. Meriwether indicated that the property owner interested in the 40 acres next to the Spring Ridge Condos has offered $5,000 an acre.  Mr. Meriwether indicated that the property is very developable.

 

Ms. Sexton noted that the Board of Commissioners should go in closed session at their June 5th meeting to discuss this. 

 

The Committee discussed their policy that the Chairman of CLAF can approve bills under $3,000 but in the minutes, it gives that authority to the Parks and Lands Committee per a motion on April 14, 1994 and a policy on December 14, 1995. 

 

Motion by Joe Allen, supported by Gene Dawson, to recommend the Board of Commissioners approve the following motion that was passed on April 14, 1994 before the County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee was created:

The County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee Chairman be authorized to sign timber sale contracts and the County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee as a whole be authorized to incur expenditures up to $3,000 for forestry related projects.

Motion carried – unanimous.    

 

Mr. Meriwether indicated that we traded an easement for County access to a previously landlocked parcel.  Mr. Meriwether noted that he has sold some of the timber but nothing significant for a road that the land owner is building

 

Motion by Gene Dawson, supported by Joe Allen to approve the bills in amounts of $595 and $2,600 out of the forestry fund for improvements on the Barnes Park Trail.  Motion carried – unanimous.

 

Mr. Meriwether noted that he would like to work with Michigan Maps for the interpretive displays.  The Committee indicated that Mr. Meriwether could proceed with the sign idea.

 

The Committee informed Mr. Meyers that they would like to work on the County lands identification next meeting. 

6.         Tax Foreclosed Properties

 

No action taken.  Postponed until next month’s meeting.

7.           Communications  

 

None.

8.            Member/Public Comment

 

None.

Meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.