County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee


Joseph Allen

Bernie Blackmore Chairman

Eugene Dawson


Minutes – August 28, 2006

Members Present:


Bernie Blackmore, Joe Allen and Gene Dawson

Members Absent:



Staff Present:


Joe Meyers

Others Present:


Janet Person, Dan Ritt, Russ Blasdell, Trish Drollinger, Christie Roman, and Mike Meriwether

1.         Meeting called to order at 9:01 a.m. 

2.         Public Comment


Mr. Ritt noted his concern for the sale of the property off Batchelder Road.


Bernie Blackmore spoke on the Batchelder Road property and the Sevald Property.

3.         Bid Opening   


The Committee opened two bids for Batchelder Road Property.


      Len Strand - $151,000

      Robert S. Canniff and Mark Gerbhard - $124,400


The Committee discussed bid amounts and they felt that it was not high enough to justify selling the property.


Mr. Strand indicated that the property should be advertised more and maybe a verbal bid would be more productive.

4.          Bonnie Brook Property


Janet Person spoke in regards to the Village of Bellaire’s dredging project.  Ms. Person indicated that when she worked for the Antrim Conservation District, they tried to get a regional dredging permit from the DEQ but were denied.  Ms. Person further noted that the village is now pursuing this project and other entities are more than willing to work with the village for the project.  Mike Meriwether indicated that Finch Creek in the Grass River Natural Area might be a possibility for dredging.


Ms. Person indicated that the Village would be looking to dredge next October.  Mr. Blackmore indicated that anyone looking to dredge ponds or rivers should contact the Antrim Conservation District.

5.           Ball Fields


Trish Drollinger and Janet Person, Village of Bellaire, spoke to the Committee on the ball fields.  Ms. Person noted that the Village will absolve the County of all costs for improvements if they are to take the property back.  Ms. Person noted that she will have their attorney write the amendment to the lease and get it to the Coordinator/Planner's Office.


Motion by Gene Dawson, supported by Joe Allen, to have Legal Counsel look over the lease amendment to the ball fields from Bellaire and comment at the next County Lands, Agriculture and Forestry Committee meeting.  Motion carried – unanimous.

6.         Forestry Update


Mike Meriwether indicated that the Emerald Ash Borer has been located 1/2 mile from Bellaire.  This could be damaging to most of the trees in Bellaire because they are ash trees.  Mr. Meriwether indicated that the Conservation District along with MSU Extension will be holding a seminar September 28, 2006, 6:30-8:30 in the Governmental Center at the Village of Elk Rapids.


The Committee inquired about the injection of infected trees.  Mr. Meriwether noted that injection would work on yard trees but not in an ash forest.

7.           Timber Sale


Mr. Meriwether noted that he will be bidding out a timber sale for a property in Chestonia Township commonly known as Bundy Hill.

8.           Barnes Park


The forestry trails are not chipped yet but they received free chips and the park crew and Ron from the district will put the woodchips on the trails.


Gene Dawson inquired about taking the Commissioners out to the Barnes Park building for the October Board of Commissioners meeting to see the new trails and building.  Joe and Mike Meriwether will set it up.


Christie Roman inquired about doing educational programs at the Cedar River Natural Area.  The Committee felt that it would be a great idea.

9.           Communications  



10.            Member/Public Comment


The Committee discussed the Batchelder Road Property and our next steps.

Meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.