2017-02-16 / Life in Leelanau

Suttons Bay officials don’t seek raises

By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

Members of the Suttons Bay Township Board will not receive pay raises in the coming fiscal year.

They didn’t receive any pay raises last year either.

Acting at its regular monthly meeting last week, the Township Board adopted salary resolutions keeping their annual pay at current levels in the new fiscal year beginning April 1.

The township supervisor earns $17,595 per year, the clerk $26,231, the treasurer $27,387 and the two trustees $1,514 each per year.

Suttons Bay Township is the only one of 10 general law townships in Leelanau County that does not hold an Annual Meeting at which township voters have authority to decide pay levels for their elected officials. The township opted to forego holding annual meetings nearly two decades ago after several years of poor attendance.

In lieu of an Annual Meeting, the Suttons Bay Township Board holds a public budget hearing at its regular monthly meeting in March. A budget workshop was scheduled to be held last night.

Also, the Township Board has set a “budget reconciliation” meeting on March 29 to close out the books the fiscal year ending March 31.

Officials noted that the township will need to make a final “balloon payment” in July of about $50,000 on the township office building purchased for $205,000 in 2012. The building is located in Hansen Plaza off Fourth Street in the Village of Suttons Bay.

In other business last week, the Suttons Bay Township Board adopted two minor zoning ordinance amendments recommended by the township Planning Commission.

A third zoning ordinance amendment adopted by the Township Board last week will prohibit anyone from building a microbrewery in the township’s agriculture district, although microbreweries are allowed in the commercial district. The amendment was the subject of a public hearing held by the Planning Commission, underwent public review by the county Planning Commission, and was reviewed by a township attorney.

Staff planning consultant Kathy Egan explained that, unlike wineries, the main ingredients in beer are not generally grown on the same property as vineyards producing grapes for wineries. In addition, patrons frequenting microbreweries generally consume the product on the premises while at wineries, the products are only sampled, then purchased and consumed elsewhere.

The Township Board voted 5-0 to adopt all three zoning amendments.

The board also voted unanimously to authorize Treasurer Cathy Hartesvelt to charge Leland Public School $2.50 per parcel for tax collections on 104 parcels in the township located in the school district. The rate has remained the same for many years.

In addition, the board accepted Supervisor Rich Bahle’s nomination of Tracy Kochanny to fill the one year remaining on the Planning Commission seat held by Susan Walters, who recently resigned.

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