Homer Township Newsletter

VOLUME XVI______NUMBER 2______________OCTOBER 2004

SUPERVISOR COMMENTS

In the last thirty years our community has experienced great improvements, not only through Board action, but also resident cooperation and support. I personally want to thank you for all the help you have given us. I've listed some of the accomplishments of our Township to remind us all how fortunate we are to live here and raise our families here. How many other communities would like to have:

1. The opportunity to be heard at all times.
2. All paved roads (except one mile)
3. A park with ball fields, pavilions, skating rink, soccor field, bathrooms, trees and acreage for expansion. $60,000 has been approved for more modem and safer playground equipment.
4. A widened M-20 with a safety bike trail. (Also nice for walking.)
5. Stop lights on M-20 at Meridian Rd. and M- 20 at Homer Road.
6. Street lights at intersections.
7. A great Fire Safety Complex and dedicated volunteer firefighters!!
8. Solid Waste pickup with recycling.
9. Cable available to most residents.
10. Four precincts developed for shorter voting time..
11. A well kept cemetery and flags placed on veterans graves for Memorial Day.
12. A master plan and zoning ordinance reflecting the desire to keep Homer a rural RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY.
13. An opportunity to vote twice for our choice to keep Homer a dry township. (that is, no liquor by the glass.)
14. Generous donations of land for the Park
15. An anti-nudity ordinance to prevent juice bars and other establishments.
16. Inspectors to keep down the cost of permits.
17. The Board of Review now has open meetings.
18. Negotiations with the city have given us
a source of water and most of Homer Township has petitioned and water lines constructed.
19. A MUGA established and random annexation stopped. We also receive our millage for twenty years for any land annexed.
20. A Newsletter to let residents know what is going on! Even though Homer can blow its own horn, there are still many projects to compiete and perfect. As Thomas Jefferson said "I wrote the constitution to form a more perfect union (Not a perfect one, just a more perfect one)*.

I wish the new Board nothing but the best.

Barb Radosa. Supervisor 835-5671

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FROM THE TREASURER


The summer (what summer) sure did go by in a hurry. The second year of summer tax collection went a whole lot better than the first one. By the end of September 14 a total of 88% had paid their tax. To those of you who decided to delay paying the tax until the winter tax collection (except those who were qualified and filed a deferment with me), remember that a 1 % penalty will be added for each month unpaid after September 15 including September. Those of you who qualified for deferment have until the end of the day on February 28 to pay the summer tax without penalty.

Now for the winter tax 2004.

Did you move into the Township as a new owner/resident within the last year?
___If yes,
Did you complete a Principle Residence exemption application and/or Principle Residence exemption rescission on a previous Principle Residence?
___If yes,
Make sure that you check your tax bill for 100% Principle Residence. The Principle Residence exemption is listed on the upper right hand side of your tax bill. If it is not there, call the Supervisor, Julie Atkinson by Monday December 6. Corrections can be made if the tax bill is in error. If you walt until a later date, you may have to wait until the July Board of Review to get it corrected.

If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, you should call Julie Atkinson, get the proper forms, complete them and make sure you get them back to Julie. It might not help this year but it will next year.

If you have been a long time resident, it is still a good idea to check your homestead status.

Do you have only one solid waste assessment on your tax bill? It should be $110 if you have only one pickup. If it is more than $110 and you don't have more than one household at your address, call me so that we can get it corrected. (This does not include commercial pickups.)

My hours will be the same this year as they were last year except for the week of January 28,2005, when the office will be closed. Of course, that depends on the outcome of the November election. Office hours are Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. I will be open on Monday, February 28, 2005 (the last day you can pay the winter tax in my office.) Please contact me for an appointment if the regular hours are a problem.

The last day to pay taxes without a penalty is Monday, February 28, 2005. (For those who want to pay by December 31,2004, please note that I will be open on the 31st.)

Speaking of mortgage companies, if you have one and it doesn't show on your tax bill or is not the correct company, check with me.

Have a wonderful fall and Holiday season. Remember to vote on November 2!

AITew ________Treasurer___________ 631-3422
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CLERK RESPONSIBILITIES

Record keeping responsibilities

The statutory duties of the Clerk are numerous, technical and legally essential to the proper operation of municipal government.

The Clerk has custody of all records, books and papers of the township, if no other law so provides. The Clerk must file and retain all certificates of oaths and other papers required to be filed in his or her office. All records must be kept by the Clerk in a safe a nd proper place where they will not be exposed to any unusual hazard of fire or theft. They must be delivered to the successor in office. All records of the township, except those which have some confidential character, are public records that
are open to inspection at reasonable times and places under the supervision of the Clerk or other official appropriately having custody of the record. Refer to p.192 of The Authorities and Responsibilities Manual for further explanation of the Freedom of Information Act governing public access to township records.

The Clerk must also open and keep an account with the township Treasurer, charging the Treasurer with all funds which are received by the Treasurer by virtue of that office and crediting the Treasurer with monies paid out on the order of proper township authorities. The date and amount of all vouchers must be entered in a book kept by the Clerk. The Clerk is also required to keep a separate account for each of the several funds belonging to the Township crediting and debiting the same in accordance with proper receipts and warrants drawn by the township Treasurer. The Clerk is responsible for the detailed accounting records of the township utilizing the Uniform Chart of Accounts prescribed by the state treasurer. The Clerk must also prepare and maintain the journals and ledgers necessary to reflect the assets, liabilities, fund equities, revenues and expenditures for each fund of the township.

The township Clerk is the ex-officio Clerk of the township's civil service commission for police or fire departments, if one is established. The Clerk is required to supply clerical services to the commission without extra compensation.

The township Clerk should maintain accurate account records and an organized filing system of township contracts, resolutions, ordinances and other special proceedings or activities that can be readily produced upon request. This is
an invaluable asset to the efficient and orderly operation of township government. The Clerk cannot be too careful and thorough in the performance of the duties and must constantly comply with all legal time schedules. Under MCL 399.5, township records cannot be destroyed except in the pursuance of a plan submitted and approved by the State Historical Commission. The definition of "record" includes
magnetic tapes. In some situations, original records can be destroyed if copies are otherwise preserved under the Records Media Act (MCL 691.1101).

The Clerk is a member and chairman of the township election commission and in charge of elections in the township.

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HOMER TOWNSHIP NEW SUPERVISOR JULIE ATKINSON

I appreciate the unique opportunity to have a spot in the Newsletter even though I am not yet officially your Supervisor. First, I want to publicly recognize and thank our current Supervisor, Barb Radosa, for the years of dedicated service she has given to Homer Township. I can't begin to comprehend how many hours she spent on our behalf. I believe she has always tried to put the best interests of Homer Township first and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for that.

It was a pleasure to have a chance to meet so many of you recently as I went door to door campaigning through many of our neighborhoods. I discovered that the best asset Homer Township has is the citizens. I hope to be able to get to know more of you soon and that you will always feel that you can come to me with your concerns and ideas to make our township an even better place to live and work. I will have an office at the Township Hall and have regular hours posted. If those times are not convenient to you, I will be glad to make an appointment to meet with you at a time that would be arranged.

As your future Supervisor, I don't have a complicated agenda in mind. Simply stated, I want to foster a sense of unity, cooperation and community involvement. I want all of you to believe that you count; I am here to represent you. I feel strongly that the only way we will ever see better County, State or Federal government is if we start right where we are and make improvements at its most basic element, and that is here, in our township.

I look forward to serving you with the other members of the Board that will be elected in November. Together we will work hard to deal with both the challenges and opportunities in the future. While I was campaigning, I told you I believe we need a better forum for you to share with us as a Board. The monthly Board meetings will have public comment time offered, but I believe if we have three Town Hall meetings each year it will give you even more of an opportunity to become involved in the process

Thank you for putting your trust in me, I look forward to serving you.

Julie Atkinson
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CHIPPEWA NATURE CENTER

NEW TRAIL COMING TO HOMER TOWNSHIP


Chippewa Nature Center and the City of Midland have come together on a joint project to bring a new "natural" pathway to the community, the Chippewa Trail. The twelve foot wide paved trail will link the nature center in Homer Township to Midland's Downtown area, winding through four miles of scenic wetlands, woodland and fields, offering year-round opportunities for fun fitness and recreation.

The wheelchair accessible trail will be available to walkers, joggers, hikers, bikers, skaters, cross-country skiers. The trail will also provide access to a recreational corridor, including softball diamonds, rugby fields, a disc golf course, picnic areas and more. In downtown Midland, the trail will terminate at the Tridge, providing unbroken access to the Pere Marquette Rail Trail.

Trail users will also find resting spots along the way to enjoy the view and watch the wildlife. Interpretive signage will offer an opportunity to learn more about Midland's natural and cultural history.

Thanks to local foundations, 85% of the construction cost has already been raised. Major financial support has been provided by The Herbert and Grace A. Dow Foundation, Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker -Foundation, Alden and-Vada Dow Foundations, The Midland Area Community Foundation and Chippewa Nature Center. Land for a large portion of the trail was donated by The Dow Chemical Company.

Local foundations have challenged project leaders to raise the remaining $175,000 through public support. You can be a part of this community-wide project by participating in our "Fund a foot drive. You can be a recognized donor for as little as $55 (funding a linear foot), get more for your money by "going the whole nine yards"($1300), or any level of support in between.

Ground breaking for the trail is set for spring of 2005, to be completed by fall 2005. With just a few short months until construction begins, the fund raising campaign has begun. To contribute to this exciting new community resource or to find out more about the project, please contact Dick Touvell, Executive Director of Chippewa Nature, at 989-631-0830.

Shelley Koop Chippewa Nature Center
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COMMENT FROM NEWSLETTER STAFF: The staff would like to extend our appreciation to our Supervisor, Barb Radosa. She has served the township well as Supervisor for 12 years and prior to that she was the Clerk for 14 years. This has a great deal to do with the long list of accomplishments she wrote about in this issue of the Newsletter.


THE TOWNSHIP BOARD

Barb Radosa Supervisor 835- 5671
AI Tew Treasurer631-34221
Ken Schlafley Clerk 832-0964

Trustees: Helen Mudd 631-3708
Tom Pritchard
631-3806
John Stern
835-4203
Russ Varner 835-6845

Building Inspector Kevin Varner 839-9181
Electrical Inspector: Wayne Holsinger 465-1653
Plumbing Inspector: Ted Van Wert 631-9645
Township Rental Pam Varner 832-9645

TOWNSHIIP NEWSLETTER STAFF Ted Ilgenfritz, Sheila Tolfree, Helen Mudd.