Fruitport Township Board Meeting – Minutes – September 25, 2017


A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township Board began at 6:30pm on Monday, September 25, 2017, in the township board room.

Members Present: Heidi Tice, Supervisor; Andrea Anderson, clerk; Trustees Ron Becklin, Jeff Jacobs, Denise Winebarger, and Greg Hulka
Members Absent: Rose Dillon, excused

At 7:02pm, Heidi Tice opened the regular meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer.

Also Present: 22– residents; 9 – employees; 5- guests; Director of Public Safety, Brian Michelli; and Director of Public Utilities, Ron Langlois.

The motion by Jeff Jacobs, supported by Ron Becklin, was carried unanimously, to approve the minutes of September 11, 2017 as presented, with the following addition to item 17-137:

Invoices will begin November 1, 2017 for services beginning October 1, 2017.

The motion by Ron Becklin, supported by Denise Winebarger, was carried unanimously, to approve the agenda as presented, with the following additions:

Requested by Brian Michelli: Add Police Department hire as item 07-D.
Requested by Heidi Tice: Add new appointment to the Planning Commission as item 08-A.


1. Heidi Tice gave an update on the Wolverine monument project. It is projected to be installed Spring 2018.
2. Brian Michelli reported that call volumes for police and fire continue to rise.
3. Brian Michelli reported that new AED equipment for the fire department has arrived, as well as the new tasers for the police department. Additional medical equipment is on its way.
4. Ron Langlois gave an update on the Odeno project; phase one has been broken into two phases.
5. Ron Langlois reported that the water main for the new Wesco is complete, tested, and in service.
6. Heidi Tice shared quotes from Batteries + Bulbs for converting town hall to LED lighting and asked that it be considered at the next meeting, October 9, 2017.


17-146 Badge presentation/swearing in new public safety position holders
Jeff Whelan was promoted to Deputy Chief of Police.
Daniel Babinec was promoted to Police Sergeant.
Ross Deyoung was hired as a full-time Police Officer.
Joshua Karafa was hired as a full-time Police Officer (completed after his hiring was approved by the board).
Troy Lanore was promoted to Fire Captain.
Timothy Doctor was promoted to Fire Lieutenant.
Shane Ingersoll was hired as a full-time Firefighter.

All of the above employees were sworn into their positions and presented with badges accordingly. Congratulations to all.

17-147 DDA update
Heidi has scheduled a meeting with Mark Eisenbarth and Johnathan Wilson from Muskegon County on Monday, October 2, 2017 to discuss the likelihood of the County opting out of a potential DDA in Fruitport.

17-148 Public hearing for Police & Fire Special Assessment District (Sherman/Harvey)
It was noted that there were businesses that were unintentionally left out of the district due to having zero police runs to those locations. It was also discussed that the district boundaries be re-evaluated. It is proposed that the district include the business corridor on Sherman Blvd from Lowes to US-31 and on Harvey Street from Independence Drive to Mount Garfield Rd. It is proposed that the assessment roll be re-evaluated annually based on usage.

With there being no guests in attendance who wished to comment on this topic, it was agreed upon to re-schedule the public hearing.

The motion by Jeff Jacobs, supported by Ron Becklin, was carried unanimously, to TABLE this item and reschedule a public hearing for October 9, 2017 on the revised district.

Notices will be mailed and reposted accordingly.

17-149 Police Department Hire
Public Safety Director Michelli recommended that the board consider hiring Joshua Karafa into a full-time Police Officer position.
Ron Becklin moved, supported by Jeff Jacobs, MOTION CARRIED, to hire Police Officer, Joshua Karafa, into a full- time position. Mr. Karafa started working as a part-time Police Officer for Fruitport Township Police Department on August 14, 2015. He participated in an interview process that took place on July 20, 2017. Joshua will be filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Jason Pavlige. Joshua began filling shifts in a full-time roll on September
22, 2017 and the board agreed to back-date his hire date to then.

Ayes: Becklin, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Winebarger, Hulka Nays: None Absent: Dillon

17-150 Planning Commission appointment
Supervisor Tice has chosen to appoint Jason Franklin to fill the vacancy on the Planning Commission.

Jeff Jacobs moved, Ron Becklin seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to ratify the appointment of Jason Franklin to the Fruitport Township Planning Commission.

Ayes: Becklin, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Winebarger, Hulka Nays: None Absent: Dillon

17-151 Payment of bills
Ron Becklin moved, Denise Winebarger seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills as presented for payment in the following amounts: General Fund $21,466.00; Public Safety $28,702.91; Water $25,529.81; Sewer $2,108.96; Trust & Agency $663.00; Street Lights $12,749.63 Totaling: $91,220.31

Ayes: Becklin, Jacobs, Anderson, Tice, Winebarger, Hulka Nays: None Absent: Dillon


1. Heidi Tice shared that there will be trick-or-treating at town hall on Halloween, October 31, 2017, from 3:30pm-4:30pm in the lobby.
2. Ron Becklin announced that there will be a meeting of the Muskegon County Recreational Authority on September 26, 2017. Ron also announced that Matt Farrar has been appointed the new Chair of the committee.
3. Jeff Jacobs inquired with Attorney Ron Bultje regarding the process of bringing a new ordinance recommendation from the Planning Commission to the township Board.


The motion by Ron Becklin, supported by Denise Winebarger was carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting at 7:41pm.