Fruitport Charter Township Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes of August 23, 2021

A work session of the Fruitport Charter Township Board began at 6:30pm on Monday, August 23, 2021, in the township board room.

Members Present: Todd Dunham, Supervisor; Andrea Anderson, Clerk; Rose Dillon, Treasurer; Trustees Jim Fichtel, Greg Hulka, Terry Knoll, David Markgraf
Members Absent: none

At 7:00pm, Todd Dunham opened the regular meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Also Present: 17- residents; 8- employees; 0- guests; Public Safety Director, Brian Michelli; Director of Public Utilities, Steve Biesiada; Attorney, Ron Bultje.

The motion by Rose Dillon, seconded by Terry Knoll was carried unanimously, to approve the minutes of August 9, 2021 as presented.

The motion by Terry Knoll, seconded by Todd Dunham was carried unanimously, to approve the agenda as presented with the following addition requested by the DPW Director:

Add item 7-B: Approval to hire DPW Administrative Assistant.


  1. Steve Biesiada shared that hydrant flushing will begin September 7th; interviews went well for the Administrative Assistant position.
  2. Brian Michelli reported that the 800 MHz radio system is operating well and proved to be an essential tool when working through the recent wind storm; new roadway flags will be purchased soon with money from the flag fund; the warning sign near fire station #2 no longer works with the new paging system so they will work to find a new way or remove the current lights; the slip ‘n slide will be August 28th and the Lions Club will be providing food; thanked recent retiree Rick Lifer for 39 years of service to the fire department.
  3. Heidi Tice shared that there will be an Old Fashioned Christmas this year.
  4. Todd Dunham shared a letter of thanks received from a resident commending the DPW for great work.


  1. Ron Cooper shared questions about the DDA bonds and what the funds would be used for.


21-067 Performance and Indemnification Resolution
The township attorney advised that the language is not fair or favorable to the township in regard to liability. The Supervisor recommended that this topic be tabled until language can be changed and presented to the road commission.
The motion by Terry Knoll, seconded by Greg Hulka, was carried unanimously, to table until the DPW Director has the opportunity to discuss alternative language with the road commission.

21-068 Approval to Hire DPW Administrative Assistant
Steve shared that interviews went well and asked for approval to hire.
Terry Knoll moved, Todd Dunham seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to authorize Steve to hire candidate as recommended by the DPW Committee.
Ayes: Fichtel, Hulka, Dillon, Dunham, Anderson, Knoll, Markgraf
Nays: none


21-069 Resolution in Recognition of Marjorie Nash
The township and Mrs. Nash’s family wish to recognize her for her public service that spans more than three decades. Mrs. Nash’s daughter and her family have provided a granite bench in her honor that has been installed at town hall.

21-070 Deliver Oath to New Hires- FD
Newly hired Fire Fighters were sworn in by the Clerk.
Kyle Morrow — Full-time Firefighter
Brad Timmer—Part-time Firefighter
Jerrad Christopher –Part-time Firefighter

21-071 Approve Fruitport District Library’s Recommendation for Trustee Appointment
The Fruitport District Library Board has made a recommendation to appoint Chuck Koon to replace and complete the term of Mary Weimer. The current term began December 31, 2020 and will expire December 31, 2022.
Rose Dillon moved, Jim Fichtel seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to appoint Chuck Koon to the Fruitport District Library Board with a term to end December 31, 2022.
Ayes: Fichtel, Hulka, Dillon, Dunham, Anderson, Knoll, Markgraf
Nays: None

21-072 Odeno Street Light Request
Andrea Anderson shared a request from Westshore Engineering regarding the addition of seven (7) street lights in the Odeno development and one (1) street light at the entrance to the development on Sheridan Rd.
Five (5) poles would be for phase 2 of Odeno and two (2) poles would be for phase 3 of Odeno but are needed now to light up the access to the lift station, all would match the style installed in phase 1. The pole at the entrance is required by the Muskegon County Road Commission and would match those along Sheridan Rd.
Rose Dillon moved, Todd Dunham seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to accept the eight (8) additional street lights for the Odeno development into the Fruitport Township Lighting District and authorize the Clerk to execute the agreement.
Ayes: Markgraf, Knoll, Anderson, Dunham, Dillon, Hulka, Fichtel
Nays: None

21-073 Agreement with Bendzinski & Co. for DDA Bonds
This agreement will designate Bendzinski & Co. as the financing officer for the DDA bond process, ensuring it makes economic sense for the township and that there is sufficient cash flow to pay the bonds.
Terry Knoll moved, Jim Fichtel seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to accept the agreement with Bendzinski & Co.
Ayes: Fichtel, Hulka, Dillon, Dunham, Anderson, Knoll, Markgraf
Nays: none

21-074 Payment of Bills
Terry Knoll moved, Andrea Anderson seconded, MOTION CARRIED, to approve bills as presented for payment in the following amounts: General Fund $46,356.98; Public Safety $3,199.98; Water $14,341.73; Sewer $1,162.50; Trust & Agency $4,314.00; Street Lights $13,083.98
Totaling: $82,459.17
Ayes: Markgraf, Knoll, Anderson, Dunham, Dillon, Hulka, Fichtel
Nays: None


  1. Andrea Anderson shared that AT&T has transferred their franchise agreement to DirectTV who will continue to perform all of the obligations under the agreement.
  2. Rose Dillon shared census data including an increase of 977 residents in the township and 10 residents in the village for a total population of 15,678.


  1. Ron Cooper shared opinions that the township shouldn’t pay for developer infrastructure. The township attorney clarified that the growth on the property tax captured by the DDA will pay for the bonds.

The motion by Terry Knoll, seconded by Todd Dunham, was carried unanimously, to adjourn the meeting at 7:45pm.