635-3058 (Township Hall)
BASIC TOWNSHIP INFO
Happy New Year to all of you!! We find it hard to believe that another year has gone by so fast! Not to be wishing our lives away but we do hope this winter will go by as fast as it came. Maybe we will see spring flowers in a few months!!
January always brings a lot of activity to the township office with the collection of taxes.
Annual conferences and education meetings are coming up this month which some township officials will be attending, and board of review is coming up in March.
The reservation dates for the hall rental are starting to fill up quickly. If you plan on using the hall for any special event, call the clerk and reserve your date as soon as possible.
We would like to thank the local D.N.R., the Chippewa County Road Commission and the local fisherman for the cooperative use of the D.N.R. property for parking which is located at Conley Pt. This parking area for the local fisherman helps keep the road clear for the property owners, emergency vehicles, and the county plow trucks. This will also be the site of a new boat launch that will be constructed within the next two years by the D.N.R.
Awareness and use of the Township website is increasing. As of early January, 428 "hits" were recorded since the website was established. The website has links to Township ordinances, permit application forms, hall rental applications, Township Board and Planning Commission minutes, newsletters, and several other subjects of interest to Township residents. We currently have a technical problem with the link to Planning Commission minutes but hope to correct it in the near future.
For those of you that may not know that we have the website, the web address is www.brucetownship.net. Check it out. Suggestions regarding other types of desirable information are always welcome.
The Planning Commission has completed consolidation work on the Townships Zoning Ordinances. The consolidation incorporated the improvements and adjustments made in the six amendments adopted since approval of the updated Zoning Ordinance in March 2004. The consolidated zoning ordinance was approved by the Township Board as the official version on January 12, 2006. Some tweaking of the Ordinance will undoubtedly be necessary in the future as new issues arise but should be limited in scope.
Work on the update of the Township’s Master Plan is continuing at a slow but steady pace. Drafts of several sections of the narrative portion of the Plans have been completed and are currently being reviewed by the Planning Commission and the Township Board. Defining and documenting current land use in the Township is ongoing as is the preparation of necessary exhibits. The difficult task that will be addressed in the next few months is the drafting of recommendations for implementation of the goals and policies that will guide Township development for the next several years. The draft goals and policies reflect the public preferences expressed in the community survey conducted last spring and which were presented at public meeting on September 20, 2005. The draft goals and policies will again be available for review and comment as part of a future public input session.
As indicated in previous newsletters, public participation in Planning Commission discussions of planning and zoning issues at our monthly meeting is strongly encouraged. One of our biggest challenges is getting timely public input as work progresses.
Mike Schmidt, our Zoning Administrator, has departed for the warmer climate of Florida for the winter. He said he’d be back around the first of April. We wish Mike and Charlene a warm and relaxing winter, which is deservedly so after the fine job he did for us in the Township in 2005. We issued 68 permits last year, which has been around our average for the last few years
The permit process has been refined this past year and it seems to be working quite well.
Please remember that if you have any questions as to whether you need a permit or not, call the Township Hall to find out. We are here to work for and with the property owners, not against them.
PARKS AND RECREATION
It’s that time of year again that the grant applications are coming out to be filled out and submitted by April 2006. We hope to have one completed for the recreation area around the Township Hall. We still plan on using the Bruce Township School equipment yet to be acquired and also apply for a structure to be built.
We are still looking for some interested individuals to be on the Parks and Recreation Committee. We’d like to thank the two individuals that offered to help us out.
Things are quiet at the Fire Hall this time of year. It seems that the woodstoves are safer and/or people are being more safety conscience.
The Fire Department is continuing their training and they are in the process of finding another tank for our tanker truck. It needs to be welded every time it comes back. We have the prison crew working in the fire hall in the winter. This helps the fire department crew keep up with the maintenance of the building.
If there is anyone that is interested in working with the volunteer fire crew or becoming a member, contact the clerk at the hall.
Please post your 911 addresses on your house or in your yard so the emergency departments can find you. If it is a fire the smoke will usually detect where you are but if you need medical assistance or help from the police etc. they would not be able to find you as easy.
If you need help to put your address up the fire department will help you. In that case you need to call the Township Hall.
COUNTY AND TOWNSHIP ROADS
As you might have heard, the Chippewa County Road Commission has been on the radio and making public appearances to help promote the renewal of the current 1 mil for 5 years. This is important to the CCRC as well as the township. They maintain approximately 1,300 miles of road. We the township and the CCRC are getting less and less state and federal funding so this mileage is very important to all of us.
The township will be looking at the road projects for the coming year. We will decide what needs to be done with the money we have and are able to get. If you have any concerns we will certainly look them over.
THE ASSESSORS’ REPORT
The year 2005 has come to an end with Dec.31st being tax day for the rear. New construction has been looked at and taxed for the 2006 tax year. New construction started in 2005 and not completed in the year will have a partial tax levied on it for 2006 and will be looked at again late in 2006 for the 2007 tax year. Based on a State form a percentage of completion is taken from the form and assessment is levied.
Changes of assessment notices will be mailed in Feb. 2006. This is not a tax bill but a change in assessment.
Times and dates for the March Board of Review will be posted and will be noted on assessment change notices. Any questions feel free to call Ken Brown, the assessor, at 632-6584.
There are two elections coming soon: February 28,2006 the County Road Renewal. May 2,2006 there will be a school election, with two seats open on the school board.
The last day to pay your 2005, property taxes will be February 28,2006. I will be in the office that day even though it is a Tuesday. I will be in from 10: A.M. until 5: P.M.
We will be working on the 2006-07 budget, the end of our fiscal year is March 31,2006. The annual meeting is March 25,2006.
Bruce Township Supervisor