Trustees approve new zoning inspector

LA CROFT – Trustees voted to approve Tom Schmitt as the township’s new zoning inspector following a brief executive session during the board’s meeting on Tuesday evening.

Schmitt was expected to attend, but was not present during the meeting. Trustee Steve Betteridge said Schmitt, a professional surveyor from Dixonville, was highly qualified for the position, which he will officially take up June 1.

Trustees also approved a payment for Clifford Utt, who resigned his post as zoning inspector in March but continued fulfilling those duties into April. Utt was required to resign from that post when he was named township fire chief on March 3, as he is not legally permitted to fulfill both assignments simultaneously. According to Betteridge, however, Utt “helped us out by going a little further after his resignation.”

Trustees are also looking into options to raise funds for the road department. Betteridge says he will meet with officials from the state auditor’s office to go over the necessary steps for placing a levy on the November ballot.

Betteridge could not provide a figure as to how many mills the township may ask for, saying that will be decided upon following the meeting with state officials. “We’ll go with their suggestion on the best way to save money for people, yet get us something in return,” he said.

Trustees said the township road department is still operating off of funds raised from a 1992 levy that has never been renewed. “We are asking for something that hasn’t been asked for in 22 years,” Betteridge said. Trustees haven’t decided on whether to attempt for a renewal of that 1992 levy or to craft a new levy.

According to board President Keith Burke,the $97,000 that was raised then has been spent wisely, but is now down to approximately $50,000. “There’s a lot of costs involved here, and we’ve been working with what we’ve got,” Betteridge said.

In addition to rising costs for materials such as fuel and aggregate stone, the township has an aging fleet of equipment that includes a lawn mower from 1974 and a fleet of four trucks ranging from 1999 to 2007. “If we have a major issue, we’ll probably need to look into buying a new truck eventually,” Betteridge said.

The next trustees meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 9, at the township administrative building.