BATES TOWNSHIP—The Bates Township Board of Trustees has adopted a new invasive species ordinance, written to help protect its lakes and rivers.
At the board’s March 14 meeting, Township Clerk Barbara Moncivais reviewed the ordinance, which includes a mandate to use a boat wash if one is available.
Currently, the township maintains a boat wash on Sunset Lake.
“It’s simple, yet we think it covers everything,” said Township Attorney Donn Atanasoff.
He added much of the ordinance is similar to one in place for Chicaugon Lake.
However, there are no fees or stickers involved.
The idea, he said, is to educate more than enforce watercraft users about the negative effects of invasive species, which include Eurasian milfoil, rusty crayfish, zebra mussels and any other species that negatively impacts the township’s fisheries.
The board discussed, but took no action on the issue of water shut-off notices.
Township Treasurer Punner Franzene said the biggest problem is with “repeat offenders” and abandoned houses.
Even though the water has been turned off, she still has to bill the customer.
The board will look at options on the issue.
Also concerning the township water system, Supervisor Grant Helgemo said one of the least enjoyable aspects of his job is to inform customers their lines will need to be abandoned.
Such is the case for residents on Passamani Road, Sunset Lake Road and the northern end of the township along Bates-Amasa Road.
There are just too many leaks to keep repairing the lines, he explained.
The typical procedure is to notify the water customers at least a year in advance so they can make arrangements for a well. The township then stops billing the customers for water.
Helgemo told his board seven residents have agreed to serve on a committee to work on the veterans memorial at the township cemetery.
“There are some good people interested,” he said, and suggested a meeting be scheduled.
The board will be looking at changing its MERS retirement program when current township employee Bob Konoski retires in August.
Helgemo said the township will drop to a lower classification when Ed Benson takes over full time. Additionally, Helgemo said that Konoski will be taking vacation and sick time, and Benson should be starting full-time in April.
The board approved soliciting bids for flooring in the Township Hall kitchen area, entry and offices.
The board discussed, but took no action on purchasing new tables for the hall.