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Listen to- January 13 2020 Board of Trustees Meeting

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Hayes Township maintains open water around the fishing pier and boat launch at Camp-Sea Gull Park.
Pay attention to signage at the park and stay safe on the ice.

Trustees puzzled by Performance Engineers’ final bill

The Hayes Township Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, January 13, 2020 at 7pm and spent most of the meeting discussing the final bill from Performance Engineers in the amount of $18,146.31 for the completion of Phase I of the Camp Sea-Gull boat launch and fishing pier project.  The Trustees have a number of questions concerning the history of payments to Performance Engineers over the course of the launch project and whether or not Hayes Township owes the engineering firm any more money. Supervisor Ron VanZee pointed out to the Sentinel after the meeting that “It feels like we got to the checkout line,  looking forward to going home, but the cashier asked for twice the amount that was posted on the Sale sign.  We don’t understand how we paid so much!”

VanZee went on to explain that because the final total for Phase I of the project is sitting at $1,901,809.06, the Board is scrutinizing the budget in general and the Phase I bills in particular to make certain that the Township can manage the increases in cost without hurting the taxpayers.

The Trustees agreed at Monday night’s meeting that they are genuinely confused over how Jim Malewitz arrived at his invoice totals.   Much of the confusion stems from the fact that Malewitz signed a contract with Hayes Township to become the project engineer on the boat launch and pier project on July 11, 2016 date, yet Hayes Township had already paid him approximately $37,000 for what some believe was work related to Camp Sea-Gull. None of the current members were on the Board of Trustees at that time and there is no paper documentation, according to the Board  There is no indication of any other contract assigned to the $37,000 paid to Performance Engineers earlier. Jim Malewitz has been asked over the past year by both the Township attorney and the Board to designate on each and all of his paid invoices specifically to which contract or job order the payment was applied. Hayes Township officials have still not received that information nor has attorney Bryan Graham.

According to Clerk Warren Nugent, the confusion gets more complicated because the 2016 signed contract with Malewitz stated that the cost of Phase I engineering services, construction oversight. and project supervision was not to exceed $123,500. Nugent reported that the previous Board did approve an additional $22,000 to the signed contract for more design work bringing the total approved amount up to $145,500.

To date Malewitz has been paid $186,536.23 (excluding the $37,000 pre-contract payment) on Phase I construction, putting him $41,036.23 over the contracted amount. If the Board pays the final invoice of $18,146.31, it would put Performance Engineers at a total of $204,682.54 for the Phase I project and the engineering firm will have been paid $59,182.54 in unapproved expenses.

The Board then agreed that it needs to find out whether or not the signed contract for Phase I construction management limiting Malewitz’ charges can be enforced.

Board members also pointed out that two of the four invoices for the final charges from Malewitz included work done after the contract end date.  Since Malewitz had hounded the Board to open the Park by July 1, had insisted the Park was ready, it is difficult to understand how he could charge for work done after that time which was not required of him nor approved by the  Board.  In addition, the Trustees say that a number of the post-contract items are vague and seemed part of the cost of completing the contract.

Minimum Ice Thickness Guide

Ice Thickness Guide

Taken from the Vermont State Park Safe Ice Guide

Special Bulletin:

Planning Commission OK’s Master Plan Revision

The Hayes Township Planning Commission met Friday, January 24, 2020 and held a public hearing over the revised Hayes Township Master Plan. All members of the Commission and the audience were highly complimentary of the work and the results. The Commission voted to send the revised plan to the Board of Trustees for approval at the February 10 regular meeting. Residents who did not attend but who would like to make comments may do so by emailing Ron VanZee at The next meeting of the Planning Commission will be February 18, 2020 at 7pm at the Hayes Township Hall.

Hayes Township Free Little Pantry spills over with donations


Food Pantry with deputy

Deputy Clerk Kristin Baranski unpacks more donations for the Little Food Pantry

In September of 2019, our Free Little Pantry was installed (along with a Free Little Library) outside the Hayes Township Hall.  It was stocked with food from the beginning and is available for anyone 24/7.  Through the fall, large donations from local residents began to come in frequently.  This generosity has created a substantial stockpile of not only food but household goods, including detergent, soap, and paper products.

One resident in particular has made shopping trips specifically for pantry supplies, coming by with bags and bags of donations.  He is dealing with the loss of a very close loved one, and told us that “The Township is helping me heal.”  We are humbled to be on the receiving end of such a selfless person, and as he moves forward with his healing, so many people in need will have resources to help them get through their difficult times.

The outdoor pantry is always stocked full, and the extra donations have been organized inside the hall.  If you or someone you know can use some food and/or household goods, please feel free to come in anytime and get what is needed.  If you can’t come in during office hours, we are more than happy to schedule a time that works for you and meet at the hall.  If someone is unable to drive, we can also arrange to drop off supplies.

Please contact Julie or Kristin at (231)547-6961. You can also e-mail at

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Park and Rec Committee Names Katy Hill to Chair

Katy Hill was elected as chairperson of the Park and Rec Committee on January 6, at the first committee meeting of the new year. She replaces Michelle Rick-Biddick who served as Chairperson for several years. The Committee and the Township Board expressed gratitude to Rick-Biddick for her leadership during the extraordinary demands of the Phase I Boat Launch and Pier construction at Camp Sea-Gull Park.

Kristin Baranski, currently the deputy clerk of Hayes Township, was elected to the Vice Chair position and Tom Darnton agreed to serve as Secretary for another year. Serving with the officers are Julie Collard, Lisa Kuebler, Paul Zardus, and Leslie Cunningham.

The Committee then set January 30, at 10am at the Township Hall as a special work/brainstorming session to outline plans for development of Camp Sea-Gull Park, where short term usage and longer term plans for permanent pavilion facilities with restrooms, a sports and activities field area, and a picnic spot, swimming beach, and kayak/canoe launch could all be developed with a minimum of impact upon what is left of the native flora and fauna after the Phase I construction project.

For this summer, the Committee decided to erect the large tent that the Township owns down by the waterfront for the whole season, in the spot where the cabins slated for demolition sit. The Committee has asked the Board to install a potable water spicket down at the beach site. Picnic tables will be set up there too. There are already pit toilets in the parking area. The Park should generate some income from tent rental and those interested in renting it should contact Kristin Baranski at the Township Hall.(231-547-6961)  Members will check on area pavilion rentals to determine a reasonable price for the space by the next meeting.

In other business, Julie Collard reported that she has submitted a grant request to the Health Department in the amount of $10,000 to expand our greenspace up near the tennis court. Collard proposed activity stations with both educational and fitness tasks at each. The Committee is exploring area grants to develop a pickleball court on the site of the old tennis court and a basketball court somewhere in the open field area.

Collard also reported that the cabins near the proposed tent and beach site have not been taken down yet. Hopefully Swanson’s will be able to complete that job the first thing this spring.

Another Gem of Hayes Township:

Greensky Hill Indian Mission Church

By Judy Johnson,
Ojibwa Tribe member, Little Traverse Bay Band, Greensky elder

If you aren’t aware of this designated National and State Historic site, you should make a decision to travel the short distance to visit. The land it sits on is one of natural beauty and offers a wonderful place to meditate on your own. It has often been called a “thin place” in the ojibwa language which means a place where the separation between heaven and earth is very thin and a person can feel great peace.

Greensky Church is located on Old US 31 just off the Boyne City Road. This beautiful church was started on this site about 1836 and is one of a handful of continually worshipping churches in Michigan. Its written foundation date is in the 1940’s. This church has been a United Methodist Church since the 1960’s. Currently, it is a named Methodist Church but this Mission church is strong in its mission of being an openly welcoming community for everyone. Worship service is held every Sunday morning at 10AM. Fellowship and sometimes breakfast is at 9AM in Susan Hall and often takes place after the 10AM worship as well. Sunday school for the children is at 10:30. Greensky’s hymnals are written in the Ojibwa language.

One of the main reasons the church is on the National and state registers is the physical structure of the church building. Its 8x8 wall logs were hand hewn likely from virgin timber found in Hayes Township. The windows are paned with now antique glass. The door jambs contain small details reminiscent of Native American design. The windows and doors were originally transported from Traverse City in canoes.

A short walking distance north of the church lies the original meeting ground of several tribes in the early 1800’s. Peter Greensky was a Chippewa Native from the UP who became a circuit pastor traveling with PetAer Dougherty in the Grand Traverse Region. His travels included the areas from the Upper Peninsula to Northport, including Charlevoix, Elk Rapids, Old Mission and Northport.

The area in Hayes Township was very familiar to Peter Greensky because he knew about the ancient meeting grounds. When he had gained enough ministerial experience and grew his own following, he led a group of Natives across Grand Traverse Bay in their canoes from Northport to Charlevoix.These people became the core of Greensky Hill Indian Mission Church. This was the generation of people who established the mission and who planted the historic circle of bent trees, some of which still stand, on the site of the tribal meeting ground. This church community has been blessed by support from the Hayes Township community in many ways, including a grant from the Grand Traverse Bay Bands. More about that in another issue.

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Greensky Hill Indian Mission Church UMC. Note the original hand hewn logs still visible on the exterior of the building.

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The view from the pulpit inside this cozy little church. There are Ojibwa language hymnals in the pews. Services are held at 10am Sunday morning.

From the Clerk:

Voter registration reminder
March 10 Presidential Primary

Deputy Clerk Kristin Baranski reminds Hayes Township residents that they may register to vote right up until and including the day of the Michigan Presidential Primary Election on March 10, 2020. All they have to do is ask for the Clerk when they get to the polling place, which is the Township Hall on Old US 31 and Burgess Rd.  Baranski also said that those desiring an absentee ballot no longer have to state a reason. Just ask for the application and return it to the Clerk’s office indicating whether or not you want to be on the permanent absentee list. The Clerk will send you your ballot in the mail. You can fill out the ballot and return it to the Clerk’s office.


Dave Kemme pointed out that we forgot to print an address where folks can send donations to the Sentinel in our December appeal. Oh Boy! Every writer needs a reader!

The address is Hayes Township Sentinel, PO Box 581, Charlevoix, Mi 49720.  Thanks Dave!

Hayes Meeting Dates

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Bang, Bang From the Observation Deck:

Leslie Cunningham Observatin DeckKA-BOOM go the fireworks; ACK, ACK, ACK, ACK go the gun shots; THWACK, THWACK, THWACK, THWACK goes the helicopter! It’s all about noise and decibels, the smell of gun-powder, and the time of day Folks.  The population is going up in our little corner of heaven and so is the rate and volume of our celebrations. There have been two major complaints in the last six months at both the Board and Planning Commission level from a number of residents who are upset about both noise and light pollution in our Township.

They say that there are non-stop fireworks and gunshots on holiday weekends and nights in the summer. One resident gave helicopter rides all Labor Day weekend. Another resident likes to swim at night but says that the extensive lighting from some lakeside homes is disturbing.

These people are concerned about the traumatic effect of fireworks all night, gunshots all day and safety for hikers and walkers, and how these activities affect the peace and quiet of the countryside.

Well Poppycock, others say! We moved out here in the country, away from the restrictions of town, so that we could light off fireworks whenever we want. We moved out here so that we could target shoot in safety on our own property. If you want to land your helicopter, hot air balloon, airplane, or kite-cycle on your own property you should be able to without someone sticking a nose into your business. And if you want to leave your lights on all night, who cares? That’s why we bought all this property. Leave us alone! After all, the huge racing boats on Lake Charlevoix are incredibly loud and nobody complains about them.

Thor and Loki

Thor and Loki, mascots of the US Coast Guard, Marquette watching the shoreline!

Then there are the people who live in Hayes Township but who live in neighborhoods or on small developed lots. People living at Nine Mile Point have had fireworks go off under their windows. Children and pets cry and shake when this happens.

And I, who live on about 80 acres, don’t like it when my kids don’t tell me when they are going to target shoot.  We light fireworks on New Years Eve at Midnight and sometimes on the 4th of July, but I’m of two minds about it and we need to find a solution.

So back and forth goes the debate. The problem is that there is no nuisance or noise ordinance in Hayes Township. You can do pretty much whatever you want noise-wise and light wise.  The Board of Trustees and the Planning Commission are beginning to understand that we have to have something; some restriction is in order.

Sheriff Vondra advises that any nuisance or noise ordinance that we want enforced by the county sheriff’s department would have to be consistent with the nuisance ordinances of all the Townships in Charlevoix County. Otherwise they will not answer a noise or nuisance complaint.

I believe it is time to seriously pursue a reasonable noise and nuisance ordinance, one that most residents living in Hayes will support. We need a committee with a variety of viewpoints to do the research and check with other Townships so that we can get an acceptable, enforceable ordinance. Send your thoughts to Ron VanZee at Lets work together so that we could all attend a Township Parkluck and be comfortable with our neighbors--all of them!

Your Township Officials

Ron VanZee

Warren Nugent

Bob Jess

Matt Cunningham

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Winter in the park

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