George Meek

Alpine Township unanimously passes sewer agreement

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Fourth township of five approves NKSA maintenance contract In a special meeting held 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, the Alpine Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve a contract to allow staff at the North Kent Sewer Authority (NKSA) to provide service and maintenance for the sewer system within the township. Board members in attendance were Supervisor Alex Arends, Clerk Jean Wahlfield, Treasurer Jim Townsend and trustees Ron Cordes, Jim May, Ted Wallace, and Bill Schweitzer. The motion to approve the contract was made by Schweitzer with support of Wallace to approve the Collection System Service agreement for the sewage disposal system. Arends commented on correspondence received from Mike Oezer (Progressive Engineering), the Alpine Township engineer, regarding competitive bids from Operations and Maintenance. In discussions with Bowne Township, he was quoted 60 to 80 dollars an hour for typical operations and maintenance. Township Attorney Jeff Sluggett (Bloom, Sluggett, Morgan) raised questions in earlier correspondence, and NKSA Attorney Jim Scales addressed them. Discussion was centered about costs and, based on the numbers available, NKSA will have a lower hourly rate than Bowne. Studies to date show the rate will also be lower than the current DPW rates and will be cheaper than a private contractor rate. The board believed that at this time the logical thing to do was sign the agreement. NKSA Director Larry Campbell provided a draft Work Plan to Arends last week. The Work Plan is due by August 1, 2012. “There is a changing philosophy taking place with the transition from DPW to NKSA. The members will each work with their own budgets; the input from Alpine will determine scheduled cleaning and maintenance,” Campbell said. The changes are different from Kent County DPW based on past history. In comparing the “old” way to the “new” way, Alpine can determine its needs. Campbell commented that Alpine has 42 miles of sewer lines. The goal of the Work Plan is to prevent backups, reduce I/I (inflow and infiltration), introduce a five-year cleaning cycle, and continue with routine maintenance. Once the Board adopts the August 1, 2012 Work Plan, then NKSA has until October 1 to implement the plan.  (DPW turns the system over to NKSA on October 1, 2012.) The final work […]

Voters choose candidates during primary elections Tuesday, August 7

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Many local elections will be decided during the primary elections held on Tuesday, August 7 in the cases where candidates are of the same political party. The following are those who filed to run at the time The Rockford Squire began sending out notices asking for information on each of the candidates. Additional information may now be available at the website For State Representative for the 73rd District, the Republican candidate is Peter MacGregor, of Rockford, incumbent, and the Democratic candidate is G. Scott Schuiling, also of Rockford. The term ends 2014. Peter F. MacGregor State Representative 73rd District Incumbent Peter F. MacGregor, Republican incumbent running for re-election as state representative for the 73rd District has been a resident of his district for 16 years. He provided the Squire with the following information: “I serve as the current state representative. I have served a year-and-a-half in this position. Prior to this role, I served as the Cannon Township supervisor for six years and Cannon Township trustee for four years. “As a former business owner and job provider, as well as a local elected official, I have the experience to create efficiencies in state government through public policy and pass legislation to improve the overall business environment of our state. I have voted and co-sponsored several important reforms including an income tax cut for all taxpayers, cut legislator pay and health benefits, cut my office budget by 18 percent, eliminated lifetime welfare benefits, and eliminated the job-killing Michigan Business Tax (MBT), to name a few. Additionally, I am accessible to my constituency, holding bi-weekly district office hours and open to hearing from everyone in my district. “I ran for office to contribute to the betterment of our state. I want to make Michigan a place where my boys and all our children can find gainful employment and raise a family. We’ve made great strides in accomplishing this, but there is much more to do and I want to continue to be part of the solution. “While serving on the appropriations committee, we passed a balanced state budget two years in a row and four months ahead of schedule. I want to continue to find efficiencies in our state spending and continue to pass legislation to […]

Plainfield trustees, supervisor under recall threat

July 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Would-be township firefighter files petition Trustees Charles Weldon and Victor Matthews and Supervisor George Meek are hotly contending allegations made in a recall petition filed by Nick Prill. Prill, who was once in the township’s fire academy and dismissed, filed the document June 17 and wording on the document was approved by Kent County July 9. The three are accused of repeatedly violating the Open Meetings Act, increasing water and sewer rates rather than making cuts to the budget and hiring a convicted sex offender. “There is no investigation of allegations in approving a recall petition,” said Matthews of the approval. “The county only has to approve that the wording is clear.” Matthews stated that the recall effort is one more step in a long campaign by a small, vocal special interest group to intimidate board members to adopt their agenda to  the detriment of all the people of Plainfield Township. The group was successful in changing the minds of four board members earlier this year to approve and pitch in a portion of payment for a more than one million dollar upgrade to Belmont Avenue. In addition to the cancellation of the project, the township was informed by the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) that the township must reimburse for work done on the project following the original unanimous vote by the full board to approve funds for the work. That cost has yet to be totalled but the KCRC said it may be as much as $100,000. The three board members who refused to waiver in support of the project are the three listed in the petition. All three released a joint statement addressing each accusation. In regards to the accusation of violation of Open Meetings, all state that the board has relied upon the advise of legal council prior to having any closed meetings. They state there has been no water increase and an increase in sewer rates—an average of $2.71 per average household—was necessary in response to a significant decline in residential development and as part of the township’s contract with the North Kent Sewer Authority (NKSA). The new NKSA plant has saved residents about $5.5 in sewer rates, the statement by the three under recall states. In addition, they point […]

Residents crowd township meeting, demand response

March 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Called “pure intimidation tactics” by Plainfield Township Manager Robert Homan, 140 residents, most angry, crowded Township’s meeting room Monday, March 15, and accused the board of a variety of violations. The meeting began at 7:30 p.m. with a public hearing and presentation by John Short on the township’s Five Year Master Plan for Parks and Recreation. Supervisor George Meek stated that comment was to be restricted to the parks and recreation plan and not on the proposed three-lane expansion of Belmont Road planned by the Kent County Road Commission. During the meeting the board was accused of a variety of illegal or unethical actions. Residents complained the board was violating the open meetings act in several different ways, they offered scathing comments on the lack of implementation of a background check policy, commented negatively about how Kent County Road Commission meetings were advertised and accused Homan of illegally using tax dollars to publish a political opinion in the township newsletter. The board attended open business from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. during which time they voted to approve the background check policy they had prepared. Meek made an announcement stating that all township employees and board members had been checked and none had any violation that would require their inclusion on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. Treasurer Jim Stover suggested making the background check policy even more inclusive. “I suggest not just employees, but any arm of the township such as the Farm Market vendors be subject,” he said. Clerk Scott Harvey said why not make all Plainfield Avenue business people subject as well. “We aren’t in charge of the Plainfield businesses, but we are in charge of the farm market,” retorted Trustee Rebecca Borek. Meek said the board would take the issue to the township attorney. The board also approved expanding the farm market from one day a week to two, Tuesdays and Thursdays; approved a dance permit for Vitale’s of Comstock Park; and issued a medical marijuana moratorium. Meek also told the board and audience that a letter of reprimand was being prepared regarding the article in the township newsletter by Homan that was possibly an improper use of public funds. At 8:45 p.m. Meek opened the meeting for comments lasting […]