Ontwa Township offices to remain closed

EDWARDSBURG — After a lengthy discussion, the Ontwa Township offices will remain closed after the board could not decide on its COVID-19 preparedness plan at its regular monthly meeting Monday night, according to township supervisor Jerry Marchetti.

The board met via Zoom teleconferencing.

Ontwa Township officials were hoping to reopen their offices on Friday, but that was postponed after the board failed to agree on the plan prepared by the township’s attorney, Bauckham, Sparks, Thall, Seeber & Kaufman, P.C.

“We were going to approve it Monday night and actually open it [Friday], but we got into a long discussion about it because it is very lengthy,” Marchetti, who was the only board member to vote for the plan, said. “The other six members voted against it because they felt it was too detailed and lengthy at this point in time. Unfortunately, that means we cannot open the township like we had planned.”

The guidelines that the governor’s office has released regarding reopening the state are detailed, and the plan that the Kaufman gave the board based on those guidelines was nearly 10 pages in length.

“We are going to get back on that and hopefully come up with something shorter,” Marchetti said. “We have to have a preparedness and response plan in order to reopen the township. We cannot open without it.”

The board also approved a fireworks application for June Lake Association. Previously, the township also granted applications for Garver Lake and Eagle Lake associations.

“They have to provide proof of insurance,” Marchetti said. “That is something we do every year.”

Firework displays will be hosted at dusk July 3 at Eagle Lake, while Juno and Garver lakes are scheduled for July 4. Rain dates are set for the following day.

The township is also looking into getting a credit card.

Currently, purchases are made on personal credit cards, and then receipts are submitted for reimbursement. Marchetti said that a township credit card would streamline the process.

“We discussed having a township credit card for convenience,” he said. “It is difficult right now. Many times we have to present our credit cards and then get it paid back by the township. This would have an amount that would be allowed to be used on that credit card and make it a lot easier.”

The board discussed getting the credit card on Monday night and will vote on a resolution at its next meeting on July 13.