After months of dispute between the Blue Lake Township board and the Browns Pond Association, a solution hasn’t been reach for who is responsible to pay a bill from the engineering firm Prein&Newhof.
Former Blue Lake Township Supervisor Don Studaven hired the engineering firm of Prein&Newhof to come up with a plan to fix the Browns Pond Dam. The dam was inspected by Lucas Trumble in 2011 who gave a list of items that needed to be fixed within a certain time period.
The bill for those services done by Prein&Newhof was sent to the township, which wanted to pay for it from the Browns Pond Maintenance Fund.
At a board meeting in November 2012, Norm Swier, president of the Browns Pond Association, approached the board to discuss a bill. The bill, which totaled $1.714.80, was sent from Prein&Newhof for a proposal they did and presented to the township. According to Swier, the township did not ask for approval from the Browns Pond Association for the hiring of the engineering company in the first place, which they should not have done.
When the township set up the special assessment district for the Browns Pond Association in 2004, it stated that the money in that fund would be used at the association’s discretion; the township must have confirmation from the association before spending any money from that fund.
There are now three invoices which total about $2,700 which have not been paid. According to Swier, the original agenda for Jan. 14 meeting included an agenda item for Prein&Newhof invoices, but the agenda distributed at the meeting did not include that item.
According to current Blue Lake Supervisor Melonie Arbogast, she had originally put the invoices on the agenda but hadn’t received any new information so she removed the item.
“We’re hoping to have answers for the next meeting,” she said. They are currently working on resolving the issues, Arbogast said.
Swier had previously stated that he contacted engineer, Trumble, who said that the proposal from Prein&Newhof should have been done for free or at little cost.
Swier spoke to the board again at their meeting Monday about the bill, and gave his recommendations to the board. Swier suggested that the board send Prein&Newhof a check for $100 and thank them for their services and then take the necessary steps to guarantee that the actions of the township board, and those of individual township officials, will abide by township procedures.
Blue Lake Township’s next meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 11 at the township hall, 1491 Owasippe Rd. in Twin Lake.