BOC debates, approves limited agreement with Paddle Antrim

By: 
Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

BELLAIRE – Although the subject was contentious, with three members against the proposal, during its evening meeting on May 16 the Antrim County Board of Commissioners ultimately approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and Paddle Antrim.

Saying that she was concerned about the long-term cost possibilities of the agreement, which mandates that the site owner – in this case Antrim County – take responsibility for long-term maintenance and replacement costs of wayfaring signs being purchased and installed by Paddle Antrim pointing out public accesses located along the Chain Of Lakes Water Trail, District 3 Commissioner Karen Bargy stated, "The short term is not a problem.

"This opens a door and sets a precedent," Bargy said of the MOU, which in the case of county-owned land pertains to Antrim County's Willow Bay and Noteware's Landing accesses on Lake Bellaire.

District 9 Commissioner Christian Marcus agreed.

"The agreement says that the site owner will be responsible for signage and other water trail materials,” Marcus said “'Other water trail materials' could be a lot of potentially costly things."

Paddle Antrim’s Director Deana Jerdee replied, "We will never come to you and say 'We need you to put that in or pay for this,’" noting that the agreement had a 30-day termination clause, should the County become unhappy with it.

"We've got these accesses …," said Commission Chair Ed Boettcher. "If we can increase use with a few signs, that's a good thing."

A proposal made by Marcus and supported by Bargy, to amend the agreement with language stating that Paddle Antrim would not request any additional appropriations from the County, subsequently failed, with Commissioners Boettcher, David Heeres, Terry VanAlstine, Brenda Ricksgers and Jason Helwig opposing the amendment.

"We're talking about two signs for $150 each," said a frustrated Boettcher.

A second motion by VanAlstine and supported by Heeres, to approve the agreement as written was approved by a vote of 6-3, with Josh Watrous, Bargy, and Marcus against approving the MOU.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at: http://www.antrimreview.net/subscribe/

 

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