The Pittsfield Township Board granted a three-year tax break to NuStep, Inc., at Wednesday's meeting.
NuStep, Inc., a company that had its start in Pittsfield Township and still resides at the corner of State Street and Venture Drive, manufacturers low-impact exercise equipment.
Marisa Liedeke, controller for NuStep, spoke about her company and answered questions posed by the trustees.
“With this investment we will maintain our 71 full-time employees plus we expect to add eight new full-time positions between now and the end of 2013,” Liedeke said. “We are growing and expanding and busting at the seams.”
Because of the aging baby boomer population and the worldwide prevalence of heart disease “we’re in a really great niche and we’ll be around for awhile,” Liedeke said.
Liedeke also explained that NuStep had recently been awarded the prestigious “E” Award by the U.S. Department of Commerce, for contributing to increased U.S. exports. Gov. Rck Snyder is scheduled to visit the company Sept. 5 to highlight this achievement.
The Board appeared pleased to grant the requested tax abatement to a very successful and civic-minded local company. Township Clerk Alan Israel had good things to say about NuStep founder, Dick Sarns.
“He truly is about being part of the community," Israel said.
Roof Repairs, Fee Collection, the Pittsfield Post and Other Issues
Taking less than 20 seconds, the board approved a consent agenda that included receipt of five reports and bill payments of slightly over $4 million. Larger budget items included, support of local schools and libraries, utility payments, insurance, and waste services.
Fire Chief Sean Gleason spoke to the board about needed repairs to the roof of the Public Safety Building at 6227 W. Michigan Ave. Only the flat roof area will be treated.
“Right now it’s leaking on fire trucks,” Gleason said.
Bids were received from three companies ranging from $13,944 to $40,875. The higher bids included removing and replacing the old roof, while the low bid proposed to clean and recoat the existing roof. Since all three companies offered similar warranties, the board chose the lower bid from Thermal-Tec. This company also installed the original roof.
Treasurer Patricia Scribner recused herself from voting on this proposal since she had a relative working for one of the companies supplying competitive bids. The remaining board members voted to approve the project.
Gleason and Public Safety Director Mathew Harshberger were also on hand to answer questions about a proposal to contract with a collection agency to recover emergency service costs for incidents that occur in the township. Currently only a low percentage of the funds billed by the township have actually been paid.
For a fee of 20 percent of the amount collected, Fire Recovery USA will attempt to collect the funds, mostly through contacts with insurance companies. Supervisor Mandy Grewal remarked that 80 percent of something is much better than 100 percent of nothing.
Gleason told the board that Fire Recovery offers other services that will make the emergency services department more efficient. These services include logistics and computer software for fire department reporting. The board approved the contract.
The board also voted on competitive bids for publication of the township newsletter, the Pittsfield Post. Manatee Graphic Design was the low bid for graphics.
“I’d just like to say I am very happy with this graphic artist, Scribner said, “She does a great job.” Manatee was approved.
Although it was not quite the lowest bid, the board selected Inland Press to do the printing. Grewal said it was selected because they it is a union shop.
“We are essentially keeping the same folks we currently have,” said Grewal.
Both Manatee and Inland have been used previously to print the Post.
The board also voted to buy a new ExMark Lazer mower to replace a mower deemed too expensive to repair. The mower will be obtained through Weingartz in Ann Arbor for $8,702.
A memorandum of understanding with the City of Ann Arbor’s IT department was approved. For a payment of $7,500 they will assist Pittsfield with implementation of the Omega Dashboard computerized crime analysis program.
An agreement with Legal Services of Gasiorek, Moran, Greco and McCauley, PC will be pursued to represent the township utilities department. This law firm has special knowledge in construction and water issues. They will charge $175/hour. The utilities department has not previously had any dedicated legal representation.
The township plans to expand their fiber optic network by creating a line along Merritt Road. Stantek Consulting Michigan, Inc will provide engineering services and RC Directional Boring will do construction for the project. The project is “not to exceed $125,000.”
The board approved payment of $9,968 to Kennedy Industries for repair of the Meadowview Sewer Lift Station.