Emerald Ash Borer Threatens Ash

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					Winter 2004                                                                                             Page 1

 Volume 9, Number 1                                                                              January 2004

  Emerald Ash Borer Threatens Ash Trees Locally
 An exotic invasive insect from Asia, the Emerald       The EAB threatens to remove ash from the eco-
 Ash Borer, has been discovered in Thomas               system, which could result in the loss of up to 2
 Township. This insect has been found primarily         percent of the country’s total leaf area. It could
 in Southeast Michigan and the Windsor area of          also result in $50-60 billion in ash-related eco-
 Ontario, through a number of smaller, isolated         nomic losses nationwide.
 infestations have been found outside of this core
 area.                                                  The scope, magnitude, and sheer number of
                                                        square miles this pest has impacted makes it one
 Because the infestation of this insect pest in Tho-    of the most serious plant pest problems any state
 mas Township is controllable at this time and be-      has ever had to deal with. The Michigan’s EAB
 cause of its potential to spread and cause much        Task Force is working extremely hard to control
 greater damage and impacts, Federal and state          and eradicate this pest as left unchecked it threat-
 plant health officials need to move quickly. To        ens to destroy Michigan’s significant ash re-
 date, the only known way to eradicate this species     sources, leaving behind a barren landscape and
 and stop its spread is to remove ash trees in an       causing devastating economic as well as environ-
 affected area. Survey crews from the Michigan          mental costs and losses. However, stopping the
 Department of Agriculture will soon begin inven-       spread of EAB is a fight that requires the whole
 torying ash trees within this targeted zone and        community, so you are urged to join efforts to
 marking them with orange paint for removal.            combat EAB.
 This may include ash trees located on or near
 your property.                                         For more information, call (517) 241-1225 or
                                                        check these websites:
 The Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, aggressively            •, click on “Emerald
 attacks ash trees, killing even healthy trees in one      Ash Borer,” or
 to three years by burrowing under the bark of          •, or
 trees and cutting off critical flow of water and       •
 nutrients. Michigan has 700 million ash trees, all
 of which are at risk, along with the ash resources                  Michigan Department of Agriculture
 of other states, the country, and the continent.

   Inside Features

   Business Spotlight                                                              2

   Parks and Recreation Schedules                                                  4

   Winter Fire Safety Tips                                                         6

   Property Assessments                                                            7
Page 2                                                                                         Thomas Township Today

Swan Valley Florist is in Fifth year of Operation
Swan Valley Florist, LLC, celebrated    stones for funerals and gardens. Lo-     The shop provides wedding and
their fourth anniversary in Thomas      cal authors and books related to         home decorating services as well. If
Township this past November.            Saginaw can also be purchased at the     you are planning a wedding or look-
Owners Tom and Jean Matula have         shop. Deliveries to homes, busi-         ing for help in decorating your home
over 50 years accumulated experi-       nesses, hospitals, and funeral homes     or office, please call for an appoint-
ence in the floral business. They       are made Monday through Saturday         ment today. Hours of operation are
have lived in Thomas Township           during store business hours. Out-of      Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to
since 1974 and opened Swan Valley       town deliveries are sent via the Tele-   5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.
Florist in November 1999.               flora Worldwide Network of flower        to 4 p.m. The phone number for the
                                        shops to any part of the world.          shop is (989) 781-7673.
Tom Matula has a degree in Floricul-
ture and Business from Michigan
State University. He was one of the
first recipients of a Master Designer
Certificate from FTD and continues
to attend professional development
workshops in the floral industry.
Jean Matula has over 30 years ex-
perience in accounts receivable and
payable. They invite you in at 7589
Gratiot Road today to say hello.

Their shop offers a wide selection of
fresh and silk floral designs, bal-
loons, candles, soap, gourmet gift
baskets, plants, planters, made-in-
Michigan products, and memorial

First Area Credit Union Relocates Offices
First Area Credit Union, owned by its members since
1961, relocated from its offices inside Holy Spirit Parish
to 193 Campbell Lane in 2002. First Area Credit Union
has served the financial needs of your friends and
neighbors for more then 40 years. Now, thanks to its
community charter, anyone who lives, works, worships,
or attends school in Saginaw County can join the credit
union. Stop in at 193 Campbell Lane and be a part of our
credit union family.

We have many services to offer you. Low-cost loans,
free Checking Accounts with the use of a debit card, Di-
rect Deposit, Home Equity Loans and discounted insur-
ance services are just a few of the services we provide.
Please call us at (989) 781-1430 for the most up-to-date
information on our services, rates and membership. Our
office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fri-
day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6
p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Drive Thru Only).
Winter 2004                                                                                            Page 3

 Recycling Tips Can Help Holidays Be Merry
 Here are ten easy steps to con-         those family and friends         Recycle Paint at St
 serve wildlife and natural re-          who have internet access.        Charles Village Hall
 sources this winter.
                                      The extra waste that is gener-      The Village of St. Charles has
 1. Provide water for winter          ated from Thanksgiving to New       begun accepting used latex
     wildlife. You will have          Years amounts to 25 million         paint as part of its “Latex Lock-
     more wildlife visitors in the    tons of garbage, or an extra 1      Up.” The household paint recy-
     winter, so water will need to    million tons per week. If every     cling program is open to ALL
     be checked more frequently.      family reused just two feet of      Saginaw County residents who
     Consider a birdbath in a         holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles    want to dispose of latex paint in
     dark color, so that it will      of ribbon saved could tie a bow     a safe and responsible fashion.
     capture solar heat and slow      around the entire planet. The
     down the freezing process.       2.65 billion Christmas cards        To participate in this program,
 2. Keep your thermostat be-          sold each year in the U.S. could    go to the St. Charles Village
     tween 65-68 degrees to save      fill a football field ten stories   Hall, located on Spruce Street
     energy and conserve the en-      high. If everyone sent just one     west of M-52 in St. Charles.
     vironment.                       card less, 50,000 cubic yards of    Proceed inside to the reception
 3. Anchor your cut holiday           paper could be saved.               counter and drop latex paint off
     tree in a secluded part of                                           for recycling or reuse at the new
     your yard as a refuge for         excerpt from Trash Talk, Solid     Latex Lock-Up.
     birds and small animals.          Waste Agency of Lake County,
 4. Needles, pinecones, and                                        IL     The St. Charles Village Hall is
     wreaths from your holiday                                            located at 110 West Spruce
     decorations can be added to                                          Street and is open Monday
     a compost pile.                                                      through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5
 5. Instead of new tissue paper,                                          p.m. For directions to the Hall,
     use old newspaper or reuse                                           please call (989) 865-8287.
     packing peanuts inside
     packages to cushion break-                                           The Mid Michigan Waste Au-
     ables.                                                               thority also holds special days
 6. Put wrapping paper only on                                            to dispose of pesticides and
     the lid of plain gift boxes so                                       other toxic materials, such as
     they can be used again.                                              automobile oil, on selected days
 7. Wrap presents in the comics                                           during the summer. For more
     pages, or decorate brown                                             information about the Latex
     grocery bags and use them                                            Lock-Up program or any other
     to wrap presents.                                                    MMWA recycling program,
 8. Gift bags are easy to use and                                         please call the Mid Michigan
     can be reused many times.                                            Waste Authority at (989) 755-
 9. Wrap multiple small items                                             2716.
     in one large box.
 10. In this age of instant elec-
     tronic communication, send
     e-cards for Christmas to
Page 4                                                                                       Thomas Township Today

 Parks Department Announces Winter Schedules
 Thomas Township Parks and               boys and girls ages 8-9, 10-11, 12-    first two hours of each session.
 Recreation is holding registration      13, 14-15. It will be held on          The cost is $15 with your own
 for winter and spring activities.       Saturday, January 24, 2004, at 1       equipment (skis or snowboards);
                                         p.m. at Swan Valley High School.       $21 for ski rental; and $35 for
 Pavilion rentals for the 2004           The age group you will participate     snowboard rental. No lessons are
 season begin at 7:00 a.m. on            in is determined by your age on        provided for snowboard
 Friday, January 2. Residents only       January 1, 2004. Registration will     participants. Call 781-0150 to
 can make reservations for the first     begin at Noon on site the day of       reserve your spot and get a copy of
 month. Non-residents can begin          the event. A copy of the               the coupons for these discounted
 renting in February. The cost to        participant’s birth certificate will   rates.
 rent a pavilion is $50 for residents,   be needed.
 $70 for non-residents and $90 for                                              Women’s recreational and
 companies. Roethke Park has             The Knights of Columbus will           power volleyball leagues for the
 three pavilions and Roberts Park        hold their annual Free Throw           spring session begin the week of
 has one. Make your summer plans         Contest on Saturday, January 17,       February 23. All games are held
 early before they all fill up.          at 1 p.m. at Swan Valley High          at Swan Valley High School. The
                                         School. Boys and girls ages 9 to       eight week season costs $100 team
 Girls basketball leagues for 3 – 4      14 compete separately based on         fee and players fees are $10 for
 graders and 5 – 6 graders begin         their age as of January 1, 2004.       residents and $15 for non-
 their season in March. The six          Sign up for this event begins at       residents. Women’s recreational
 week season is held on Saturdays        Noon at the gym the day of the         plays on Tuesday nights and
 at Swan Valley High School. This        event. Please have a copy of your      women’s power on Thursdays.
 is a recreational league and no         birth certificate with you.
 standings are kept. A weekly                                                   Remember when the winter
 practice is set by each coach.          Swan Valley Summer Baseball            cooperates we have a couple great
 Registration continues until            registration is scheduled for          outdoor family activities. Ice
 February 6. The fee is $30 for          Saturday, February 21, from 9 a.m.     skating and drop in hockey are
 residents and $37 for non-              to 1 p.m. Other sign up dates are      available on separate rinks at
 residents. A $18 sports shirt must      Thursday, February 26, from 5          Community Park, located behind
 be purchased for new participants.      p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday,           the Township offices at 249 N.
 Volunteer coaches are needed.           March 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.       Miller Road. We also have a
                                         All registrations are held at the      small sledding hill at Day Park,
 A youth floor hockey league for         Swan Valley High School                which is located ½ mile south of
 boys and girls grades 1 – 3 and 4 –     cafeteria. Baseball leagues are        Gratiot on River Road.
 6 also begins their season in           open to all boys and girls ages 5 to
 March. This six week season is          15. First year players must have       For additional information on
 held on Saturday afternoons at          their birth certificate with them at   these and all parks and recreation
 Swan Valley High School. This is        the time of sign up. The fee is $35    events call 781-0150 or stop by
 also a recreational program and no      per player with a $75 family           the Township offices. The
 standings are kept. There are no        maximum.                               Township offices are open from 8
 weekly practices for this activity.                                            a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through
 Fees are $30 for residents and $37      Two family ski days are                Friday. Our e-mail address is
 for non-residents. A $18 sports         scheduled at Apple Mountain. 
 shirt must be purchased for new         They are on Saturday, January 24,
 players.                                from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and                          Shelly Stolsmark,
                                         Sunday, February 15, from 10 a.m.          Parks and Recreation Director
 MRPA Hoop Shoot is a free               to 4 p.m. Free lessons are
 basketball skills competition for       available in small groups for the
Winter 2004                                                                                                   Page 5

911: To Call or Not to Call
Knowing that people are reluctant        emergency contacts with the insti-     Unfortunately, at this time only
to call 911 with problems, ques-         tution of the new 311 non-             land-line phones can access the
tions or requests that they per-         emergency number. There should         311 system. With some upgrades
ceive not to be emergencies has          never be a situation where anyone      by the cellular phone companies,
long been an issue in Saginaw            should not feel comfortable call-      cell phones should have access
County. Often people would opt           ing the dispatch center with this      within the next several years.
to not call 911 with a situation         new system.
that would ultimately turn out to                                               It is the hope of law enforcement
be an issue that should have been                                               officials in Saginaw County that
dealt with immediately. Although                                                people will use this new phone
there was a non-emergency 7-                                                    number in situations that require a
digit phone number for Central                                                  response from the local police and
Dispatch, it was largely unknown                                                fire departments or from the
and almost impossible to find in                                                County Sheriff.
the phone book.
                                                                                                     Steven Kocsis,
This fall, Central Dispatch em-                                                                        Police Chief
barked on a new road for non-

Business License Renewals are Due
Per Ordinance 93-G-1, businesses         ship with infrastructure and land     is expected to save the state the
operating in Thomas Township are         use planning within the Township.     cost of running the election, or
required to obtain a business            The effectiveness of this ordinance   roughly $7 million.
license. Business owners who             depends upon the full cooperation
have not yet renewed their               of every business owner within the  The deadline to register to vote in
business license should to do so as      Township.                           the August 3, 2004, Primary is
soon as possible.                                                            July 6, 2004. Those who are not
                                         2004 Election Cycle is Ap- registered need to do so by that
The purpose of the business li-          proaching Quickly                   date in order to vote in the August
cense program is to assist the                                               Primary. Those who are already
Township with information to pro-                                            registered in Thomas Township do
                                         The year 2004 is a busy election
vide businesses with better police                                           not need to reregister. Those resi-
                                         year. Among the offices to be
and fire protection. The informa-                                            dents who are unsure if they are
                                         elected are President of the United
tion on the application provides the                                         registered to vote in Thomas
                                         States, U.S. Representative, State
police department with emergency                                             Township may visit the state web-
                                         Representative, and all positions
numbers in case of a burglary, de-                                           site or call the
                                         on the township board. The Presi-
struction of property, etc. In case                                          Clerk’s office at 781-0150.
                                         dential Primary, scheduled to be
of a fire, it aids the fire department
                                         held in February, was cancelled
by providing them with emergency                                                           Stephanie Beyersdorf,
                                         because President George W. Bush
names, numbers, and the number                                                                      Deputy Clerk
                                         is expected to be the Republican
of employees in the building. This
                                         candidate nominated. The cancel-
information also helps the Town-
                                         lation of the Presidential Primary
Page 6                                                                                   Thomas Township Today

Keep Your House Safe This Winter
Deaths caused by winter fires are      necessary. Keep trash and other      home. In addition to being a fire
for the most part avoidable. Each      combustibles away from the fur-      hazard, it can be a source of toxic
year, poorly maintained furnaces,      nace. Be sure the thermostat on      fumes.
along with the improper use of         your furnace is in good working
heating, cooking and lighting          condition. It is also important to   Equip your home with type ABC
equipment, cause thousands of          clean or change furnace filters on   fire extinguishers. Install a
fires in the United States. Electri-   a regular basis.                     smoke alarm on every level of
cal fires are a special concern dur-                                        your home. Test the batteries
ing the winter months, which re-       Fireplaces & Wood Stoves             every month and change them at
quire more indoor activities. This                                          least once a year. An easy way to
extra activity indoors requires        Make sure wood stoves are prop-      remember this is to change your
special attention to heating and       erly installed, away from combus-    smoke detector batteries when
appliance safety. The following        tible surfaces, have the proper      you change your clock. If there is
life-saving tips could make a big      floor support and adequate venti-    a fire hydrant near your home,
difference.                            lation.                              keep it clear of snow for easy ac-
                                       • Never use flammable liquids        cess.
Space Heaters                          (such as gasoline) to start or ac-
                                       celerate a fire.                     More than 4,000 people die and
If you own or use a space heater,      • Have the chimney inspected         more than 25,000 are injured in
make sure they have an emer-           annually and cleaned if necessary,   fires each year. Following these
gency shut off in case they tip        especially if the fireplace hasn’t   simple fire safety tips could boost
over.                                  been used in a long time. Chim-      your survival rates dramatically.
• ONLY use the fuel recom-             ney tar build-up is a common         Our goal is a fire-safe commu-
mended by the manufacture.             cause of chimney fires.              nity, which is reached when you,
• Never refill a space heater          • Use a glass or metal screen in     our fire-safety conscious citizens,
while it is hot or still in use.       front of your fireplace to prevent   follow these simple life saving
• Always refill them outside,          sparks from igniting nearby car-     tips. If you would like assistance
away from the house.                   pet or furniture.                    with a free home fire safety in-
• Keep young children safely           • Before you go to sleep make        spection or if you have any ques-
away from space heaters, espe-         sure your fireplace fire is COM-     tions about fire safety, please do
cially when they are wearing           PLETELY out.                         not hesitate to call the Thomas
loose fitting clothing that can be     • Dispose of hot ashes in metal      Township Fire Prevention Bureau
easily ignited.                        containers placed away from the      at (989) 781-4141.
• Keep kerosene, or other flam-        house.
mable liquids stored in approved                                            On behalf of the Thomas Town-
metal containers, in well-             More Winter Fire Safety              ship Fire Department we would
ventilated storage areas, outside                                           like to wish everyone a safe and
of the house.                                                               Happy New Year.
                                       Never thaw frozen pipes with a                            Josh Mosher,
Furnaces                               blowtorch or other open flame.                           Fire Inspector
                                       Use hot water or a UL listed de-
Have your furnace professionally       vice such as a hand held dryer.
inspected annually and cleaned if      Do not use the oven to heat your
Winter 2004                                                                                              Page 7

Assessment Notices will be Mailed in February
Assessment notices for 2004 will be in mailboxes         For homeowners who purchased a home in 2003,
during the last week of February 2004. Speak with        there will also be a statement about a 100% transfer
the local assessor before scheduling an appointment      of ownership. This will cause the taxable value of a
with the Board of Review; an appointment may not         home to uncap and become the same as its state
be necessary if the assessor can explain an increase     equalized value for 2004.
or decrease of an assessment.
                                                         A notice for a primary residence in the State of
The days and times to protest the assessment on the      Michigan should say Principal Residence Exemp-
property will be listed on the notice. Protests can      tion 100%. For those who have moved into a new
be made by in person or by mail. Keep in mind that       home by May 1, 2003, and filed a homestead form
the March Board of Review is the ONLY TIME               with the local assessor, the homestead percentage
assessments can be protested. Protest must first be      should be 100%. In the event there is a divorce or
made to the local Board of Review in order to            death, the spouse left with the property should come
appeal to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.                     into the Assessment Office and fill out a new Prin-
                                                         cipal Residence Exemption form.
Taxpayers should present documents that show
relevant proof such as sales prices of homes that are                                     Elizabeth Wietfeldt,
of like quality in the general area, or an appraisal                                      Township Assessor
done by an appraisal firm for purposes other than a
mortgage or a second mortgage.

Keep Meters and Hydrants Accessible
During the winter months, resident assistance is        Keep Sidewalks Clear
needed to maintain safety for both residents and em-
ployees.                                                With winter soon approaching, please remember that
                                                        removal of snow and ice from sidewalks within 24
Residents should shovel snow away from fire hy-         hours of a snowfall is the responsibility of the
drants. The hydrants need to be readily available for   property owner. Keeping sidewalks clear is a safety
fire fighting purposes.                                 issue for children and others who use the walks.
                                                        Failure to keep walks clear could result in the
Snow drifts should be cleared away from the area of     property owner being issued a civil infraction ticket.
homes where the readometer for water meters is lo-
cated to allow township employees access to the re-     Recycle Printer Cartridges
                                                      The township is sponsoring a recycling program for
Leaves, ice, show should be moved off storm drain     used printer cartridges. In the lobby is a display with
grates. When these items cover the grate, water can- postage-paid envelopes for sending used cartridges to
not drain properly from the streets causing flooding. a recycling center in Tennessee.

                                                                                 Chris Snyder, DPW Director
Page 8                                                                                    Thomas Township Today

         249 N MILLER ROAD
         SAGINAW MI 48609-4896


    The Thomas Township Board of Trustees will meet on the following dates for the 2004 year. All
    meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will take place at the Thomas Township Offices, 249 North
    Miller Road, Saginaw, Michigan.

                     Monday, January 5                            Monday, July 6

                     Monday, February 2                           Monday, August 2

                     Monday, March 1                              Tuesday, September 7

                     Monday, April 5                              Monday, October 4

                     Monday, May 3                                Monday, November 1

                     Monday, June 7                               Monday, December 6

Supervisor        Clerk                Treasurer        Trustee      Trustee     Trustee           Trustee