WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, JUNE 3, 2015
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilma Town Hall. Also present were Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Pat Story and Pine County Attorney Reese Frederickson.
Paul read the record of the May meeting. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
Co. Attorney Reese Frederickson said his goal is community outreach. He explained the duties of the attorney’s office: to prosecute felonies and misdemeanors, and also some prosecutions for other counties. He has 4 attorney’s and 4 secretaries in his office.
Mike asked if the county attorney could prosecute loggers who don’t comply with our logging ordinance and pay our escrow bond. Reese said there could be a civil fine, but his office would not be involved. The county attorney does not enforce township ordinances, unless there is a criminal offense. If a logger damages township property, there could be prosecution for criminal damage to property. He prosecuted a case in Kanabec County where they damaged a township road and were forced to pay the town $3,000. Damage up to $500 is a misdemeanor; up to $3,000 a gross misdemeanor, and over that a felony. If we had damage that wasn’t covered by a bond we could have a deputy take photos and tag the offenders for criminal damage. Reese said we would need to hire someone to enforce township ordinances. As far as the county-wide zoning proposals, he said they may be township specific, so towns like Wilma who do not want zoning will not be excessively regulated.
Patrice said she saw a black pickup dumping garbage on County Road 30 and got the license plate and asked if she should report this to the sheriff. He said yes.
Mike asked if we were able to identify who dumped garbage by a letter or bill, could we bring the garbage to the persons home in the cities and dump it all over their yard. Reese said that would be out of his jurisdiction.
Pat said 4-wheelers are still tearing up River Cabin Road and he would like to photograph them and have them prosecuted, but he thinks the sheriff’s dept. is stretched too thin.
OLD BUSINESS: Town Park, Conditional Use Deed: The State Legislature approved the conveyance of the north 20 acres of our town park to Wilma Township under a conditional use deed. There are many forms that we had to fill out and sign and we have to pay $250 to the Dept. of Revenue, plus recording fees and deed taxes. We own the lower 16.5 acres of our park free and clear, but the north 20 acres will be designated a park under the deed. Glen moved that the township purchase this parkland and pay the required fees and taxes. Mike seconded. Passed.
Road Inspection Report: Glen said we have $97,000 in our Road and Bridge Fund and he and Gary and Mark all agreed at the May 20 road inspection that some of our roads need a lot of work and gravel this year. Mike asked that we pave the entire town hall/fire hall parking lot with the crushed granite we put by the garage doors. He said this makes a tremendous difference in the rain and mud. Gary said this rock is hard to push with the blade, but Mike said in the winter it should have packed snow on the surface so the grader doesn’t have to scrape down below the rock.
Pat said we think Lost River Road is in great shape, but it does have two serious soft spots and needs some gravel or it is a mucky mess. Mike said if it is frost-boil damage it can only be cured by removing the road down to the clay and building it up with gravel. The board agreed to put two loads of Class 5 gravel on Lost River Road. At the inspection Gary and Glen and Mark agreed that we need a total of 107 truck loads (10 to 15 yards per load) of Class 5 gravel on our roads; some will get more than others, such as the Vink Road. This is besides the gravel for the Schmedeke Lane Extension. Glen moved that we approve the road inspection recommendations and purchase 107 loads of gravel from Hopkins Gravel, and that we negotiate with them for the best price possible for such a large order. Mike seconded. Gary said to request the gravel from their good pit.
Crooked Lake Road Obstructions: Gary said Mark had to drive around a personal vehicle parked in the right-of-way on Crooked Lake Road, and left a small pile of gravel. He’s also had complaints from residents on Little Tamarack Lake Road about the condition of the road.
Backup Grader Operator: The MAT Attorney Kyle Hartnett said that legally our grader is considered construction equipment and therefore is not licensed. Any operator on the construction site does not need to be licensed. However, the township would be liable when the grader is on a county road with an unlicensed driver. Glen said Mark planned to ask Jeff GrandPre if he was interested, and Glen wants to ask Duane Glienke.
NEW BUSINESS: Town Hall Back Steps: We need a handrail. Mike said he will ask Mark Pallow to do it, and if he doesn’t want to, he will.
Township Laptop Computer: We received an offer of $80 by Rebecca Donicht to buy our outdated laptop and printer. Mike moved that we sell it to her; Glen seconded. Passed. Glen will delete and clean the hard drive of all township business and CTAS.
NEW BUSINESS: Summer Short Course: June 25, Thursday, at Black Bear Casino. Pre-registration by June 10 to get $50 rate (on-site is $60). Glen, Gary, Patrice and Paul will go. We can carpool. We signed up for sessions: CTAS and Payroll and Budget Issues in Govt. for Clerks/Treasurers, and Cartways, Budget and Audit Responsibilities and Audit Reports for Supervisors.
Town Hall Use: Pine County Wanderers want to use the hall July 29, Wednesday. Glen moved that we allow them to use the hall and to waive the fee and deposit. Mike seconded; passed. Paul will clean and prepare the hall.
Lucy Downing Hager sent a deposit and fee for the Maria Staratow family reunion, Sat., July 18. $75 Deposit. $50 will be refunded if they clean it up. Mike moved that they be allowed to rent the hall; Gary seconded. Passed.
Schmedeke Lane Extension Inspection and Special Meeting: The Supervisors voted to postpone the inspection and decisions on the Schmedeke Lane Extension Project until all three Supervisors were present, along with Eldon. Mike said he would like to inspect the road with Duane Glienke and maybe Mark Pallow, to see what the priorities are for the $10,000 budget. He said he already knows the culvert needs rip-rap and railroad ties, and this will cost more than the county budgeted. He said we must do the most important work first, and anything left over can be spent on gravel. Glen moved that Mike be authorized to inspect the road with Duane Glienke and to report to the board at the July 1 board meeting; thereafter the whole board can inspect the extension with Eldon for the final determination of how we will budget the money. Mike seconded. Passed.
Mike said he will also talk with Barb Jensen about getting the needed easement on the west side of the current Schmedeke Lane to see if we can widen it.
State Demographer Report: As of April 1, 2014, our population was 73 people in 356 separate households.
Treasurers’ Report and Claims: Patrice presented the Treasurers’ Report and the claims to the board. Mike moved to pay all the bills, to approve the Treasurers’ Report, and to transfer whatever funds needed from savings into checking. Glen seconded. Glen moved that we transfer $4,000 from the Road and Bridge Fund into the Building Fund. Gary seconded; passed. Glen moved that we adjourn the meeting; Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk:____________________________________
Attested to by Glen Willaimson, Chair:________________________
WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING MAY 6, 2015
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilma Town hall with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Eldon Schmedeke.
Patrice said she will mount a locked mailbox at the end of her driveway for claims, and that any claims deposited after 1 p.m. the day before a board meeting will not be paid for a month. She has to do this because the new CTAS program is more complicated and so she can enter bills before the meeting. Payroll claims only can still be presented at the meetings. Fire department mail can also be deposited in the box.
Paul read the record of the Board of Reorganization and the April board meeting. Mike moved to approve; Gary seconded.
OLD BUSINESS: Schmedeke Lane: Eldon took the floor to appeal to the board to acquire enough right of way easement so that the first part of Schmedeke Lane can be built to county specs and be 66′ wide. An easement will need to be acquired from Barbara Jensen on the east side. Schmedeke Lane is now just 33′ wide, 16′ from the center of the road each side. Glen said that township roads do not necessarily have to be 66′ wide. Mike said he wants to talk with Barbara Jensen in a friendly way, if we can avoid forcing her to sell land. She may be willing to grant the easement.
Schmedeke Lane Extension: Mark can start spending money according to the directions of the county guidelines to build up the extension, up to $10,000. This money can’t be used for the first part of Schmedeke Lane. Eldon said there are a couple of curves that should be straightened and he has marked them with stakes.
Board of Review Certification: Officers signed the certificate; only Gary and Glen participated in the phone conference. There were no new appeals so no changes were made at the phone-conference meeting, but Kelly said one of Vink’s properties should be reduced as no road access.
Spring Short Course: Glen shared the info on “Understanding and Working With Your Local Fire Department.” Glen said he thought doing a joint powers with the fire department would be a better course than now. Mike said the fire department learned their lesson from the garbage board, formerly the Tri-township Disposal District. The district had built up a large war chest, and two townships were allowed to join with full equal votes by donating only $5,000. That’s why Wilma Township gets 3 votes on the Board of Directors, and the other two towns get one vote each, since when they joined, the Duxbury VFD already had a large financial balance. Mike said expenses are increasing and that the contributions of the three townships will likely need to go up. The new Eagle Head station requires expensive heating, and the department is buying trucks and PPE gear and other equipment to upgrade our readiness.
Glen also reported on “Culvert Installation and Maintenance,” and Paul reported on “Insurance Do’s and Don’t’s” and protecting township assets by internal controls, and “Revenue: Source and Placement.”
NEW BUSINESS: Little Tamarack Lake Road: Solutions and Remedies: Glen has been fielding many complaints from the Eric Holters over the condition of Little Tamarack Lake Road. They have even threatened to sue the township. Gary said some of the ruts on the road were caused by their delivery trucks. Mike said they should drive north of Duxbury and see the condition of county roads that are almost impassable due to frost boils. One solution Glen had suggested is Wilma annexing the Holter’s property for Wilma Township so we can get some of the tax revenue for the road. Ogema township refuses to help us with any money at all, even though the Holters live in their township. Eldon said that when Ogema built the Sky Blue Waters Drive, he and Joe Vink and Ron McCullen and Gary Vink had insisted that they extend the road to reach the Holters, so they weren’t dependent on Wilma’s road. It was a very short easement they needed, but they refused. Both the County and the Township Attorneys (Reese Frederickson and Kyle Hartnett) said that Wilma can annex or legally have the Holter’s land moved into Wilma Township. Glen said we could let Ogema know we have this option, to maybe get them to help with the road. Mike said he opposes annexation because it will just increase the demands to treat this road better than we treat other township roads. He directed Paul to ask the Assessor how much in township property taxes the Holter’s pay, to see what difference it would make for us; also to find out who owns the other properties in Ogema bordering Wilma and the properties just inside our border. Gary also opposes annexation;
Turnaround on Little Tamarack Lake Road: Glen got a letter from Dave Persons who has a cabin in Ogema Twp. next to the Holters, asking for a turnaround: “I would like to see if it is possible to widen the turnaround at the end of Little Tamarack Road. It would benefit the road plow driver in the winter and summer. Currently, he needs to push straight onto my land and back up to turn around. Also, people would not need to stop to turn around; they could just make a circle. This benefits me, because I’d rather passersby not stop on my property to turn around.
“I removed the old shed/cabin and cut down many of the trees that were dead by this area – a big, ongoing project – so the end of the road is open. The only issue are some stumps. There is some brush and dead trees on the stumps now that can be pushed back onto my property, if this is something you are willing to do. I plan to block off the open areas at the end of the road so someone in a ATV or car does not just drive around the gate if closed.” He enclosed a map and claims part of our road is on his land.” Dave Persons-Home Owner, 46825 Little Tamarack Road, Sandstone, MN 651-278-8777. He is on the west side of the road just before Holters in Ogema Twp. Issue tabled for now.
2015 Road Inspection: Will be Wednesday, May 20, at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall or the store.
County Sales of Tax-forfeited Lands: Sale scheduled for September. In Wilma, 32.0041.000, W ½ of NE ¼ of 7-42-17, 80 acres. This is at the end of the Vink Road, and where Doody has placed barricades. The County allowed Carlson Timber to build a logging road into this land. Townships have first right to buy properties. The Board is not interested; no response required.
New Dosey Billing for Heller Drive: Gary directed Paul to bill New Dosey for some flagging and culvert work on Heller Drive on April3 and 13: Gary 1 hour culvert @ $18, half $9; 1½ hour flagging @ $27 = half, $13.50; Mark Pallow 2 hours flagging @ $15 = $30, half 15. Total bill $37.50.
Backup Grader Operator: Mike said we need to have a trained back-up grader operator. Ben is often busy. Mike moved that Gary be appointed back-up operator if he does not have to get a driver’s license. The grader is not licensed.
Duxbury VFD Pancake Breakfast: Glen moved to allow the fire department to use the hall on Sunday, May 24, for the breakfast. Gary seconded. Passed.
Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice presented the list of claims and payroll claims for the Supervisors’ inspection and approval, and gave the Treasurer’s Report (all attached). Bills totaled $5,800.03. Glen moved to pay all the bills and to approve the report, and to transfer $5,800 from savings to checking. Gary seconded. Passed.
Diesel Fuel: Mike asked that the record record that the fire dept. took 15 gallons of diesel fuel from the township.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
attested to by: Glen Williamson, Chair
WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL AND EQUALIZATION, APRIL 6, 2015
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 1 pm at the Wilma Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance. County Assessor Kelly Schroeder and Wilma Assessor Bob Brewster attended, plus Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink and Clerk Paul Raymond, plus Pat and Helena Story.
Kelly said that Wilma had no sales in the period from Oct. 2013 through September, 2014, so property values had to be determined by sales in Arna and New Dosey, which had a .38% increase in values determined by new sales, and a ½ of 1% increase in parcels over 34 acres.
Kelly said the statute states that valuation notices for 2016 have to be mailed ten days before the Board of Appeal, and since there were only seven days today’s meeting can’t be adjourned but must be continued after voters have another opportunity to appeal their taxes in Sandstone April 14 or at the Courthouse April 15. Then the board can meet again to continue the meeting or have a conference call with all the Supervisors and Clerk and Assessors after these appeals. Mike moved that the Board meet by conference call on Wednesday, April 22, at noon. Gary seconded.
Pat and Helena Story, Parcel 32.5084.000: Pat said he didn’t understand why his property taxes have increased so much since he moved here permanently. He wanted to know how the tax values are determined, and what he is getting for his taxes. He doesn’t feel he is getting the services he pays for, e.g. the very inadequate warning reflectors on McDermott Creek dropoff. Bob said Pat’s tax valuation did go up by $9,000 in 2015, from $160,000 to $169,000. Bob said the county had valued his home as fake (half) log siding, when in fact it is whole logs, which increased the value. Also a new cement slab patio increased the value by $570, which meant a $5 tax increase. The increase is not retroactive, so Pat was paying lower taxes than he should have for the past 5 years. Kelly said Pat and Helena’s home is not homesteaded and asked why. Pat said when he first moved here he also had a home in Washington County that was homesteaded, so he wasn’t allowed to homestead the Wilma home. Kelly said homesteading no longer cuts taxes in half, but Pat would save $282 in taxes if he homesteads, and she gave him the application forms to do it. This also can’t be made retroactive, but he will have this discount every year from now on. Gary moved that there be no change in Pat and Helena’s statement property value except for the homesteading credit. Mike seconded. Passed.
Mike McCullen: Mike said he isn’t contesting his value, but he thinks the arbitrary categories of real logs/fake logs doesn’t take into account the great difference in value of a whole log home make from redwood or cedar or oak logs versus poplar logs, although they are taxed the same. Bob said there would be too many categories if they tried to distinguish the kind of wood.
Kelly said the Board of County Commissioners are holding their meetings in various towns to give the taxpayers opportunities to voice their concerns and ask questions. The next community meeting will be the 4th Tuesday of May at the Duquette Community Center in Kerrick. They will also be holding them in Sandstone and Hinckley.
Glen moved that the Board of Appeal be continued on Wednesday, April 22 at 12 noon by conference call to vote on any appeals made at the two county Boards of Appeal. Mike seconded. Kelly will call all the Supervisors and the Clerk to set up the conference call. No adjournment.
APRIL 22, CONFERENCE CALL CONTINUATION OF MEETING: Assessor Kelly Schroeder reconvened the Board of Equalization and Review by conference call with Glen Williamson, Gary Vink and Paul Raymond.
There were no more appeals at the courthouse or by letter since our meeting. Gary asked about two Vink parcels and how the agricultural tax values went up $6,500 in value. Kelly said part of this increase is that all river-front or lakefront property went up to $30 per foot, on both sides of the river. Kelly said that one of Gary’s parcels would be reduced because there is no road access to the property. Gary said their land in Sections 5 and 8 have been clear-cut, and should get a reduction in value. Kelly said they do not consider trees in property values, whether it’s forested or clear cut, only if it’s high-ground or swamp.
Kelly reminded Paul to have the Board of Review certification form filled out at the May 6 board meeting.
Glen moved to adjourn; Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
NOTICE WILMA TOWNSHIP: Due to insufficient time for Wilma taxpayers to appeal their 2016 property evaluations, they may appeal at Sandstone City Hall on Tuesday, April 14, from 2 to 4 p.m., or at the Pine Co. Courthouse on April 15thfrom 2 to 4 p.m. Wilma’s Board of Appeal held on April 6th has been continued to Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 12 noon by conference call of the Supervisors and Assessors to vote on any appeals. Parties wishing to be part of this conference call notify Clerk Paul Raymond 320-245-2579.