WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, AUGUST 5, 2015
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Road Manager Mark Pallow, Assistant Grader Operator Alden Shute, Fran Levings and Pat Story.
Paul read the record of the July meeting; Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
North Pine Area Hospital District: Fran Levings took the floor as a representative of the North Pine Area Hospital District to present the case for Wilma joining the District. She said 12 townships and six cities are involved in the District, and each town has one representative and one vote. She explained the history of hospital districts in the state starting in 1966, and of North Pine District which was formed in 1989. Fran said she understands that the levy is the main obstacle to Wilma Township joining. She said this levy has been about $20-$30 per each $100,000 of property value per taxpayer. The District and Essentia are building a new hospital which will include Gateway Clinic and Thrifty White Pharmacy, plus a new long-term care facility to be run by Golden Horizons. The District is the one who has made decisions for the new hospital, including hiring the architect and construction firm, and Fran said the advantage of joining is that we would have a voice in the decisions in the creation of the new hospital and we would have an equal seat on the table. The biggest concern expressed by Gary Vink, Mike McCullen and Pat Story is that townships cannot resign from the district once they join, and that there is no guaranteed ceiling on possible future levy increases. Fran said that this is a ruling by the legislature, that no ceiling can be promised. Gary asked why do Arlone and Hinckley want to leave the District so badly? Fran said the resistance in Hinckley is from a handful of wealthy property owners like the Grand Cinema owner, who naturally want their taxes decreased. Paul said Wilma does contribute by all the unpaid volunteer hours Mike and Shawn McCullen and Jeff GrandPre put in as first responders for the hospital, but that he believes Wilma should join, since we get all the advantages of the hospital without paying. Mike said our hospital bills are payment enough. Paul asked if we could invite some Essentia CEO’s to address the board and the voters at one of our regular public board meetings. Glen said Paul could put the vote on the Annual Meeting agenda next March, and that is enough.
OLD BUSINESS: Schmedeke Lane Extension Inspection: Report from Mike: Mike and Duane Glienke inspected the road, and Mike asked him for an estimate on repairing and restoring the culvert. Glen moved that if the estimate is under $2,000, that Duane be authorized to repair the culvert, and that Mark Pallow and Alden Shute be authorized to spend the rest of the $10,000 budget on gravel and grading and labor to build up the extension to the limit the total $10,000 budget will allow. Mike seconded. Mike said that Alden or Mark should be able to put enough gravel and spread it to straighten out the curve in the road.
Town Hall Stair Rail: Mike said he will get a rail built as soon as possible.
Starowtow Reunion Deposit Refund: The Starowtow family returned the hall to essentially its same condition and Mike moved that we refund their $50 refund. Gary seconded. It’s too late for this meeting but Patrice will cut a check for September.
NEW BUSINESS: Paint Town Hall: Paul spoke with the Pine County Jail sentence-to-serve manager Dan Baran. He said they may be able to paint our town hall again. The Sheriff’s office said we may need the County Commissioners to approve as it is for another govt. agency. The township may need to buy the paint. Paul said the board voted to have the township buy a pressure-washer for the grader, and we could pressure-wash the walls to prep them for painting. Mike questioned if the hall really needs painting already, because it won’t be free; we will still need to buy a lot of paint. It was too dark for the board to inspect the outside walls, and Glen said to set it up with Dan Baran for his schedule for Spring, 2016. He also said to put purchasing a pressure-washer on the agenda for the September board meeting.
St. Croix Boys Camp Sale: The DNR is trying to sell the Boys Camp again. They have cleaned up the buildings and mowed the lawn and driveway. Open houses on August 6 and 8. Minimum bid $111,000. The gate is not locked now. If the camp is sold, it will be added to our tax base at its appraised value.
Road Report: Mark gave a report on where they have been spreading gravel and grading. Glen said he’s had calls from Peno on the North Duncan Road, and Mike said he has also had calls about the work planned for North Duncan Road this year, 21 total 15-yard loads of gravel at 20 tons per load. Paul asked Mark and Alden for written reports on which roads got gravel and grading, and especially for range line roads like The Pete Anderson Road and Heller Drive, and Patrice gave them road reporting forms. Gary said he did some work on Heller Drive that Paul should invoice when we bill them: 7/5/2015: 1/2 hour to check beaver damage reported by Clay Heller, ½ = $4.50; 7/22/2015: 1 hour to map and flag culverts, ½ = $9.00; 7/23/2015: 1 hour for inspecting locator work, ½ $9. Total from Gary to bill New Dosey Township: $22.50. Paul will add this to the cost of gravel and grading when that is done.
Lost River Road: Pat said that after the recent heavy rains the cul-de-sac was very soft and slippery. Mark said they haven’t gotten to that road yet but the board did vote to put 40 tons of gravel on that road where Pat flagged it. Pat said Lost River has become a popular road for horseback riders and the hoofs can really tear up the road. Mike directed Paul to write a nice letter to Monica Taylor who lives just west of Lost River and respectfully ask that they respect the integrity of our township roads and not ride when there has been rain and the road is soft. Gary said they have great trails just south of Lost River at the Graces’ Lake and Rock Lake Horse Camp Trails, and we should remind them that state law states that any damage to township roads can be billed to the person who damaged them.
Schmedeke Lane: Mike said Schmedeke Lane is very overgrown with grass and really needs a routine blading. He said we had agreed that every township road should be bladed every 4 to 6 weeks. He asked Alden to clear it with Mark to go out and do some routine blading. Mark said he doesn’t mind, but Glen said it is important that Alden clear any grader work with Mark whenever he goes out as Mark is Road Manager.
New Hire Forms and I-9 Forms: We have the Federal I-9 forms for Homeland Security and the Minnesota New Hire reporting forms. New hires, including election judges, will need to fill them out. This does not apply to existing long-time officers, but will apply to election judges and to new hire Alden Shute. He took the forms.
Federated Propane Summer Top-off Offer: Patrice said Federated came out to top off our tank at the special rate of $1.19/gallon but our tank was already 80% full. She said they asked that we clear the path to the tank. Paul asked if Zion Church in Markville could borrow the three green picnic tables for their free corn and bratfeed on August 29. Glen moved that they be allowed; Mike seconded. Paul said that when they return the tables, they will clear all the tables away from the propane tank.
Duxbury Store 3.2 Beer License: Gary asked the board to approve a 3.2 license for the store for another year. Glen moved to approve; Mike seconded. Glen and Paul signed the license but Gary needs the notary seal and will stop by Paul’s to get it.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice presented the claims and her Treasurer’s Report (attached). Gary moved that the Board pay all the claims (total $1,084.52), and to approve the Treasurer’s Report, and to transfer $1,100 from savings to checking. Mike seconded.
Gary moved to adjourn the meeting; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attested to by Chairman Glen Williams:
JULY 1, 2015 WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Alden Shute.
Paul read the record of the June meeting; Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
OLD BUSINESS: Schmedeke Lane Extension Inspection and Special Meeting: Mike said he still wants to inspect the road first with Duane Glienke and Mark Pallow to see what the priorities are for the $10,000 budget. Mike also said he will 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. The board postponed any board road inspection of the Schmedeke Lane Extension Project until after the the August meeting.
Backup Grader Operator: We need to hire and train a backup operator for when Mark is unavailable. The board discussed Nathan Pinson, Duane Glienke, and Alden Shute. Alden is the most available year around, since he took a local job hauling gravel for Hopkins Sand and Gravel. Mike moved to hire Alden Shute as first backup grader operator, and to take over Mark’s job if he should chose to give it up, with Nathan as his backup, and if Nathan is on the road, Duane Glienke. Gary seconded. Alden will train with Mark to learn our grader. The board discussed the mechanics duties and wages. Mike said we need to do a routine background check and Alden will need to sign a I-9 form and a new hire form.
Road Report: Gary said Hopkins put 96.79 tons of gravel on Tamarack Pine and McCullen Drive, and 523.48 tons on the Vink Road. They are hauling in 15 yard loads, 20 tons per load. We are getting Hopkins’ good gravel from their Highway 48 pit.
Summer Short Course: Was June 25, Thursday, at Black Bear Casino. Glen, Gary, Patrice and Paul all attended. All officers took the session on Open Meeting Law, Elections, Data Requests, roads. Paul took the hands-on CTAS Accounting course. Patrice took Payroll and Budget Issues for Clerks/Treasurers and Budget and Audit Responsibilities. Patrice said we need to have forms on file for all officers and employees: the I9 Form and W4 and New Hire Forms. Glen and Gary took Cartways, and Audit Reports for Supervisors; Glen gave a report on township rules and policies. Officers car-pooled.
NEW BUSINESS; Bob Brewster Assessment Contract: Bob send a renewal contract for township assessments, with a letter explaining how every six years, he has to assess all tax-exempt parcels. Contract for 277 non-exempt parcels @$5.50 ea., and 58 exempt parcels @ $11.00 each, total contract for 2015, $2,161.50 He said, “I have extended a lower ‘per parcel’ rate for the exempt parcels.” Mike moved to renew Bob’s contract for 2015; Gary seconded. Passed.
Federated Propane Summer Top-off Offer: We can fill up our tank at a very low rate of $1.19/gallon, if we pay when it’s filled. Paul will call and arrange the fill.
St. Croix Boys Camp Auction: The DNR will try to auction off the camp again in August. Scott Fortier wants to raise $300,00 to buy the camp and turn it into a summer camp; he has a GoFundMe campaign, but is only up to $700. Mike had a question to ask the County Attorney: If the Boys Camp was appraised in the millions, and now is being sold for $300,000, will that also drive down all our property assessments for taxes?
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s Report (attached). Claims were presented and approved. Mike made a motion to pay all the claims, to approve the Treasurer’s Report, and to transfer $8,065 from savings into checking. Gary seconded. Glen moved to adjourn the meeting; Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attest: Glen Williamson, Chair
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