Board of Appeal/Equalization, April 16, 2008

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Regular Meeting, April 2, 2008

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Annual Road Inspection: Mike suggested that the road inspection be held May 7th, before the fishing opener and a lot of trucks and vehicles start tearing up the roads. He moved that the inspection be Wednesday, May 7, at 10 a.m., meeting at the Town Hall. Glen seconded. Paul will post this.

Pine County CERT: There will be training for the Community Emergency Response Team to train volunteers in emergency management for the community response to disasters. Glen said he would like to be certified for this and may attend the training meetings. Mike said that this is the kind of training the fire department volunteers get.

County Township Officers Meeting: Glen reported on the County Township Officers Meeting in Hinckley March 29th at which he was elected Clerk/Treasurer for the Association. The County Commissioners are trying to establish public transportation in Pine County and sent out a survey for responses. This is a separate issue from the train. They want to leverage state and federal funds towards public transportation.

High-speed passenger rail service: Things are moving forward on the passenger train linking the Cities and Duluth. It will pass through 7 counties with possible stops in Cambridge and Hinckley. One-third of the track will be in Pine County. The most contentious issue is the train stopping at the Casino. Roger Nelson opposes this. They want a public station on public land. There will be in informational meeting April 1st in Pine City. High-speed rail will require lights and/or gates at all rail crossings, and there is $250 million capital improvement to upgrade the tracks and crossings. There will need to be a lot of double track because of the freight trains. The goal is for commuters to use the train. The Pine County Rail Authority is paying $20,000 for a study on the train; we have 1/3 of the land and only 5% of the vote.

County Jail: Mark Mansavage reported that the jail is not meeting its goal of boarding out-of-county prisoners. The jail has 131 beds but only boards 3 to 13 prisoners out of county, plus 55 Pine County offenders, leading to a shortfall in projected revenues. The County gets $50 per day for prisoners. The county has a new Lieutenant, Robin Cole, based at the Land Building in Sandstone, which improves customer service in the County. He helped clear up 22 burglaries leading to 3 arrests. High fuel costs are curtailing deputy responses when investigations can be done by phone. Pine County is increasingly becoming the playground of the cities but the Department can’t utilize all the patrol equipment like 4-wheelers they have from the DNR due to manpower budgets. They can’t patrol waterways and trails.

Mike Sheehy, Pine Co. Assessor, said that they will have a website so people can look up values.

Brett Grundmeier from the DNR said that the new side-by-side ATVs can ride on the shoulder of county roads. All ATV’s can drive on township roads on the right sides, but on county roads must drive on the back slope of the ditch unless there is no ditch like on 141. With an agricultural permit, they can ride on County roads. Class 2 (side-by-sides) can’t run on trunk roads like 48, and can’t ride in ditches. None are allowed on grant-in-aid groomed snowmobile trails except when trails travel along the ditches, and in summer. The St. Croix and Nemadji Forests allow ATV’s and dirt bikes. All trails are 90% signed and posted. Because of the damages and problems caused by ATV’s, the Commissioners have talked about banning them altogether. Brett said timberwolf regulations have passed to the state and that it is legal to kill wolves that are harassing cattle. Farmers must call the DNR. Federal trappers will come out free. Six have been killed so far. The DNR is proposing banning all deer shining from an hour after sunset. Shining is legal if there is no firearm in the vehicle. One-year burning permits can be obtained online at DNR.State.MN.Us, and one only has to call an 800 number when they want to burn.

Don Sherpa from the Township Association said that the joint-lobbying days will be April 9 and 10 in St. Paul. So far they have been able to get townships exempt from HAVA voting machine use for local elections.

Glen was shocked that the Association paid out $400 for the meeting, for the use of the building and for the food.

Town and Country Oil: Their pancake breakfast is April 16 in Mora. Towns can order pre-buys between now and April 16. Gary said we have never done a pre-buy on oil.

MAT Officer Life Insurance: There was a discussion on increasing the insurance coverage for officers, for life and disability insurance. Gary said we should table this for a year; Mike moved to keep our coverage at its present level of $165 for all 5 officers; Gary seconded.

Fire Protection Fees: This was voted on at the annual meeting. Gary moved to pay the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department the agreed on $3,500 for 2008 township fire protection. Glen seconded.

Sisterman Easement: Lisa Sisterman sent the documentation for the easement petition to the DNR and the $500 fee. Mike said we need to be assured that the town will have no responsibility whatever for this cartway. There was a discussion on having our attorney review all the documents and draw up an agreement removing the township from any responsibility or connection to this cartway, but Paul said he can go to Rick Dunckley at the DNR and bring all the papers and have him review them and tell us if the town has any legal responsibility for this road. Gary said we need to table this and hold onto the check until we get clarification on this, and that we need to invite the Sistermans and Dunckley to our April meeting to explain what is involved.

Town Park: Eldon asked if the town could get county assistance to build up the driveway/entrance into the town park land. He asked if we could have Duane Glienke square off a site at the landing for a town park and or new town hall. Eldon asked for a complete breakdown of all funds spent on the new grader, from the trip by Joe and Mark to get the grader to all oil and maintenance and parts needed for its use since we purchased it. Paul and Patrice provided Eldon with town financial statements from 2006 and 2007 which show grader loan payments and oil and parts, but Eldon said he needs more details. Gary said that the town can’t pay for the hours of research this would require at this time.

Treasurer’s Report and Bills:

Patrice gave the Treasurer’s report (attached). Bills for April:

FNBNS $ 2,000.00

ECE 45.53

Federated Coop 181.07

Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department 3,500.00

Marg Schmedeke 35.00

Paul Raymond 238.26

Patrice Winfield 193.27

US Treasury 455.67

MN Benefit Association (life/disability) 165.00

Gary Vink 56.22

Duxbury Store (supplies) 10.95

Michael McCullen 24.24

Glen Williamson 96.95

Toni Williamson 35.00

Total all bills: $ 7,037.21

Glen moved to approve the Treasurer’s report, to pay all the bills, and to transfer $7,000 from savings to checking. Mike seconded. Glen moved to transfer $21 from T & T Loggings escrow account to cover the cost of labor and mileage to inspect the roads they did work on. Mike seconded. Gary moved to adjourn; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk