Archive for March, 2010
TOWN OF WILMA, ANNUAL TOWN MEETING, MARCH 9, 2010
Clerk Paul Raymond called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance at 8:15 p.m. following the election and Board of Canvass.
Citizens present were Glen and Toni Williamson, Eldon Schmedeke, Bruce and Donna Filler, Gary Vink, Patrice Winfield, Barb Smith, and Paul Raymond.
The floor was opened for nominations for moderator of the annual meeting. Gary nominated Glen; Patrice seconded. There were no other nominations, and Glen was elected and took the gavel.
Glen asked for a reading of the record of last years’ annual meeting. Gary moved to approve the record; Patrice seconded. Passed.
Election results: Glen reported the results of the election of board members earlier in the day: Glenford Williamson, Sr., was reelected Supervisor; Paul Raymond was reelected Clerk.
TREASURER’S FINANCIAL REPORT: Paul presented the Financial Reports as prepared by Treasurer Patrice Winfield. Gary moved to approve the report and to waive the reading of all checks. Barb seconded. Passed.
ROAD REPORT: Township Supervisor Gary Vink gave the Road Report for 2009: The Schmedeke Lane Controversy has been resolved by the Pine County Board of Commissioners at their meeting on February 16th. Eldon will be able to purchase two 40 acre x 132’ parcels of land from the county to extend Schmedeke Lane; Bruce Greenley will be able to purchase the land between his land and the Schmedeke Lane right-of-way, and Bob Jensen will be able to do a land trade with the County for some land north of his land. Eldon said he had to accept the Board’s decision, although he says the survey is not right and everyone knows it.
These roads received gravel in 2009: North Duncan Road, north of Thiry’s hill, 12 yards by truck (because of the condition of the road, gravel trucks couldn’t reach here) and then another 14 loads, 196 yards, by Hopkins Gravel south of Hirty’s. The South Duncan Road got 5 loads, 70 yards. T&T paid for these damages, total $720.
Pete Anderson/Langstrom Roads: One load was put down at the end of both roads, as per our agreement with Arna Township.
McCullen Drive: Three loads; 42 yards. Vink Road: 6 loads 84 yards. Hopkins hauled a total of 420 yards at $4.30/yard.
Escrow Account: We continue to notify loggers and haulers about our escrow bonding requirement to haul on township roads, so we do not get stuck with damaged roads without any recourse when the loggers leave. We have received good cooperation from the DNR land dept. and from loggers and haulers. T&T Logging paid escrow payments for our Mink Farm and Short Roads, and have apparently completed their logging and hauling activities for this year.
Crooked Lake/Eagle Head Road: Danforth Township replaced a culvert on the Eagle Head Road and put down gravel on Crooked Lake Road. They are responsible for all road work and repairs on our west town-line roads, and they bill us half.
LEVIES FOR 2011: As the discussion and vote on our 2011 levies began, Eldon asked why the board is recommending so much in levies when we have large balances in these funds. He said our taxes are too high and if we’re not spending money on our roads, why are we continuing to tax ourselves? The proposed Road and Bridge levy for 2011 is $15,000. As per state law and the County Auditor, our Road and Bridge fund must be at least .04835% of the taxable market value of our township. Wilma’s taxable value totals $29 million; Patrice said this means we have to levy at least $14, 021.50, so our proposal is about where it needs to be. Gary moved that since we have this minimum, that we leave the Road and Bridge Fund at $15,000 for 2011; Barb seconded.
Park Fund: Donna said she is disappointed that the Park Fund levy is set at zero; she would like to see it grow in case future generations wish to do something with our park. Barb asked where this park is; it is the 40 acres directly west of the DNR Headquarters between the schoolhouse and the road on the west side. Patrice asked if we couldn’t do something to the park land, to make it more accessible and perhaps develop part of it. Donna moved that we levy $500 for the Park Fund for 2011; Paul seconded. This passed. Bruce moved that we put a culvert and build or improve the driveway access into the park land; Donna seconded. Bruce said there is a concrete culvert now, but it is broken. Paul said we have always banned hunting for everyone in our park land, but the board years ago passed a law allowing any township citizens to gather downed firewood in the park, but not to cut live trees. We had all the poplar logged off by Duane Glienke a year or so ago, but it is still forested.
Building Fund: The Board proposed a $1,200 levy for 2011. Glen said our Town Hall needs storm doors, new, double-paned windows, and ceiling blown-in insulation. We had the hall scraped and painted in 2009, and this should last for many years. Patrice moved to levy $1,200; Bruce seconded; passed. Paul moved that we recommend to the Board of Supervisors to use some of our building fund to put in new storm doors, new windows and more insulation in the ceiling. Toni seconded. Passed.
Fire Fund: This needs to stay at $3,500 because this is the amount of our fees to the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department for protection. We have a cushion in the fund in case the Fire Department increases their fees. Toni moved that the levy be $3,500; Gary seconded; passed.
General Fund: The Board recommended not changing the fund, leaving it at $12,000. Eldon asked what the general fund is used for. Patrice said we spent $18,000 from the General Fund in 2009, and it goes for everything the other funds do not cover: insurance, fuel, propane, salaries, elections, etc. There was a discussion, and because there was a surplus in this fund after 2009, Eldon moved that the levy be lowered to $10,000 for 2011. Patrice seconded. This passed.
WAGES: Paul said that the citizens are only allowed to vote and authorize levies; the Board of Supervisors sets wages and salaries, but our board has always given the citizens input and the privilege of voting on wages. Any changes take effect after the Board approves them at the Board of Reorganization. Donna asked why the board is recommending increases in the Clerk and Treasurer’s wages when their work is almost all computerized now and much easier. Paul said it is much easier, and especially now that we are both on CTAS Accounting System, instead of manually entering every claim and disbursement into the big log book and doing all the figures manually, but we are also taking much less time to do the books, so this is saving money.
General Labor: Bruce moved to keep this at $15/hour; Donna seconded; passed.
Major Mechanic: Bruce said he was a professional mechanic in the cities and didn’t get $30/hour. Paul said Joe does a very hard job changing the grader chains and tires and doing lubrication and maintenance, and he moved to keep it at $30/hour. Eldon seconded; passed. Mechanic’s Assistant: Gary moved to keep at 415/hour; Patrice seconded; passed.
Grader Operator: Glen moved to increase this from $16/hour to $18/hour.
Election Judges: Donna said that as a judge, she sees no reason to increase it to $12 as recommended; she moved that it stay at $10/hour. Paul asked if she and the other judges would be willing to serve at that rate; it is often very hard to get judges. Patrice, Barb and Donna said yes, they would. Patrice seconded, and this passed.
OFFICERS: There was a discussion on the wage increase proposals; Eldon and Donna questioned the $10/meeting increase for the Clerk and Treasurer. Patrice said she would be very satisfied with a $5 increase, as long as the clerk got the same. Paul said neither he nor Patrice asked for the increase, and $5 would be fine. Donna moved to set the Clerk at $80 per meeting, and Treasurer $70 per meeting; Toni seconded. Passed. Toni moved to increase the Supervisors from $15/hour for meetings to $18/hour. Paul seconded, and said the meetings are usually two to three hours, so this isn’t so much per meeting; plus general labor is paid at the $15 rate. This passed. Gary moved to increase theChairman from $17.50 to $20.50 per hour; Patrice seconded. Passed. Annual Meeting Moderator: Paul said this has traditionally been $50, and he moved that it remain the same for 2010. Bruce seconded. Passed.
Out of Town Meetings: Glen said that he thinks that half-day meetings should be increased to $60. There was a discussion, and Patrice moved that half-day meetings remain at $50 and full-day at $100. Donna seconded; passed.
Mileage: This has been at the Federal Rate of .50/mile. Because the government can change this based on gas prices, Toni moved that it remain at .50/mile, but that it change if the Federal Rate Changes. Gary seconded; passed.
Snowplowing: Gary moved that it stay at $75 per season; $100 for driveways over 700’. Bruce seconded.
Bank: Patrice moved to keep First National Bank of the North as our bank of deposits and CD’s and checking. Gary seconded.
Notices: Paul moved that the Pine County Courier be our paper of record, with The Evergreen and Wilma website secondary notice sites, and that the Town Hall and the Duxbury Store be our posting sites for 2010; Gary seconded.
Annual Meeting: Paul moved that we follow the law requiring our next Annual Town Meeting be held the second Tuesday of 2011; Glen seconded.
Cell Phone Tower: Glen asked for input from the voters on concerns and ideas for our township, and said he’s heard talk that we should have more community activities. Barb Smith said they rely on cell phones as there are no phone lines, and asked if there has been progress on getting a cell-phone tower nearer to Duxbury for better reception. She said Verizon said there may be a tower in two years, but that is a long wait. Glen said we should start a petition for all the households west of Bear Creek Road (County 142) to Frontier to get high-speed internet out here. They go up 142 up to Askov now. Patrice said if Toni writes it, she would be glad to take a petition around.
Wilma Fall Fest: Gary moved that we allocate $400 for our annual Wilma Fall Fest. Bruce seconded. This will be the 3rd week of October, and everyone can join the committee to put it on. Toni and Patrice head up the committee.
Board of Reorganization: This will be next Monday, March 15, at 11 a.m. at the Duxbury Store. This is a short meeting to swear in the officers and set the wages for 2010.
Board of Appeal/Equalization: This will be Wednesday, April 14, at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall. The Pine County Assessor and our local assessor, Bob Brewster, will be there to hear appeals of property values for 2011.
Glen said that he loves Eldon and really appreciates his input in our meetings, and that he keeps the Board on its toes. He urged Bruce and Donna to return to their active participation in township meetings. He thanked Barb for serving as judge and participating in the meeting, and he urged everyone to come to more meetings. He also thanked Patrice, Paul and Gary for all they do for our township and said Gary’s knowledge about our roads and township issues is indispensible.
Toni moved to adjourn the meeting; Patrice seconded. The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
PINE CO. BOARD OFCOMMISSIONERS’MEETING 2/16/10
ON SCHMEDEKE LANE
The County Commissioners met at the Pine County Public Works Building in Sandstone, MN, on Tuesday, February 16, to hear the studies and conclusions and make a decision regarding Schmedeke Lane in Wilma Township. Wilma Supervisors Glen Williamson, Gary Vink, and Michael McCullen were among those in attendance, plus Clerk Paul Raymond, and Wilma property owners Eldon Schmedeke, Bruce Greenly, and Barbara Jensen.
County Attorney John Carlson gave a presentation intended for the narrowing of the issues and proposing a solution to the issues regarding the road. He had a diagram showing that Schmedeke Lane is not on the surveyed section line, even if it is exactly a mile from the Pete Anderson Road. He said that Pine County built Schmedeke Lane and Wilma Township maintained it and formally adopted it as a township road. Carlson said that the road was built on the only good land for a road, and if they had known then that this was Jensen’s land, they would have acquired the land then from the Jensens because of a drop-off to the east.
Carlson said that there are three choices: 1. Don’t do anything for anyone, and leave the road as it is as a statutory use road, and everyone be damned, because Wilma Township did not do a survey when they adopted the road as a township road. 2. Determine the number of acres Bob Jensen lost and give Bob County land in exchange for what he lost, or pay him the value of the lost acreage. 3. Have the road easement go all the way to the surveyed section line, and Wilma Township can sell Bruce Greenly this land since his land does not go all the way to the road.
In addition, Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke want to extend Schmedeke Lane the length of two 40 acre’s north, by 132’wide. They have a camper on their land one half mile north. Eldon paid to have the road extended and cleared it to 132’, believing this was his land. He wants to buy 132’ of the first 40 and the next 40, 4 acres each, 8 acres, total $10,000 at current prices. The county said they won’t sell unless they can keep their road easement so they can access their timber on county land. In the future, Carlson said that Eldon’s kids will likely sell off the land north and east. The road can’t be built on the section line due to a ridge obstruction. For Eldon, getting to his land is a justified expenditure according to Carlson.
An alternative would be for the county to extend the road as a forest road and give Eldon a private easement, but this would not give Eldon a right for subdivision. If the county builds the road to get to their timber, and it is good enough for a township road, Eldon would have to convince the town to adopt it as a township road. Carlson said the best option would be to let Eldon buy the land for $10,000 so he can build his road. The road he builds will be for public use as the only option for future development on Schmedeke’s land is for the road to be a public road.
Steve Hallan said they all want to do the right thing. He said do the land swap with Jensens, and sell Eldon the two 132’ by 40 acre strips, but make sure that everyone has access to the public land to the west and can get to the tax-forfeited land. Curt Rossow asked if the easement is granted, who will build the road? The land department said that they will. The easement will go to the section line all the way up. The County Assessor’s office, with input from Robin Matthews, the County Surveyor, will calculate how much it is worth. The current rate is $1,300 per acre. Mike spoke up and said that he and Gary do not believe that the township should profit from this easement, and that the county should retain ownership and be the one to sell the land to the Greeley’s and Schmedekes; it’s taxpayers’ money. Rossow said it may require a special State legislative ruling to sell this to Eldon without open bidding.
A motion was made to sell Eldon Schmedeke two 40 acre by 132’ strips of land, and to sell Bruce Greenly all the land between Schmedeke Lane right-of-way to his section line, and to swap Bob Jensen some County land north of his land to compensate him for land he lost when Schmedeke Lane was built. This was seconded and passed. Eldon asked that he be granted clear title to each of his 132’ x 40 acre pieces of land.
There was other County business and the meeting continued, but the Wilma Township officers left the meeting at this point.
Paul Raymond, Clerk, Town of Wilma
Town of Wilma Board of Supervisors Meeting March 3, 2010
Chairman Glenford Williamson, Sr. called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance at 7:30 p.m. Also present were Supervisors Gary Vink, Michael McCullen, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Eldon Schmedeke.
Paul read the report of the February meeting. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
OLD BUSINESS: Dollar Lake Road: Moske Logging has finished his logging and hauling activity, and both Paul and Gary talked with him. He said he was not the first logger on Eric Vathne’s property, but only started in September or October of 2009. Gary said we will do an inspection after the thaw and will take into account that he wasn’t the original logger or hauler. It’s possible the damages were done by the original hauler. Glen asked if we can make this part of the regular spring road inspection, or if it should be done earlier, and how will we determine who may be responsible for what damage?
Crooked Lake Road: Gary said someone is hauling on Crooked Lake Road; he said the sign on the truck says Benson Logging.
Mink Farm Road: T&T is still hauling on Mink Farm Road. Gary asked if they ever paid the escrow for that road and the Short Road. Paul didn’t find a record in the Escrow Log Book, but noted that the September minutes showed that they had promised to pay the escrow for both roads. Based on this information, the Board instructed Paul to write to T&T and tell them that they had 48 hours from the receipt of the letter to pay an escrow payment or that the Mink Farm Road would be barricaded, and that we should send it registered and certified. [After the meeting, the treasurer’s report for October, 2009, showed that T&T did pay $500 for the Mink Farm Road and $500 for the Short Road.]
NEW BUSINESS: Spring Short Courses: There are three venues that are possible for our Board: St. Cloud, on Monday, March 22; Grand Rapids, on Thursday, April 1st; and Fortune Bay Casino on Friday, April 2. Glen said he wanted to attend Fortune Bay, because he and Toni could stay overnight. Patrice wasn’t sure if her US Census work would be done by March 22. Paul and Gary both said St. Cloud was the best option for them, and if Patrice is able to go then they will carpool.
Board of Review/Equalization: The County Auditor and Bob Brewster will be here for the Board of Review on Wednesday, April 14, at 10 a.m.
Annual Town Meeting and Election: This will be next Tuesday, March 9. Polls will be open from 5 to 8 p.m., and the meeting at 8 p.m. Eldon said that Marjorie won’t be able to judge as planned. Gary said he would be able to judge. Paul will swear in the judges before voting starts at 5 p.m.
County Commissioners’ Schmedeke Lane Meeting: Paul will write a full report on the Commissioners’ meeting on Schmedeke Lane (his computer crashed and is in the shop). The Commissioners voted to sell Eldon the land he wanted to extend Schmedeke Lane; and sell Bruce Greenly the land between his land and the Schmedeke Lane right-of-way; and to give Bob Jensen a few acres of land north of his land to compensate him for land he lost. Eldon asked that the report clearly state that he made a request of the Commissioners that he receive full title to the two 40 acre by 132’ parcels of land he is purchasing by special legislative action from the county. Mike asked Eldon if he was satisfied with the final decision of the Commissioners. Eldon said he doesn’t like the fact that the Schmedeke Lane road extension will have two significant curves in it, but that he has to accept the settlement. He said that he made it clear to the Commissioners that he will be getting two 40’s by 132’ and that he wants full title to each 40 x 132’.
Glen said that it has been a pleasure to serve on the board. He commended each member of the board, Patrice for doing a fantastic job keeping the township records; Gary for his indispensible knowledge of and work for the town roads, and for his intelligence and proactive work; Mike for being on top of everything and for his tremendous work as a first responder and work on the garbage board; and Paul for being a diplomat and counselor. He also thanked Eldon for keeping the Board on its toes. Eldon said that at the annual meeting he will be bringing up some issues.
Garbage Board: Glen said that the Tri-Township Disposal District township representative job should be rotated on a periodic basis. Gary served for 5 to 7 years, and Mike has served about a year. No decision was made on the term limit.
County Township Supervisors Meeting: The County Township Supervisors Meeting will be Saturday, March 27. There are three positions on the executive board up for election; two members will be running for reelection, Frank Grundmeier and Dave Kapof, but Kurt Nelson is resigning as a township Supervisor. Glen said that if one of our Supervisors were to run it may look like Wilma Township is running the County Association. Mike moved that any Board member who wish to be authorized and encouraged to attend.
Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s Report (attached). Bills were presented:
Mike McCullen $ 80.80
Paul Raymond 143.14
Gary Vink 136.21
Glen Williamson 122.95
Gary Vink (expenses) 2.50
Patrice Winfield 108.51
Mark Pallow 118.20
Pine Co. Courier 33.84
Patrice Winfield (stamps, expenses) 15.03
Paul Raymond (1/2 of printer) 35.60
Bob Brewster 2,156.00
The Evergreen 10.50
Glen Williamson (mileage) 24.10
Mike McCullen (expenses) 18.70
Total Bills $ 3,051.62
Mike moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report, to pay all the bills, and to transfer $3,100 from savings to checking. Gary seconded. Gary moved to adjourn the meeting. Glen seconded. The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk