WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING, AUGUST 3, 2011
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Gary Vink and Mike McCullen, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, grader operator Mark Pallow, and Eldon and Marg Schmedeke.
Paul read the record of the July meeting. Mike moved to approve; Glen seconded.
OLD BUSINESS: Mayfield Road Culverts: Denny Schlomka checked the Mayfield Road culverts. The water was high and he wanted to wait until it went down to see if there is more damage. At least one culvert will need to be dug up and reset, and possibly also the one before that one. Carlson Timber did this damage and will be billed for the repairs. The area after the turn still has water flowing north; there may be a beaver dam there. We could approach the DNR about this as 90% of the land there is state land.
Crooked Lake Road: Danforth had put a culvert there but the dirt was washed out and it may need to be reset. They put new gravel on it yesterday. Danforth submitted a new bill for snowplowing and road work for $412.50. The Board reviewed the bill and thinks one plowing was already paid on the last invoice, so they deducted $75 from the invoice and approved the bill. Paul will write to Jeff Shute about this and send the check.
Stamps: Paul had 68 stamps from Toni Williamson, $30 worth, and he gave some of them to Patrice for paying bills.
Wind Damages: Mike contacted Denise from the Sheriff’s Office regarding the FEMA reimbursements the county may get for the fire department. He asked Patrice to total up all the man hours and grader hours that our town has put in for the roads and to draw up a statement for the Sheriff’s office. She will bill the grader hours at $150/hour and the labor hours at the paid rate. We can submit that along with the fire department’s statement, and possibly get reimbursed for our expenses.
Contract Labor: Patrice asked about a bill from a helper Mark hired to cut a tree on the South Duncan road. Is he an employee with taxes deducted, or a contractor? The board discussed how to handle hiring special help when Mark or Gary needs help with the roads or trees. In the past, we have treated these workers as contractors, but have not gotten insurance coverage certificates from them. Glen said the easiest way to handle this is for Mark or Gary to hire helpers as needed and to add their pay to their non-taxable payroll form. We could make up a form for them to sign stating that they are doing the work as contractors and that the township is not liable for any workers’ comp claims and that as contractors they need to have their own insurance.
Road Manager/Driver’s License Requirements: Last month the board discussed the issue of employment files for all officers and employees and the need to have copies of driver’s licenses on file for anyone driving township vehicles or their own vehicles doing township work. At the summer short course they said that towns could be liable if boards knowingly authorize unlicensed drivers. Mike said one solution would be to transfer the job of road manager to Mark Pallow, and he could hire Gary or anyone else to help him with road inspections or maintenance as required. Gary said 90% of the time, he and Mark don’t need to both go on road duties. Mike moved that until further notice, Mark Pallow be appointed road manager for Wilma Township and that he have authority to made decisions regarding road maintenance, but for anything beyond routine maintenance or repair Mark needs to call a supervisor other than Gary to avoid a conflict of interest as Gary may be doing the work. Glen seconded. Unanimously approved. Since Mark is not an officer, he can consult with the supervisors without violating open meeting laws. Glen commended Gary for the many years of good and faithful service to the township as road manager.
Township Diesel Fuel: Gary said fuel was taken by the fire department without anyone letting him know. Glen asked who authorized them to take the fuel? Gary said no one. Mike moved that the town bill the fire department for 24.7 gallons of diesel fuel at $3.32/gallon = $82.00. Paul will write a claim to the fire department. Mike said that only in emergencies does the fire department take township fuel. Mark said they will put a lock on the tank. Glen moved that the fire department only be allowed to take township fuel in emergency situations and that the road manager must be notified when fuel is taken so that it can be refilled. Gary seconded. Approved.
Township Fire Coverage: The Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department has increased their charges to the three townships to $4,500 per year. There was discussion, and Glen moved to approve the payment. Gary seconded.
Duxbury Store 3.2 Beer License: Gary said the store almost lost their license because the check he gave Paul didn’t get included with the license application. Glen mailed it because Paul couldn’t find his notary stamp and Toni had to notarize it, and Glen said he was sure the check went in the envelope, but he apologized for what happened. He said he always hates to put mail in the box where it is vulnerable, but the county did get the envelope.
Radio Reception Problems: Mike talked with the sheriff about all the dropped and missed radio calls in our area, and the county said they would like to put a tower up by our fire hall. Gary said he had heard that ECE may contribute to the cost or donate a pole for the tower. It was unclear whether it would be a tower or a very tall pole. Mike said we should specify that any tower on township land be available for a telephone repeater also. Mike moved that Pine County be allowed to build a radio repeater tower on Wilma Township property. Glen seconded. Approved.
Deputy Treasurer: Patrice appointed her sister Jen Nelson as her deputy treasurer. She will be paid the same rate as Patrice for special work or training, $12/hour, and the full meeting rate if she serves at a meeting when Patrice is absent.
Personal Chainsaw Use: Mark said he has been using his own chainsaw and gas for cutting all the trees due to the blowdown, and asked if he might be reimbursed for this use. Mike said he submitted a statement to the sheriff from the fire department which included the cost of the chains used by the fire department volunteers. We could include the cost of chains on our township claim as well. Mark said he wants to rent a wood-chipper to deal with the debris. Mike moved that Mark be repaid for the cost of his chains and gas and that he be permitted to rent a wood chipper for the township work. Glen seconded.
Duxbury Road Conditions: Eldon asked for the floor to ask the board again to pressure the county to do something about the terrible conditions on County Road 141, the Duxbury Road. He had a set of photos taken over a period this spring and summer showing deep ruts and mud and frost boils and flooding, making the road almost impassable at times. Eldon has gone to the county engineers and to the county commissioners, and said his next step will be to go to the county’s insurer to let them see how poorly this road is maintained. He said the county’s insurance rate would undoubtedly go up if they were aware of how dangerous this road is. Eldon said that this has been an issue for decades, and neither the township nor the county has done anything, although he has paid over $30,000 in taxes to the county in the last 6 years. Glen said that last November the board did write to the county engineer to report on the flooded and eroded condition of the road and asking for remedies. Eldon said that letter was too polite, and we need to be more assertive to the county. Paul said he will write a more emphatic letter and would like to include copies of the photos Eldon has taken. He asked Eldon to get copies made at Kettle River Grafix in town, and that the township would pay for the copies. Eldon said he told the county engineer that he would not show the photos to the county commissioners if the county would take care of the road. He said they have done some repairs and gravel, but it is not enough, and the Duxbury Road is again under water. He said they should drive stakes to measure the depth of the water and determine how much the road needs to be raised. Paul said he will address the letter to the county engineer, and enclose copies of the photos, including some Glen has taken of the flooded road, and he will send copies to County Commissioners Doug Carlson and Steve Chafee, but not send them photos. He will not send the letter until Eldon can get him copies of the photos, as they are so vivid in showing how terrible the road is.
Snowplowing: Eldon said that sometimes he is not plowed out until the second day after a storm. When he lived in the cities, they would plow all night long until everyone was plowed out. Mike said that with two plow operators now, we can keep the plow going longer, but that we have always tried to be fair to all township residents and alternate the routes and directions the plow goes first. We have several residents with serious medical issues on all sides of the township, and can’t favor some over others.
Personal Gravel: Paul asked if the board knew of anyone who could spread gravel on a private drive. Patrice said Denny Schlomka is very good and reasonable. His number is 384-7911.
MAT State Conference: The board sent Glen and Toni to the State MAT conference last November, and Glen wants to go again. Paul said we should alternate different officers, since it is so expensive. Last year’s cost over $400. This year it is November 17-19 at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. Glen said many towns send their whole boards, and there are sessions for clerks and treasurers, and he said we could send more than one board member and they could share hotel rooms to minimize the cost.
Foundation Damage: Mike said he has calls in to Kenny Coveau about the damage to the town hall and the fire hall, and he was hoping Kenny would come to the meeting to check the damage. Mike has also made calls to see about selling the two excess graders and two old fire trucks. Siren Steel does buy old equipment. He has a lot of promises to return calls. Gary said he has been waiting for two years for call backs on the grader.
Land next to town hall: Glen asked if we could approach Duane Glienke about purchasing the land west of the town hall. Gary said that Mike Glienke had promised to give the town that land but he died before he could make the transfer. Gary said there is 100 years of history complicating this and it would be better to just leave it alone. Duane has been generous about letting us park vehicles and we don’t need the land.
Town Computer: Patrice said she has been having problems with the township laptop not booting up or shutting down, and she asked Glen to come over and troubleshoot the problems. Paul said there is a very good free program that diagnoses registry and virus problems and she could download that also. It’s called Advanced System Care and is available on the CNET website. It cleans up all kinds of problems and speeds up computers.
Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s report (attached). Bills were presented:
MATIT Insurance $ 1,605.00
Paul Raymond (satellite) 10.00
Danforth Township 377.50
Patrice Winfield (misc. expenses) 56.88
Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department 4,500.00
Mark Pallow (for helper) 52.50
Pine Co. Treasurer (Assessor) 391.00
Gary Vink (road work/township work) 258.04
Patrice Winfield 100.01
Glen Williamson 38.69
Mike McCullen 33.97
Mark Pallow 42.46
Paul Raymond 120.76
Frank Rehberger 161.34
Total Bills $ 7,765.00
Glen asked Patrice to confirm with MATIT that we are covered for errors and omissions on our policy. Mike moved to approve the treasurer’s report and to pay all the bills and to transfer $7,800 from savings to checking. Gary seconded. Passed.
Mike moved to adjourn the meeting. Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk