WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, NOV. 6, 2013
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, Eldon and Marg Schmedeke, Steve Grabau, Jeff GrandPre, Bob Brewster, and Ben Glocke.
OLD BUSINESS: Schmedeke Lane: Eldon and Marg and Paul attended the Pine County Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Sandstone. At this meeting, the board adopted the proposal by Cathy Clemmer that the county improve the Schmedeke Lane extension with an additional $10,000 of improvements, including 800 CY of gravel to top the existing pit-run road with 6” of class-5 gravel 22’ wide ($8,000), and to repair the culvert and add rip-rap, and misc. ditch and rock cleanup (an additional $2,000, $10,000 total). This is only if Wilma agrees beforehand to accept the finished road as a township road. They rejected our proposal to extend the road further, which they estimated would cost $26,000. In addition, Eldon Schmedeke will be required to purchase the strip of land between the current road and the west line of his property for $5,650.82. The board said this is the only and final offer, and if the township rejects it, it will remain a county forest road.
Eldon told the board that he fought tooth and nail to get the full proposal accepted, but he is resigned to this, and will purchase the strip of land. He will not ask the township to do more than the same routine grading and plowing as our other roads, after the road extension is adopted and finished.
Mike asked Paul to request that WilmaTownship be allowed to do the work and get the $10,000. He said that with our resources and equipment, we can do a better job and get more bang for the buck, and it would employ local people. He said if necessary, the county could hold the $10,000 in escrow until they approve our finished work. Mike moved that we accept the county’s proposal, but with the request that WilmaTownship be allowed to do the work. Gary seconded. Passed. Cathy said this is an all or nothing proposal; we and Eldon must accept it in its entirety before the county does anything. They want a “no strings attached” written acceptance by the township and by Eldon before they do any repairs.
Pine Co. Twp. Officers’ Meeting: Paul gave a written summary of the County Township Officers’ meeting in Hinckley on October 26.
Road Report: Mark Pallow said he had Hopkins haul 35 loads of gravel on the Mayfield Road (485 yards), and added 4” to the entire road. Part of this is damage by Carlson’s and Bethheaume logging companies, and we need to get a breakdown from Mark on how to bill each one. Glen asked if we should just take both their escrows? Gary said the damage was not done equally; probably 2/3 Betheaume and 1/3 Carlson’s. Hopkin’s bill was $2,095.75; $700 was for the loader, since they used our gravel pile at Shutes. They bill by the ton, 1 ton = 1.4 yards. It’s not by weight but volume, wet or dry. The board asked Mark to get a better price from Hopkins; Mark said he’d negotiate and get a credit on the next order.
Vink Road Escrow: Mark said he didn’t think T&T did damage on the road and he has already graded it, and we should return their escrow. He said at the end the of Vink road the gate was damaged and lock cut, and Mr. Doody accused Mark of doing it. Gary said the gate was open the night before. The sheriff was called and Mark may get a ticket. Mike said we have to back up our grader operator. Gary disputed Mark’s inspection and said there was damage on the road by T & T, and he had complaints of cabin owners on the road that there was damage. Mark said he didn’t think there was damage, just normal use. Mike said he didn’t see how a big loaded logging truck can go up and down a road without damaging it. Mark said if they wanted, they could bill T&T for one load of gravel. Gary moved to bill T&T for one load of gravel, plus administrative expenses, $50 + $50 = $100 from escrow. Glen asked Paul to update our escrow log book, with different roads and different loggers, and that Mark needs to keep records of each road and each logger. He has a tape recorder to keep a record.
Gary said he thinks we should take T&T’s entire escrow, because they also hauled on CrookedLake with Nelson’s silage and did a couple thousand dollars of damage. Glen said this is why we need Mark to keep records of facts and findings and what gravel is put on roads so we can document the damages. Paul said he has to document to the loggers how we spent their escrow, and he needs billing. If we just take loggers’ escrows, it is a road-use tax, not a damage escrow, and we should describe it as such and not tell people they’ll get it back. This was put on hold until next month. Glen moved that the Road Manager document everything done on roads due to logger damages, by hours and yards and times and dates. Mike seconded. Passed.
Wilma Fall Fest: Patrice said it was very successful. A good turnout (60 people) and good food and a great band. They came in under budget thanks to some good contributions and volunteers.
NEW BUSINESS: Allegations against Dennis Schlomka and Gail Kespohl: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in Baxter wrote to both Gail Kespohl and Dennis Schlomka, saying (because they live together) “you may be collaborating with each other in inspecting, designing, approving and installing” septic systems and suggesting remedial actions “to minimize the perception of inappropriate behavior and keep everything above the table.” Bob Brewster said Arna also hires Gail Kespohl as septic inspector. Dennis Schlomka is a licensed installer and does installations, but they must be designed by a licensed designer. Four different permits are required for 4 different jobs. Bob said these are just allegations of the appearance of a conflict, with no substantiation. Anyone can make allegations. He said the Outpost system was installed by Dennis, but the electrician made an error with the pump, no fault of Dennis, but it ran up a big bill. Bob said there is no conflict with Dennis and Gail. They are two separate entities, licensed, bonded and insured. He said they work separately, with integrity. Kelly Schroeder is now in charge of the land department. Glen said the board does not need to take any action, but they affirm their confidence in Gail Kespohl and Dennis Schlomka’s professionalism and integrity.
Paul Yager Allegations against Bob Brewster: Glen said he had verbal and email allegations by Paul that Bob was unprofessional and hostile and may have done unfair appraisals of their cabin home. Bob showed how he has in fact saved the Yagers substantial taxes by fighting with the county to appraise their land as lake-view rather than lake-shore, which the county had. They even reversed his appraisal, and he had to get it restored. Bob said he has been our assessor for 9 years and has come every year for our Boards of Review. Bob visits every property every 5 years, and first appraised Yagers in 2008, and returned again this year. For every property, the first access acre is appraised $7,000. If the land borders water, there is additional charge. On TamarackLake, that is $40,000 value for the first acre, plus charges for the front foot. ($140 per front foot). Because their home is across the road, Bob cut the appraisal to ¼, $10,000, saving Yagers $300 per year. In contrast, both Paul Raymond and Patrice are appraised $22,000 for their river-front land. Yagers called the CountyAssessor’s office to complain about Bob being on their land when they weren’t there, and she promised that they would be notified in the future. Mike said this is unacceptable; we can’t have the county making promises and interfering with our assessor; this is a dangerous precedent, and Mike asked Paul to write Kelly and tell her we can’t honor this request and not to make promises to landowners in our township. Glen said Paul should also write to Paul and Patty Yager and tell them we empathize with their concerns and regret any misunderstandings, but we have confidence in Bob Brewster as our assessor and support him, and believe in the integrity, fairness and professionalism of his assessments, and in fact, he had fought to keep their assessment down when the county reversed him.
Duxbury Volunteer Fire Dept. Contract: Glen moved that we continue our association with the fire department and pay our part, $4,500 for 2014. Gary seconded. Fire Chief Mike abstained.
North Pine Area Hospital District: Ron Osladil sent a letter with updates on the new developments of the new hospital, and asking non-member towns to re-consider joining the district. Member towns now are taxed an average of $30 pr $100,000 marketable value. The total levy is $225,000. Gary said we already voted at the annual meeting not to join the district, so the case is closed.
CERT Training, Sheriff Cole: Sheriff Cole sent applications for anyone interested in getting certified for the Community Emergency Response Team. They got a grant and the training is free, 3 hours a week for 7 – 10 weeks. Ben Glocke said he is interested, and got the application form. Mike said the first responders and trained fire-fighters already have more rigorous training than CERT.
Town Safes: Three safes were discovered when cleaning for Fall Fest. We don’t have keys or combinations for any of them. Eldon donated one, but he has no idea what the combination is. There is a chance that our missing town books (1906-1978) are in the safes, but there were no ideas on how to open them.
Town Hall Use: Two requests to use the Town Hall. County fire marshalls want to hold a meeting. Gary moved, Mike seconded to permit them to use the hall. Lucy Starowoitow family wishes to rent the hall a year from now in Oct for a family reunion and want to pay the resident rate of $25 with a $50 deposit. Mike moved and Gary seconded to allow them.
Fire Dept. Raffle: Will be the second weekend of deer hunting, November 16, at 7 p.m. at Duxbury Bar.
Snowplowing Fees Due Tonight: This is the deadline for snowplowing fees for the 2013-2014 season.
Boy’s Camp: Has been sold to two individuals who hope to open it for some kind of camp. They got 71.4 acres. We don’t know the price yet.
Diesel Tank Key: Mike and Paul tried to fill the Purshe fire truck last night and could not find the key to the diesel fuel. Mike promised to keep accurate records of any fuel the fire trucks use so Mark doesn’t run out of fuel. Mark and Mike need to reach an agreement on the key.
TREASURER’S REPORT AND BILLS: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s Report (attached) and claims were presented:
Paul Raymond $ 233.64
Mark Pallow 264.59
Mike McCullen 29.09
Frank Rehberger 27.70
Gary Vink 139.91
Toni Williamson 46.07
Glen Williamson 107.71
Patrice Winfield 156.07
Glen (expenses) 33.90
Askov Deep Rock 993.54
Security Life (Dental) 426.48
Ace Hardware 13.98
Pine Co. Courier 22.44
The Evergreen 22.50
Hopkins Sand and Gravel 2,729.53
Duxbury Volunteer Fire Dept. 4,500.00
Stephanie Hanson (Procrastinators) 300.00
MATAT (registration, Glen) 245.00
Patrice (expenses) 81.82
Toni (Fallfest expenses) 41.20
Duane Glienke 300.00
Mark Pallow (exp.) 22.60
Paul Raymond (exp.) 55.20
Total Bills: $ 10,846.46
Gary moved to pay all the bills, to approve the Treasurer’s Report, and to transfer 11,000 from savings into checking. Mike seconded. Gary moved to adjourn and meeting; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned at 10:p.m.
Paul Raymond, clerk