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