WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
March 11, 2014
Clerk Paul Raymond called the 107th Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Wilma to order at 8:20 p.m., following the Board of Canvass, with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Patrice Winfield, Glen, Toni and Mason Williamson, Jeff and Jeane Grand Pre, Mark and Maureen Pallow, Gary Vink, Barb Smith, and Mike McCullen.
Paul asked for nominations for Moderator. Gary nominated Patrice; Mike seconded. Mike nominated Jeff; Patrice seconded. Patrice was elected Moderator.
Paul read the record of last years’ annual meeting. Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded. Approved. Patrice announced the election results: Supervisor, Gary Vink 12 votes, one blank, one write-in; Paul 13 votes, one write-in. Certificates of election given.
Patrice gave out the financial statement and fund balances for 2013. Paul moved that reading of all checks be waived. Gary seconded. Gary moved to approve the report; Jeff seconded. Passed.
ROAD REPORT: Road Manager Mark Pallow gave the road report. It’s been a hard year for snowplowing, and all township roads were plowed, and received routine grading and maintenance in 2013. Repairs were completed on Mayfield Road, for FEMA, and more repairs were done due to intensive logging activity on the road. The North Duncan Road project was completed with two culverts installed and gravel put down. Pat Story requested township approval to plant trees in his cul-de-sac on Lost River Road. 2013 was Wilma’s year for the east Range Line Roads, Pete Anderson and Langstrom. Mark would like to remove some trees shading and overhanging Mayfield Road.
LEVIES: Road and Bridge Levy: Gary moved and Glen seconded to keep the fund at $16,000 for 2015. Passed.
Building Fund: Mike said we still need repairs on the Fire and Grader Garage and some repairs on our town hall. Paul moved that it remain at $5,000 for 2015; Glen seconded. Passed.
Fire Fund: We don’t have discretion for this fund as all townships are billed $4,500. Glen moved that we set the levy at $4,500; Glen seconded. Passed.
Park Fund: Gary moved that we keep the fund at $100; Toni seconded; passed.
General Fund: We always run short on this fund, but we are able to transfer from other funds. Mike moved that we keep it at $10,000; Jeff seconded; passed.
WAGES: Although the Board of Supervisors has the final vote and decision on setting wages, we have always had a public voice and vote on these. Supervisors’ wages were changed to an hourly rate when we once had a long-winded Chairman and meetings would last many hours. Glen said other townships have a straight meeting rate, like we do for our Clerk and Treasurer. Mike moved that we set a meeting rate for Supervisors at $50 per meeting, $55 for the Chairman, for meetings up to three hours; overtime would be paid at the current hourly rate of $20.50 and $18.00. Jeff seconded. Passed. This applies to regular board meetings and Boards of Equalization, not for road inspections, which Gary said can last all day. Glen moved that other wages, Clerk, Treasurer, General Labor, Grader Operator, etc. remain the same as 2013. Toni seconded. Passed.
Out of Town Meetings: Discussion on the length of half-day meetings, which usually require more than half a day, and full-day meetings, which often run until late. Patrice moved that out of town meetings be raised to $75 for half-day meetings and $150 for full day meetings. Mark seconded. Passed.
Election Judges: This has stayed at $10/hour for many years. Glen moved that it be set at $12/hour for 2014. Mike seconded. Passed.
Mileage Rate: Glen moved that we continue to use the Federal Mileage Rate, which has gone down to $.56 for 2014. Toni seconded.
SNOWPLOWING: Discussion on whether we should increase this due to the heavy snows this year. Mike reminded us of the history of our grader and how it was purchased to serve the people of our township. We originally did private drives for free, until the law said the town could not lose money doing private drives. Mike said the citizens have already paid hundreds and thousands in taxes for maintenance, grader operators, fuel, and insurance for the grader. This year was an unusually heavy one, but other years we have had as few as one or two plows. Mike moved that we leave snowplowing for the 2014-15 season the same as this year, but that for driveways 1,000’ to ½ mile, the rate be $175, and for over ½ mile, $350 per season. Jeff seconded. Passed.
OTHER DONATIONS: The township received three requests from community groups for support. Seven County Senior Federation: Patrice explained the benefits and services Seven-County provides. Paul moved that we again donate $100, like last year. Glen seconded. Gary said the law says townships can only support groups that work within that township; Patrice said 7-County does work in Wilma, including meetings of the Pine County Wanderers. Passed.
Pine County Historical Society: They’re in their third year at the AskovMiddle School; we have given $1 per citizen in the past; Mike moved that we change it to $100 like the other groups. Jeff seconded. Passed.
Old School Arts Center: The OSAC had to close for the winter when Lourey’s couldn’t keep the building heated. They found a new buyer, and the OSAC will reopen with an exhibition on March 21. They also will be teaching pottery, with a kiln Barb and Rick Smith donated. Last year the people voted to donate $100, but when Gary said the Loureys had received a grant of $46,000, the Board rescinded the donation. Barb said the grant was actually $4,000, not $46,000. Glen moved that we donate $100 this year; Toni seconded; passed.
TOWNSHIP SEPTIC ORDINANCE: The County will adopt a revised Sewer and Septic Ordinance on April 1st. The Township must revise our ordinance to make it at least as strict as the County’s by April 1, 2015, or we can let the County take over all septic inspections and licenses. We have already drafted a new ordinance, but the board may not act on it until they have to, since our current ordinance is fine. Copies are available for inspection, or can be downloaded by email from the Clerk.
TOWN PARK LAND: The State, County and Wilma Township always believed that we owned the full 36.5 acre Park west of the Eagle Head VFD Station. When we were researching the Park last year when we were discussing building a new town hall, the County discovered that we only owned the bottom half of that 40, minus the School House and Eagle Head Station. The State Legislature and Pine Co. Board of Commissioners have to authorize a conveyance to the Township of the north 20 acres under conditional use, since the TamarackRiver runs through it. The Board has made this request. We will get full and clear rights to our lower half this year, no longer conditional use, and the Duxbury Fire Dept. has a lease on the Eagle Head Station.
COUNTY LAND SALES: The County has several parcels of County land in WilmaTownship that they want to auction off in the next few years, including our Park. The Board of Supervisors have passed a resolution that whereas there is a finite amount of public land; and whereas now any citizen has access to State and County public lands; and whereas some of these parcels are now landlocked and the township would have legal hassles granting and guaranteeing easement; and whereas any benefits obtained from adding these lands to our tax roles would be offset by denying our children and their children the freedom to use these lands, we oppose the sales of any public state or county lands, except for our public Park. The County has said that these parcels will be withdrawn from sale if the Township objects.
BOARD OF APPEAL AND EQUALIZATION: The meeting to appeal property tax assessments for 2015 taxes will be Wednesday, April 23, 1 p.m. at the Town Hall.
WILMA FALL FEST: We have authorized $500 the past several years for Fall Fest. The Procrastinators Band costs $300 to $350. All the prizes and labor and food and many supplies are donated, and it has been a successful celebration for our Township.
Glen moved that we authorize $500 again for 2014 Wilma Fall Fest; Barb seconded; Passed.
Jeff moved that the meeting be adjourned; Jeane seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk