WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF AUDIT AND SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2018
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond and Grader Operator Alden Shute.
BOARD OF AUDIT: Paul and Patrice coordinated and cross-checked their books before the meeting. Gary, Mike and Glen reviewed and compared the Treasurer’s and the Clerk’s books. Gary moved to approve the books; Glen seconded and the board signed both copies of the Schedule 1 and Cost Control Summaries for 2017.
Proposed levies for 2019 taxes and wages for 2018 presented by the clerk. No increases. Paul proposed a decrease of $4,000 in Building Fund, to $1,000, but Mike said if we ever have to increase it we will get a lot of resistance. He said we do have some building projects for 2018, including blowing more insulation into the ceiling of the fire hall since the old insulation got wet before the roof was fixed. We should put the crushed rock gravel in the whole driveway since it is so effective in front of the fire hall. Mike moved to keep the Building Fund at $5,000 in the proposal to the voters; Gary seconded; passed. With this change, Mike moved to approve the suggested levies for a vote at the annual Town Meeting March 13.
Line-Item Budget Proposal for 2018: Paul drafted a proposed budget to guide the board in 2018, based on our receipts and disbursements in 2017. Glen moved to table voting on this until the board has had time to review all the pages and to vote at the Board of Reorganization. Gary seconded. Cost-Control 10-Year Report: Paul went back for 10 years and compiled a Cost Control Summary of every year since 2007. At the beginning of 2007 Wilma had $40,548 in total funds; at the end of December, 2017 that had been built up to $165,673, even though we have not increased our levies and have reduced some of them. Glen said this shows fiscal responsibility by the board. Mike said we need to look at our roads and town hall and other projects and not be afraid to spend some money to make our town better.
Wages: Mike said we kept the half-day meeting rate at $75 for the last several years, although a half-day meeting can take up to 6 hours including drive-time and effectively can take up a whole day as far as doing anything else. He suggested the board change this to $100, and keep the full-day meeting at $150. Gary moved and Mike seconded to raise half-day meetings to $100. Passed. The voters do not approve wages, but we have always allowed them to vote and have input to guide the board when they vote on wages at the Board of Reorganization. Mike moved to keep all other wages the same as 2017.
Paul read the record of the January board meeting. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Alden reported that he plowed one more snowfall and did some wing repairs on the grader. He said he hopes that in 2018 he can do some significant work on the North Duncan Road since people are building cabins and may be making a permanent home on that road. He said the north part of that road is almost impassable when it rains. He also wants to build up the Dollar Lake Road. Glen said at the road inspection in May we can go over these projects with Alden.
Alden did plow the range-line roads since we have received no answer from Arna on whether they want to plow Pete Anderson and Langstrom Roads in their service year 2018.
OLD BUSINESS: Pete Anderson Road Bridge: Paul sent a personal letter asking Attorney Kyle Hartnett to reduce the bill for his work, and Mike Goetz also asked him. Hartnett emailed today that his new bill for $220 was in addition to the earlier bill, for a total of $1,979. Mike Goetz called Hartnett today and Hartnett agreed to review his billing but made no promises. Mike has promised to reimburse the township for everything. We won’t pay until Mike hears back from Hartnett. Goetz and his new attorney sent a Demand for Acknowledgment of Public Road Status of the Pete Anderson Road bridge to Daniel Lodge and he replied with a refusal.
Pine County Board of Commissioners Special Local Government Meeting: The Commissioners held a special meeting for township officials on Public Safety on Tuesday, January 30, with Reese Frederickson and Sheriff Jeff Nelson. Glen and Paul attended and Paul wrote up a detailed report for the board, covering the proposed county social host ordinance, the county dispatch office, jail and sheriff’s office. Glen said the meeting was very valuable and well-attended.
Blight Ordinance: The county is considering a county-wide blight ordinance as well as county-wide zoning, but they said any ordinance will be opt-in for townships and will not be mandatory. Alden said he doesn’t want Wilma to adopt a blight ordinance because whenever we start legislating things the laws always tend to expand and become increasingly onerous. Glen said when he first moved here he was open to township zoning, but has come to see all the drawbacks and pitfalls other townships experience in enforcing these and agrees that we do not need it. Our neighboring towns with strict zoning have worse blight than we do.
NEW BUSINESS: March Township Election and Annual Town Meeting: Will be Tuesday, March 13, from 5 to 8. Toni Williamson will be Head Judge along with Jeanne Grand Pre and Patrice. Annual Meeting starts at 8 p.m. following the Board of Canvass.
Chris McKenzie Request to Speak to Board: McKenzie is Project Manager of Environmental Services, Inc. in Maple Grove. He was one of the main speakers at the annual State Township Association Conference in Rochester in November. He has asked to come to one of our board meetings to talk about issues like culverts, signs, permits, maintenance bids, our website and communications. The Board said he didn’t see much value in having him come and to write him to decline.
Replace Gross Domestic Product with Genuine Progress Indicator: We got a letter from Ken Pentel of Ecology Democracy Network asking the board to study his proposal and contact our Representative and Senator to support replacing the GDP with the GPI in the state. Mike said this is confusing and has nothing to do with us; no action taken.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the treasurer’s report which will be posted on the website. Total bills for February are $4,567.25, and she requests a transfer of $4,700 from savings to checking. Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded.
Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned 9:00 p.m.
WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, JANUARY 3, 2018
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present was Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Grader Operator Alden Shute, and Pat Story.
Paul read the record of the December 6 board meeting. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Gary said he thinks that Arna will be plowing the range line roads, Pete Anderson and Langstrom. Before, they only plowed as far as Melvin Elliot’s but they have plowed Pete Anderson, even in our year last winter. Paul will contact Cheryl to be sure that they will plow it. Alden said he plowed our one snowfall, and he has done some grader repairs to tighten the wing support mounting bracket.
OLD BUSINESS: Pete Anderson Road Bridge: Wilma retained former MAT Attorney Kyle Hartnett to be paid by Mike Goetz. We asked Hartnett several times for his projected costs so we could get an escrow payment from Mike to cover the costs, but did not receive any estimate, and only received the bill on November 22. Mike appealed to Hartnett to reduce the amount of the bill and he asked that Wilma support him in this. Paul drafted a letter to Hartnett asking him to reduce the bill since he never responded to our requests to tell us what he would be charging before he did the work, so we were unable to secure an escrow guarantee from Mike Goetz and Mike had no idea how big the bill would be. Paul asked the board to approve the letter so he can send it. Glen said we should just stay out of it and let Mike handle it and pay the bill. Mike McCullen said this goes right to the heart of the issue of township rights-of-way and the danger of losing public access to former township roads, and he moved that the board approve and sign the letter. Gary would not second the motion, so it died. Mike Goetz has promised to reimburse the township for everything and we won’t pay until we get his payment. Goetz and his new attorney have sent a Demand for Acknowledgment of Public Road Status of the Pete Anderson Road bridge to Daniel Lodge and do not intend to go to district court at this time because of the great expense.
NEW BUSINESS: Board Actions: Pat Story took the floor and said said the board needs to be very aware that everything said in a meeting is public record, it’s not just a person’s opinion. He said the board should know and consult the Minnesota legal manual and conduct meetings accordingly and avoid being careless in statements. He presented a printed form to request a response from the board on some issues regarding training and our 2018/2019 budget: “1. Education and Training: What is your plan to disseminate your Education and Training to the Town Clerk and other members who run the daily business of Wilma Township? Please detail your answer.” Mike said he could attend a lot more trainings and spend hours studying the legal manual, but this would cost the township money. “2. 2018 Budget Development: When will the line Item Budget be presented for adoption? How will the Budget line items be capped when approved? Please detail your answer: 3. 2018 Budget Monthly Status Report: Provide monthly Budget Status and monthly disbursement’s by line item. This will eliminate guess work from the Line Item Budget and Link all disbursement’s to that Line Item.” Paul said that once he learns the CTAS budgeting program and puts our budget together, it may be easy to update it monthly to provide a monthly budget status and monthly disbursements by line item. Patrice gave Pat a copy of the annual financial reports which does break down spending by category and also a copy of the monthly treasurer’s report that shows where each check goes and what for. She said this is online. Glen said he did not know it was supposed to go online. Paul said he didn’t know that either. Patrice said that is why we stopped listing all the disbursements in the minutes, because they were supposed to be online. Glen said he will start posting them from now on.
Glen asked what the law requires as far as line-item budgeting. Paul said the law does not require us to have a line-item budget, but we have already decided to start one this year. Glen said larger towns and cities have the finances to have the best legal help.We try to do our best to abide by all state statutes,” he said. Alden said he’s been driving trucks commercially for 40 years and he could not possibly read and know the entire DOT manual, but it is there for reference if he ever needs to know something. He thinks this is how it is with the township, and as long as we have the legal manuals, we can consult them. Glen again thanked Pat for his input and concerns, because they keep the board on their toes and challenges them to do things right.
Pine County Board of Commissioners Special Local Government Meeting: The Commissioners are holding a special meeting for township officials, Tuesday, January 30, 6 p.m. In the Jury Assembly Room at the courthouse with the theme of public safety, with Sheriff Jeff Nelson and County Attorney Reese Frederickson. Mike said the board has already voted for board members to attend trainings and meetings so we don’t have to vote. Glen said when it gets close to the date we can plan for car-pooling.
March Township Election/Designated Polling Place: Gary found the law requiring townships to designate a polling place by December 31 last year. MAT Attorney Ruth Simpson said there is no penalty for being late and we can do it tonight. Paul and Mike are up for re-election, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Filing opened January 2 and ends January 16. Mike and Paul are up for re-election and both filed affidavits. Glen moved to pass the resolution; Mike seconded.
Letter of Appreciation: Ron and Donna Rogstad wrote Glen a nice letter: “Just wanted to let the Board know that you’re doing a great job. Want to thank the road maintenance. Grader work is exceptional and snow removal is first class. Thanks again for your commitment and service.” Glen responded: “We truly do our best with what we have and your input helped to raise our moral. Often times, we only hear from people who are unhappy with us. Thanks for taking the time to let us know we are doing a good job.
Duxbury Store Cigarette License: 2018 cigarette license due for renewal. $10. Gary signed the license and paid $10.
Board of Audit for 2017 Books: Gary moved to schedule Board of Audit before the February board meeting. Mike seconded. Paul and Patrice need to meet to coordinate and cross-check books before the audit.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice distributed her Treasurer’s Report and claims and bills for January, which total $3,004.17 and she requests a transfer of $3200.00. Gary moved to approve the claims and to transfer the funds; Mike seconded. Gary moved to adjourn the meeting; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk _________________________________________
Attested to by Glen Williamson, Chair_____________________________