Regular Meeting, April 2, 2008


Chairman Gary Vink called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Michael McCullen and Glenford Williamson, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Eldon Schmedeke.

Paul read the record of the March, 2008 meeting. Gary asked that the record be amended to say that Eldon did say that Gary had spoken up at a County Township Officers Meeting. With this change, Glen moved to approve the minutes; Gary seconded.

OLD BUSINESS: T&T Logging Escrow/Damages: T & T said they paid the Highway Department for the cost of replacing the two road signs their trucks damaged on the Pete Anderson and North Duncan Roads. Gary

asked if this included new signs or just putting up the bent and damaged ones. Gary said they did fill in the ditch on the Pete Anderson Road they had dug out. Mike said that the escrow payment should not be returned until the whole board has a chance to inspect the two roads at the road inspection.

Annual Road Inspection: Mike suggested that the road inspection be held May 7th, before the fishing opener and a lot of trucks and vehicles start tearing up the roads. He moved that the inspection be Wednesday, May 7, at 10 a.m., meeting at the Town Hall. Glen seconded. Paul will post this.

Pine County CERT: There will be training for the Community Emergency Response Team to train volunteers in emergency management for the community response to disasters. Glen said he would like to be certified for this and may attend the training meetings. Mike said that this is the kind of training the fire department volunteers get.

County Township Officers Meeting: Glen reported on the County Township Officers Meeting in Hinckley March 29th at which he was elected Clerk/Treasurer for the Association. The County Commissioners are trying to establish public transportation in Pine County and sent out a survey for responses. This is a separate issue from the train. They want to leverage state and federal funds towards public transportation.

High-speed passenger rail service: Things are moving forward on the passenger train linking the Cities and Duluth. It will pass through 7 counties with possible stops in Cambridge and Hinckley. One-third of the track will be in Pine County. The most contentious issue is the train stopping at the Casino. Roger Nelson opposes this. They want a public station on public land. There will be in informational meeting April 1st in Pine City. High-speed rail will require lights and/or gates at all rail crossings, and there is $250 million capital improvement to upgrade the tracks and crossings. There will need to be a lot of double track because of the freight trains. The goal is for commuters to use the train. The Pine County Rail Authority is paying $20,000 for a study on the train; we have 1/3 of the land and only 5% of the vote.

County Jail: Mark Mansavage reported that the jail is not meeting its goal of boarding out-of-county prisoners. The jail has 131 beds but only boards 3 to 13 prisoners out of county, plus 55 Pine County offenders, leading to a shortfall in projected revenues. The County gets $50 per day for prisoners. The county has a new Lieutenant, Robin Cole, based at the Land Building in Sandstone, which improves customer service in the County. He helped clear up 22 burglaries leading to 3 arrests. High fuel costs are curtailing deputy responses when investigations can be done by phone. Pine County is increasingly becoming the playground of the cities but the Department can’t utilize all the patrol equipment like 4-wheelers they have from the DNR due to manpower budgets. They can’t patrol waterways and trails.

Mike Sheehy, Pine Co. Assessor, said that they will have a website so people can look up values.

Brett Grundmeier from the DNR said that the new side-by-side ATVs can ride on the shoulder of county roads. All ATV’s can drive on township roads on the right sides, but on county roads must drive on the back slope of the ditch unless there is no ditch like on 141. With an agricultural permit, they can ride on County roads. Class 2 (side-by-sides) can’t run on trunk roads like 48, and can’t ride in ditches. None are allowed on grant-in-aid groomed snowmobile trails except when trails travel along the ditches, and in summer. The St. Croix and Nemadji Forests allow ATV’s and dirt bikes. All trails are 90% signed and posted. Because of the damages and problems caused by ATV’s, the Commissioners have talked about banning them altogether. Brett said timberwolf regulations have passed to the state and that it is legal to kill wolves that are harassing cattle. Farmers must call the DNR. Federal trappers will come out free. Six have been killed so far. The DNR is proposing banning all deer shining from an hour after sunset. Shining is legal if there is no firearm in the vehicle. One-year burning permits can be obtained online at DNR.State.MN.Us, and one only has to call an 800 number when they want to burn.

Don Sherpa from the Township Association said that the joint-lobbying days will be April 9 and 10 in St. Paul. So far they have been able to get townships exempt from HAVA voting machine use for local elections.

Glen was shocked that the Association paid out $400 for the meeting, for the use of the building and for the food.

Town and Country Oil: Their pancake breakfast is April 16 in Mora. Towns can order pre-buys between now and April 16. Gary said we have never done a pre-buy on oil.

MAT Officer Life Insurance: There was a discussion on increasing the insurance coverage for officers, for life and disability insurance. Gary said we should table this for a year; Mike moved to keep our coverage at its present level of $165 for all 5 officers; Gary seconded.

Fire Protection Fees: This was voted on at the annual meeting. Gary moved to pay the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department the agreed on $3,500 for 2008 township fire protection. Glen seconded.

Sisterman Easement: Lisa Sisterman sent the documentation for the easement petition to the DNR and the $500 fee. Mike said we need to be assured that the town will have no responsibility whatever for this cartway. There was a discussion on having our attorney review all the documents and draw up an agreement removing the township from any responsibility or connection to this cartway, but Paul said he can go to Rick Dunckley at the DNR and bring all the papers and have him review them and tell us if the town has any legal responsibility for this road. Gary said we need to table this and hold onto the check until we get clarification on this, and that we need to invite the Sistermans and Dunckley to our April meeting to explain what is involved.

Town Park: Eldon asked if the town could get county assistance to build up the driveway/entrance into the town park land. He asked if we could have Duane Glienke square off a site at the landing for a town park and or new town hall. Eldon asked for a complete breakdown of all funds spent on the new grader, from the trip by Joe and Mark to get the grader to all oil and maintenance and parts needed for its use since we purchased it. Paul and Patrice provided Eldon with town financial statements from 2006 and 2007 which show grader loan payments and oil and parts, but Eldon said he needs more details. Gary said that the town can’t pay for the hours of research this would require at this time.

Treasurer’s Report and Bills:

Patrice gave the Treasurer’s report (attached). Bills for April:

FNBNS $ 2,000.00

ECE 45.53

Federated Coop 181.07

Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department 3,500.00

Marg Schmedeke 35.00

Paul Raymond 238.26

Patrice Winfield 193.27

US Treasury 455.67

MN Benefit Association (life/disability) 165.00

Gary Vink 56.22

Duxbury Store (supplies) 10.95

Michael McCullen 24.24

Glen Williamson 96.95

Toni Williamson 35.00

Total all bills: $ 7,037.21

Glen moved to approve the Treasurer’s report, to pay all the bills, and to transfer $7,000 from savings to checking. Mike seconded. Glen moved to transfer $21 from T & T Loggings escrow account to cover the cost of labor and mileage to inspect the roads they did work on. Mike seconded. Gary moved to adjourn; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

Board of Reorganization, March 20, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chairman Gary Vink called the meeting to order at 11 a.m. at the Duxbury Store with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisor Glenford Williamson and Clerk Paul Raymond. Paul could not find the minutes from last years’ Board of Reorganization, and Glen moved that the reading of the minutes be waived. Gary seconded. Gary had notes he took at the meeting, which chiefly consisted of swearing in of newly elected officers Patrice Winfield and Michael McCullen, and voting Gary in as Chairman for another year.

Paul had been sworn in by the notary at the bank, and he swore in Gary Vink as Supervisor. Glen nominated Gary as Chairman of the Board for the year 2008. Gary seconded.

Gary moved that the Board confirm the will of the people as voted at the annual Town Meeting on March 11th, regarding wages and fees, bank of deposit, posting and publishing notices. Glen seconded.

The Board of Appeal and Equalization will be Wednesday, April 16, at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall. Both Glen and Gary are certified and trained in equalization.

Paul can’t attend the Township Officers Short Course in St. Cloud on Monday, March 24. Glen and Patrice are planning on driving, and Glen urged Gary to go. All officers will try to attend the County Township Officers Meeting in Hinckley on March 29.

Glen moved to adjourn; Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 11:30.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

Annual Town Meeting, March 11, 2008


Clerk Paul Raymond called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance at 8:15 p.m., following the township election and the canvass of the vote by the Board of Canvass. Sixteen citizens were present: Glenford and Tony Williamson, Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke, Randy Michel, Joseph Vink, Mark Pallow, Michael McCullen, Patrice Winfield, Kenneth Yager, Ronald McCullen, Gary Vink, Bruce and Donna Filler, Gary Vink, and Paul Raymond.

Nominations were opened for meeting chair. Mike nominated Donna Filler; Ken seconded. Gary nominated Joe; Joe said he declined. Mark nominated Glen Williamson; Tony seconded. A hand vote showed that Glen was chosen as moderator and he took the chair.

Glen called for the reading of the clerk’s record of last year’s annual town meeting.

Gary moved to approve; Mark seconded. Paul presented the Treasurer’s statement of finances for 2007 prepared by Patrice. Mike moved to waive the reading of all checks; Ken seconded. Passed. Joe moved to approve the Treasurer’s Financial Statement; Gary seconded; passed.

ROAD REPORT: Board Chairman Gary Vink gave the road report for 2007. He said that due to the cost of buying a grader, we didn’t have the funds to do as much work as wanted, and that the weather did not cooperate, but many roads did get work in 2007.

Mayfield Road: New culvert installed.

Little Tamarack Lake Road: ECE put an underground cable on the Little Tamarack Lake Road and did some damage to the road; their $500 escrow payment went to pay for this.

Schmedeke Lane: The County made a decision to move this road to their surveyed position, across from Fust Lane. Eldon had found some more records, so the County will re-survey this road in the spring. So far nothing has been done. The original survey cost $4,800 and Ron asked who is paying for the new survey. Eldon said he did not ask for this survey and never wanted the County to get involved in the first place as the road has always been where it should be. Marg explained the history of the county’s involvement when she and Eldon found a county logging surveyor on their land and he called the sheriff and reported that the Schmedeke’s were armed.

Escrow Fund: Escrow payments were received from Carlson Lumber and from Tri-State and T & T Logging.

Pete Anderson Road: A culvert was replaced on this road. In their service year, Arna Township had reported that the culvert had collapsed and we replaced it in 2007. A culvert was placed at the access to Eldon’s road off of the Pete Anderson Road. Gravel was placed at the end of both the Pete Anderson Road and Langstrom Rd. to extend the roads as per our agreement with Arna. Arna insisted that we do more work on that road then we were planning to do; they had even threatened to take their own grader out.

Snowplowing: The Board decided in 2007 to only snowplow roads with full-time residents to reduce costs. Glen asked how has this worked out? Gary said that we only had one complaint, from Clay Heller, and that the Board had then decided to snowplow Heller Drive as it is a townline road. New Dosey had asked us not to plow that road too much as they were out of funds in their Road and Bridge fund. Randy asked about the Mayfield Road. Gary said that most of the land bordering the Mayfield Road is state land, and we should ask them why they don’t plow it. Randy said that snowplowing once in awhile helps clear the brush out.

Duncan Rd./Pete Anderson Roads: T&T Logging knocked down the road and stop signs on these roads during their logging activities. The clerk is billing them for both road signs, a total of $500. We don’t want to use their escrow monies.

Crooked Lake Road: Carlson Timber dozed that road without permission. No one is allowed to do any unauthorized road work on township roads. Carlson’s removed the crown and ruined the road.

Road construction training: Both Gary and Mark attended a road construction class and learned that the best way to maintain a road is with a crown and drainage.


Road and Bridge Fund: The Board had recommended keeping the R & B fund at $20,000. Eldon moved that it stay at $20,000 for 2009. Gary seconded. Passed.

Building Fund: The Board recommended no change; Joe moved to keep it at $1,200; Dennis seconded. Passed.

Fire Fund: The Board pays the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department $3,500 per year for township fire protection, and recommended the same for 2009. Joe said Sandstone Township pays$16,000 per year. Mike said the fire department should have presented each township in the protection area with a proposal to increase this payment because of increased fuel and other costs before their annual town meetings, but since they didn’t, he moved to retain it at $3,500 for 2009. Randy seconded. Passed.

Park Fund: There was a discussion on where the revenues from logging the park would go. Paul said he thought they would go into the Park Fund. Joe said they could go into the General Fund, and he gave a history of acquiring the park land from the State. Eldon said that we need to build a new town hall and the logging revenues should stay in the Park Fund for the new building. Gary moved to keep the Park Fund at $400; Patrice seconded. Passed.

General Fund: Paul explained that the General Fund is used for all operating expenses of the town, for wages, insurance, mileage. Joe moved to keep this fund at $12,000; Mark seconded. Passed.

Debt Service Fund: Paul moved to keep this fund at $25,500 for one more year. After that the grader will be almost all paid off. Ron seconded.

WAGES: Mark moved to keep all wages, for Chairman, Supervisors, Clerk and Treasurer, the same as in 2008, $17.50 per hour for Chairman; $15 for Supervisors; $75 per meeting for Clerk and $65 for Treasurer, plus $10 per hour for bookkeeping and reports. Eldon seconded. Passed.

Ron moved to keep wages for General Labor, Major Mechanic, Mechanic’s Assistant and Grader Operator the same: $15/hour General; $30 Major Mechanic; $15, Mechanic Assistant and $16, Grader Operator. Joe seconded. Passed.

Out of Town Meetings: Paul explained why Board members attend out of town meetings such as the short courses and County Township Officers meetings. Eldon said there is no reason for all officers to attend the meetings. Glen said that as a new officer he has learned a great deal at the short courses and at the County Officers’ meetings. If we don’t attend, the elected and township officials think that we are not interested or involved, and they will ride all over us. Randy moved to keep the pay at $35 for half-day and $65 for full-day meetings. Mark seconded. Passed.

Election Judges: Mark moved to keep the pay at $10/hour; Patrice seconded. Passed.

Mileage: Gary move that we increase the mileage reimbursement to .50 per mile. Randy seconded. Passed.

Snowplowing: The Board had recommended no change for 2009, but Mark said that with fuel costs skyrocketing we could lose money on private drives at the current rate. He said it takes 20 to 30 minutes per driveway to plow private drives. He recommended an increase to $75 and $100. Paul moved that snowplowing be increased to $75 per season for next year, $100 for drives over 700 feet. Tony seconded. Dennis moved that special plowing be set at $150 per hour with a one-hour minimum. Mark seconded.

REPORT OF THE ELECTION: Glen read the report of the Board of Canvass. For Supervisor, Gary Vink 15; Donna Filler 1; Bruce Filler 8. For Clerk, Paul Raymond, 16, Donna Filler 8. There were 25 voters, including four new registrations. Gary thanked the citizens for coming out to vote.

PARK AND TOWN HALL: Eldon took the floor to advocate for building a new Town Hall. He said he believes our present hall and outhouse is a public joke, that there is no reason that in 2008 we should have to use an unheated outdoor privy. He said we should not put any money into maintaining our current hall. If the landing is cleared for the logging of the park land, this could be cleared for a new Town Hall site. Donna said that we should at least start a planning committee or exploratory team to see what is involved and how much it would cost. We could get Menards to donate materials and people could donate labor. Ron said people talk about volunteering but few people actually show up. They can’t even get volunteers for the Fire Department or for Duxbury Days. Randy said there is nothing wrong with our town hall now, and if people are concerned about paying $35 for a meeting, building a new fully insulated town hall with year-round heated plumbing and septic will be a big increase in our taxes. Joe elaborated on the history of the Park land; it was given by the state to make money for the town; it was only suggested that it be a park. Eldon said we should check on what size and kind of building we need, and he moved that we start an exploratory committee to look into all facets of a new building for our Town Hall; what size and materials and costs. Patrice seconded. Marjorie said we need at least 5 members. Glen asked for volunteers: Eldon and Dennis Schmedeke and Bruce and Donna Filler volunteered. Dennis moved to appoint the four people who volunteered and that the committee report to the Town Board at the June, 2008, meeting. Bruce seconded. Passed.

BANK AND NOTICES: Ron moved that First National Bank remain our bank of deposit; Patrice seconded. Passed. Paul moved that the Pine County Courier be our newspaper of record, with the Evergreen as secondary paper, and that the Town Hall and the Duxbury Store be places of notice. Gary seconded. Passed.

Gary moved that next year’s annual election and town meeting be held the second Tuesday in March. Mark seconded. Passed.

BOARD OF REORGANIZATION: Paul said that the Board of Reorganization will be Thursday, March 20, at 11 a.m. at the Duxbury Store.

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION AND APPEAL: Will be Wednesday, April 16, at 10 a.m.

Gary moved to adjourn the meeting. Mark seconded. Meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk