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Regular Meeting, Wednesday, January 2, 2008

WILMA TOWN BOARD MEETING WEDNESDAY JANUARY 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, Glenford Williamson, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Eldon Schmedeke, Joe Vink, Mark Pallow, and a citizen.

Paul read the record of the December meeting. Glen moved to approve; Gary seconded.

OLD BUSINESS: Fire Hall Door Panels: The door panels are installed. Mike said he would have liked to speak to the door repair guy when he was here, but we didn’t have advance notice.

Range Line Road Plowing: Gary asked Paul to bill neighboring townships for townline roads: Arna Township: (all amounts are Arna’s half of the total cost): 10/25/07, 2 loads (8 yards) of gravel on the culvert on the Pete Anderson Road, $13.60; hauling and loading, $40. 11/15/07: 24 yards class 5 gravel on the Pete Anderson and Langstrom Road extensions, 12 yards per road, as per agreement: $88; blading $150. Snowplowing: 12/5/07, Pete Anderson and Langstrom Roads, 1.25 hours, $187.50 (Arna’s half); 12/24/07, ¾ hour, $112.50. Danforth Township: (all amounts Danforth’s half), 12/24/07 snowplowing Eagle Head and Crooked Lake Roads, 1 hour, $75. Escrow Account, Mona Drive: $75.00.

New Dosey Twp: Heller Drive was not plowed. Clay Heller spoke with Bev Vink and with Mike McCullen at the Duxbury Store and complained about the road not being plowed. He felt that since he pays taxes to pay for the new grader, the road should be plowed. Mike talked with Don Mischler of New Dosey Township to see what they wanted us to do; Don said that their road and bridge budget is already depleted and that if we didn’t have to plow out Heller Drive, that we shouldn’t. Eldon said that he pays $5,000 in taxes annually just to Wilma Township, and that for that he believes that more roads should be plowed. Joe said that in case of an emergency, he hopes that Mark or he are authorized to plow out a township road; for example, if there were a fire at Heller’s place the fire truck would not be able to get in. Mark said he could do all the roads with residents first, and then the next day do roads without residents. Mike said the board wanted to avoid backtracking and the double expense when they passed the motion last month to only plow roads with residents. Gary read the article in the latest Mn. Township News by attorney Eric Hedtke on closing or not plowing township roads. Eric’s point is that the only way to completely avoid having to maintain or plow a road is to close it by resolution and barricade it. This can’t be done if the road is the only access for property owners or roads that may be used during the winter. He says that if a road is not closed it must be “reasonably” maintained, including some snow and ice removal. However, he also states for gas tax purposes roads only have to be open and “reasonably passable” for 8 months of the year. Glen read the township lawbook regarding minimum maintenance roads, which some of our roads are. Eldon said that if someone wants a township road to be plowed that we should do it to maintain good relations with our citizens. Mike moved that at the next major snowfall that Heller Drive be plowed because it is a range line road. Gary seconded; Glen abstained.

Loggers and Escrow Account: Gary said that T&T Logging is going to be logging on three township roads, the Pete Anderson Road and the North and South Duncan Roads, and that Paul needs to write to them again and tell them that they need to pay a $500 escrow deposit for each road or we will barricade the roads to their logging activities, and to tell them that they cannot do any grading or plowing on our roads. If they need the road plowed to get their trucks in they need to hire the township grader and operator at our regular rates to do it. Gary said to give them 10 days from the receipt of the letter to pay the escrow deposit.

HAVA GRANT: Eldon had an article from the Pine City paper saying that Wilma Township did receive a $6,000 grant from the Mn. Secretary of State to upgrade our townhall to make it handicapped accessible with a new ramp. This is more than any other county township, and was based on the estimate Mark Pallow made for the cost. In a related matter, Eldon asked that the town outhouse be locked except during authorized townhall use so that the public cannot use it at other times. Gary said this is easily done; the key is in the townhall and it will be locked after the meeting.

Grader Tires: The tires are ordered but haven’t been received. We borrowed a spare from Sandstone Township. Gary hasn’t had a chance to ask the county if we can get tires with them under the joint purchasing venture.

NEW BUSINESS: Board of Audit: The Board of Audit will be part of the regular February town board meeting. Paul will post and publish this: 7:30 p.m. , Wednesday, February 6. Patrice’s books are all computerized now with CTAS; Paul is still doing the old way, but they can be compared and inspected.

BILLS AND TREASURER’S REPORT: Patrice gave the treasurer’s report (attached). Bills were presented:

FNBN 2,000.00

ECE 56.61

Pine Co. Courier 16.92

U.S. Treasury (4th qtr. Withholding) 306.19

Pine Co. Assn. Of Townships (dues) 335.92

Pine Co Treasurer (Truth in Taxation) 38.01

Hopkins Sand and Gravel 176.00

Mike McCullen 27.70

Mark Pallow 229.02

Paul Raymond 83.11

Gary Vink 334.76

Joe Vink 1,027.94

Patrice Winfield 96.97

Glen Williamson 27.70

TOTAL BILLS 4,756.85

Gary moved to pay all the bills and to approve the Treasurer’s report and to transfer $4,800 from savings to checking; Glen seconded. Mike moved to adjourn the meeting; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

Regular Meeting, December 5, 2007

WILMA TOWN BOARD MEETING, DECEMBER 5, 2007

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

Paul read the record of the November meeting. Mike moved to approve; Glen seconded.

OLD BUSINESS: Dollar Lake Road Entrance: The Pine County Highway Dept. told Paul that the county would likely do the work to widen the entrance to Dollar Lake Road next spring. Mark LeBrun said that if the township gets a permit to widen the entrance that the county would pay for it.

Pete Anderson Road Culvert: Mike checked the culvert that Dennis Slomka put in on the Pete Anderson Road after Melvin Elliot complained about it. Mike says the culvert is installed very poorly; it’s crooked and a foot above the bottom of the ditch. Gary said that if it were deeper it would get plugged up with debris, and that it is deeper than the old culvert; the ditch is 4′ deep and the culvert is 3′. Gary said that Slomka has put in many culverts and knows what he is doing. Mike said the ditch will be full of water even if it drains with the culvert so high.

Gary said he went to Eldon Schmedeke to apologize for misstating the size of the culvert that used to be at his driveway entrance on Pete Anderson Road. Eldon said he wanted a 32′ culvert so that he could get a truck into his land. Gary said that a longer culvert would have required more ditching and clearing, and that he intended to cover the culvert, but that Eldon covered it with gravel before we could get to it. Gary said that if it doesn’t drain this spring, that we will redo the culvert.

Property Taxes: Mike said everyone’s taxes are going up astronomically, and that the township grader levy is a big bite, and that the township needs to watch our finances and budget to control these tax increases.

Duncan Road Survey: The county surveyor copied all of our original town road records and wrote a report on the Duncan Road survey indicating that the original survey was correct and would stand. Eldon said that he feels that no one on the town board is concerned that Schmedeke Lane is being moved 60′ from where it is supposed to be, and that if it were Eagle Head Road the board would be more concerned. Eldon said that the surveyor is wrong; he had Schmedeke Lane as a 12 foot cartway, when it is a full width township road. The entrance culvert is 32′ wide. He is afraid they intend to replace it with a 12′ cartway. Gary said that the county maintains that the original surveys are correct and that this does not affect other landowners, but that the county does intend to re-survey Duncan Road this spring, and if things change, we will deal with it then. Gary said there is no point in continuing the discussion until this survey is complete. Glen said he wanted to express his gratitude to Eldon for all the work and research he has done on the surveys and for devoting so much time to this issue. Mike said that even back in 1911 and 1917 the surveyors did not agree and that this has been an issue for years. Gary said we need to let it rest until the new survey is done.

Grace’s Lake Sisterman Easement: Lisa Sisterman said that they are ready to move ahead with getting the easement rights from the DNR for their place on Grace’s Lake. They will get all the applications and forms from the DNR and send them to the Town Board, who has to make the easement application. Gary said we have no intention of making this a township road, and we will wait until the Sistermans forward all the documents and information.

NEW BUSINESS: Garbage Board Meetings: Mike asked that he be appointed the township representative for Wilma Township at the garbage board meetings. He attended the last one for Gary and said that his questions prevented the board from wasting money. The board intended to pay thousands of dollars of taxes on their new truck, but Mike told them to check and see if they are tax exempt; he believes they are as a non-profit agency. Mike said all the other township representatives signed off on the tax, but him. Gary moved that Mike be appointed Wilma Township Representative on the garbage board. Glen seconded.

Snowplowing: Mike said that we’re having all these grader problems and breakdowns because we are spending so much time plowing roads with no residents. He does not believe that these roads need to be plowed at every snowfall to keep them maintained; we could be doing more harm than good, and we are certainly putting wear and tear on the grader. Glen said we could put a moratorium on plowing roads without residents and see how people react. Glen said he would prefer that we not have a motion on record saying we will not snowplow roads without permanent residents, but that Gary be empowered to decide at each snowfall what roads would be plowed. Mike said that he wants it on the record, and he moved that Wilma Township not snowplow township roads that do not have permanent residents on them except for a pull-off space of about 20′ – 30′ for people to pull in off of the county road to park. Glen seconded the motion. Gary abstained. Motion passed.

Grader Tires: Gary said we need two new tires for the grader for the front where it articulates. We got a quote from Glen’s Tire in Mora for $309 apiece, which Gary said is a good deal for 16-ply tires. Mike said this should include the mounting. Eldon asked if the supervisors have checked with the county to get in on the cooperative purchasing venture; we may get a better deal. Gary thanked Eldon for the suggestion and said he would contact them.

Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s Report (attached). Bills were presented:

Glen Williamson $ 24.26

Paul Raymond 70.76

Mark Pallow 480.22

Patrice Winfield 112.66

Mike McCullen 70.41

Hopkins Sand and Gravel 176.00

FNBN 2,000.00

Glen’s Tire 101.77

Dennis Slomka 325.00

ECE 28.22

Town & Country Oil 962.15

Total Bills 4,351.43

Glen moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report and to pay all the bills, and to transfer $4,300 from savings to checking. Mike seconded.

Rangeline Road Billing: Gary asked Paul to bill neighboring townships for snowplowing:

Danforth Township: Plowing Eagle Head and Crooked Lake Roads, 12/4 and 12/5/07, 3 hours, Danforth’s half: $225.00.

Mona Drive: $150, to be taken from the Escrow Account.

Arna Township: Gary hasn’t figured out this bill yet.

New Dosey Township: Snowplowing Heller Drive, 12/4 and 12/5/07: $75 (New Dosey’s half).

Mike moved to adjourn the meeting. Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m. Patrice brought homemade chocolate cream and cherry pies for everyone to share after the meeting.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

Regular Meeting, November 7, 2007

WILMA TOWN BOARD MEETING NOVEMBER 7, 2007

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 Ronald McCullen and Eldon Schmedeke.

Paul read the record of the October meeting. Mike moved to approve and Glen seconded.

OLD BUSINESS: Pete Anderson Road Culvert/Eldon Driveway: Eldon said that he had been willing to pay half for the culvert into his land if the town put in a full 32′ 18″ diameter culvert, but without him being notified, a 20′ culvert 12″ diameter was put in. He said it was not buried deep enough and left 6″ of water on his land, and it wasn’t completely covered so he had to take his own gravel and cover it; he said Slomka did a very poor job; the culvert isn’t in the center of the road. Gary said the 20′ culvert replaced a 16′ culvert, and that he couldn’t call Eldon to notify him when the work was being done because he does not have Eldon’s phone number.

TOWN LINE ROAD WORK: Gary asked Paul to bill Arna $150 for the installation of the culvert in Pete Anderson Road; $136 for the culvert; $15 for 8 yards of class 5 gravel at $3.75/yard; hauling and loading $55; 2 hours of labor, $30; (all of this is ½ of the total cost, total $386.50. We will also bill New Dosey $75, their half for blading and clearing berms off of the Heller Road on 10/25 for the winter. Also Danforth $225, their half for 3 hours of blading Eagle Head and Crooked Lake Roads on 10/25. We will deduct $225 from Potlatch’s escrow account for repairs on this road.

JENSEN’S SNOWPLOWING: Bob Jensen went to the County Attorney who told him the township had to plow every private drive, not just full-time residents. Paul called the township attorney, who said there is nothing in the statute which authorizes towns to plow private drives that requires that they plow every drive, but that if it goes to court the court would want us to have a compelling reason for restricting plowing to year-around residents. Mike said we do have a compelling reason. Year-round residents need to be plowed first, after township roads, because they have school and jobs and medical needs to be able to get out. If we plowed everyone, the residents wouldn’t get plowed out on time, or the grader would have to backtrack and it would take a great deal of added time and expense. The Jensen drive is very difficult to plow; it is steep and full of rocks, and possibly wouldn’t qualify even it were a year-round residence.

HAVA Grant/Secretary of State: Gary got a call from the Secretary of State’s office regarding our application for a grant to build a handicapped-accessible ramp for the town hall. They told him that the grant limit is $6,000 since they had so many applications, and that they may have some more questions about our application; for one thing, having a sidewalk to the outhouse may not come under their guidelines. They didn’t think we could complete it by winter, but we have until next August to finish the work.

Town Website: Glen got it renewed for three years for $44, less than expected.

Fire Hall Tornado Damage: Ron said that the fire department is discovering that there was much more damage from the 1998 tornado than we thought; the whole fire hall slid from the force of the wind, knocking it out of alignment and distorting the door frames. He asked it it were too late to make an insurance claim; Mike said the time limit has long passed.

NEW BUSINESS: County Township Officers Meeting: Glen, Patrice and Paul all attended the County Township Officers’ Meeting. There was a lot of valuable information, and all county supervisors were there, plus the Sheriff Mansavage and Mark LeBrun and Dale Powers and our state district representatives. One reason property taxes are so high and increasing is the county’s $32 million dollar budget, with many mandates and a decrease in govt. aid. Their goal was to cut all non-mandated expenses, but the budget still went up 7 ½%. The County deals with 9 different bargaining units for their 240 employees, and fringe benefits and health insurance are controversial issues.

The Sheriff said meth is still a problem, and robberies are up and are more destructive and more damaging and more things being taken. Only 9% are ever solved. Only 3 – 4 officers cover the entire county on any given night, and overtime is way over budget.

Dale Powers said the Wetland Conservation Act is an unfunded mandate and there is no local control. He feels there is no common sense regarding wetlands. On the Junkyard Ordinance, they had 7 public meetings and two workshops and two public hearings to get feedback from the county citizens. One objection is anonymous complaints. The Planning Commision sent their final version to the County Commissioners, but the ordinance is not done and can be changed, even after it is adopted.

Patrice said they recommend that townships have a list of township citizens and addresses and phone numbers in case of a public emergency or evacuation, so we can notify local people.

Heller Road: Mike said someone graded that road with a tractor.

Dollar Lake Road: Eric Vathne went to the County Highway Department regarding a widening of the entrance to Dollar Lake Road. The County said the township can apply for a permit to do the work. Paul can call Mark LeBrun and ask about this permit and who pays for the work. Mike said if we do the work, then every logger will want us to widen township road entrances to get their trucks in.

Snowplowing: We got payments from Bob Jensen (see above), Eldon Schmedeke, Patrice Winfield, Paul Raymond, Mike McCullen, Glen Williamson, and Ron McCullen.

Bills and Treasurer’s Report:

Patrice gave the Treasurer’s Report (attached).

Bills:

FNBNS $ 2,000.00

ECE 31.13

Pine Co. Courier 45.12

The Evergreen 11.25

MATIT 499.00

Land and Cabins (culverts) 429.00

Ron McCullen (townhall chairs) 100.00

Mike McCullen 34.63

Mark Pallow 185.34

Paul Raymond 134.17

Gary Vink 137.37

Glen Williamson 159.79

Patrice Winfield 172.96

Total Bills $ 3,967.46

Glen moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report and to pay all bills, and to transfer $4,000 from savings to checking. Mike seconded.

Mike moved that the County-wide Mutual Aid be allowed to use the town hall for a meeting on November 15. Glen seconded. Glen moved to adjourn the meeting; Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.