WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING MARCH 10, 2020
Clerk Paul Raymond called the meeting to order at 8:15, following the township election and the Board of Canvass. Nine citizens voted and Gary Vink was re-elected Supervisor and Paul Raymond was re-elected as Clerk. Glen, Mike and Gary canvassed and approved the votes. Eleven citizens attended the Annual Meeting: Mike McCullen, Pat Story, Glen Williamson, Patrice Winfield, Alden Shute, Clayton Heller, Jr., Kristine Sundberg and Gary Klein from NPAHD, and Gary Vink, Stefanie Rahn, and Paul Raymond.
Nominations for Moderator for the meeting: Pat Story and Alden Shute were nominated. Hand vote taken and Alden was elected and took the floor as moderator.
Paul read the record of the March 2019 Town Meeting. Glen moved to approve; Gary seconded.
Patrice presented the 2019 Wilma Township Financial Statement. She again broke down payroll and other compensation for officers to show what each officer is receiving in salary, and for other compensation like insurance, conferences, short courses, mileage, internet, and for judging elections. At the end of the year the township carried over a balance of $161,128.18 in all funds and CD’s. Balance starting 2019: $170,113,73; receipts in 2019: $66,986.57 in total revenues; disbursements: $75,972.12. Mike made a motion to waiver reading of all checks. Gary seconded, passed. Glen moved to approve the report; Mike seconded, passed.
Road Report: Alden said the grader maintenance in 2019 was normal, with routine maintenance and greasing and oil changes. He got new cutting edges and replaced flat tires.
Pete Anderson Road: Carlson Timber improved this road to improve access to their land and spent from $12,00 to $15,000 in building up this road and ditching it. They also put down three loads of basalt/red-rock gravel on the end of Schmedeke Lane. They reditched the 1st swamp at 3/8 mile in. Applied 6” pit run gravel and several loads of basalt class 5 gravel on a couple of intersections. River Cabin Road: graveled. Crooked Lake Road: finished road gravel to the end. North Duncan Road: 4 loads of pit-run; replaced culvert and installed one new culvert. South Duncan Road: Installed new culvert. McCullen Drive: Replaced culvert. Mayfield Road: Replace one culvert. All the remaining roads received routine blading and some random gravel as needed. The Town Hall parking lot was repaved with red-rock basalt gravel and has drained much better then the old driveway. For 2020 Alden wants to work on the Lost River Road and Mona Drive, and to brush all roads in 2020. Glen moved to approve his report; Gary seconded; passed.
LEVIES AND BUDGET FOR 2020: Township Funds: Paul said the Board is not recommending any increases in any of our funds or levies for 2021. Paul moved to keep the funds and levies for 2021 as proposed: R&B, $16,000; Building Fund at $5,000; the Fire Fund at $4,500; the Park Fund at $100; and the General Fund at $10,000. Mike seconded; passed.
Wages for Reports, Moderator, Meetings, Judges, Mechanic, Grader Operator: The Board has final say on wages at the Board of Reorganization but three changes were proposed in wages or rates for 2020, increasing special reports for Clerk and Treasurer from $16/hour to $18/hour, and increasing Chairman hourly pay to $22.50/hour and Supervisors at $20/hour. Glen moved to approve the three proposed wage increases and that all other wages, including election judging, be kept the same as 2019. Paul seconded, passed. Mileage: Glen said we’ve always used the federal rate, which is $.575 for 2020. Patrice moved that we continue to follow federal guidelines; Paul seconded; passed.
Snowplowing: No change was proposed for standard driveways, $75. Over 700’: $100/season; 1,000 ft. to ½ mile: $175; Over ½ mile, $350. “Must have turnaround space. No closed gates. No overhanging trees that can hit the grader. Wilma Township not liable for inadvertent damages while plowing private drives. 2019-20 snowplowing fees due by Nov. 6, 2019.” Paul moved that snowplowing rates and policies remain the same for the 2020-21 season as this past season. Patrice seconded. Passed.
NORTH PINE AREA HOSPITAL DISTRICT: Gary Klein and Kris Sundberg spoke to the public about the history and work of the NPAHD and encouraging Wilma Township to join. There was a long and lively discussion, evenly divided between those supporting joining the district and those opposed. The major arguments for joining was that we all benefit greatly from the work of the NPAHD and the new hospital and we are living off welfare or freeloading if we take advantage without contributing, and that $31 per year is a very small amount, less than our garbage service. Kris said that if we were to join, the amount would be less since it would be divided among more taxpayers. Those against joining spoke of the inability to leave once a town joins the district, and that we already have all the advantages of the hospital without paying, so why pay? Also, that if Essentia should close or pull out, the members would be responsible for paying off the bond. Kris said as a member of the board for many years, she can testify that they are very wise and prudent with how they spend their money. Just in the past year they have added a transfusion center to the hospital and built a state-of-the-art ambulance garage. Mike said he was very impressed by their preparation and readiness and when they have brought people into the hospital there have been as many as six doctors ready to receive and treat them, or have them transferred to Duluth. They are adding mental health services, as often as three days a week. They stress proper nutrition for physical health and support Pathways Food Shelf with fruit and vegetables. They have added opioid and drug-adiction treatment. If we joined, we would have a seat on the board. Essentia meets with the board monthly to update them on projects and needs and problems they can solve together. Gateway Clinic and Thrifty White Pharmacy are valuable partners to the hospital. Even if Essentia pulled out, they would need a 30 – 60 day notice and would still be financially obligated to the district. They have 19 member townships or cities represented on the board now.
Glen moved that we not vote tonight but schedule a special town meeting just for the purpose of debating and voting on joining the district. Mike seconded. The issue was tabled for now.
TOWN HALL INTERNET: Last year CenturyLink ditched fiber optic cable for DSL internet past the town hall. Patrice spent a lot of time talking with CenturyLink to convince them to install an internet line to the hall. We had to order and then cancel a phone line first. We’re now paying $58 per month instead of $118 to Viasat, for faster internet.
FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORT: The Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department is a separate organization from the Town of Wilma, but every year our citizens pay the fire department $4,500 for fire protection and medical responses. Chief Mike McCullen gave a report on responses and training drills in 2019 and on developments and status of the fire department, and projections for the future. He said our most critical need now is for volunteer responders and firefighters, especially in the satellite companies in Markville and Cloverton. Mike said he’s spent 10 hours on the phone with experts and officials regarding the Corona Virus and how to protect our rersponders and firefighters. Mike thinks that because of the casinos, it’s a matter of time before we have it it Pine County,.
Wilma Fall Fest: Paul moved that the fund remain at $500 for 2020. Patrice seconded. Passed. We will hold it this year on the third or fourth Saturday, October 17th or 24th, and the Procrastinators are already booked. Glen said we need volunteers to make it work.
Donations to Old School Art Center, Pine County Historical Museum, The Seven County Senior Federation and Family Pathways: Last year the voters voted to cap donations at $300 for all groups for the next 10 years. The Board of Supervisors has final authority on how to distribute these expenditures at the Board of Reorganization.
Board of Reorganization: The Board will hold the Board of Reorganization to swear in Gary and to make decisions for the township on wages and notice and posting sites before the regular April 1st board meeting. Patrice said the Treasurer chooses the bank of deposit. Paul will post this meeting and will need to be sworn in by someone else, possibly by Deputy Clerk Stefanie is it’s legal.
Board of Appeal and Review: For taxpayers to appeal their property assessments for 2021 taxes, Monday April 13, 1 p.m., At the Town Hall.
ELECTION JUDGE TRAINING: All people who want to judge in 2020 primaries and elections must take two hours of training (Monday, July 27, 9 a.m., N. Pine Govt. Center, Sandstone, or Tuesday, July 28, 2 p.m., Sandstone). Clerk has to take two additional hours, Monday, June 29, 9 a.m.
Chronic Wasting Disease Town Hall Meeting: The Minnesota Board of Animal Health set a public meeting date of Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. at the North Pine Government Center in Sandstone.
Set Meeting Place and Time for 2020 Annual Town Meeting: This is a formality, but is required. Glen moved hold the next annual meeting the second Tuesday of March 2021 and to adjourn this meeting; Patrice seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Glen Williamson, Chair and Moderator